Are Januaries Analogue?

Let's check in on how I fared on The Analogue January Challenge.


Commit to reading 3 – 4 new books during the month. […]

I did not read 3–4 new books. I finished one book, read another, and started two others. Close enough.


Commit to going for a walk every single day of the month. Try to make it at least 15 minutes long. Leave your phone at home: just observe the world around you and think.

I have not achieved this as stated, though I have made a conscious effort to not reflexively listen to music and podcasts whenever I'm walking around.

While at FOSDEM I deliberately stayed a 20-minute walk away from the centre of town, which meant I ended up walking for an hour or more every day: a very welcome opportunity to reflect and think alone during a crowded, overwhelmingly-social conference.


Hold a real conversation with 20 different people during the monthlong challenge. These conversations can be in person or over the phone/Facetime/Skype, but text-based communication doesn’t count (you must be able to hear the other person’s voice). To hit the 20 person mark will require some advance planning: you might consider calling old friends or taking various colleagues along for lunch and coffee breaks.

Absolutely no problem, through a combination of meeting up with old friends, some colleagues from out of town visiting, and jury service. Obviously those things don't happen every month but it's nice to realise I actually do talk to a lot of people, even though I spend most days at home.

I also caught up via Facebook Messenger with an old friend I haven't spoken to in almost a decade, which reinforced my firm belief that Newport is flat-out wrong about text-based communication.


Participate in a skilled hobby that requires you to interact with the physical world. […]

I did not take up Brazilian Ju Jitsu or any other skilled analogue hobby.

The habit that I did take up reasonably effectively is writing for fun. Doesn't count under this rubric, but I find it very satisfying.

Oh – I have spent 15+ minutes every day for three weeks on Duolingo's French course. Again, doesn't count, but I have found it a valuable skill to build.


Join something local that meets weekly.

I started the process of volunteering at a local CoderDojo, but I have to run the DBS check gauntlet before I can actually do that.

Strictly speaking, I only achieved one out of five, but I feel like I have a strong claim to having made headway on three of the others. I'm okay with this!