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How to Start a Blog

blogging workstation

Starting a blog is incredibly rewarding.

Starting this blog–Daring to Live Fully–is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I use my blog for all of the following:

  • As a creativity outlet and as a way to express myself.
  • As a medium for fleshing out my ideas.
  • As a money-maker — as a recovering lawyer, I now make a full-time living from my blog.
  • As a way to be recognized as a thought-leader in the areas of personal development, productivity, and self-learning.
  • As a way to sharpen my business skills.
  • As a way to help and inspire others to live their best lives.
  • As a way to create a legacy.

In addition, in the future I might choose to write a book and have it published through traditional means. In that case, my blog would be a platform that I can use to promote and market my book.

Here are some other ways people use their blogs:

  • To create a portfolio of their work which they can show to prospective employers or clients.
  • As a hobby.
  • As a way to document a journey — a weight loss journey, a home renovation project, a journey to financial independence, and so on.

To tell you the truth, I knew absolutely nothing about blogging when I first got started. In addition, I don’t have a background in technology — when I published my first blog post I was a total newbie when it came to anything technology-related.

However, one of my life mottos is, “I can figure anything out if I set my mind to it”. So, I took the plunge and started to blog.

Soon, I discovered that blogging is a lot easier than it looks, and that –with a little effort–I could in fact figure out everything that I needed to know to become a successful blogger. Also, technology gets more user-friendly every day, so it’s a lot easier to get started blogging today than it was when I got started.

Basically, all you need to do to start a blog is follow 10 easy steps. These are the 10 steps:

  • Step 1 – Believe that You Can Become a Blogger
  • Step 2 – Choose a Topic/Niche
  • Step 3 – Choose A Name and A Domain For Your Blog
  • Step 4 – Choose a Blogging Platform
  • Step 5 – Choose a Hosting Provider
  • Step 6 – Setting Things Up
  • Step 7 – Choose a Theme For Your Blog
  • Step 8 – Write and Publish Your First Blog Post
  • Step 9 – Pick Up Additional Skills As You Go Along
  • Step 10 – Devote One-Hour-A-Day to Blogging

I’m going to take you through these steps, one-by-one.

Step 1 – Believe You Can Become a Blogger

Whatever it is that you want to do–whether it’s to make more money, learn a new language, or start a blog–the first step is to believe that you can do it. Here are some of the beliefs you should adopt in order to gain the necessary confidence to start a blog you can be proud of:

  • I have value to offer to the world.
  • Even though I don’t know how to blog yet, I have the ability to learn everything that I need to know.
  • My blog doesn’t have to be perfect. It will get better as I learn more and become more skilled at blogging.
  • I know that I’ll make some mistakes at first, but that’s OK. I’ll learn from my mistakes and get better as I gain more experience.
  • The only failure is the failure to try.
  • I’m going to be daring, bold, and audacious and get my thoughts and ideas out there.
  • I can do this!

With your new found belief that you have what it takes to become a great blogger, you’re ready to move on to Step 2 and decide what you’re going to blog about.

Step 2 – Choose a Topic/Niche

The first decision that you have to make in order to start a blog is to determine what you’ll be blogging about. When you choose your blog’s niche, or topic, you need to take two basic things into consideration:

  • Choose something that you’re interested in writing about. You have to enjoy writing about the topic that you select, or you’ll get bored after a few months of blogging and quit.
  • There has to be an audience for your topic — that is, choose something that other people will be interested in reading about. This is particularly important if you want to make money from your blog.

Here’s a Venn diagram that I came up with to visually represent what your blog topic should be:

Blog Topic Venn Diagram

You can really start a blog about anything:

  • Review books that you’re reading — Bill Gates has a blog in which he writes about the books he’s reading.
  • Give yourself a challenge and blog about it — one man gave himself the challenge of having 52 new experiences in 52 weeks, and he blogged about it.
  • Become a mommy blogger and blog about your kids’ shenanigans.
  • Write about recipes and cooking tips.
  • Write about getting over a divorce, raising a special needs child, or going back to college after 40.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you decide on a blog topic:

  • What do I love reading about?
  • What do I love to do?
  • How do I spend my free time?
  • What am I good at?
  • What problems do I know how to solve?
  • What kinds of blogs do I visit on a regular basis? What do my favorite bloggers write about?
  • What do my family members and friends ask me for advice on?
  • What would I like to know more about?
  • Who do I want to write for? What do they want to know?

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be an expert on a topic in order to write about it. You just need to be willing to do the necessary research to find out enough about the topic so that you can start writing about it with some authority.

Another tip is not to make your blog’s topic too broad or too narrow. Take a look at the following:

  • You may have lots of interests, but if you write about fishing one day, you post about your favorite book the next week, and then you write about the steps that you’re taking to train your dog to do tricks the week after that, you’ll just confuse your readers.
  • At the same time, if your topic is too narrow you’ll probably have a very small audience and it-s likely that you’ll run out of things to say after publishing a few blog posts.

Make your blog’s topic broad enough that you’ll have lots of people searching for the information you’ll be offering and so that you’ll have lots to say, but also narrow enough that people will know what to expect when they land on your blog.

Here’s a scene from the movie “Julie and Julia” in which the protagonist decides to start a blog and wonders what she should blog about:

Here’s what I recommend you do:

  • Give yourself five minutes to brainstorm 100 possible blog topics.
  • Whittle that list down to your favorites.
  • Rank the topics left on your list by using criteria such as the following: how passionate you are about the topic; how knowledgeable you are about the topic; and how likely it is that you’ll be able to make money by writing about that topic.
  • Once you’ve ranked your topic, the one with the highest score wins. You have a blog topic!

I decided to start a new blog — it’s going to be about becoming well-educated and well-read (a subject which is near and dear to my heart). I’m going to show you how I start this new blog and you can follow along and start your own blog. Sound good? Let’s go.

Step 3 – Choose A Name and A Domain For Your Blog

The next step on your blogging journey is to come up with a good name for you blog. A good name has all of the following elements:

  • It let’s people know what your blog is about –it’s descriptive.
  • It’s catchy and memorable.
  • It’s easy to pronounce and spell.
  • It’s not too long.
  • It helps you to build your brand.
  • It’s in line with the tone/mood that you want for your blog (serious, funny, sassy, inspiring, and so on).

As you can see from my header, my blog’s name is “Daring to Live Fully”. I’m very happy with the name, and I think it helps anyone who lands on my blog to know right away that they’re going to find advice, tips, strategies, and information on how to live their best lives here.

The name of my new blog will be “A Liberal Education in 15 Minutes a Day”. Why? Because I’m going to choose the 365 most important classic works and create a summary of each that can be read in 15 minutes.

Once you’ve chosen a name for your blog, you can select a domain name. Your domain name is just your blog’s URL. As an illustration, the domain name for my blog is daringtolivefully.com. In most cases, you should favor the domain extension “.com”.

The URL for my new blog will be liberaledu15.com. Originally I thought of making it 15minuteliberaleducation.com, but that’s too long. I played around with the words “liberal”, “education”, and “15 minutes”, until I found a combination I liked.

