Consistency is key.

“We are what we do repeatedly. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit” – Some book. Read by some guy on YouTube.

In order to do things, to live life to the full, to move forward. We need to do just that, move forward. Little by little, day by day. “We are what we do.”, “Repeatedly.”, these are some of the simplest and most thought-provoking words I have ever read.

Whatever you want to do with your life. Break down the biggest part of it into little, habit-like tasks that you can do daily. Here are some that I am currently doing.

Learn Norwegian – 1 or 2 Duolingo lessons per day.

Run like a champ – Aside from my cycling and weight training every now and then, I run pretty much every day. Even if it is just one kilometer.

Read more books – A couple of pages each day, either in the morning or just before bed.

Learn to Code – I aim to do a couple of lessons per day with FreeCodeCamp (working my way towards becoming a Frontend Developer).

Blog more – aside from this last four weeks I usually aim to push out a blog at least once a week, why? I want to practice writing, sharing and communicating and you should too! Start your blog today.

Design – this one is a new one. I plan to design or create something daily. No need to spend hours doing so, just find something simple online and recreate it. Will start this tomorrow. I think I will start practicing my illustration techniques 🙂


It doesn’t help if we climb halfway up the mountain in a day and remain there. It is far better to climb it one step at a time daily but reach the top.

Side note, if you can sprint up the mountain and stay there, well, then.. Well done!

 

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How to become one of those people that run (for fun) on the weekend.

Believe it or not. It does not come naturally to want to wake up early, get dressed and go for a run in the early hours of the morning. Especially weekends. For fun. I know…

As an adult, there comes a point in your life where you want to improve your overall health. Maybe you want to lose a couple of pounds or just stop getting winded climbing a few stairs. Whatever the case, here are a couple of tips that helped me become one of those early rising, active types. Trust me, this was not always the case.

  1. Start small – not that long ago a victory for me, consisted of waking up and going to the gym. Even if it meant walking at a snail pace for 10 minutes on the treadmill or even just sitting, reading a book in the gym lobby waiting for my friend to finish training.As time goes on, increase the intensity, speed, weight or length of the activity you have chosen. If you are like me (a millennial) you have to fight the urge to want to become a triathlete, overnight, just because you thought it would be or look cool. One training session will not result in your looking like The Rock or taking on the Tour de France.
  2. Be consistent –  Slow and steady wins the race. Walking every single morning for 20 minutes for a month is better than running a 5km once a month.
  3. You cannot out-train poor nutrition – Surprise, surprise. No matter what activity you are doing. Try running a car on mud and it will break down.
  4. Find a gym buddy or running partner – find someone who you enjoy being around,  someone who is in better shape than you and can help push you past the point of what you think is possible. Remember, we become like those we associate ourselves with. Unless you are really self-driven and disciplined, I would say having a gym buddy is vital. I would often throw myself out of bed in a spin at 5 am running out the door to go train. Just because I knew my training partner was downstairs in the car waiting for me.
  5. Find a diet, eating plan, lifestyle (eating method) that works for you– Keep trying until you find something that works for you, you can keep it up long-term and it doesn’t make miserable. Slow and Steady. We in this thing for the long haul. What worked for me was intermittent fasting – OMAD (one meal a day)
  6. Do something that you like – try to find an activity that you like. I hated going to the gym and running. So I would cycle, walk and play squash because I found those to be a lot of fun. After 45 minutes of any of those activities, I would be dead tired, sweaty but had a smile on my face.Now that I am fitter, I actually like running (and gym), I feel better about myself, and can run for more than 2 minutes (not kidding) before it feels like my legs were going to break right under me.
  7. Doing something (even the tiniest amount) is FAR BETTER than NOTHING – I know this is basically point #1 coming up again but it is true. You might be tempted to think that if you can’t get out of bed and run for 20km, there is no point. This is false (thanks Dwight). Keep at it. Waking up turns into walking. Walking to jogging. Jogging to running. Before you know it, you are finishing races and waking up early on a Saturday to go running and there is nothing else you would rather be doing. Not even sleeping.

Whose with me?

