Testing Habits


In a couple of weeks I’m going on vacation. I’ll be gone for two whole weeks, so I’m trying to figure out if I can survive without my laptop. But before jumping into that chasm, I think I need to test how it will feel to be without my laptop – for one whole night.

The thing is, I’ve built myself this really nice FileMaker database for keeping track of all the habits and routines I want to integrate with my life. I know from past experience that I need to do something for at least a month before it becomes part of what I just do, without thinking about it. My database helps me not just keep track of things every day, but also collect data as I’m getting things done. If I miss a day, I have to restart my counter. But because the data is there, I can go back and see what made me miss a day, or two, or five.

It was when I started tracking things that I realized that I didn’t want to just delete a habit when I didn’t do it by the end of the day. In some cases, I wanted to “suspend” the habit for a day, which would let me resume my count the following day. A few days after that, I realized that things that didn’t get done should stay in my database as “undone” so I could add a brief comment about why they hadn’t gotten done. In a couple of months, I’ll be able to look back at those habits and routines with a lot of “undone” and “suspended” values and figure out if they really matter to me.

So that is what this evening is going to be about: Can I spend the night away from my laptop and still get things done?

That’s why I love the current product offerings from FileMaker. I can develop my solution on my laptop and then open it or run it on my iPad or iPhone. The iPad is what I designed this database for, so everything looks wonderful. I’m going to have to do new layouts to make it look nice on my iPhone, but I think I can do it. I just have to get everything working well first.

How often do you test your habits, really challenge them? I’m going to test some of mine tonight and see how they hold up. One of them tomorrow morning will be updating this blog from my iPad, from a different location. If that works, I’ll be one step closer to making my big trip one bag lighter. I hope things work out but I’m ready to learn from the experience. I still have two more weeks to fix whatever problems come up.

Check back if you want to see my summary of what happens.

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