Home > Uncategorized > How to Start: Getting Fit, Optimizing Emotions, Reading Effectively, A Weekly Ritual

How to Start: Getting Fit, Optimizing Emotions, Reading Effectively, A Weekly Ritual

As I said in my first blog post 10 days ago, I “feel like I should have some minimum standards in all areas of life to collectively skyrocket the quality of my life.” I also said “’I’ll probably have to start slowly in all areas, by establishing minimum standards, and do some research [..] at least if I expect it to be successful”.

However, I will not be focusing on just one of the 16 goal-areas I identified in that post. Instead, I will summarize some essential information for all of them (more or less), and take three posts to do it. Note: the order of the goals/information does not reflect their priority, but rather what I did research for first.

1. How to Start…  Getting Fit

Plan your workout and stick to it. Record every workout in detail. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down; stretch slowly. Limit your time to 30 minutes; you want your workout to be high-intensity. Include free body exercises (e.g. pull-ups) to build balance muscles. Change your routine when you get bored. Focus on weights. One set to failure. 3 minutes between exercises. Steady slow cadence–5 seconds up, 5 seconds down. Focus on correct form before weight. Eat a lot more. Especially protein. Also good ideas: Find a workout buddy; Sign up for a race. And of course, set aside time on your calendar.

2. How to Start…   Optimizing Your Emotions.

Focus on noticing your emotions. When you’re anxious, take a few slow deep breaths. Begin reflecting on the cause of your emotion so you can change the situation. Socially, never blame malice for what can be explained as conceit. And do not have unreasonable expectations of people. Control emotions by pretending: e.g., smile to become happier. Focus on excitement rather than happiness. For happiness: read How to Be Happy and Be Happier. Focus most on having satisfying work and quality intimate relationships. Stay healthy, and be socially active.

3. How to Start…   Reading to Actually Learn (The Basics)

Above all, read actively. Ask yourself questions, and answer them–quiz and recall. Know your purpose. Record the main points. Focus on things like arguments, evidence, and conclusions. Mark up the text (read printed text). Decide how much time you’re willing to spend. Do not read linearly: skip around, read at variable speed. Talk to people about what you read. Write about it too: record the main points, write ~3 handwritten notes for every 100 pages of text. To read more, learn speed reading techniques. To remember more, commit at least some of what you learn to SRS (spaced repetition software) such as Anki. Read How to Read a Book and Breakthrough Rapid Reading.

4. How to Start…   A Weekly Review and Clean-Up

Why? It’s a great time to review everything in your life as well as keep everything running. It may not have been such a bad idea the religious had with one day off a week. Do not do “work” other than the following. Clean your floor(s), bathroom, laundry, dishes, laptop. Review your projects list, someday list, indeed all the GTD lists, and your project plans. Review how areas of your life have developed in the last seven days (intellectual, social, productivity, creative, fun, etc.) Catch up on GTD organization. Purge stuff that’s accumulated (emails, computer documents, papers). Run errands: e.g. buy food.

Next time: how I plan on setting daily goals (and a “hack” I’ve been using recently), having more energy, socializing more and spending less time inside and/or online.

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Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. July 10, 2012 at 3:59 am

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