New Year, New You… Am I Right?

Happy New Year?  New year, new you?  Am I right?

How do you actually make it work this time?  Make some little changes which have some real positive effects…

Easier said than done, I know, but you can do it.  The hardest part with these is that it’s only hard the for like the first week, but once the habit starts to set in, the routine, it just becomes life.  Think of it like this, if you’ve watched WestWorld, everybody is on a loop (habits)… the question is, is the loop you’re on serving you, helping you become better?  What this is is basically you reprogramming your life according to what you want ot make happen and not just idly floating by and letting life kick your ass. So, here’s a list of my 3 most important habits… you can add, subtract, append your own if you want.

By the way, it’s okay to fail, just pick yourself up after and try again. Know that you’re only a failure if you stop trying.

1.Sleep Earlier and Wake Up Earlier

Why would you want to do this?
Because very few people actually do make it happen… and those few are generally the more stable, happy and materially successful crowd.  Look it up, waking up early is magic.

How do you do it?
In order to begin, don’t try first sleeping earlier. That shit doesn’t work. I’ve tried it.  What you need to do is set your alarm earlier, even if you’re getting less than your recommended 8 hours (let’s face it, at this point, that doesn’t happen anyway), however little sleep you are getting, set your wake up time at least 2 hours before you have to head to work.  You need an alarm clock and you need to force yourself to get your ass out of bed no matter what (this is easier to start in summer, winter just makes it that much harder.)

The reason for starting with getting up earlier is that the going to bed earlier will sort itself out.  Logically, you will be tired earlier.   Now the main question… what do you do with 2 extra hours?  You can follow the online advice of what the world’s greatest CEO’s do, but basically it can be the next two things.  Just don’t end up having a 2 hour breakfast, scrolling Facebook and wasting your damn time. Focus.

2.Read More Books / Learn Something New

Why would you want to do this?
I’m not going to even justify this. You know it’s a good idea.

How do you do it?
Again, you have to force yourself to do this, at least exercise some will power… but this will make it easier…

a. Pick the right book/course – start with fiction and something entertaining that you’re interested in. Something academic or hard to read and this will all die quicker than your dreams.
b. When do you read? – try the morning, or, what actually did work for me with a great book was when I had the urge to watch another episode of a series and instead ended up finishing a quarter of the book. Woohoo!  Find what works for you, trial and error.

3.Start a Small Physical Activity at Least 3 Times a Week. (you knew this one coming.)

Why would you want to do this?
So you can look good naked and not have a minor heart attack everytime you climb a flight of stairs.

How do you do it?
Start small. I started with one of the 7 minute exercise apps. Just once a day, 7 minutes… easy right? Naah, it knocks the shit out of you in that 7 minutes… and I swear the 7 minutes lasts like 30 minutes while you’re actually going through it.  But, it is just 7 minutes.

If you’re really serious and plan on going to the gym (and don’t want to waste the membership fee)…
a. Wake up Early (see Number 1)
b. Prepare, so you don’t have any time to stop yourself in the morning. – sleep in your gym clothes, have your gym bag packed with everything you need the next day ready to go next to the front door.
c. Have a glass of water, or two
d. Get out of the door (THE MOST IMPORTANT THING) – being at the gym and working out is the easiest thing in the world… the hardest thing is getting your ass out the damn door.  Get that done and the rest will follow.

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Fiction and Non-Fiction: The How and What of Consuming Literature


Have you ever noticed the way you actually “read” books? A thought struck me the other day about the actual act of “reading”. I, for example, read off a kindle, consume audiobooks and now and again pick up an actual paperback.

Given these three different reading mediums (granted listening to an audiobook isn’t exactly reading), I’ve noticed that there is some interaction with the way we prefer to learn.

I can only read fiction while I prefer to listen to non-fiction in audiobook format. Non-fiction just can’t seem to keep my attention long enough on a page, my mind kind of gets heavy with the reading and I struggle to focus while listening to it passively, provides no problem. Fiction, however, I can consume in both formats equally. It’s most probably the entertainment factor, but it’s also the writing. A book of any kind, badly written, would irritate me to no end.

There are exceptions, ofcourse. I was able to read Malcolm Gladwell’s books pretty easily which makes me think the hypothesis of reading fiction alone merely because of it’s entertainment value doesn’t holdany water. It’s the writer and the writing that’s important, along with the ideas and the way they’re conveyed. Above all it has to be relevant.

I’ve noticed that with a lot of non-fiction books, there is a LOT of filler. Either saying the same thing over and over in different words or taking a long time to get to the point. I honestly believe that most non-fiction books can be easily cut down to 15 minute reads covering the main ideas. Apps like Blinkist prove my point easily, but even Blinkist has a lot of extra in it which doesn’t need to be there.

There’s a definite gap in the market for consuming these books and merely getting the main ideas out.  If any explanation is needed, analogies work the best to make people grasp foreign concepts.  There’s a real nugget here.

Anyway… wherever it ends up… keep reading.

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