Categories
Journal Thoughts Tips

/now page

I am now part of the /now page movement started by Derek Sivers. I created a What I’m Doing Now page on this blog.

I felt this is a brilliant idea because it made me pause, think about what is important to me and write how I am spending my time.

Here is Derek’s Now page. Here is the list of sites with /now pages.

I bumped in to Derek when Leo tweeted:

I then found and liked Derek’s No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no post and started following him in twitter.

Categories
Coach.me Habits Typing

I can touch type

It is a shame but I couldn’t touch type until recently.

One day in July 2013 my boss was passing by my desk. It was not the first time he was passing by me or noticed me typing with two fingers. But that day he stopped by my desk and encouraged me to learn touch typing so I could type at the speed of my thought. He told a little story about how he learned touch typing when he was in high school. A little later that afternoon,  he returned to his desk, which is at the far end of mine, skyped me to turn to him and smilingly skyped something which I can’t remember. In that chat he also shared the website he used to learn to touch type: http://www.typeonline.co.uk/index.html

Later that evening, I checked this website at home. This is not the fanciest website to learn touch typing but I liked its simplicity. I clicked around on the links to see how the lessons are structured. On one of the pages, I noticed a message that struck chord with me:

Typing is learned by practice.

Expert typists are not born with an innate affinity for keyboards. They have not taken a magic typing pill. Nor do they rely on enchanted keyboards for their skill. They practice.

So this sounded like a perfect opportunity to put the deliberate practice theory to practice.

751 days of practicing as little as 20 minutes a day, I can now touch type. I am yet to practice numbers row but I mastered the other three rows. However, it wasn’t easy in the beginning. I struggled a lot while starting to learn. But I accepted that as a part of learning and put up patiently with each lesson. Every new lesson and new row was a struggle. Many a time, I used to practice the previous lesson or row just to get going and not give in. Eventually I mastered all the three rows and then moved on to copy practice lessons.

Another thing that got me going was the feeling of mastering the keyboard. Deep inside me I felt very happy to be able to type without looking at the keyboard. One day I turned to my boss, pinged him in skype to look at me, and while smiling at him, I skyped and thanked him for nudging me to learn to touch type. He was impressed that I took his feedback positively and worked on it deliberately.

I continued to practice even after I learned fully because I only needed fifteen minutes a day. I never missed a day of practice in the last 180 days. Now typing has become my new normal that I see no point in tracking this habit. So today is the last fifteen minutes of practice. I archived the habit in Lift and am not going to waste any more time tracking this habit. I anyway type a lot as part of my job and hobbies. 

For the records, here are the Lift stats:

TouchTyping Stats

My boss was not the first person to encourage me to learn touch typing. During the first year of college in the year 2000, one of my computer science professors encouraged our class to learn typing. I took his message and in the ensuing semester holidays, went to nearby town to learn typing on a mechanical type writer. I learned for about two weeks and eventually gave up and settled with two finger typing. 

Fifteen years later, I am glad I finally learned it.

Categories
Fitness Journal Training

Worldwide WP 5K 2015

I completed WWWP5k this afternoon. This is my first 5k run. I’m pleased that it is part of worldwide WordPress community event.

Chaitanya's WWWP 5K Run Map
WWWP5k 2015 Run Map (Click to enlarge)

I ran in the Unitec university campus near my home. I hoped run in the nearby park but the day got hectic and I ended up running in my beautiful neighborhood.

Run Stats
Run Stats

I am happy with my stats, given this is my first 5k and the last run before this was in December 2013 for 3.39k. I exercise regularly but I know running and exercising are not the same. But I think my routine Thursday legs workout helped a bit. I set the expectation lower and budgeted about an hour for the run. I surprised myself by completing 5k in half the expected time.

Finish Line
Finish Line (Click to enlarge)

The above picture is taken when I finished the run on the footpath by the side of Carrington Road and Woodward Road intersection in the Mount Albert suburb of Auckland at 6:22 p.m.

I ran non-stop for about 3k at moderate pace. Then the terrain got steeper uphill and I had to switch between walking and running for the rest 2k.

It’s a great feeling to combine two of my passions, WordPress and fitness and join the fellow bloggers across the globe for the fun run.

Go WordPressers!

Categories
Coach.me Dontloseoutworkout Fitness Habits Journal Meditation Push-ups Training

Three milestones and two goals

It is raining milestones this week.

Lift-5000  Calm-101   Calm-broken

I hit 100 day streak in meditation. I started meditating this January but failed rather quickly. I say with experience that trying to start meditation with twenty-minute sessions is a sure shot way to stumble. So I started again in May with Calm app. I started with their beginner program and eventually realized ten minutes a day is more manageable. I have been regular since June. If I didn’t forget to look at Lift on that tiring day in July, my streak would have been 50% longer. Anyhow, I don’t wish things were different.

I completed the third level of push up challenge with 37 push ups in a row. I struggled a bit to move past 35 but my trainer gave me some tips to move forward. The challenge is complete but the practice continues.

