1000 days of Elevate

Today is my 1000 th day playing Elevate.

Elevate Session Highlights           Elevate Milestones

I broke the streak once in June 2016, not because I slacked but because I was stuck on the dated iPhone 4 running on dated iOS 7 on which the Elevate app was slow and crashed repeatedly. I was also traveling and didn’t have reliable internet. I couldn’t let all this break my 610 day streak at that point. So once I am on the reliable phone and internet, I completed a handful of games retrospectively to fix the streak. And of course, playing Elevate is a fun way to improve vocabulary and math skills little bit everyday.

Here are the earlier milestones.

First four months of 2016

Since the start of this year, I exercised 50 hours and ran 15 5ks.

Most importantly, I achieved one of the two resolutions for this year. I successfully completed Chaitanya 3.0 project. More details later.

I am not doing very well on the second resolution: getting the perfect abs. I am failing to eat exceptionally well. I ate more junk, sugar and cake than I needed to. I am hoping to get better at eating. I probably will.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Elevate App

Today I am pleased to learn that the Elevate app is picked by Apple as the best iPhone app of 2014. So well done,  people at Elevate Labs. Your work is awesome.

I discovered and started using this app since this May. I broke the streak twice, once around 30 days and the latest at 52 days. But I am glad to hit a 100 day streak yesterday.

101Streak

It is a very well designed app that trains my brain across a range of cognitive functions like reading, writing, speaking, listening and math. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time and money, so I play the free version which lets me play three bite sized games a day. I can play all three games under 5 minutes and I spend a bit more time if I can, to get excellent scores.
Here is my EPQ:
EPQ

I strongly suggest everyone to check this app and start using it. It is an addiction that will indeed enhance your smarts and thereby your life.