Thoughts About Words

From Thoughts About Words by Jaimee Newberry:

I shared my talk, “NoExcuses” recently, wherein I made a point about choosing the word MAKE time, instead of FIND time. If you try to find time, you’re more than likely never going to locate it. And if you’re lucky enough to locate it, it’s more than likely not sustainable. When you MAKE time, you own that time for as long as you continue making it. “Making” time implies intention. “Finding” time is passive.

I believe this is the #1 thing holding people (me) from launching side projects, building habits, and getting changes to stick. I need to stop waiting for free/down time to make progress. I need to start making time.

On a related note, how great is the #tinychallenges idea? I am definitely going to use it to help me accomplish more on my Love List.

The Great Myth About Getting in Shape (and Every Other Goal)

David at Raptitude has a great take on goal/resolution setting:

The great myth about goals is that they require us to trade quality of life now for quality of life later. This doesn’t work unless you’re a robot. We’re too interested in keeping our lives enjoyable. You cannot voluntarily make all your days worse for months in the name of optional rewards in the future. A good goal has to improve your life now, and nearly every day between now and the final result. The long-term reward is never going to drive you to keep living a life you don’t like in the short term.

Something to think about when I review my Love List and goals for this year.

Save for Later — Medium

Diana Kimball has a pretty in-depth look at bookmarking and the act of saving things for later:

The Bookmark represents what we wish for. It’s the earliest indicator of intention, and the most vulnerable; by definition, the act of saving something for later means that whatever we hope for hasn’t happened yet. Bookmarks are placeholders for the future. By thumbing through them, we can start to see what might happen next.

For me, bookmarking had a very strong allure. Saving interesting sites and links, collected and connected via tags, allowed us to create our own little web directory.

Then, when the ‘save for later’ reading services (Instapaper and Pocket) launched, it was also instantly appealing: a way to collect articles I wanted to read in a place that was accessible anywhere and displayed in a visually appealing way. Pure gold.

The problem for me (and many other, it turns out) is I rarely went back to the sites/apps to view my archive. I would read an article here or there, or hit up Pinboard for a link I saved, but I’ve committed Instapaper/Pocket bankruptcy three times now and even ditched my original Delicious account with no backup.

The simple act of saving something also creates an immense burden — whether it’s digital or an analog item. Saving creates another aspect of your life you need to manage and deal with, subconsciously or otherwise. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it.

One thing I have been trying to do instead is catalog small tidbits of information that shape my world view or help me learn, using Day One as my journal. Not sure if this is any different, but at least there is value in the information I save, rather than potentially decent articles I may want to read or pages I may need to visit in the future.

Personal Sites

During the last quarter of 2015, I got fed up with maintaining my WordPress install and decided to shut it down and write on Medium.com. I moved over a few of my favorite posts, which proceeded to get a decent bit of traffic (for me), so I was pleased with my decision.

The decision to stop using WordPress after so many years came down to a combination of not writing often enough and dealing with three WordPress hacks (not all the same site) in a short time. At the time, moving to a service liked Medium felt like the right move to make.
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Zen Habits Trio for the New Year

Leo Babauta posted three articles this month that have some great tips to start 2016 off on the right foot:

My favorite tip (one that I plan on trying this year to accomplish my Love List):

  1. Monthly challenges with weekly focuses. The problem with a year-long resolution is almost no one can really stay focused for an entire year. But if you break it into monthly challenges, then it’s much more doable. For example, if you want to get into shape, do a January challenge to go for a walk every day, or run three days a week.

To help build habits and reach goals, Leo suggest creating rules or triggered behaviors:

A rule in this case is an action you do after a specific event happens, as consistently as you can, which will lead to your goal happening.

Some examples for different goals:

Write a book: When I turn on my computer, I will shut off the browser and all other programs but my text editor, and write for 20 minutes.

Seventeen great tips to help you declutter your life and get organized, particularly this one I use:

Get yourself organized at the start and end of a day.

At the start of each workday, I review my todo list and calendar to map out the day. Then at the end of the workday, I review the calendar for the next day and move forward anything I didn’t get done to get a head start on tomorrow. So helpful!

My 2016 Love List

At the start of every year, I like to focus less on “resolutions” and more on a list of things I want to do more of in the coming year. Thus, the name Love List. I feel like it’s a positive spin on resolutions, as I focus on a list of things I love doing, rather than all the things I don’t like about myself.

As I wrote back in 2011:

The list is fluid and will change as my life changes. I’m not going to judge myself if some of these don’t get completed. I am going to put this list somewhere so I see it every day and spend at least part of my day moving one or more of these forward. And then at the end of 2012 I will do a retrospective to see how far I’ve come on these items.

With that said, here are my ideas for 2016. I will track my current focus on my Now page, as well as post updates on my progress through out the year.
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Sylvan Esso: Coffee

One of my favorite songs I stumbled upon in 2015 is ‘Coffee’ by Sylvan Esso:

I absolutely love that beat and the laid back nature of the song — perfect for a lazy weekend.

If you are interested in the process of music, be sure to check out the Sylvan Esso episode of Song Exploder, a podcast that talks with the artists about their craft, as they break down this song.

[soundcloud url=”[api.soundcloud.com/tracks/21…](https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213773263)” params=”color=e93f91&show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Time and Attention

The Back to Work episode Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys, touched on one of my absolute favorite topics: time and attention. Specifically a new (to me) aspect, which Merlin called the Attention Stack.

Attention Stack

  1. Attention
  2. Cognition
  3. Thoughts and Feelings
  4. Decision Making

So the basic idea behind the Attention Stack is your attention defines your cognition (the ongoing process of collecting knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses), your cognition helps define your thoughts and feelings, which result in your decisions.
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Vulnerability and Enough

Vulnerability.

n. Susceptibility to attack or injury; the state or condition of being weak or poorly defended.

n. a specific weakness in the protections or defenses surrounding someone or something.

There is no better expert on vulnerability than Brene Brown. Her TED talk on the subject has been viewed over 22 million times. I highly recommend spending 20 minutes to view it, if you haven’t already.

The basic gist of the talk is this: Continue reading