Building Habits with the Way of Life app

I recently heard about the Way of Life app from Tim Ferriss’s recent podcast discussion with Kevin Rose and want to share it with you all because I’ve found it really useful.

In a nutshell, the app lets you create a list of things you want to do or don’t do, asks you each day whether you did them, and displays a visualization showing how well you’ve done.

For example, here’s my current list:

  • Eating a Healthy Breakfast (good) – Usually scrambled eggs + guac.
  • Practicing Yoga (good) – I tried a bunch of stretching and yoga apps and ultimately settled on the extremely well done Yoga Studio.
  • Meditating (good) – I’ve been experimenting with this for a few weeks and am trying to stick with it long term. I use the Calm app though have heard Headspace app is great too.
  • Eating a Salad (good)
  • Drinking a Sugary Drink (bad) – Trying to continue December’s drink-well challenge
  • Eating Out (bad)
  • Exercising (good)

Here’s what it looks like in the app – green means I performed a good habit or avoided a bad habit:

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The great thing about the app is that it only takes about 20 seconds to go through and fill out the report each day so I never find myself being too busy to fill it out. Also, if I haven’t gone in and updated it by 9pm each day, the app sends me a notification to remind me.

Knowing that I’ll have to report each day how I’ve done has definitely improved my habits and (surprise surprise) I feel healthier as a result.

If you’re struggling to build habits, I highly recommend checking it out.

The WordPress.com Desktop Apps Will Make You Want to Blog More Often

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Just before Thanksgiving Automattic opened sourced Calypso and released the beautiful WordPress.com Mac App. The Mac app and the Calypso post editor within it are the main reasons why I’ve been able to keep up this blogging streak for as long as I have (this post will the last in the streak at day #30).

For me the editor makes all the difference in the world. If the UI is bloated or slow or contains frustrating bugs, it really distracts me from the writing experience. Fortunately the new Calypso editor is none of these things. It’s clean and fast and makes me want to write more often, not less.

We also released a Windows and Linux version this month giving you no excuse not to try one of them out for your WordPress.com or Jetpack-enabled site.

Thank you to everyone at Automattic who made them possible.

SaaStr

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If you want to learn about venture capital and the world of enterprise SaaS, it’s hard to beat SaaStr, a bullshit-free online resource for all things SaaS.

Reading it over the last few months has really opened up my eyes to how the industry works. The topics range from raising capital, managing companies, the economics of venture capital firms, pricing, hiring, company culture, and more. Check out their best posts for the highlights.

Also, if these topics interest you, you can subscribe to new posts in your favorite RSS reader by searching for “saastr.com”. Highly recommended.

 

The Joy of the Five Minute Journal

Tim Ferriss recently had a podcast episode called The Magic of Mindfulness: Complain Less, Appreciate More, and Live a Better Life which I really enjoyed. One of his recommendations in the podcast was to use something called a 5 Minute Journal each day to improve your well-being.

I bought one and have been using it for about a week now and want to pass the recommendation on to you all because I’ve found it to be very effective.

Here’s the idea:

Each page of the journal is focused on a single day. At the start of each day, you fill out short responses to three questions:

  • 3 things I am grateful for…
  • 3 things that would make today great…
  • Daily affirmations. I am…

And at the end of the day you take a few minutes to answer two more:

  • 3 amazing things that happened today…
  • How could I have made today better?

Thinking through and writing out the answers to these each day has had a hugely positive impact on me in the short amount of time I’ve been doing it.

Consider that each day you’re asked to write down 3 things that you’re grateful for. Assuming you don’t repeat anything, that’s 21 things you’re grateful for each week, 84 every four weeks. Many of them wind up being small things (mine range from “Having a healthy son” to “Cheese-filled crescent rolls for breakfast”) but I think maybe that’s the point. You likely have a lot of things to be grateful for in your life that you don’t think about often and writing them down makes you recognize them and you wind up happier as a result.

Similarly, at the start of each day you’re asked to think a little bit about things that you can do to make the day great which causes you to be more likely to do those things which makes you happier as a result.

Then at the end of the day you’re asked what you could have improved which over time makes you less likely to do those things which also makes you happier as a result.

Each question is carefully chosen to slowly nudge you towards higher levels of happiness. Pretty clever, right?

For $22.95, it’s a cheap experiment that might just have a huge impact on your life. You can order one from FiveMinuteJournal.com. Check it out.