The Important Habit of Just Starting

Every single day we choose how we spend what few hours we have. Yet, despite the constant warnings to chase after what we believe, we often fall victim to procrastination and a fear of even just starting.

For myself, and the 95% of the American population who admit to falling prey to procrastination or even total avoidance of the things we want to do in our lives, ‘time management’ only goes so far. And when it comes to looking at why we fail to start, there are larger emotional and psychological reasons at play.

Source: The Important Habit of Just Starting

Use Visualization to Power Through Tough Workouts

Mentally rehearsing tough spots in workouts or competitions can be a useful tool to beat those obstacles when you meet them in real life. Here’s a formula to help you build an effective script for visualizing success.

Source: Use Visualization to Power Through Tough Workouts

I’ve used visualization differently to get myself through a workout.  I used it to distract myself, think about something else entirely.  There’s some times I can’t remember how I’d progressed to that point (IE on a run), but I felt fine.

How to Get Better Sleep (and Need Less Every Night)

Many of us struggle to get enough sleep every night, but is the sleep we get any good? While it’s important to get enough sleep, better sleep is a greater ally than more hours of sleep. We sat down with a sleep expert and a stack of studies to help you get a better night’s sleep and need less in the process. Here’s how.

Source: How to Get Better Sleep (and Need Less Every Night)

A big part for me is dealing with stress.  Sometimes work comes home with you, or things were generally crappy.  You have to figure out what works for you to get past it.

How to Eat Healthy in a World Filled With Processed Food

Picture a wholesome meal: lots of veggies, maybe some pastured meat or free-range eggs, lovingly cooked at home from scratch. Do a quick count of how many of your meals from the past week looked like that. Close to zero? You’re not alone.

Our world is full of processed food, for better or worse. It’s easy to sit at my keyboard and tell you to avoid it and eat foods in forms closest to how they are in nature: apples, not apple pie. But just because something is “processed” (whatever that means) doesn’t automatically make it bad for you. It’s time to lose the guilt and own up to eating processed food sometimes—and maybe we’ll see it’s not that bad.

Source: How to Eat Healthy in a World Filled With Processed Food

Eating healthy can be more expensive than just eating whatever is out there. Sure you can sign up for CSA shares, and grown your own stuff, but in an apples to (organic)apples (ha!) comparison, expending the same amount of personal effort, it pays to shop around.  Part of it can be just adjusting foods to lifestyle – some stuff can expire before you use it.  That’s what made incorporating fruit/vegetables difficult for me, then I wanted to eat something else which made the problem worse.

Creating a New Habit Comes Down to Four Factors

Forming positive habits, like eating healthy or exercising regularly, is probably the most repeated new years resolution.  Many try and many fail.  Trying, and failing, to get started with exercise is particularly common and for some there is a constant cycle of working out and relapsing back into inactivity.  The reason for many of these failings is that there is no system to creating new habits.  People are literally running around without any idea of what they’re doing hoping that their will power alone will work until the behavior sticks.  Unfortunately relying on sheer will power alone will inevitably lead to burn out.  There needs to be some sort of guided approach, a system tending towards the 4 or 5 most important actionable items that will greatly increase the chance of success.

Source: Netflix or Gym: Why some habits are easier to form than others

Sometimes I have to remind myself that the reward is being thinner.  Recently I made a change for both INR considerations, money and weight loss.  I feel better about eating food that is less processed, my INR is back to the usual consistency, but the weight loss aspect works but leaves a little to be desired.

Who is Healthier: ‘Foodies’ or Picky Eaters?

Food lovers may seem like the type who should watch their weight, but a new study suggests people who enjoy trying new and exciting foods may actually be healthier than those who are more picky.

Source: Who’s Healthier: ‘Foodies’ or Picky Eaters?

I think it really depends on what you eat, and volume of.  Beyond that, if we don’t enjoy it – we won’t do it.  So it makes sense why a foodie might be healthier.

Study: 3 Things The Healthiest Eaters Are Doing Better Than You

Forget strict diets and resolutions. According to a new study published in the journal Psychology & Marketing, eating more nutritious foods on a daily basis can be as easy as following a three-step method that anyone “C.A.N.” follow.

Source: 3 Things The Healthiest Eaters Are Doing Better Than You

It’s actually a meta-analysis, of 112 studies.

The first two steps make the third easier, almost automatic.  If something is easy and attractive, you’re likely to develop a habit.  Which explains why processed and fast food has taken such a foothold in our diet.  It’s sabotage to exercise, only to refuel with processed/fast food because it’s convenient on a time/effort basis.  So I make batches of stuff that I eat throughout the week, and just needs a little time in the microwave to reheat.

Stop Flushing With Your Foot, or: Germ Avoidance “Tricks” That Don’t Work

Perhaps you were as grossed out as we were by that recent Weill Cornell Medical College study that showed New York City’s subway system to be teeming with bacteria. Over an 18-month period, geneticist Christopher Mason and his team collected DNA from handrails, kiosks, seats, and turnstiles across the MTA to reveal a lush, invisible ecosystem containing more than 15,000 different kinds of microbial life. Ick, right?

Thankfully, the study also showed that the vast majority of bacteria found in the subway were harmless or even beneficial to humans. These “good” bacteria might come from food, remove toxins from the environment, or outcompete disease-causing pathogens lurking on surfaces. “That means more [bacterial] diversity, by the odds, would be a good thing,” Mason says.

Source: Pretty Much All of Your Weird Germ-Avoidance Behaviors Are Pointless

Hipster CDC Reports Flu Epidemic Peaked Years Ago

Gloves, tissue, etc – whatever you use to create a barrier between you and what you intend to handle…  It’s moot if you end up handling the surface that came into contact with a contaminated object.

Depending on what you are wearing a mask for, it’s not worth the time.  Most aren’t rated for germs/bacteria you’d be exposed to, and the ones that are – they require a solid fit to ensure quality.  That means no facial hair, guys.  As for what you’re exposed to – the percentage of particles is so vast and minute, some claim we’re breathing particles from Napoleon’s last breath.  In the outdoors, wind patterns can take things further than we’d believed.  Chernobyl demonstrated this when crops and animals throughout the world had higher levels of radiation…

The toilet?  The gross part is that the handle isn’t the issue, as the flush will distribute germs, bacteria, and fecal matter everywhere.  Closing the lid helps somewhat…  But we weren’t meant to use the toilet anyhow.

Germs aren’t a real health hazard; there are germs everywhere in your life, and the ones in bathrooms aren’t significantly more numerous or more dangerous than the rest. The best ways to steer clear of cold and flu germs (the most likely threats anywhere) are to:

  • wash your hands
  • avoid touching your face
  • support your immune system by not smoking and by exercising, eating, and sleeping well