Transformations make me puke.
Who do you know that woke up one day and suddenly became a different person? Or that rapidly went from lazy to a triathlete?
I’m waiting …. nobody.
That’s because transformations are bullsh*t. Real change happens slowly. Change happens when you stack mini habits on top of each other.
Size doesn’t matter. Consistency does.
I know a thing or two about regrets. I pissed away years of my life waiting for one gigantic moment that would take me out of a dark place.
It never happened.
If you want your life to be better in a year then do these mini habits consistently.
Celebrate with cake
I’m diet conscious. I eat whole food plant-based meals.
Yet I inhale cake regularly.
Why? Life is meant to be enjoyed. If you never reward yourself with tasty treats, it feels as though you’re not living life.
Have a good diet.
Just don’t forget to treat yourself, particularly after doing productive work.
Clean up your digital life
Digital minimalism is a relatively new field. Expert Cal Newport is the first person I’ve heard talk about it.
Your physical world can be clutter-free, but your digital world is where you likely spend a lot of time too.
Most of you are worse than American hoarders from those dumpster houses on reality tv shows when it comes to digital waste.
Make it a habit to clean up your digital spaces:
- Delete stuff off the desktop
- Remove apps you never use
- Delete notifications from all apps
- Clear unused files on external drives
- Go through your laptop and look for junk
- Go through your cloud storage and audit files
- Use CleanMyMac if you’re an Apple lover like me
- Put files into folders instead of leaving them unsorted
- Look at how many social media accounts you have. Do you really need them all? Do you have time to be on every platform? Nope.
The big question: how many devices do you have?
Many of us have way too many. I know I’m in that category. Less devices equals more time spent with your head away from a screen of doom.
Move, sleep, eat, drink if you get brain fog
Brain fog is something many experience. It’s more likely to strike late in the afternoon. When it does, the desire to finish work disappears.
Joey Justice showed me another way to think.
Our brain uses up about 20% of our oxygen supply. When oxygen levels become low we start to feel brain fog. All you have to do is go for a walk and your blood flow increases — with it, more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your brain.
Brain fog is likely to reduce or go away when you walk. Try it.
If walking doesn’t eliminate it, you likely need to sleep, eat, or drink more water. Whatever happens, do something about brain fog.
Exercise you actually enjoy
For some people a gym is a cement dungeon with chains and whips.
The gym junkie life ain’t for everybody. No problemo. The point is to move your body. Find exercise you do enjoy. My wife loves bike riding. She rides an $85 bike she bought on Gumtree.
A bike is her freedom machine. It doesn’t feel like exercise. That’s the type of movement you should add to your life immediately.
Get an eLearning membership
Everyone knows they need to constantly learn new things. I’m not going to cradle you in my arms and treat you like a baby.
The key is to automate learning. What I did is become a member of various eLearning platforms.
I use Gumroad and Teachable the most.
I browse through the library and look for uncommon skills I’m not aware of. Right now Web 3.0 skills interest me the most.
Don’t wait for learning to happen or buy a course once in a while. Make learning a recurring expense that will pay massive dividends later on.
One habit many people don’t have is a way to express themselves creatively.
Not all of you are artists. I get it. A simple solution is to write tweets. It takes no time at all and allows you to share what you’ve learned and what you’re working on.
Sharing thoughts becomes a magnet. That’s how the right people find you.
Read the best books again
Finding new books is hard.
The risk is you get overwhelmed by decision fatigue and read nothing. Reading can quickly become a chore. The trick is to read the best books again.
Here’s a great analogy from Heraclitus: “No person ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and they’re not the same person.”
Books shed light on new wisdom with each read.
And lessons you’ve already learned are quickly forgotten. Learn the best lessons again from the books that have changed your life.
One in, one out
I moved into a slightly bigger shack.
The temptation is to buy more crap and drown in stuff. One rule helped calm my consumerism brain: one in, one out.
If I want to buy something new for my office then something else has to come out. The surprising thing is the items that have come out went for decent money on Zucks’ Facebook Marketplace.
A house full of crap is a mental nightmare.
Think about someone less fortunate than you
War reminds us: you have peace.
So many people in the world don’t. Make it a habit to think of those less fortunate than you. Not to be hashtag grateful and hold a candle so you can sing kumbayah my lord.
Do it because it’s easy to become an assh*le who always wants more when so many others have little.
Keep an up to date list of subscriptions
Subscriptions steal your time. Read that again.
Most subscriptions are underutilized. Make it a habit to track your subscriptions. Look at the overall annual dollar value.
Is it going up or down? If it’s going up, more of your time is getting traded to earn that money. If it’s going down, you’re on the right path.
You probably won’t use a subscription as much as the landing page with brilliant copy suggests you will.
Drink a heck more water
Most of us don’t drink enough water.
Hunger is more likely to be dehydration than an empty stomach. Food is so calorie-dense it’s hard to have a full stomach. Heck, when I go to the supermarket I see people who have enough food stored to survive the ice age.
Thirst first, food second.
Think twice before saying something you’ll regret
Yesterday I screamed at a real estate agent.
They ignored me for weeks and made my life hell. I instantly felt regret afterwards. I’m normally pretty chill.
If I’d thought twice before speaking, the blow up wouldn’t have happened. You’re smart. Think before you say something nasty.
Your reputation is built behind closed doors based on your words.
Sleep on an argument
Make it a habit to go to bed when the world is collapsing inside your head because of a disagreement.
Approaching an argument when you’re low on energy is adding kerosine to an already out of control fire.
Disagree when you’re high on energy. Work through problems in the morning after your battery is back to 100% again.
I’ve lost everything multiple times in my life. Risk is to blame.
Make it a habit every year to relook at your risks. Is your house safe? Is your insurance up to date? Could the industry you work in collapse shortly?
Do you have money stored up for hard times? Are your investments going to be safe during a recession?
You work hard. Don’t lose it all because you forgot to have the risk conversation with yourself.
Obviously, you don’t need to try every one of these mini habits as if you’re Superman or Wonder Woman. Try one though.
Consistently execute on tiny habits that are good for you and your life will completely change in a year.