If you’re having trouble naming your blog, one option is to use your full name. Then your domain would just be your name as well. Here are two examples:

  • If your name is “Edith Taylor”, then that would be your blog’s name and your domain would be edithtaylor.com.
  • If your name is “Matt Smith”, then that would be your blog’s name and your domain would be mattsmith.com.

Later on you can add a tagline that describes what your blog is about (my current tagline for Daring to Live Fully is “Live the Length and Width of Your Life”). Here are three examples of how you can use a tagline to let visitors know what your blog is about:

  • If your blog is about home decor, your tagline could be “Simple, Elegant Decor”.
  • If you’re going to write about business your tagline could be “Business Advice You Can Trust”.
  • If you’re going to share the parenting tips that you’ve picked up as you raise your kids, your tagline could be “Raising Happy, Confident Kids”.

The tagline for my new blog is going to be “Become Well-Educated in 365 Days”.

Again, you can come up with your tagline after you have a few blog posts under your belt and you have a better feel for the direction your blog is going to be taking.

When you’ve chosen your domain name, you have to register it. This typically costs about $10 – $12. However, the hosting provider that I’m going to recommend in Step 5 is Bluehost, and you can register your domain name with them as you set up your hosting account, so I’ll be covering domain registration in Step 5.

Step 4 – Choose a Blogging Platform

There are many blogging platforms out there, and they’re basically divided into two categories: hosted (or free) and self-hosted.

Some of the free blogging platforms out there include the following:

  • WordPress.com
  • Blogger
  • Tumblr

The good thing about a hosted platform is that it’s free. The bad thing is that the site isn’t really yours, and you have a lot less freedom to do what you want with it than you would with a self-hosted site.

The three most popular self-hosted platforms are these:

  • WordPress.org (yes, another WordPress platform, but this one is .org and is self-hosted)
  • Joomla
  • Drupal

If you want to have complete control over your blog, then you need a self-hosted platform. With self-hosting your blog will be 100% your property, and you can build it from the ground up as you see fit.

WordPress.org is by far the most widely used self-hosted platform, and the one that I would most definitely recommend. It’s flexible and easy to use. In addition, there are tons of plugins available for WordPress.org which will improve your site’s functionality.

One of the benefits of using Bluehost as your hosting provider–as I recommend that you do in Step 5 below—is that you can install WordPress.org with just one easy click.

Step 5 – Choose a Hosting Provider

A hosting provider basically connects your site to the worldwide web so that it’s accessible to others. It’s vital to choose the right hosting provider. I cannot emphasize this enough.

I made the mistake of choosing the wrong hosting provider when I first started blogging, and that hosting provider went bankrupt and disappeared. As a result of this, I lost my first blog and all of the hard work that I had put into it. Needless to say, this was an incredibly painful experience, which I don’t want you to have to go through.

Some of the things that you should consider when choosing a hosting provider are the following:

  • The hosting provider’s reputation for reliability.
  • The technical support that they offer.
  • The features that they have available.
  • Their prices.
  • Their money-back guarantee.

Taking all of these things into consideration, I recommend Bluehost.com. Here’s why:

  • You get a free domain–as you’re setting up your account with them you simply enter the domain that you want, and it’s registered.
  • As I mentioned before, you can install WordPress.org with one simple click.
  • They have 24/7 support, so there’s always someone available to help you and answer your questions. The Bluehost support staff is courteous and knowledgeable.
  • They score a 99.9% uptime on average, which means your site is always available.
  • They’re very affordable.
  • They allow their users to host multiple domains and websites under one account.
  • They have a 30-day money-back guarantee — during the first 30 days, they’ll refund your hosting fees in full.
  • Set-up is really easy and intuitive – just follow the instructions and you can have your blog up and running in five minutes.

Are you ready? Go to the Bluehost.com site and click on the green “get started now” button. (Yes, I’m an affiliate so I get a commission if you sign up for Bluehost through my link, but you don’t pay anything extra for signing up through me). Then, just follow along with video I made for you below:

Step 6 – Setting Things Up

Since I recommend that you choose WordPress.org as your blogging platform, this is the platform that I’m going to show you how to set up. Once you’ve installed WordPress.org, log into the “administration area” or the back end of your site. This is your “dashboard”, and it’s where the magic happens.

Then, take the following steps:

  • Go to Settings > General. Fill out your tagline if you have one (right now it should say “Just Another WordPress Site”), choose your timezone, and save your changes.
  • Go to Users > Your Profile. Fill out your first and last names, choose a nickname (it can be your first name), and the name you want to display publicly. You can also add some biographical information if you want to. Save your changes.
  • Go to Settings > Permalinks. Check “custom structure” and write in the following: /%postname%/


Now you’re all set up.

Step 7 – Choose a Theme For Your Blog

Once you’ve created your account with Bluehost.com and installed WordPress.org, you’ll have a blog. Yay! The next step is to make it look the way you want it to. You do this by selecting a theme.

In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes. The theme “Twenty-Sixteen” will already be activated, but look through the other themes there and see if there’s another one you prefer. If so, install it. You can also visit the WordPress Theme Directory, where you’ll find hundreds of free themes you can choose from.

Alternatively, you can purchase a premium theme. Premium themes have a higher quality and more functionality than the free themes. They’re also better for search engine optimization, which means that if you use a premium theme it’s more likely that your blog posts will rank well in the search engines.

The most popular premium themes right now are these three:

  • Thesis WordPress Theme
  • Genesis Framework
  • Thrive Themes

This blog uses the Thesis theme, and I would have recommended them in a heartbeat a couple of years ago. However, the theme has been updated several times and somehow they’ve managed to make it more complicated and harder to use. Therefore, if you’re a complete blogging newbie, I would not recommend that you get Thesis.

Instead, I would recommend the Thrive Themes. Here’s why:

  • Their themes are conversion focused, which means that they’re designed to help you sell more.
  • Their themes have built-in functionalities so you don’t need as many plugins–this means your site will be faster.
  • With Thrive Themes you can create landing pages and optin forms in minutes.

Of course, you can start out with a free theme and update to a premium theme later on. That’s what I did when I started my first blog.

Step 8 – Publish Your First Blog Post

After you’ve chosen a theme for your blog, you’re ready to start blogging. Click on Posts > Add New. And there you go. Write your first post.

What should your first blog post be about? One idea is to talk a little about yourself, your interests and accomplishments, why you decided to start a blog, and what your blog will be about. However, what you decide to write about is completely up to you!

Always keep in mind that each time you write a blog post your goal should be to strive to create value for others. Ask yourself questions such as the following:

  • Will this post help people solve a problem that they’re having?
  • Will this post give people information that they need?
  • Will this post inspire or motivate others?
  • Will others find this post entertaining, filled with beauty, instructional, or helpful in some other way?

Your blog posts can be as short or as long as you want them to be, but it’s a good idea to shoot for about 600 words. In addition, you want to post consistently. This doesn’t mean that you need to post daily, but you should post on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is to post once a week, and to always post on the same day of the week.

Step 9 – Pick Up Additional Skills and Knowledge As You Go Along

The first eight steps that I’ve explained above are all you need to know in order to start blogging. In fact, you could blog for years without knowing how to do anything else. However, in order to become a successful blogger there are many more things that you need to know.

