Posted on Fri 16 October 2015

Monthly Review: September 2015


At the start of each month I do a review in my journal of my goals, habits, and experiments from the past month. In January 2015 I started publishing my monthly reviews on my blog instead of keeping them private. You can see them all in my monthly reviews category.

This month's review is a bit late because I was travelling in the first week of October, and recovering from travel in the second week. I'll include some photos from my trip in next month's review.

What goals did I attempt in September?

  • Work on Exist for iOS: Yes! I wanted to lay out the weather card and finally send the new dashboard version out to beta testers. I did both those things.
  • Publish 2 new posts about building Exist for iOS on the Hello Code blog: Half. I did one of these, about laying out the weather card, but I wasn't enjoying putting together the other one I'd planned, so I skipped it.
  • Complete all my promotions tasks for littlelogs: Half. I pitched littlelogs to a few tech journalists I know. I was waiting to see if we'd get a write-up before I did the last couple of things on my list.

What 1 habit did I focus on for September? (How did that go?)

My morning routine.

I wanted to keep up my regular morning routine which includes waking up early, practising French, reading a nonfiction book, and a short bodyweight workout.

I lost the data from my habit tracking app again (currently evaluating more reliable options) so I don't have exact stats on this. However, for most of the month I was doing pretty well at keeping up with my routine. At a guess I'd say I hit 80-90% completion rate for each of the habits in my morning routine.

What experiments did I try?

Working on Hello Code tasks (coding/support/admin/anything) in the morning before starting my Ghost workday. So far this has been helpful in keeping me grounded in Hello Code and alleviating the frustration I was feeling that having a full-time job was taking over my life.

The end of a workday is the worst time for me to attempt to work on any of my own projects, so before trying this I'd work a full day, eat dinner, watch some TV and go to bed. Every day. It was really bringing me down, so I'm glad I've found this way to keep the different areas of my life in better balance.

My homescreen in September

September homescreen

Most played music in September

  • Mikhael Paskalev
  • Milky Chance
  • Joshua Radin

Time spent coding

13h 0m

About half as much time as I spent coding in August, but I've stepped this up a bit already in October.

Books read

  • The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
  • I Don't Know What You Know Me From, Judy Greer
  • The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion
  • Bringing Up Bébé, Pamela Druckerman

Plays seen


I really want to increase this, though. This morning I was thinking about how much theatre I'd see if I lived in New York City or London and I realised there's plenty of theatre to see in Melbourne—it's not the city that's the problem (except in terms of limited access to musical theatre, but I like straight plays too). The main issue for me is the cost, so I'm planning to make theatre a priority expense, the way I do for books. I should be able to afford one show each month if I don't overspend on other things.

Money spent


Biggest chunks: $2,926 for quarterly taxes, $1,293 for rent, $700 tax repayment, $1,000 at the dentist.

Goals for October

I want to complete:

  • Submit Exist for iOS to the App Store with the dashboard completed: I'm about to send out a new version to beta testers with the final major piece of the dashboard (insights) included. After that it's just polishing and bug fixes to go, so this should be achievable in the next two weeks.
  • Write another post in my series about building the Exist for iOS app: this one will be about adding insights to the dashboard.

I want to focus on this 1 habit:

My morning routine.

After travelling for a week at the start of October, and taking about a week to fully recover from jet lag after I got home, I want to spend the rest of the month focusing on getting back into my morning routine. I was doing a really solid job of keeping it up before I left, so I'm hoping by November I'll be back on track and ready to look at new habits.

Last month's review

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