Amplify and Reduce Goals for October 2022

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Another month is here and it’s time to share my ritual (started in April 2022) of monthly habit changes designed around Cal Newport’s strategy for Cultivating a Deep Life (see the past several months for context). Here is my short reflection on September and my plans for October.

A look back at September

September was ok as far as habit changes go. You win some you lose some right?


🟢 Amplify creative skills by spending 20 mins a day finishing Affinity Designer course and creating a Minecraft Dungeons-themed invitation for my son’s birthday next week – Did it!

🔴 Reduce the wasted time I spend on hosting poorly attended training sessions (I do these sessions weekly) by recording and sharing a snippets/highlight reel for others to watch weekly – I did this one week and then it didn’t really pan out for the others.


🟢 Amplify by volunteering to help as a volunteer with Ramblers Scotland – I got the ball rolling here by signing up

🟡 Reduce the days without connecting with friends by scheduling myself time to connect with them at least once in the month (weekly ideally) – I did this a bit but the scheduling thing didn’t work for me as family stuff always got in the way.


🟢 running in prep for a half-marathon by increasing distance on runs gradually up to 9 miles by the last weekend of September (race is on Oct 2) – Done and done.

🟢 Reduce processed food intake: no chips/crisps for the month – Aside from one or two days cutting out chips was easy and worth it.


🟡 Amplify my time to reflect by reading (any book I’m interested in on a given day) and writing about a chapter or two a week – I got started strong with some short stories by Murukami and am engrossed in reading a little book called Yoga, I didn’t write about them as much as I would like. That’s ok I think.

🟢 Reduce anxiety about my relationship with my wife by planning a date night each week – We didn’t have a date night each week but I did get one or two organized so I’ll call this a success.

My goals for October

I’ve got a good set of goals for October. I’m excited about the kindness and strength goal in particular.


Amplify my WordPress knowledge by switching the theme for my site in October (and writing about it)

Reduce time at work doing admin by batching all admin tasks for the week into blocks


Amplify new friendships by planning a day out walking in October with neighbor

Reduce time spent talking to anyone I don’t want to talk to for the sake of being polite


Amplify strength by doing 10 pullups a day

Reduce the days I don’t drink enough water, drink at least 4 glasses a day


Amplify my gratitude by doing something extra kind for my family every day (i.e. thank you notes, hugs, saying I love you)

Reduce the desire to criticize anyone (i.e. if I don’t have something nice to say, keep it to myself)

I’ll share an update again on how it all goes in November.

One response

  1. I have started carrying a bottle of water with me wherever I go (except ironically, when I’m running, as this bottle is too heavy). I end up sipping as I sit quite a lot because it’s right there.

Comments welcome!

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