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One Post a Day

Photo by Roman Koval

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20 Aug 2020

One Post a Day

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of introspection and have noticed that one of the things I really want is a collection of thoughts, feelings, and everyday life events that I can hand down to the family when I’m gone in order to give them a snapshot into my life.

I have no idea what content I will end up posting. I’m hoping a less structured approach will lead to something organic and interesting.

You can see the final webpage here.

Sample of the content I post

Creating the Habit

I quickly identified that the only way I would be able to do this is if became a habit. To create the habit effectively I realised I needed to do the following:

In order to make it quick, I decided to use a medium that lead itself to short format content. The ideal for this is social media. Something like Twitter would be perfect. I would have loved it to be a part of this blog but blogging leads itself to long format posts.

To make it easy (mentally), I decided there would be no rules about the kind of content I can post. Anything that comes to mind can be added. This reduces the mental load of completing the action and helps the habit form. Once I have a good grounding I might revisit this. I also decided that I wouldn’t tie it to a specific time of day to ensure I can do it when inspiration strikes.

To link it to an existing habit, I looked at all the social media I usually use. I actually don’t use a lot. Almost exclusively reddit and Discord. Whenever I’m on the platform I will be cued to make my daily post. If I don’t feel like doing it at the time, I’ll surely open the app again later…

Habit stacking will prevent you forgetting

After posting the above I decided to make posting an activity I do while cooling down from a run. I feel very inspirational after a run, it’s almost like meditating for me. The problem with this is that I don’t run every day… I’ve had to stack it with other habits as well to be successful.

To make it easy, I realised I would need an automated process of collating the information and sticking it on a webpage. I’ve been doing a couple hobby projects with discord bots so that was an obvious choice.

Check out my other post about habit formation if you want more details about this process.

Even thinking of a single post a day can be too hard

It’s doubly important not to judge yourself when you’ve failed at your habit. So long as you can get back into the rhythm again you are succeeding. Making it as easy as possible to succeed is key. I’m not there yet but I’m consistent enough that I think this will stick.

Automating the Process

Every so often I run a script that will hunt through a specific channel on Discord for my posts and write them to a file, then upload them to github where the web page is available.

I already have a bot and a Discord server so combining these with the little extra piece of functionality was easy.

One step further I would like to take is putting the script on a hosted machine that runs automatically. Right now I have to remember to run the script, which means the webpage doesn’t get updated as frequently as I would like.

Here’s the final webpage again.

You can check out the source code on this GitHub repository.

Thanks for reading

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