New Year 2016 Resolutions

As I’ve written about before, doing a full year’s worth of resolutions is not usually successful. As such I try one new habit per month. But January is always the toughest month as a) it’s dark winter and b) the pressure to sort out a whole new year is upon us. So this year I have a hybrid resolution and it’s a mixed-up jumble:

  1. At my gym: we are doing the 100 Days Challenge. This means on Jan 1 do 1 rep, Jan 2, 2 reps, and so on until Day 100. For many they are doing burpees but given that burpees are terrible I am doing pushups and air jump squats instead. I am tracking this in my gym’s community page on Facebook.
  2. For health: in January I plan to have no beer or wine in the house. If it isn’t in the house, I don’t consume it (see earlier success with sugary stuff). The best way to reduce calories and wasted time is simply not to have easy access to bad habits. I will track this with my weight tracking webapp + updates here.
  3. In life: I will stick to one new habit per month for 2016. And write about it. I will track this here.

There are so many other new habits I want to add but in the sense of saying no I will put these off until February. Some of the other habits I want to take up in 2016:

  • A gratitude journal. I have an app idea for this, let’s see how it goes.
  • Get one of my projects off the ground and bringing in some income.
  • Finishing my book aka 1000 words per day.
  • I plan to start cooking one vegetarian (but still primal) dinner and one fish-based meal per week. I love meat and see nothing wrong with eating meat sensibly but there is nothing wrong with expanding my horizons and trying some new foods as well. Hey, I made vegetarian Boeuf Bourguignon (tempeh) and people liked it; all things are possible.

Here is to a successful 2016, as great as 2015 was overall.

From Azure to Bluehost

I decided to move my personal blog form Microsoft Azure to Bluehost. The conversation in my brain went something like this:

  1. Azure-hosted WordPress sites are terribly slow. The functionality is fine, but the speed, whew.
  2. Azure offers no real support for the lowest tier of service. No chat, no help, etc. You can file a trouble ticket but my experience with Azure trouble tickets is they are long, unhelpful, and just plain wrong usually.
  3. I need to learn what else is out there in the wide world (never stop learning). Bluehost won some reviews and many friends use it. So here we go.

First, the pros:

  1. $1.95 / month.
  2. Although it was somewhat slow and painful I did get an agent on chat to help me get up and running. I found it humorous when the agent remarked that I needed my “Hostmonster” account info. “Um… this is Bluehost, right?” “Oh yes, sorry”. Apparently Bluehost and Hostmonster share the same support lines.

And now the cons:

  1. They are not set up to deal with migrating a site. Creating a new site if nice I guess, but migrating a site required a helpdesk chat. This needs to get better.
  2. $1.95 / month in fact is charged for the full year. So cancel if you will, they have your cash. You can cancel and I assume get some pro-rated money back but it requires a phone call; who does phone calls these days?
  3. My Tumblr import has messed up categories and tags so my site is all vanilla now. Reminder: back up your site more often, sigh.

It’s early in my migration. I will say that Azure somehow broke my entire admin site. Thankfully I cross-post everything to Tumblr so I still have a record of my last 5+ years. Reminder to me: back up your data more often.

Perfectly good company scrapped – When a Unicorn Start-Up Stumbles, Its Employees Get Hurt – NYTimes.com

For a while, the dream of employee riches appeared intact. In March, Good executives filmed a video presentation for an investor roadshow for an I.P.O. The company, whose revenue grew 32 percent to $212 million in 2014, projected 17 percent revenue growth in 2015. Executives expected Good’s cash to last through the year, according to the company’s prospectus.

Source: When a Unicorn Start-Up Stumbles, Its Employees Get Hurt – NYTimes.com

Lots of interesting stuff in this article but the most interesting: Good was a company with $212m revenue in 2014. The key question of course is why were they mucking around with VC money vs. just running a business?

Maybe taking all that money isn’t such a good idea and being a simple, stable workhorse company is.