Blogging, like anything else, is a skill. And, like any skill, it can be learned. When you want to learn a new skill the first thing that you need to do is to deconstruct it into is various components. Then, just tackle one at a time.

Off the top of my head, here’s how I would deconstruct blogging:

  • How to Customize Your Theme’s Design
  • How to Write Catchy Headlines
  • How to Come Up With a Unique Selling Proposition for Your Blog
  • How to Write Content That’s Optimized for the Internet
  • How to Increase Your Blog Traffic
  • How to Build a Loyal Blog Audience
  • How to Submit Guest Posts to Other Blogs
  • How to Re-purpose Your Content
  • Email Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Networking (FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so on)
  • Video Creation
  • Blog Safety
  • How to Monetize Your Blog
  • How to Create eBooks
  • How to Take Beautiful Photographs for Your Blog
  • How to Create Useful Printables
  • How to Pick the Best Plugins for Your Blog

I would like to emphasize that you don’t need to know how to do everything related to blogging in order to get started. When I started blogging I didn’t know how to do any of the things on the list above. Nonetheless, I got started.

I learned how to make my blog better little-by-little as I went along. After all, it’s always a good strategy to learn by doing. I recommend that you do the same: just start your blog and improve it gradually day-by-day by acquiring new skills and trying out different things.

Step 10 – Devote One-Hour-A-Day to Blogging

One of the reasons that you may be hesitating to start a blog is because you may be telling yourself that you simply don’t have the time to blog. However, blogging doesn’t have to take over your life. It’s something that you can do on the side, even if you lead a busy life.

In fact, once you have your blog up and running, all you need to do is devote one-hour-a-day to writing your blog posts and learning the skills that I mentioned in Step 9 above. You’ll be a blogging expert in no time!


To conclude, here’s a two-step summary of the instructions contained in this blog post:

  • Open an account with Bluehost.com.
  • Devote one-hour-a-day to blogging.

Starting a blog may be a little scary at first, but I’m sure you’re up to the challenge. Soon you’ll find yourself wondering why you didn’t get started sooner!


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improve your mood

There’s lots of little things you can do to boost your mood.

Today, as I walked to the organic foods store, a car drove by. I won’t go into detail as to the conduct of the three passengers in the car, but let’s just say that their behavior left much to be desired. Although I was in a good mood before they drove by—I had just spent an hour lifting weights at the gym, which is something I love to do—my mood quickly dropped.

onehouradayformula banner longI’m sure you can relate. We’re all subjected to stressors and micro-aggressions throughout the day that can have a negative impact on our mood. Here are some examples:

  • Another driver swerves and cuts ahead of you in traffic, and you barely have enough time to step on the brakes to avoid hitting them.
  • Your boss scolds you in front of others for a mistake that resulted from her inability to communicate clearly.
  • Your neighbor’s dog digs up your flower bed, again.
  • You overhear two snippy co-workers gossiping about you.
  • You’ve put on some weight and your so-called friend makes a comment along the lines of, “Goodness, you’ve been hitting the donuts pretty hard, haven’t you?”

Fortunately, for those times when the environment and other people seem to be conspiring against your mood, there are many ways to give yourself a mood boost. Below you’ll find 13 quick ways to improve your mood.

1. Think Fast

Accelerate your thinking – experiments conducted by Princeton University and Harvard University have shown that there’s a link between thought speed and mood. Slow thinking can lead to feelings of despondency and dejection, while fast thinking has joy-enhancing effects.

There are several theories as to why this is so:

  • People associate fast thinking with happy moods, so if they’re thinking fast they trick their brains into believing that they must be happy.
  • Thought speed may increase dopaminergic activity which is associated with experiences of reward and pleasure.
  • Fast thoughts distract you from thinking about the person, event, or circumstance that made you feel bad in the first place.

In order to get yourself thinking fast, you can do any of the following:

  • Give yourself a brainstorming task. For example, tell yourself that you have three minutes to come up with 100 possible titles for an eBook you’re thinking of writing.
  • Watch a video in accelerated mode.
  • Take out a book and speed read.
  • If you have any poems memorized, recite the poem quickly in your heard.

The next time you feel your mood taking a nosedive, elicit fast thinking.

2. Make Yourself Smile

You may have read the following quote by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

James Laird, PhD, from Clark University in Massachusetts wholeheartedly agrees with Nhat Hanh. He’s spent his entire professional life studying the connection between behavior and feeling, and he argues that we can make ourselves happy just by smiling. Plus, he has research to back this up.

Dr. Laird conducted a study involving two groups of participants:

  • One group of participants was told to smile.
  • The other group was told to frown.

Afterwards, both groups were shown cartoons. The group that was asked to smile found the cartoons funnier than the frowners did. Dr. Laird wrote in his conclusions to the study that the simple act of smiling seems to activate happiness centers in the brain.

Smiling does all of the following:

  • It activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress.
  • The feel good neurotransmitters dopamine and endorphins are released when a smile flashes across your face.
  • Finally, the serotonin release brought on by your smile serves as a mood lifter

So, the next time you need a quick mood lift, show off those pearly whites.

3. Have a Hearty Laugh

As I wrote in my post, How to Laugh More — 22 Ways to Bring More Laughter Into Your Life, laughing makes us feel good. It lowers stress hormones and elevates feel-good hormones. So, if you need a quick mood pick-me-up, do any of the following:

  • Call someone who makes you laugh.
  • Think back to the last time you laughed really hard–the memory is likely to trigger some chuckles.
  • Try a laughter exercise. Quietly repeat the sounds “ho, ho, ho, ha, ha, ha, he, he,he, hee, hee, hee” as you carry out a habitual task, like showering, washing the dishes, or making coffee.
  • Look for something funny on the internet. I happen to think the Scrap clips are hilarious:

The next time you need to improve your mood, laugh.

4. Indulge in Some Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate—which has a higher content of cocoa butter and less milk than other forms of chocolate—is not only delicious, but it will also help you to improve your mood. Here are three reasons why eating dark chocolate is so incredibly blissful:

  • Chocolate is a source of tryptophan, an amino acid precursor to serotonin, the neurotransmitter of happiness and positive mood.
  • Chocolate is the main food source of anandamide, a neurotransmitter which is very similar to the primary psychoactive component in marijuana.
  • Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a compound which creates a brain buzz similar to being in love.

When you need a mood boost, dark chocolate is your friend.

5. Listen To An Upbeat Song

Recent research at the University of Missouri revealed that listening to upbeat music—while trying to feel happier—will improve your mood. This is evidence that trying to be happier and making a conscious effort to improve your mood really does work.

Create a soundtrack of your favorite upbeat feel-good songs. Then, the next time that you want to improve your mood, hold that intent while you listen to the soundtrack.

6. Sing Along

Don’t just listen to upbeat music. Make sure that you also sing along. Researchers have discovered that singing releases endorphins, which is associated with feelings of pleasure and elation.  It also releases oxytocin, a hormone which has been found to alleviate anxiety and stress.

Although the greatest benefits come from group singing, singing alone also works. The musical vibrations created by singing move through you, creating a soothing and calming effect.

