Melancholy June — A New Monthly Review!

The Great Gazoo being a couch potato.

What went well this month

June is probably the nicest month of the year around here. Summer-ish activities are in full swing, lots of daylight, and the yard and garden are at their lush best. The weather cooperated this June, although we had a few colder than normal days.

I was busy with a whole host of projects this month. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day, so some cuts had to be made. The problem with developing good habits is that they take time out of your day, and at some point, you must start cutting good habits for better ones! This month I had to cut one of my beta testing projects, slack off on my course, and my email in boxes didn't get the attention they deserved.

Last year, at this time, I had to give up a contract extension to help deal with aging parent issues. It ended up becoming a family fight to make the best arrangements for my mom. It was very emotional, and ultimately, I became a pariah to some in my family who don’t value honesty and integrity as much as I do. U have been feeling down this month as those feelings have returned, fueled by dreams. I've been a bit down, but I know better days are ahead.

June Goals

✔️ Start one new challenge

This month I started three challenges, one for my monthly focus, one to solve a problem for a web project, and one through For the Interested, a productivity group I subscribe to. On the other side, I put one challenge on hold, and completed another very successfully.

✔️ Read two books

This month I finished thee books, including my long-running campaign with the Orwell essays.

✔️ Think of one new challenge idea

This month I added three new future challenge ideas, and started one of those.

✖️ Get to 600 words-per-day average by the end of June

I did not reach my goal, getting only to 594.4 by the end of the month.

✔️ One new and interesting cooking night a week

I’m giving this one a pass because I came very close, and created some excellent meals this month.

✔️ Answer one Quora question a week

I am also making the grade on this one, although I did miss one week.

✖️ Complete one fiction writing session

I did not have any inspiration for this to happen this month.

June’s Foci

Journal Writing Summary:

No big milestones this month, but I continue to soldier on by getting to 238 consecutive days of writing. The low word count was a mediocre 301, and the high word count was 1265. I had only three sessions over 1000 words, and two of those were the drafts of last month’s review. My daily word count went from 588 to 594, but I am counting on breaching the 600 word-per-day mark by the end of July.

Books Read:

Norse Mythology

I thought Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman was an interesting series of stories, and I enjoyed the way it was written. The gods were somewhat human in nature with their pettiness — not good role models! Something a bit different. 4/5 on GoodReads.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit is an epic fantasy story. I liked the distinctive style of writing, very much a story-telling narration. It potentially could be a long, epic tale, but the way it is written it allows your imagination to fill in a lot of the blanks. 4/5 on GoodReads.

Essays

The Orwell Essays were all over the place, and overall fairly dated (to be expected). Some were very interesting, a snapshot view to an event or person, while others were dealing with a then-current article or issue, and would require research and follow-up. I read them a few at a time over a couple of months between other books. 3/5 on GoodReads.

LifeLog Spreadsheet:

Not much new development activity on my LifeLog spreadsheet this month. I removed a couple of worksheets, and started setting up a habit trigger worksheet. The idea is to chain a new habit to existing activities. Start small, and build from there. The details are in this 17-minute TED Talk — how you can use tiny habits to change your behavior, from Stanford professor BJ Fogg.

Some interesting numbers from my spreadsheet and Exist for June include:

You spend more time active when the days are longer: The time of year and weather conspire to get me off the computer.

I dined out more this month and that may be the cause of the 4% increase in kilojoule intake this month. Most of these were fast food breakfasts.

You climb more floors when it’s windier: Yes, I tend to stay in when we were having excessive wind events this year.

You get more steps when it’s less windy: You’d prefer not to be out walking when the wind is stronger, and many other users feel the same. We had some excessive wind this month.

Surprisingly both active minutes and Spotify tracks (a sedentary activity) both went up a lot this month, 36% and 26% respectively, which leads to…

You complete more tasks when you listen to more music: 27% increase for the month — You’re probably not surprised! Studies consistently show that music you like boosts your productivity, in part by boosting your mood. Music without lyrics also seems to work best. And…

You listen to more The Birthday Massacre when you climb more floors: This one keeps coming up, so there must be some uncanny connection!

Update on June’s Focus Habit

My focus habit for June was cat herding. I have three indoor cats, and I wanted to leash train one, backpack another, and get the last one to try the cat run. I was only 33% successful as I managed to get the backpack cat out almost every day of the month. The weather was a contributing to the failure for the other two.

Goals for July

✔️ Start one new challenge

✔️ Read two books

✔️ Think of one new challenge idea

✔️ Get past the 600 words-per-day average by the end of July.

✔️ One new and interesting cooking night a week

✔️ Answer one Quora question a week

✔️ Complete one fiction writing session

Focus Habit for July

July is going to be de-clutter month. I’m not keeping up on some of my projects, media monitoring, and email subscriptions, so I am going to reduce and focus. I've had to do this project before from time to time because I start to lose my focus, and end up getting nothing done particularly well. Sadly, I have far too many interests for my own good.

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