Show Up

This past year I’ve been chasing a perfectly green GitHub history. I know it’s stilly. A year ago I would have argued it’s useless. And yet, there’s something to it…

I enjoyed reading Atomic Habits last year around. One of the ideas James mentions in the book is tracking habits. At the time, I didn’t find the idea too appealing.

Tracking habits seemed like “meta work”. Writing down habits is a habit to get into itself. Seems counterproductive.

But the seed of the idea was planted. A couple of months later I started chasing green on GitHub and a while later I noticed something. Inspiration comes from doing.

I had my ups and my downs.

Some days that meant a readme change.
Some days it was a small bug fix.
Some days it was just cleaning up code here and there.
And sometimes – I found myself doing more than I expected.

Having a low bar of “commit something - anything!” kept me going. All I need to do is show up, even briefly.

Showing up compounds over time.

Build a habit tracker

What if I could do that for other areas of my life? James Clear does this by having a habit journal. I could do that, but I don’t get any satisfaction from the tactlessness of pen and paper. That still seems like a useless obstacle to me.

So I did what I always do - I wrote some more code and made a habit tracker.

This ticks a couple of boxes for me:

Accountability It’s publicly visible - so there’s the same pressure as with a GitHub profile.

Cue I installed this Chrome extension to replace a new tab with my habits page. I can’t avoid seeing the habits I’ve committed to if I sit down by my computer.

Craving I don’t like unchecked boxes. If I don’t check a box today, it’ll be an eyesore for quite some time.

Response Ticking the box is a small sense of achievement, but more importantly:

Reward The habits are achievements on their own, but in addition to that, I’ll get a nice reminder anytime I open a new tab.


Only time will tell how well this is going to work. I’ll update the post a couple of months from now with a follow-up.

Overall, I’m excited. I think this can work pretty well, as long as I don’t overdo it.

And now we wait…