Once a Month

An easy way to do more things you love.

February 29, 2024 • 2 min read

Ten years ago, I set a goal: publish one blog post a month.

It worked!

A decade later, I still keep the habit of writing an article every month. Over 120 sessions I’ve slowly gotten better at writing, learned tons, and built up an archive of some of those lessons. These articles have now been read millions of times, and fed many great conversations and friendships.

Simon Willison recently wrote about the formidable power of streaks:

The best way to get really good at anything is to do that thing on a regular basis, thoughtfully, and with the goal of doing it slightly better every time.

This is true, in my experience. I would say, further: the best way to start actually doing something is to try doing it once a month.

While monthly is not frequent enough for most work habits, it can be unreasonably effective when the activity is atelic – that is, for its own sake. Something you enjoy and find worthwhile, but don’t yet do regularly.

A really nice thing about a monthly habit is that, even if you’re busy – perhaps you’re a parent, a founder, an over-scheduler, or all three – you can still make time for once a month. There are, on average, over 30 nights in a month to pick from! And 30 days, to boot. 8-10 of which are weekend days. The month is your oyster.

Here are some examples I’ve found of potentially worthwhile monthly habits:

  • Have coffee with somebody new
  • Record a podcast
  • Go on a long forest walk
  • Attend a meetup
  • Read a research paper
  • Host drinks
  • Play Dungeons & Dragons
  • Publish a blog post
  • Play music with friends
  • Attend a non-profit board meeting
  • Purge your inbox

You don’t need to keep ten monthly habits at once, of course. Although you easily could!

The point here is simply that if there’s something you enjoy doing, and you wish you did more often, try scheduling it once a month.

The second Sunday of every month could be Long Bike Ride Day. The last Thursday of every month could be Product Drinks. The last day of every month could be Just Publish Something Day. Just try it for a few months!

It might just stick.

Next in the Living Thoughtfully series: The Dangers of Curiosity →

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© Allen Pike. 👋🏼 You can contact me, or check out Steamclock.