All these tiny habits added up to 5000 check-ins since I discovered Lift in July 2013. I don’t like this app’s new name, Coach.me. Lift and Lifter sounds cooler than Coach.Me. So I will continue to call it Lift. Had I not read this post titled Two Tips for Deliberate Practice on  Medium back in 2013, I would have missed this app and the Tiny Habits method it advocates. Reading can change life positively.

As I can already squat 32 KGs and do 37 continuous push ups, I felt it would be great to round off this year with rounding off those numbers as well. So I aim to squat 40 KGs and do 50 push ups by end of 2015. It shouldn’t be difficult as I just need to continue the momentum. But it is easy to set goals than to actually do them. So fingers crossed.

Categories
Fitness Habits Push-ups Training

Exercise Milestone

I finished exercising this afternoon and checked in to Coach.me to find this interesting milestone.

200th workout milestone

It is indeed 211th check-in as I only started counting after the first eleven.  110 of those were in 2014. The rest 101 are in this year.

This cheered up my otherwise regretful afternoon. I ate well up until lunch and then screwed it up. Between 1.30 p.m and 3.30 p.m., I had a medium-sized cookie, a small Kitkat, a small peanut butter cookie, and a small piece of cake. I did not pay for any of them except cookie. On a perfect day, I should have had only a fruit or two in the afternoon.

I am generally eating well this year but am dropping ball once in a while, like today. It’s time to level up my eating. I know I can do better. I am also afraid that my less than ideal food habits are eating into my exercise gains. It takes a bit more discipline to eat exceptionally well. Nevertheless, I decided to move on and do well tomorrow. There’s a free cake coming my way tomorrow. I will stay clear of it.

I have slowed down with my push-ups progress. I now reached to 35 in a row but stuck there for the past few days. I am trying hard to push through one or two more after 35 but it is proving difficult so far. I will keep trying.

Categories
Journal Travel

Bay of Islands Mesh

Here is another Mesh of Bay of Islands photos:

https://me.sh/19v1tkaq/36a-lb4

Categories
Journal Travel

Bay of Islands

We drove to Bay of Islands for the weekend.

This is the log of the locations – most of them in the waters – during the Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise on Sunday morning.

https://me.sh/148br8d

Categories
Apps Habits Learn Training

Elevate milestone

I reached 401 day long streak on Elevate today. I was at 101 last time when I wrote about  this cool educational app.

Elevate combines two of my passions: deliberate practice and building tiny habits. This is what makes me reach out to Elevate as soon as I wake up every morning.

It hurts to break a habit streak. Especially, when it only takes about five minutes a day to build it. It totally sucked when I broke the streak twice, once around 30 days and the other at 52 days. Luckily, I am yet to miss a day since. Until I break the streak again, I will say that it is easy to build streaks on tiny habits :). Touchwood!

Completing three games daily takes about five minutes. It is easy to do, it is also easy not to do, as I recall a note from the fourth chapter of The Slight Edge. It usually takes another five to seven minutes to score perfect games. So it only takes at most fifteen minutes to make the day count and score perfect games. Everyone has fifteen minutes. There are no excuses really. I think this is what has helped me get going.

Following are my stats and Elevate Proficiency Quotient (EPQ). I love how both the app’s design and my EPQ have evolved over time. I did not improve in listening because I always skipped listening games.

                                

EPQ    

Now that I celebrated the 400-day milestone by writing about it, 500, here I come.

Categories
Essays Journal Writing

How much is too much

As a personal blogger mostly writing about myself, my biggest dilemma is to decide how much is too much. I often wonder if I am exposing myself too much on the internet. Until recently, I did not even dare to have my photo on this blog. I am certainly not ready to post my family’s photos here. I may, in the future, but for now, I play safe. And I don’t know what’s the harm with sharing personal photos on the blog. I still ponder.

On the other hand, I love writing. Writing well is important to me. I write a lot in my day job about software and technology. I believe no one can practice enough of any skill, let alone writing. So I use this blog to practice a different form of writing.  It is easy for me to write about myself. Which is what I do here.

I could write privately. But I enjoy reading personal blogs of normal people around the world sharing their day-to-day life. I find those personal blogs far more enjoyable to read compared to reading something like latest iPhone or movie reviews or even news. Personal blogs are enlightening and at times inspiring. This, combined with my reluctance to be a passive consumer, makes me blog about myself. Although, deep down I am afraid of making myself vulnerable to judgement.

Okay, Seth Godin is not your ordinary Joe but I found this inspiring quote from his 6000th blog post on his personal blog that he published today:

It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it, buys it, sponsors it or shares it. It matters that you show up.

Seth linked to another great post titled Shut Up, Sit Down, and Type which highlights something I deeply believe:

So whatever the voices or gremlins in our heads are saying, our response is the same: just show up every day and do the work.

And lastly, today’s installment on The Daily Post articulates what I love most about personal blogs:

I am drawn in by their passion, not by their perfection.

All this will get me going for the next 200 posts.