Not the standard “no screens for 11 hours before bed…”

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You’ve heard about the benefits of waking up earlier: more focus time, exercise time, more organized planning time, reflection time, etc. You don’t need to be sold. Understanding the benefits is easy, but the tough part is actually doing it.

I’ve managed to be up between 5 and 5:30 every day for the last year and then some. I use this time to meditate for 20 minutes and then write some thoughts in a journal. …

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.

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…

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…

$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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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…

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.

DST is Bad for your Health

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the dramatic shift in available…

Includes ranking to make these as actionable as possible

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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


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?

Photo by Marcos Luiz on Unsplash

This was the scene of a Toastmasters meeting…

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…

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 dashboard, I currently have multiple habits on 500+ day streaks. …

Dave Wentworth

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

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