Yesterday I successfully completed my 7-day programming challenge working on MembershipNerd. I had set out to start a new project, and work on it at least 30 minutes for seven consecutive days.
How did I do?
I tracked 10.5 hours of work on MembershipNerd during those seven days. That is exactly three times the minimum of 3.5 hours that I had set as a goal for myself.
On top of that, I also wrote five blog-posts about the progress or particular problems I was having:
- Day 1 progress
- Day 2 progress
- Day 3 progress
- Day 5 - fixing a UnicodeDecodeError with PyCharm’s debug-mode when using pipenv on a Mac
- Day 6 - howto remove a parent’s fields from a django form subclass
I particularly enjoyed “solving” the UnicodeDecodeError, because that seemed to be something that nobody else had solved before, at least I didn’t find anything online.
What have I accomplished in seven days?
From the 5+1 tasks that I had planned, I was able to complete the first three. I did start working on task #4.
Before I started, I asked myself the following questions (answers on a scale of 1 to 10):
- How confident are you that you will complete your daily goal of 30 minutes per day? Answer: 10
- How confident are you that you will complete the challenge successfully? Answer: 9
- How satisfied and happy do you think you will be when you successfully complete your trial? Answer: 8 - very proud and happy
- Why / about what will you be happy? Answer: Because I have always read about people doing these challenges, and I have never actually tried it.
- How disappointed would you be if you fail? Answer: 7-9 - very, because I would feel like a failure that I cannot even complete such a short challenge.
- How much agency do you have, i.e. how much control over the success? Answer: 10 - full control
Question #4 feels worth revisiting now:
How satisfied am I, now that have successfully completed the challenge?
My original answer was an 8, which I described as “very proud and happy”. So, how happy do I actually feel today? I would say it’s about a 5. I am glad that I started the challenge, but I don’t feel particularly happy or proud. I do feel a sense of satisfaction.
I remember having heard about psychology studies where people were asked to forecast their emotional state when they succeed or fail at a certain future task. And I seem to remember, that they also overestimated their feeling of success (as well as their disappointment).
I took a day off of working on MembershipNerd today, but I will finish the minimal version that I had originally planned. I plan to basically repeat what I have done the first time: start a second 7-day challenge and work on MembershipNerd at least 30 minutes for the next seven days.