7. Get Up and Boogie

Now take it one step further: as you listen to the music and sing along, get up and boogie. Alice Domar, PhD, director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Waltham, Massachusetts explains that movement will release endorphins and elevate your mood.

It doesn’t matter if you have two left feet. Just move. If you absolutely can’t get yourself to dance around, grab your iPod and go for a quick stroll.

8. Light a Vanilla Scented Candle

Certain scents can alter or heighten your mood. If you need a happiness boost, the smell of fresh vanilla beans will do the trick. A study published in the Proceedings of ISOT/JASTS 2004 found that taking a whiff of vanilla beans elevated participants’ feelings of joy and relaxation.

One way to fill the air around with this mood-enhancing smell is to light a vanilla scented candle.

9. Meditate

Meditation is like taking a mini-retreat from the world, which is something you need when the world is getting you down.

In addition, meditating stimulates the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, releasing endorphins and increasing the production of serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin—all associated with relaxation and happiness.

If you need a little help, there are free apps that offer short meditations specifically designed for mood improvement. One of these is Stop, Breathe & Think, which will prompt you to check how you’re feeling and will then recommend three guided meditations– each one between five and 10 minutes long—for you to choose from.

10. Pet a Pooch

A study by the University of Missouri–Columbia showed that petting a dog for just 15 minutes brightens your mood. This is because petting your dog—or cat– releases the feel-good hormones serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin. It also lowers the stress hormone cortisol.

All of this means that petting your pet will lower your blood pressure and evoke a sense of calmness, happiness, and well-being.

I don’t have pets, but I’m not shy about petting strangers’ dogs.

11. Eat a Banana

When you’re feeling down, make yourself a smoothie and add a banana, or just peel a banana and eat it. A banana can contain 10 milligrams of dopamine. Dopamine is our primary reward chemical, and since bananas give you extra dopamine, they’re one of those feel-good foods you should reach for when you need a mood boost.

12. Ask Yourself: “What’s Going Well?”

Dr. Martin Seligman is the founder of positive psychology—a branch of psychology that studies what makes people thrive. One of the tools that he recommends for increasing well-being is the “What Went Well” exercise. It consists of the following:

  • Look back at the end of each day and find three things that went well.
  • Reflect on them and even replay them in your mind.
  • You want to revisit the good feelings brought on by those successes.

Do something similar when you need a quick mood boost. Even though something just went wrong which led you to feel bad, ask yourself: “What’s going well?” By thinking of what’s going well you’ll be counteracting the negative emotions which are bringing down your mood.

13. Have Some Green Tea

If something upsets you and you need to calm down fast, take out a teapot and brew yourself a cup of green tea. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, a researcher, nutrition expert and author of “Beat Sugar Addiction NOW! “explains that sipping green tea will calm you down because it causes changes in body chemistry that relax, enhance the ability to think, and change mood.


So, which of these did I try after my unfortunate post-workout encounter? All of them. Did I feel better afterward? I most certainly did. Live your best life by using the 13 strategies explained above to improve your mood.


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how to think optimally

Thinking optimally will allow you to achieve your best results.

Being a positive thinker is often equated with being confident and assured, thinking in terms of success, and believing that you deserve the best that life has to offer. And, of course, these are all good things.

onehouradayformula banner longHowever, positive thinking can lead you astray. Here are some of the traps you could fall into if you’re always thinking positively:

  • Disregarding the old adage that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. This can lead you to fall victim to scams, such as investing your hard-earned money in get-rich-schemes.
  • Jumping into situations without taking the necessary time to weigh the risks and prepare adequately
  • Failing to anticipate likely obstacles.
  • Failing to prepare a contingency plan in case something goes wrong.
  • Hoping that an unfavorable situation will rectify itself, instead of taking the necessary action to make things right yourself.
  • Continue investing your time, money, and energy into a project when all the facts show that there’s no way to salvage it.
  • Ignoring negative information which should be taken into account in order to get an accurate picture of the situation that you’re facing.

So, what’s the answer? Certainly not negative thinking. There are countless problems with negative thinking. Here are some of them:

  • Negative thinkers are constantly missing out on opportunities because their attention is focused on all the things that could go wrong.
  • Instead of coming up with ways to get things done, negative thinkers enumerate all of the reasons why this or that can’t be done.
  • Negative thinkers anticipate failure, and they have a tendency to see their life as a series of problems.

The answer, then, is not to think positively or negatively. Instead, you should think optimally. What is optimal thinking? It’s a term coined by Rosalene Glickman in her book, Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self.

Optimal thinking will allow you to make the most constructive choice at any given moment, and to take the best actions to accomplish your highest priorities. Below you’ll discover how to think optimally.

What is Optimal Thinking?

Optimal thinking is focusing on the best or most constructive thought at all times. Optimal thinkers have realistic expectations and focus on optimizing situations within their control. It’s about constantly choosing your best option in any given moment. Optimal thinkers do the following:

  • They embrace reality and ask: “What’s the best thing I can do under these circumstances?
  • They take the worst-case scenario into account and ask themselves how they can minimize the risk and reduce the cost to themselves if things go wrong.
  • When faced with a problem they ask themselves: “What’s the problem?”; “What are my options for resolving this?”; and “Among my options, which one will be the most beneficial?”

Three Ways of Thinking

Suppose that you have three friends and their names are Bob, Sue, and Ellen. They’ve all invested in the stock market. In addition, suppose that there’s been a lot of bad news about the stock market lately.

Bob is a negative thinker, Sue is a positive thinker, and Ellen is an optimal thinker. Here’s how each one would react to the fact that the stock market is dropping:

  • Bob (negative thinker): “Of course the stock market is going to come crashing down, now that I’ve decided to invest in it. Things can only get worse. I better get all of my money out as soon as possible and salvage whatever I can.”
  • Sue (positive thinker): “Well, I’m just going to leave my money where it is and trust that everything will turn out well in the end. If I think positively, everything will fall into place.”
  • Ellen (optimal thinker): “Under these circumstances, is it better to take my money out of the stock market in order to minimize my present losses, or do I stand to gain in the long run if I leave my money where it is?”

Of the three, Ellen’s line of thinking is clearly the one that is most likely to lead to optimal results.

Making Optimal Decisions

Here’s another example: your employer goes out of business and you suddenly find yourself unemployed. Once again, the three possible scenarios are the following:

  • Negative Thinking: “I’m going to become a bag lady and end up living in a box outside of Macy’s”.
  • Positive Thinking: “Everything is going to be OK. I have enough money to cover my current expenses for the next six months, and I’m sure that I’m going to have found another job by then.”
  • Optimal Thinking: “What expenses can I cut right away and how do I need to modify my lifestyle so that I can stretch out my savings for as long as possible? Can I create an additional source of income to make sure that I’ll be OK?”

Once you’re thinking optimally, follow the process that Glickman recommends in order to optimize your decisions. Here are the steps:

  1. Define the problem.
  2. Define the time frame in which the decision needs to be made.
  3. Make a list of all your possible options.
  4. Eliminate any options that are unrealistic.
  5. Write down the advantages and disadvantages of each option (the “pros” and “cons”).
  6. For each option, rate each “pro” and “con”– where a “10” means that it’s important, and a “1” means that it’s not important at all.
  7. Score each option. For each option, add up all of the points for the “pros” and all the points for the “cons”. Subtract the total for the “cons” from the total for the “pros”, and that gives you the score for that option.
  8. Choose the option with the highest score.

