Life hacking my year

I set myself some pretty big goals in 2015 and intend to make 2016 my most successful year ever. Of course, we’re still in January, so making bold statements like that before the grudging reality of the daily grind kicks in is still possible. Even so, I picked up a few life hacks last year that I’m going to carry over into this year. They apply to daily life, so they cover off all my goal types: writing, financial, spiritual, physical etc.

Top tip number 1 – the standing desk.

Several personal development pros I follow have recommended this, but the biggest influencers for me were Jeff Sanders and Michael Hyatt’s blogpost and podcasts on the topic:

7 Amazing Benefits of a Standing Desk

4 Reasons you should buy a standup desk – right now

Previously I would spend 6-8am sitting writing, 9-6 sitting for my job, then often 7-9 sitting doing more writing. That is a lot of sitting. Now I still do the writing stints sitting down, but the day is spent standing, unless I physically need to be at head office. That persistent twinge in my left shoulder has gone, along with general back pain. I’ve recently added a balance plate to keep myself moving too, rather than just standing still.

Top tip number 2 – a really good morning routine.

I’ve had a morning writing routine for at least 5 years now. Time flies, so I can’t really be sure. Over 2015 I really upped my game on this. My morning routine now includes more than just knocking out 1000 words on my latest writing project each day. It includes affirmations and journalling (my form of meditative practice). It all felt very American at first, but once I got over being all British and reserved, it’s had huge benefits. It’s a real mental health compliment to the physical health tip above. For an idea of how to start setting it up, Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning is a great place to start (he has a pretty full on personal story to check out too).

Top tip number 3 – carry a notebook and pen EVERYWHERE

The more I did the above top tips, the more my brain seemed to become able to throw out ideas and see potential everywhere. As I wrote in my last post, I made a habit of capturing them straight away, rather than lose them or have to waste a ton of mental energy trying to remember them for later. It could be that sudden strategic insight that you needed to get a result on that big project, or it could be that you need to add cheese to the weekly shopping list – it doesn’t matter. Getting it down on paper means that your brain can then carry on being the awesome beast that it was designed to be. Field Notes have become my pocket notebook of choice, but it’s all personal preference.

Top tip number 4 – track it

Digital or analogue, tracking what you’re doing is the easiest way of making sure you’re doing what you need to do. I use coach.me and have a few habits that I’ve done so many days in a row that I will now go out of my way to complete them so that I don’t break my streak. I’ve done 10 pushups (upgraded to 20 nearly a year ago) each morning now for over 500 consecutive days. There is no way I’d do that without the app.

These all work for me, but if anyone else has any suggestions then feel free to comment. I’m always looking for ways to up my game…

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