September Reflection

A Conker sits in its half-open shell on the ground

Table of Contents


It isn’t quite the end of September, but I had the urge to write this morning. Never resist the urge to write.

Last week I was reading Ali Abdaal’s ‘Sunday Snippets’ where he spoke about doing ‘Fake Work’. I’ve fallen victim to this on many occasions, an example being – changing the header on your website for 13th time in a week. That constitutes fake work.

I’ve been pondering the thought this morning about whether my September achievements count as ‘Fake Work’, or genuine progress. Perhaps the difference can only be decided by the individual.

I wrote in a recent post about how I decided to quit alcohol for September. This single decision has been the catalyst for so much of my performance this month, it almost pains me to admit it.

Progress in Numbers

My lack of a tipple 3 or 4 times a week is undoubtably the main driving factor for:

  • 23 days in a row of taking my supplements
  • 23 days in a row of reading every single night (3 books ✅)
  • 23 days in a row of working out at least once (thanks Streaks Workout)
  • 23 days in a row of not eating before 12 noon
  • 9 days of journalling (Day One)
  • 7lbs weight loss
  • 5 published blog posts (with 3 in the works)
  • 2 side projects started and launched

To put this into context, the only win I had in August would have been not eating before noon. The last time I wrote in my Journal was in February. The last workout I did was in January. I was up over 16lbs from my pre-lockdown weight.

Mentioning the ‘Fake Work’ scenario is my way of trying to overcome imposter syndrome. Who am I doing all these new things? Can I maintain this for the foreseeable future? What happens after September?


This month has been about renewal. Starting again, from a place I have been on many occasions. The start of a new year is always a time for renewal. Every year I go for a few runs in January and inevitably stop before the months up. September feels different.

I haven’t even mentioned about what good this has done for my freelance career. I want to reflect on that a bit later though. I’m in the ‘head down, get on with it’ mode at the moment.

Next Month

October is a busier month for me socially. I have been carefully agreeing to social plans and blocking out my calender. Next month will be an experimental month where I reintroduce alcohol at a minimal level (ideally max once a week).

The gamification of routine is a powerful process for me. I know I’m much more likely to carry on with my workouts, reading and journaling now I’ve got some good numbers behind me. Like dying in a video game and having to start again, the thought of going back to zero is a great motivator to keep going.

These things have become something I look forward to. A workout in the morning wakes me up. Reading at night stops me aimlessly browsing Twitter. Journaling helps me reflect and improves my recall of events.

If you find an ‘October Reflection’ on this page in a month, you can be damn sure that I made it through.


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