Some More Optimal Action Steps You Can Take

Here are three more steps that Glickman suggests that you take in order to become an optimal thinker:

1. If You Feel Like a Victim. Whenever you feel that you’re being victimized by another person, ask yourself what you want from that person that you’re not giving to yourself. What actions can you take in order to start providing this for yourself?

2. Dealing With Criticism. Decide on the best way to deal with criticism. Write down your strategy for dealing with criticism and practice it the next time somebody criticizes you. This is your Criticism Optimal Response.

Keep refining it until you have a strategy in place which allows you to learn and grow from any criticism that you receive, without feeling bad about yourself or becoming discouraged from going after your goals.

3. Dealing With Fear. Whenever you begin to feel afraid ask yourself the following questions: “What am I afraid of?”; “What is the best way to overcome this fear?”; and “What action can I take to get over this fear, or to act in spite of this fear?”


I’m an optimist by nature, but when it comes to making decisions I always try to do so by thinking optimally. I recommend that you follow Glickman’s advice and do the same.

To recap, when assessing any situation, you need to do the following:

  • Take the good and the bad into account;
  • Weigh both your strengths and your weaknesses;
  • Ask yourself what’s the most constructive action that you can take given your current set of circumstances;
  • Make the best choice given the facts; and
  • Come up with a contingency plan in case things go wrong.

Life your best life by thinking optimally.


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stop procrastinating for lifelong learners
To be a successful lifelong learner you need to overcome procrastination.

I’m a lifelong learner, and I’m sure that most of my blog readers are as well. Being a lifelong learner makes you well-rounded, keeps you competitive, and helps you to succeed in life. However, one of the obstacles that can get in the way of learning new things—whether it’s learning a language, acquiring computer skills, learning business skills, and so on—is procrastination.

onehouradayformula banner longI recently took a MOOC called Learning How To Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help You Master Tough Subjects.  It was created by the University of California, San Diego, and is taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley, who’s a professor of engineering (and others). One of the topics covered in the course was procrastination. Although conquering procrastination is important for any life area, it’s particularly important for learning. This is because in order to learn well, you have to do it bit-by-bit. It’s similar to a body builder building muscle through day-to-day exercise.

If you cram before a test or before you need to demonstrate what you’ve learned, you won’t be building a solid neural foundation. By getting started early and spreading your study sessions over time, you’ll learn better. That’s why tackling procrastination is so important for learners.

Below you’ll find 8 tips for beating procrastination for lifelong learners which I came across in the Learning How to Learn MOOC.

1. Get Over the Negative Stimulation

When you think of doing something that you would rather not do—such as study for an exam, work on your video course, or listen to another lecture of a MOOC you’ve enrolled in—you activate the areas of your brain associated with pain. Therefore, your brain looks for ways to stop this negative stimulation.

It does so by switching your attention to something else. The process is as follows:

  • You feel discomfort at the thought of sitting down to learn how to use a new software program.
  • You switch your attention to a more pleasant task—maybe you watch a YouTube video, chat with a co-worker, go on Twitter, or work on an easy low-priority task.
  • You feel better–at least temporarily.
  • A while later you start to feel bad because you still haven’t gotten around to the software program.

The good news is that there’s a way to overcome the discomfort that you feel when you think of working on a task that fills you with apprehension. Researchers have discovered that not long after someone starts working on a task that they would rather avoid, the neural discomfort disappears.

The trick, therefore, is to tell yourself that you’re going to work on the task for a small amount of time – say, fifteen, twenty, or thirty minutes.

By committing yourself to a limited amount of time during which you’re going to work on an uncomfortable task, it’s a lot easier to get started. In addition, as was just stated, once you get to work on the task you’ll discover that the discomfort disappears.

2. Process vs. Product

In order to stop procrastinating, focus on process instead of product. Process refers to the flow of time and the actions that you take during that time. On the other hand, product is an outcome. Here’s an example:

  • If you want to create a video course, the video course is your product. The product is what triggers the pain that leads to procrastination. If you place your attention on the video course that you want to create, it’s very likely that you’ll procrastinate.
  • What you have to do instead is focus on the process. That is, the chunks of time that you need over days or weeks to complete the course. Focus on each work session, instead of focusing on completing the course.

By focusing on process you can relax into the flow of the work, instead of worrying over whether the video course is going to be good in the end, if you’re almost done, what your customers will think of the course, and so on.

Here’s a quote from Chilean writer Isabel Allende that perfectly illustrates this point: “Don’t be paralyzed by the idea that you’re writing a book; just write.”

3. Identify the Triggers that Make You Procrastinate

Procrastination is an automatic habit, so most of the time you’re unaware that you’ve begun to procrastinate. In order to stop procrastinating you need to identify the cues that trigger the habit of procrastination. These triggers could be things such as the following:

  • You decide to check your email for a moment and end up spending half an hour reading and answering emails.
  • You decide to look something up quickly on the Internet and find yourself surfing the web for forty minutes.
  • Your cellphone rings, you answer, and then proceed to chat away with a friend for twenty minutes.
  • You decide to get to work on your video course but you feel uncomfortable since you’ve never created a video course before and you’re unsure of what to do. You find yourself organizing your files instead of working on your video course.

Once you’ve identified the triggers that make you procrastinate, and how you respond to those triggers, you’ll begin to get better at noticing when you’re procrastinating so that you can stop yourself and get back to work.

4. Create Positive Study/Learning Habits

By creating positive study/learning habits you’ll be able to overcome procrastination. There are three steps to creating a new habit. The steps are the following:

  • Cue
  • Routine
  • Reward

A cue is a signal to begin a specific action. As an example, putting your fork down as soon as you’re done having lunch can be your cue to start studying. The routine is the action that you’re going to take once you receive the cue. That action could be to shut the door to your office, turn off all distractions, sit at your desk, and start studying.

Once you’ve taken the action that you planned, reward yourself. Your reward can be things such as the following: savoring the fact that you completed the task, getting a cup of flavored coffee, having two squares of dark chocolate, taking a quick nap, doing a puzzle, playing a video game, and so on.

5. Believe You Can Do It

In order to overcome procrastination, it’s vital that you believe that you can do it. Believe that the steps that you’re taking in order to create positive habits that will allow you to stop procrastinating are going to work. Gain trust in your new system.

6. Plan Your Day the Night Before

Research has shown that if you prepare your to-do list the night before, then during the night–as you sleep–your subconscious will grapple with the list and come up with ideas on how to accomplish the items on the list.

If you don’t create a list of what you need to do, then the tasks that you need to get done will lurk in your working memory, taking up valuable mental real estate. Once you make a task list, this frees up working memory for problem solving.

