The true cost of everything isn’t always financial

I love animals. I own a dog and love cats, but am very allergic to them, or I would probably own a cat too. I am not here to advocate against pets. My dog is 13 years old and he’s my first dog ever, so I’m aware he’s not long for this earth — although my family and I will be crushed when he passes.

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He’s a good boy. His name is Bo.

By owning a dog, I have tacitly committed to walking him daily, picking up his poop, getting him shots, finding him care when we’re traveling and many more. There are many ways to find out the lifetime cost of a pet with a quick google search. …


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AKA the X-effect

I’m 32 days in and I have a pretty good success rate.

This trick is something I’ve heard called DBTC (don’t break the chain) or the Seinfeld Rule (which isn’t actually attributable to Jerry Seinfeld).

This tool/trick/idea can help you establish or eliminate any habit you want — but you must commit to doing it daily. Not just weekdays, not just when you feel like it. Once you make the card, you are locked in.

Before I tell you why it works, let’s get what you came here for, how do do it.

  1. Take a 3x5 index card and a pen and (the fattest) sharpie you can find, red or black. …

$365 over the last 26 days

Since Coronavirus changed everything in the US in mid-March, I haven’t been taking donations to the thrift store since they haven’t been taking donations. I had quite a pile saved up and just resigned myself to holding onto these items until the coast was clear. The corner of my basement was unusable.

A few months (years?) have passed and not much has changed about donating items or clothes. There was no end in sight and no plan to begin receiving donations in my area. …


Freedom through structure

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Affiliate link disclosure: Some of the links to various books below are affiliate links through Amazon. If you choose to buy a book through this link, I will get a small commission.

One of the most valuable tips I’ve gotten from Craig Ballantyne (among many) is to create your set of personal rules. It’s freeing to make some decisions for yourself ahead of time, decide what you will and won’t do, so that you can use your brainpower on more important things.

Craig’s rules govern a lot about how he goes about his day and how he creates content. Those rules work for him. I followed his example and wrote my own rules. I think mine are bit more generic, save a few, but they resonate with me and make me happy. …


Your biannual reminder to change your clocks

In preparation for the upcoming time shift, I am bringing you a friendly reminder and plea to, once again, abolish Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time was originally passed as an energy-saving measure, during the first World War. It was controversial at the time, with farmers lobbying against it and the retail industry lobbying for it.

The argument that follows will show that Daylight Saving Time is a dangerous, costly and unpopular part of our lives and should be removed from the national conversation. Frankly, it’s bullshit.

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DST is Bad for your Health

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the dramatic shift in available sleeping hours in the spring leads to many bad health effects, the most pronounced being a higher incidence of heart attack, which spikes sharply after the spring time change. …


Includes ranking to make these as actionable as possible

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Note: Since this list is massive, if you want this in PDF, I’ll send it to you here.

- Introduction
- How to Use This Guide
- Difficulty & Impact Scale
- Ideas 1-104

Introduction

This grew out of my own desire to compile a list of ways to make and save money if I really had to — a stoic practice of mentally preparing for the worst case scenario. This is also an extension of the practice from Become an Idea Machine which is coming up with 10 ideas per day by Claudia A. …


I tanked on-stage, but I didn’t die

I forgot the punchline to my own joke. I froze.

My head felt flush and hot. I looked around the room. Everyone expected me to finish the joke, but I knew it wasn’t coming. They looked uncomfortable too, watching someone tank onstage is not easy.

I had to bail.

“I actually forgot the punchline, but I can assure you, it’s very funny.” Some light chuckles and applause followed then I took my seat.

I sat down, my heart still pounding, but I was still alive. The room was spinning.

What just happened?

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Photo by Marcos Luiz on Unsplash

This was the scene of a Toastmasters meeting where I’m a member. I joined Toastmasters originally following a botched job interview where froze up for what seemed like minutes. I vowed to never feel that awful again. …


Since my daughter turned 1, our pediatrician told us to stop giving her bottles at night and to slowly phase them out during the day. I was immediately sad about the prospect of no more bottles because that’s an experience that I realized I would no longer get to have, something we had bonded over during the previous 12 months.

If you had asked me at 2am the night before if I wanted to get up to feed her though, I would have laughed at you and rolled over.

Tim Urban from Wait but Why details this exact feeling perfectly in his blog post called the Tail End. You need to read it. It completely opened up my eyes to the reality that life is fleeting and you’d better be savoring every last little bit of it, the good and the bad. …


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Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

Can there be too much of a good thing?

Optimize your day. Maximize your morning. We’ve been told for years we need to blog, journal, meditate, run, lift, stretch, drink water and visualize on a daily basis — add, add, add habits to make your life better.

I’ve followed a lot of this advice and I found some great routines. But when a habit no longer helps you improve, it’s time to stop. The question is:

How do you know when that is?

In my Coach.me dashboard, I currently have multiple habits on 500+ day streaks. …


Five years later, I’ve kept it off and lost even more

[Editor’s Note: Two common approaches to intermittent fasting include eating windows, where you fast for 16 or 20 hours every day, and 5:2, where you eat normally five days a week and fast the other two. We recently published a quantified-self piece on eating windows. As the title says, this piece is about 5:2 fasting.]

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Photo: Creative Commons License (www.pexels.com)

I had struggled since college with my weight. I was still carrying around excess weight from high school football. I played on the offensive line, where tipping the scales past 250 pounds was considered a good thing.

I didn’t like the way I looked, I felt sluggish, and I wanted to change. …

About

Dave Wentworth

Interested in self-improvement, productivity and human potential. More at www.davidwentworth.net

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