8 Reasons Why Low-Carb Diets Actually Work (no voodoo included)

8 Reasons Why Low-Carb Diets Actually Work (no voodoo included)

The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate intake lowers your insulin levels. Since insulin keeps fat locked into adipose tissue, lowering insulin can increase the amount of fat released to be burned for energy. For the portion of the overweight/obese population with insulin resistance and chronically-elevated insulin […]

Source: 8 Reasons…

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The Power of Less and my December habit

The Power of Less and my December habit… an important lesson about staying on target especially when forming habits.

In the course of my gap year / sabbatical I’ve fallen out of the habit of waking up and thinking about my day. What I coach every new product manager is that every day there will be more thin…

Source: December habit – three things

Good article this morning via Tim Ferriss’ blog. The post reviews a few parts of a new book by Leo Babauta (Zen Habits). The key part of this excerpt is this: one…

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90 years, graphically : sobering and eye-opening at once

90 years, graphically : sobering and eye-opening at once. Go hug someone.

A new post over at The Tail End is quite sobering. The point is fairly simple at first: the average life span of a human isn’t very long, you better get cracking.

Go ahead and do what everyone else does and mark off the number of boxes you’ve already lived. Sobering, right?

But the article moves into the eye-opening as it then walks through some very mundane items like number of times you will…

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The Power of Less and my December habit

In the course of my gap year / sabbatical I’ve fallen out of the habit of waking up and thinking about my day. What I coach every new product manager is that every day there will be more thin…

Source: December habit – three things

Good article this morning via Tim Ferriss’ blog. The post reviews a few parts of a new book by Leo Babauta (Zen Habits). The key part of this excerpt is this: one habit, one month. That’s it. There are other words here and some good ideas but if you take away one thing it’s that.

What I’ve found this month so far is that I fall away from my December habit/goal in two ways:

  1. I get lazy with the holidays, skiing, or something else.
  2. I added in a “gratitude” habit and that has at times overwhelmed my “3 things” habit.

In terms of laziness and all the solution I’m drifting towards is simply to set one or more of my daily goals to doing some of those things that I need to do at this time of year. Grocery shopping for a big dinner is one. Sleeping in and reading a book to get over a cold is another. Skiing. And yet somehow I wouldn’t add any of these to my short task list for the day. That’s a mistake and something I’m correcting.

While I like my new “gratitude” writing the problem is that it takes up the exact same mental energy and time as the 3 Tasks habit. So I can’t do both, at least not right now*. For the rest of December, back to 3 Tasks.


 

  •  I have an idea for an app or template that allows me to do the morning/evening gratitude journal as well as the 3 task model. But at the moment “sketching out gratitude + task app” task hasn’t made it to a daily top of the stack list. I’m hoping to get to this before the end of December.

90 years, graphically : sobering and eye-opening at once

A new post over at The Tail End is quite sobering. The point is fairly simple at first: the average life span of a human isn’t very long, you better get cracking.

Go ahead and do what everyone else does and mark off the number of boxes you’ve already lived. Sobering, right?

But the article moves into the eye-opening as it then walks through some very mundane items like number of times you will have pizza, Chinese food, or do some other activity you love. The graphic nature of this is interesting. But it really hits the gut when it matches your chart with someone else’s chart, e.g. a parent. And suddenly you see that your chances of interacting with a parent or any other loved on are very, very finite and moving quickly away. The sage advice: make it count, own the list of people you interact with, and quality time matters.

Great message at Christmas.

15 Things

15 Things in a travel pack

15 Things

parislemon:

A fun idea by Andrew Hyde. If you were traveling around the world and could only bring 15 things, what would they be? Here are mine.

[via Om]

Okay, this is fun. I am not including the clothes that I would wear, that seems off the list.My list of 15 things:

  1. Timbuktu backpack – versatile, can look nice, hold enough for everything, but still small enough to be a carry-on.
  2. iPho…

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