Achievement unlocked – Punisher MTB Challenge

On Saturday, June 3rd, I partook in an urban mountain bike race around Johannesburg which included riding through stormwater drains, climbing man-made scaffold bridges, navigating mountainous rocky patways and blindly cycling through dark underground tunnels.

Early morning – Race starting line

The course was 72km (45 miles) long and was very tough. I do not think I was fully prepared for what lay ahead (considering I was close to being one of the last to cross the finish line and around 3hrs behind the race leader) but I know I did the best I could with the time and resources I had and you know what? I did it. I finished the race.

Gareth and myself – waiting for the race to begin.

I completed the race in 06:03:27 and couldn’t be happier. This was the furthermost distance and longest time spent on my bike in one sitting. Funny enough, the following day I was a lot less sore than what I  thought I would be. The next day I  experienced mild discomfort in my shoulders, neck, and traps. This was from being hunched over in one spot for several hours.

It was a long race and would put my body, mind, and training to the test. Going into the race, I kept experiencing nagging thoughts of wanting to ‘know’ that I could ‘definitely’ finish the race. But even when being faced with the “3,2,1” countdown to the race start, I had no evidence that I would be able to conquer the figurative and literal mountain in front of me.

32km Check-in – Feeling great. We just passed through some large stormwater drains.

During the race, there were many times where I had to talk myself down from thoughts of quitting and giving up. Through burning thighs, an aching back and lungs aflame I had to keep going. There was work to be done and no time to complain.

Gareth and I, at the finish line with our Punisher medalsI love moments in life like these. Moments where you do something that should not have been possible. Moments like these are very addictive. We humans, love progress. Defying the odds. Being the underdogs. Sticking it to the ‘man’ etc. Whatever you call it, it is deeply satisfying to conquer these mountains and inevitably move on to the next challenge to overcome (next up – 94.7 Challenge).

Whose with me?!

Trav’s Tips for taking the challenge and completing it.

  1. Don’t give yourself a chance to escape. Register for the event, buy the ticket, say yes!
  2. Do not wait to see if you are ready for it. Decide to do it and then start preparing. You can spend weeks debating whether or not to do the challenge and it could have been spent training and getting ready. Trust me, this was my major downfall with the 2017 Bealieu 45km MTB challenge (which was much harder because I decided to do the race the morning of the event).
  3. Get a Partner to do it with you. Look for someone who can support and push you through it. This was vital for me – thanks Gary!
  4. Physically prepare yourself and get sufficient training.  You will honestly stand on the start line feeling like you could have done more. You probably could have, but you’re here now and it’s ‘Go Time’. Forget about the “Maybes” and “What ifs” and go for it.
  5. Get ready – mentally. Build some mental toughness. Be realistic with yourself and the challenge ahead. Even though I diligently trained my body and ate clean, the day before the race I kept repeating “It won’t be easy but you will do it”. I was right.

Getting things done. Simplified.

A black and white shot of a man stretching his right leg before running on the road

It is really, really easy to over complicate things. Even when it comes to getting things done. This last year I was able to get the ball rolling on a lot of personal goals some big, some small and I was making some great progress too!

Hmm, progress…

Progress is something that makes me happy, so a good few months back I started reading more, journaling and watching videos on how to do things better, quicker and load more tasks on my plate because of my efforts.

It was around this same time that I started noticing that I was not able to get as much done as I wanted to and my progress sort of stalled, in almost all areas of my personal development journey.

The reason?

Well, I think it has to do with overcomplicating things and although books and media are really a great way to motivate and educate yourself. I found myself thinking more, doing less. Then I took a look at what lead to my previous stretch of progress and how to return to that state. Admittedly it was a particular motivational video (I know, ironic) that lead me to my “Aha” moment.

Solution.

Go back to the basics. When I was making the most progress in my endeavors§ was when I simply showed up and did something small that lead me to my ultimate goal.

