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Apps Habits Journal

800 days of Elevate

Hit the 800 day streak on Elevate today. Between moving the phones and traveling, I lost the streak in June.  So I used the cheat to restore the streak and never missed a day ever since. Here’s to 1000 days.

800 day streak image

Categories
Apps Habits Journal

600 days of Elevate

Today I played Elevate for 600th day in a row.

This is the only live and longest streak I currently have.

ElevateMilestones

Categories
Habits Journal Meditation

Broken meditation streak

Last night I broke 234 day long meditation streak in Calm.com.

While it is unfortunate that I could not find even ten minutes to mediate yesterday, there is a bright side. I engrossed in something important and lost track of time. That’s mindfulness, isn’t it? 

By the time I realized, it was six minutes to twelve in the night. I could have meditated two minutes – my usual is ten minutes –  just to keep the streak alive, but I saw no point.

Although I need to start from square one, I think progress matters more than streak and perfection. So I am not feeling too bad.

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Journal

It is the season of giving

2015 version of giving happened today.

I am unsure when did 2014 version happen and if I blogged about it. But it surely happened sometime around this time in the last December.

It is good to be giving a bit for three years in a row.

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
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
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
Apps Habits Learn Training

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.