Monthly Habits Review: September 2022

The third installment. No caffeine is the new habit.

Monthly Habits Review: September 2022
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

For context, read my monthly habits reviews’ first and second installments. As noted in both installments, I keep track of the W-L record for each habit each month. If I meet the habit goal for the day, I earn a win, and if I don’t, I lose. Each month is a new season. The number in parentheses is the W-L percentage in the thousands digit because that’s how all sports display it in their standings.

My overall record for September was 153-27 at .850.

September Habits

Journal 27-3 (.900)

Goal: Journal one sentence.

Thoughts: It amazes me that I didn’t journal one sentence for three days in September. I failed on September 28 because I thought about journaling, checked it off, got distracted, and didn’t think about journaling for the rest of the evening. Oops. I don’t recall why I missed the other two days.

Meditate 29-1 (.966)

Goal: Practice meditation for 30 minutes.

Thoughts: None.

Read 28-2 (.933)

Goal: Read one page in a book.

Thoughts: I read more in September than in any other month this year. Tiny daily habits are powerful.

Spanish 27-3 (.900)

Goal: Study Spanish.

Thoughts: I continue to only study Spanish through Duolingo thanks to the app's gamification. Advancing up the leaderboard and increasing my daily streak is too much fun. I still plan to learn via other avenues, but I don’t know when.

Sleep 21-9 (.700)

Goal: Lay in bed for 8 hours.

Thoughts: This turned out to be a better goal than aiming to sleep for a certain number of hours. No longer thinking or stressing about how well and for how long I sleep seems to help improve how well and for how long I sleep.

Write 21-9 (.700)

Goal: Write for 30 minutes.

Thoughts: I wrote for one hour on more days in August than I wrote for 30 minutes in September. Life ebbs and flows. Being engaged with an online writing class pushed me to write for one hour on 26 days in August. I lowered the threshold for September because I knew it wasn’t sustainable. Even though I spent less time writing in September than in August, I’m pleased to have developed the habit of writing in the morning before 7 am.

October Habits


Goal: Don’t consume caffeinated drinks.

Thoughts: For too long, I’ve been thinking about ditching caffeine for a month. I’ve ditched it in the past, but that was at least five years ago. I’m still getting Long COVID headaches from physical exertion, and thus am wondering if avoiding caffeine will help. I won’t drink caffeinated coffee or tea but will eat chocolate in October. Decaffeination removes at least 97% of the caffeine from coffee beans, and Swiss Water decaf coffee removes 99.9%. My favorite coffee company—especially for Swiss Water decaf—is Fresh Roasted Coffee.


Goal: Complete one big chore or two small chores.

Thoughts: I started this habit in August because I got behind on chores. Checking off a box inside Notion was enough motivation to complete chores all but one day. I didn’t keep track of this habit in September because I was visiting family in Michigan for most of the month. Typically, a small chore takes less than 5 minutes to complete, and a big chore takes more than 5 minutes to complete.


Goal: Journal one sentence.

Why: I started this tiny habit last week and am continuing it in October. Making the minimum threshold one sentence removes all friction from journaling. Journaling has been invaluable during challenging times, such as when I became allergic to the cold and now while battling Long COVID. I’ve been using the Day One app since December 2013.


Goal: Meditate for 15 minutes within one hour of waking up.

Why: I’ve been meditating daily for five years, but I don’t think I’ve ever intentionally meditated early in the morning for an entire month. This will help set the right intentions each day.


Goal: Read at least five pages in a book.

Why: I’m not sure why I increased the threshold from one page last month to five pages this month. I likely read five pages on all 28 days I read at least one page. Since half of October is history, I won’t change it.


Goal: Study Spanish.

Why: I started this daily habit in July 2022 and will continue until I speak Spanish fluently.


Goal: Lay in bed for 8 hours.

Why: Due to my lack of trust in the sleep data from my Apple Watch, my sleep habit will continue to be about how long I lay in bed. Outside of my Kindle, screens are not allowed.


Goal: Write within one hour of waking up.

Why: I’m no longer keeping track of how long I write for each day. This is freeing. I now write in the early morning after I meditate and pour myself homemade cold brew decaf coffee.

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