7. Make Notes About What Works and What Doesn’t

As you work to create an efficient system that allows you to overcome procrastination, make notes about what works and what doesn’t.  This can include things such as the following:

  • Write down which environments you work well in, and where you find yourself getting distracted.
  • Are there certain times of day when it’s easier for you to get to work on important tasks?
  • Do you need to sprinkle more fun activities throughout the day so that you can really get yourself to sit down and get through the most important tasks on your to-do list?
  • Do you need to plan your quitting time at the end of the day in order to give yourself an artificial deadline that you’re going to work hard to meet?
  • Those times in which you succeeded in getting things done, what did you do? How can you replicate what you did?

By keeping notes you’ll be able to tweak your system until you’ve perfected it.

8. Give Yourself Some Leisure Time

Time and time again, those who give themselves some leisure time outperform those who doggedly pursue an endless treadmill. Once you’re done with all of your tasks for the day, relax and have some guilt-free fun.

You can meet friends for dinner, play a game of tennis with your significant other, go out dancing, and so on.


Live your best life by being a lifelong learner. In addition, use the 8 tips above to make sure that procrastination doesn’t stop you from learning new things.


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you're richer than you think

Stop telling yourself that you don’t have the money to pursue your goals.

How often have you told yourself that you would pursue your goals, if you had the money to do so? When you tell yourself that you don’t have the money that you need to do what you want, your actions will support this. That is, you’ll act in ways that will prevent you from achieving your dreams.

onehouradayformula banner longAccept that telling yourself that you don’t have enough money is an excuse that you’re using for not making the effort that is needed in order to achieve what you want. It’s similar to the excuse of saying that you don’t have enough time. As you’ll discover by reading this post, you have more than you think you do. The mental energy that you’re using to convince yourself that you’re not rich enough is energy that you could be using to work on your goals.

Below you’ll find 10 ways to realize you’re richer than you think.

1. You Have More Than You Think

In order to come to the full realization that you’re richer than you think, take inventory of everything you own. You may be surprised by what you come across.

I recently had an experience that perfectly illustrates this point. Right after Christmas I decided to take inventory of the books that I own. First, I realized that I had over one hundred books that I was definitely never going to read or refer to again.

I debated over what to do with these books, and I decided to place an ad in a Panamanian website that’s similar to Craigslist and see if I could sell them. Within a week of placing the ad on the site I had sold the books for $300.

That is, I exchanged what to me was basically clutter occupying space in my apartment for a good chunk of change. I then placed that money in my “Dreams Jar”.

Second, I realized that I own Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. Why is this important? Because I had just been having the following conversation in my head:

“I really want to read ‘War and Peace’. I’m not going to be able to find it anywhere in Panama, and I’m going to have to order it from Amazon and pay a hefty shipping fee.”

And all the while the book was sitting right there on my bookshelf. By taking stock of what you own you’ll achieve the following:

  • You may realize that you already have several things that you need to achieve your goals (even if some of those things need to be re-purposed).
  • You may realize you can make money off of things you own—by selling it, renting it, or teaching others how to use it–and then use that money to get started on your dreams.

One way to realize how rich you are is to take stock of everything that you have.

2. Change Your Mindset

In my post “Five Mindsets That Will Transform Your Life” I wrote about the Wealth Mindset. People with this mindset understand that being rich isn’t necessarily about having lots of money in the bank. Instead, it’s about the following:

  • Being very clear on what you want.
  • Knowing that you have the ability to create value for others that will allow you to make the money that you need to pay for what you want.
  • Working hard to deliver that value.
  • Taking the money that you make by delivering value and using it to buy what you want.

As long as you have that mindset you’re rich, even if your bank account doesn’t currently reflect this fact.

3. Add Free Stuff to Your Bounty

There’s a lot of free stuff out there. And, if it’s free, it’s yours for the taking. This means that you can count all of the free stuff out there as part of your riches. Here are three ways in which I’ve recently made myself richer with free things:

Acquire New Skills

Last week as I was making the list of 197 Ways to Improve Your Life in One-Hour-A-Day, I decided that I was going to start working on my computer skills for one-hour-a-day.

Specifically, I decided to take a MOOC offered by Harvard University called Introduction to Computer Science CS50. Just think about that: I’m taking one of the most popular courses offered by the world’s number one university, for free.

Exercise, Beauty, and Nature

As soon as I’m done writing the rough draft for this blog post, I’m going out for a run. As I’ve said before on this blog, there’s a gorgeous running path right in front of my building that runs parallel to the sea for several miles.

As I run along this path not only am I getting exercise out in nature, but I also get to see the ships lined up to traverse the Panama Canal. And running outside is free!

Knowledge and Education

A while back I decided that I wanted to read “The Death of Artemio Cruz” by Carlos Fuentes. I went to a small library near my house to look for it, but they didn’t have it.

I then proceeded to convince the librarian that Fuentes’ book is one of the great works of Latin American literature, and that it would be a great addition to the library. A couple of weeks later I was notified that the library had bought the book. I checked it out and read it for free.

There’s free stuff everywhere, and all of that free stuff is part of your bounty.

4. Find Out How Much Your Goal Really Costs

How many times have you said something like the following to yourself: “I wish I could do X, but it’s too expensive”? The truth is that a lot of things don’t cost as much as you think they do.

If you’re currently telling yourself that there’s something that you want that’s out of your price range, sit down and find out how much it really costs. You may just discover that you can afford it after all. Or, at least, that you can afford a stripped down version of it.

For example, a lot of people think that starting a business or traveling is too expensive for them to even consider. At the same time, there are countless people starting businesses and traveling on a shoestring budget.

The next time that you want to do something, ask yourself these two questions:

  • How much does it really cost to do this?
  • How can I do this on the cheap?

Realize that you’re richer than you think by acknowledging that a lot of things really aren’t as expensive as you think they are.

5. Reassess Your Potential

In my post “Seven Essential Ways to Build Wealth”, I write that when you see people who have the things that you wish you had, you should ask yourself: “Why not me?” That is, instead of telling yourself that you could never have those things, realize that you do have the potential to have those things.

Look at the following: 1 in 20 households in the United States have assets of over one million dollars. That statitic should tell you the following:

  • You don’t need to be a genius to have a million-dollar net worth.
  • You don’t need to have star-quality talents to have a million-dollar net worth.
  • Although hard work is necessary, you don’t need to work yourself to the bone to have a million-dollar net worth.

Could you pursue your goals with one million dollars? You almost certainly can. And if 1 out of 20 households in the US has that kind of money, then why not you?

Realize that you’re richer than you think you are by accepting that even if you’re not there yet, you have the potential to be there in the not-so-distant future.

6. Redefine “Being Rich”

What does “being rich” really mean to you? Look at the following:

  • Would you rather have $25,000,000 or be healthy?
  • Would you rather have $25,000,000 or have a fulfilling relationship with your spouse and children?
  • Would you rather have $25,000,000 or have peace of mind?

You have two options:

  • You can define “being rich” in a way that will prevent you from ever getting there.
  • Or, you can define it in a way that lets you say, “I’m already rich”, or “I’m on my way”.

Realize that you are richer than you think by redefining what it means to be rich.

7. Evaluate Your Spending

Contrary to what a lot of people think, rich people don’t throw money around. In fact, they do exactly the opposite. They’re very careful about how they spend their money (in large part, that’s how they got rich in the first place).

Right now you’re probably wasting money on all sorts of frivolous expenses you could easily do without. And the money that you’re spending mindlessly is money that you could be setting aside to achieve your goals.

