index all rss twitter github linkedin email
Álvaro Ramírez

Álvaro Ramírez

03 January 2022 Happy New Year and forming new habits

Hacker News has a summary of Atomic Habits (the book). In my case, I really enjoyed reading the entire book. I liked its narrative, mixing actionable and concrete advice with personal stories and experiments.

After reading Atomic Habits during the first lockdown, I was excited to try out its actionables, specially tracking to keep me honest.

I tried a bunch of iOS apps, but wanted no friction, no tracking, no cloud, no social, no analytics, no account, etc. so eventually built Flat Habits ( Also wanted to own my habit data (as plain text), so I made sure Flat Habits stored its data locally as an org file.

I'm an Emacs nutter and can say the strength in habit tracking lies in removing daily friction from the tracking process itself. A quickly accessible mobile app can really help with that. For me, Emacs plays a less important role here. The plain text part is cherry on top (bringing piece of mind around lock-in). In my case, it's been months since I looked at the plain text file itself from an Emacs org buffer. The iOS app, on the other hand, gets daily usage.

As for forming lasting habits (the actual goal here)… it's been well over a year since I started running as a regular form of exercise. While reading Atomic Habits really changed how I think of habits, a tracker played a crucial part in the daily grind. I happen to have built a tracker that plays nice with Emacs.

It's a new year. If you're looking at forming new habits, you may want some inspiration and also practical and concrete guidance. The book Atomic Habits can help with that. You can decide on which apps and how to implement the tracking process later on. Pen and paper is also a viable option and there are plenty of templates you can download.

There's a surplus of habit-tracking apps on the app stores. I built yet another one for iOS, modeled after my needs.

today_no_filter.png today_no_filter.png today_no_filter.png