Year of the Habit: May

Mayday! Mayday!

Welcome to the fifth installment of The Year of the Habit 2012.

As is customary, let’s review the year so far before revealing May’s habit.

  • January: Started flossing every day.
  • February: Stopped biting my nails.
  • March: Attempted to read every day. Mostly unsuccessful. Currently reading Buddhism Plain & Simple and The Art of Expressing the Human Body.
  • April: Health nut month. With the help of the Seinfeld productivity method, I was able to chart my healthy and unhealthy days quite easily. I had six unhealthy days in April, all of which occurred on either a Saturday or a Sunday, and most of which were special occasions (birthdays, christenings, etc.). My longest streak was seven healthy days in a row. Twenty-four healthy days out of thirty total means I was Primal 80% of the time, which I’m happy with overall. Coincidentally, that ratio exemplifies the 80/20 principle, which suggests that shooting for perfection usually lands you somewhere around an 80% success rate. I would have preferred it to be slightly higher, but 80/20 is a good balance, and visually representing my eating habits visually was a valuable experience. Weekends are obviously the most challenging days to eat well, while I’m able to remain in healthy mode throughout the week. In general, I’m considering April a success.

Bonus Habits

In addition to my monthly goals, I’ve also adopted some bonus habits that have made a huge difference in my 2012 so far. These include:

As I’ve said before, these unplanned habits speak to the power and momentum of small changes.

What’s Next? Dollar Dollar Bills, Y’all.

May is money month.

I’m actually a little nervous about this one, because numbers are evil, but it’s a step I need to take. My thesis is very close to done, and soon my singular focus will be on ways to make sufficient income.

But what makes one’s income “sufficient”? Well, that’s what I intend to figure out.

During the month of May, I’m going to be tracking all of my expenses.

This habit will provide me with several useful bits of insight:

  1. By knowing how much I spend in a month, I’ll know approximately how much I need to make to live.
  2. I’ll be able to identify needless spending that has hitherto gone unnoticed.
  3. I’ll be more mindful about how I spend my money knowing that it’s going to be recorded.
  4. I’ll be able to use my spending data to develop a budget for the future.

Of course, I’ll be using an iOS app to track all of my expenses. I’m going to start with Saver, but I also plan on testing out a few others. I’ll let you know of my favorites.

May is going to be a challenge in the sense that this is one habit I don’t love. Unlike trying to eat healthy or write every day, which were fun and enjoyable, I’m not looking forward to seeing where my money goes. But, it’s necessary, and I’m sure the experience will be enlightening.

And that’s what we’re all about, isn’t it?

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