Create a budget and stick to it and you’ll probably discover that you’re richer than you thought you were.

8. Rethink the Value of a Dollar

You probably think that a dollar won’t go very far. However, by setting aside $1 a day you can do all of the following:

  • Donate the money — become a philanthropist.
  • Buy the best business books you can find on Amazon and get a high quality business education on your own.
  • Invest the money in a DRIP –DRIPS, or dividend reinvestment plans, allow you to invest small amounts of money into dividend-paying stock by purchasing directly from the company.
  • Start putting money in a dream jar, even it’s just $1 a day.

Take out a dollar bill, hold it in your hand, and allow yourself to feel rich by thinking of all the things you can do with that dollar.

9. Stop Comparing Yourself to Those Who Have More Than You Do

I’ve already written about the importance of not comparing yourself to others. Yet another reason to stop comparing yourself to others is because it will never allow you to feel rich. After all, there will always be people who have more than you do.

Look at the following:

  • You just bought yourself a new car and you feel great. Then, someone pulls up next to you at the traffic light in a Lamborghini. You compare your car to theirs, and now you feel lousy.
  • You’re sitting in a plane flying to your dream destination, and you’re full of excitement. Then, you happen to glance over toward the first class cabin and you start wishing that you had all that leg room, and that you were being served champagne. You conclude that this isn’t your dream trip after all.

If you’re constantly comparing yourself to people who have more than you do, then of course you’re going to feel like you’re coming up short. In order to realize that you’re richer than you think, stop comparing yourself to others.

10. Help Others

One of the best ways to realize just how rich you are is by helping those who are not as fortunate as you are. Look at the following:

  • The moment in which you buy a meal for someone who’s hungry, you realize how much you really have.
  • When you buy a Christmas gift for a child whose parents are going through difficult economic times, you grasp just how much abundance there is in your life.
  • By helping an entrepreneur in a developing country through Kiva, you are saying to yourself: “I have so much, I can afford to give some of my riches to help others”.

Realize how rich you really are by helping others.


I hope that after reading this post you’ve realized just how much you really have. Live your best life by dropping the excuse that you don’t have the money to go after what you really want. You are richer than you think.

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personal power

Your personal power is your ability to influence others and your surroundings.

We all have personal power–the ability to impact the world we live in– albeit in different degrees. Clearly, the more personal power you have, the greater your influence. So, where does personal power come from?

onehouradayformula banner longI believe it comes from ten different sources. These sources are the following:

  • Network Power
  • Interpersonal Power
  • Technical/Expert Power
  • Image Power
  • Formal Power
  • Resource Power
  • Physical Power
  • Attributes Power
  • Knowledge Power
  • Moral Power

In addition, there are ways to increase each of these sources of power, as well as ways to leverage each one so you can get the most out of it. Why would you want to increase and leverage your personal power?

Because the more powerful you are, the easier it is for you to realize your full potential and achieve your goals, whether those goals involve achieving financial security, traveling, helping others, impacting the world with your ideas and creating a legacy, and so on.

Below you’ll find an explanation of the ten sources of personal power I’ve identified, as well as five ways to increase each one. That will give you a total of 50 ways to increase your personal power.

1. Network Power

Your network power is who you know. Knowing the right people can vastly increase your sphere of influence. You may have heard the saying that your network is your net worth. This is because other people can do all of the following for you:

  • Offer valuable advice;
  • Give you important information which keeps you “in the loop”;
  • Open your eyes to new opportunities;
  • Help you kick start or accelerate your journey toward the achievement of your goals;
  • Find new clients, partners with complimentary skills, or potential investors;
  • Introduce you to others who may be in a position to help you; and so on.

Here are five ways to increase your network power:

  • Create a personal networking plan.
  • Work on your networking skills. You can read books on networking, attend seminars, and/or do research online.
  • Write down your goals and identify who you need to know in order to achieve those goals. Then, get to work on finding ways to meet those people.
  • Target networking opportunities that best fit your needs and personality.
  • Position yourself as a resource to others.

In order to increase your personal power, you have to make the right friends and surround yourself with the people who will help you to achieve what you want.

2. Interpersonal Power

Your interpersonal power is your ability to get along with and influence others. It’s related to your “likeability” index. Obviously, the more likeable you are, the more interpersonal power you have. In addition, the more persuasive you are, the greater your interpersonal power.

Here are five ways to increase your interpersonal power:

  • Work on becoming more charismatic.
  • Work on becoming more conscientious.
  • Work on your communication skills.
  • Work on improving your nonverbal communication.
  • Acquire negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

The more interpersonal power you have, the more you’ll be able to get others to act in the ways you want them to.

3. Expert Power

Expert power comes from your technical abilities, skills, competence, and experience at your job, ventures, the roles that you play, and so on. If you have some particular skill or expertise that others value, then you will have power over the people who want or need that particular expertise.

Here are five ways to increase your expert power:

  • Hone your skills and work to perfect your craft.
  • Keep up with changes in your career/industry/area of expertise.
  • Become a thought leader in your area of expertise. One way to do this is to get published in respected journals.
  • Compete for awards and other forms of recognition that are highly visible to others.
  • Teach your skills to others, whether it’s by blogging, creating courses or tutorials, writing a book, or getting a teaching position at a school or college.

People trust those with expert power, defer to their opinions, and believe that they have the wisdom to stir them in the right direction when it comes to their area of expertise. Your expert power will allow you to command respect and ask for more money for your services.

4. Image Power

Your image power is how much power others perceive you have, whether that perception is based on truth or not. Although one can argue that image is superficial, it’s powerful. The world judges people not for who they are, but for who they seem to be.

As the 17th century Spanish Jesuit scholar Baltasar Gracian says in The Art of Worldly Wisdom:

  • “Do, but also seem”.
  • “Have merit, but know how to present yourself.”

And if you haven’t achieved much yet, you can make others think that you have by the way in which you present yourself.

Here are five ways to increase your image power:

  • Take control of your image – decide how you want others to see you and then craft your image so that they start seeing you that way.
  • Build your personal brand and reputation.
  • Look the part.
  • Work on your game face – even if things are not going the way you want them to, other people don’t need to be made aware of this fact.
  • Curate carefully what you post on social media.

The perception of power is critical.

5. Official Power

Your official power is the power that comes from your role and level within an organizational hierarchy, as well as within key projects and committees. It’s the authority that comes inherent in a job title and role.

Here are five ways to increase your official power:

  • Actively seek to get a promotion at work;
  • Ask to be made the Project Manager of any project that you’re working on with others;
  • Look for ways to be made leader of any committees you’ve been assigned to;
  • Run for the presidency of any group that you belong to, whether it’s a Gardening Club, your city’s Chamber of Commerce, or your Rotary Club.
  • Run for public office.

This is the traditional form of power. Although official power may be difficult to acquire, once you have it you’ll be able to exert power over others in the form of rewards, punishment, and asset allocation.

6. Resource Power

Resource power is the extent to which you get your personal power from the resources that you control. Resource power can come from access to money, property, information, tools and equipment, and other assets which can help you to achieve your goals.