For example:

Goal: Be ‘day to day’ fluent in Norwegian
Action: Do one Duolingo lesson every day.
This should take no longer than 5-10 minutes at most.
This was easy enough for me to consistently do for over 230 days (incl. weekends)
Best Progress Results

New Commitment.
Goal: Be ‘day to day’ fluent in Norwegian.
Action: Study Norwegian every day for 1 hour. Break up the hour session into different lessons that include conversing, reading, writing and watching something in Norwegian.
Lowest Progress Results

No doubt about it, option 2 would yield substantially better results. If I was able to accomplish this intricate regime I set for myself. Mix this regime in with having a busy schedule, family, work and quite a few more goals I have set for myself like: Follow a strict eating plan, Read a certain amount of pages per day, cycle/gym a certain amount every day, Code an hour a day etc, is a recipe for having too many ‘well-meaning things to do’ on your plate. Getting overwhelmed and ending up doing none of them.

Back to Basic. Do. Even if it is a little.

There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself and ‘increasing the bar’ on your goals, but something that I have come to learn is that taking some form of action of your goal every day for 5 minutes(or less) is far better than having done nothing at all.

Blog more.

I recently watched Seth Godin, in an interview where he highlighted the importance of blogging. Daily. Yup, I know…

Now, one of my overall and somewhat vague goals for 2018 was to “Blog more“. At the beginning of the year, I kind of had a bit of an idea as to why I wanted to publish more blogs and as the months rolled out, more and more reasons pilled up and this in this interview, Seth Godin mentioned that blogging is one of top 5 best career decisions he ever made. He went on to say:

“Even if no one read it. I would blog every day, I think everyone should do so.” – Seth Godin

The thinking behind this is that if we blog every day, we are naturally placed in a position where we will form opinions, thoughts and “thoughtful examination of (our) World. You can’t help but get better at whatever it is you seek to do.”


Image result for do more casey neistat
Do more – Casey Neistat

My initial reason for wanting to blog (do) more in 2018 was to become better at writing. I write every single day as a Customer Support Engineer at Paid Memberships Pro and at the moment blog weekly or even bi-weekly for PMPro (see some blogs I have recently written here), so the importance of effective written communication has certainly moved up on my skills-to-improve priority list 🙂

I am also a notoriously lazy editor and a poor speller – another great TWO reasons to blog more.

But like, daily. That’s a bit hectic. Isn’t it?

Truth be told, I can already tell you that although one of my ‘mentors from afar’ encourages daily blogging, I just don’t see myself committing to daily blogging.

Regular blogging, sure. (By the way a friend of mine Dwain, wrote a blog post on “How to Blog Regularly – Here”)

In addition to blogging more, I have also revved up my reading list and have started keeping a daily ‘regular’ journal and am chipping away at creating habit creation.

Some reasons why you (and I) should blog more.

  • Improved written English communication skills. Tip – use and learn from  Grammarly
  • Leave a thought trail – in some ways, it is much like journalling which helps bring clarity to your thoughts.
  • Improves trustworthiness. You are taking a leap and opening yourself up to others. This can have an amazing effect (or is it affect – my nemesis) on peoples view of you.
  • A thoughtful examination of our world will lead to improvement and progression in that which we seek to become good at.

If not now, when? If not you, who?

A great quote that comes to mind every now and again. It reminds me that ideas are nice but ideas with action are much, much better.

So this is me, doing more, by blogging more. Even if no one reads it 🙂

 

Live for the now. NOW!

Below is a blog post from a friend of mine – Dwain Maralack. 

I previously heard about this Mexican fisherman parable from Simon Sinek, whilst watching one of his YouTube Videos.
This parable resonates with me deeply. It takes very little effort to get swept up in this, always living for the future and never living (truly) for the now.

Does this mean, we should not save for a rainy day, keep learning, work hard and strive for a better life for us and our families? Absolutely not. There is no “honor” in laziness and carelessness but, as soon as we start missing the “now” and we get stressed up, “too busy” for everyday important things like spending time with our family, something needs to change #perspective

Read the Story here – https://dwain.blog/2018/03/14/is-enough-enough/

 

When is enough enough? How long are we delaying our lives as we struggle for someone else’s picture of perfection? How many more years should we put into building a fortune, for our old age? We all need to read the story below na make up our one minds. The Mexican Fisherman and the Investment…

via Is enough, enough? — Dwain Maralack