Here are five ways to increase your resource power:

  • Look for ways to acquire more resources.
  • Increase your earning potential.
  • Learn how to get a better return on your investment on the resources at your disposal.
  • If you have few assets at your disposal, learn to be more resourceful.
  • Look for ways to get others to allow you to use their resources.

The more resources you have at your disposal, the more powerful you are.

7. Physical Power

Physical power is the extent to which your personal power comes from your physical characteristics. Like it or not, this aspect remains potent. Look at the following:

  • Attractive people are more likely to be employed;
  • They earn more;
  • It’s more likely that they’ll be approved for loans;
  • They’re perceived as being more competent;
  • They’re thought of as being more trustworthy; and
  • They marry attractive and highly educated people.

Fortunately, there are ways to increase your physical power, even if you didn’t win the genetic lottery when it comes to good looks. Here are five ways to increase your physical power:

  • Eat well and exercise so that you look healthy and fit.
  • Be well groomed.
  • Make the most of your looks – wear clothes that flatter your shape and accentuate your best parts (and minimize the not-so-great-ones).
  • Be energetic – people who exude confidence, joy, and enthusiasm are highly attractive.
  • Project strength by the way in which you carry yourself.

Like any other source of power, physical power can be increased.

8. Attribute Power

Your attribute power refers to personal characteristics which make you more powerful, such as your intellect, grit, confidence, determination, and resilience. Look at the following and ask yourself which person is more likely to get support from others when they’re striving to achieve a goal:

  • Someone who has shown grit and resilience in the past.
  • Someone who gives up easily and has a tendency to leave things half-done.

Obviously, the first person is going to get more support from others—whether it’s financial support, encouragement, and so on. Also, look at the following:

  • People are more likely to back a confident person than they are to back a person with low self-esteem.
  • People are more likely to want to help those whom they perceive to be smart and talented.

Here are five ways to increase your attribute power:

  • Create a personal development plan.
  • Ask yourself what your goals are and what attributes you need to achieve those goals.
  • Read personal development books and blogs.
  • Follow Benjamin Franklin’s lead and develop your character.
  • Develop positive habits and drop negative habits.

Being self-assured, tenacious, and determined, and having positive habits, can make you very powerful.

9. Knowledge/Education Power

Knowledge and education power come from your level of education and the quality of the educational institutions that you attended. Your educational credentials can open many doors for you. In addition, people tend to respect those who have a good education.

Here are five ways to increase your knowledge/education power:

  • Go back to school and get an advanced degree.
  • Enroll at Harvard’s Extension School or take continuing education programs.
  • Get certified in an area that will help you in your field.
  • Find other ways to show that you’re committed to lifelong learning.
  • Create a portfolio showcasing your knowledge and skills.

Knowledge and education are power.

10. Moral Power

Your moral power is derived from your perceived moral stature. It affects how you’re perceived, as well as your ability to persuade and affect the actions of others. In essence, moral power is your ability to convince others that what you’re asking them to do is morally just.

Here are five ways to increase your moral power:

  • Volunteer.
  • Start a nonprofit.
  • Build a reputation as someone who has strong values and lives up to those values.
  • Champion a worthy cause.
  • Donate money to charities.

Moral power is often not given its proper due, but it’s an important factor in social life.


How much power do you have in each of the ten power sources explained above? Apply the 50 ways to increase your personal power that I’ve shared with you in this post, and become unstoppable. Always remember to use your power wisely and for the good of yourself and others.

Live your best life by increasing your personal power.

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ways to improve your life in one hour a day

All you need to achieve your goals and drastically change your life is one-hour-a-day.

In my post, “The One-Hour-A-Day Fast Track to Goal Achievement” I gave you ten reasons why you can fast track your goals with just one-hour-a-day. Now in this post I’m going to share with you 197 ways to improve your life in one-hour-a-day. You’ll find the list of ways below.

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five mindsets

Your mindset will have a huge impact on your success.

Mindset is a way of thinking that determines your behavior, outlook, and mental attitude. As Wilson Kanadi once said, “To change your life, you have to change yourself. To change yourself, you have to change your mindset.” Your mindset will determine the kind of person you’ll be and the goals you’ll be able to achieve.

onehouradayformula banner longAll of the following depend on your mindset:

  • How you handle risk.
  • Whether you succumb to fear or overcome it.
  • How you respond to challenges and setbacks.
  • Your levels of motivation — how much effort you’re willing to put into an endeavor.
  • The opportunities you’ll be able to notice and how you’ll respond to these opportunities.

The five mindsets that will transform your life are the following:

  1. The Creator Mindset;
  2. The Growth Mindset;
  3. The Abundance Mindset;
  4. The Wealth Mindset; and
  5. The Entrepreneurial Mindset.

Each of these mindsets is explained below, along with a few suggestions on how to adopt these mindsets.

The Creator Mindset

Those who have a Creator Mindset understand all of the following:

  • No one is going to hand them what they want, and things are not going to magically happen by themselves. If they want something, they have to go out there and get it for themselves. They have to make things happen.
  • If they’re having a problem, they have to solve or fix it themselves. No one is coming to the rescue.
  • Nothing is being done to them. Whenever they find themselves in a negative situation they accept that they created the situation themselves; they contributed to the situation; or at the very least they permitted it to happen.
  • They always have a choice.
  • They’re responsible for themselves and their actions.
  • Even if there’s not much they can do to influence any given situation, at the very least they can choose their attitude.

If you want to adopt a Creator Mindset, start by asking yourself questions such as the following:

  • What do I want?
  • How can I get it?
  • How can I solve this problem?
  • What can I do in this situation?
  • How can I get the money to do this?
  • What’s the best thing I can do in this situation, right now?

By adopting a Creator Mindset you’ll develop the capacity to envision the outcomes that you want and then start taking steps to manifest these outcomes.

The Growth Mindset

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success , Carol Dweck, Ph.D.–a professor at Stanford University and a social psychologist–explains that there are two different kinds of mindsets:

  • A Fixed Mindset; and
  • A Growth Mindset.

One mindset leads to risk aversion and feelings of limitation, while the other leads to success.

People with a Fixed Mindset believe that intelligence and talent are fixed traits: they’re born with a certain amount and that’s that. People with a Growth Mindset believe that abilities and talents can be cultivated through instruction and practice.

You develop a Growth Mindset by accepting the following:

  • With effort, you can train your brain to get smarter.
  • You can learn any skill, as long as you’re willing to put in the practice.
  • Failure doesn’t define you; it’s just a temporary setback.
  • See mistakes as feedback. Analyze the feedback and do better the next time.
  • Seek out new experiences that will challenge and stretch you.
  • It’s OK if you don’t understand at first. The point is to understand little by little. Ask yourself: “What can I try next?”
  • You can change your mindset so that your thinking patterns help you to succeed.

As I write in “The One-Hour-A-Day Formula“, if you’re one of those people who have a long list of skills that they want to learn–such as learning a language, taking up an instrument, learning to code, and so on–, having a Growth Mindset is vital.

The Abundance Mindset

The Abundance Mindset is often contrasted with the Scarcity Mindset. People with a Scarcity Mindset think that there are few resources out there, and their thoughts are centered on lack.

On the other hand, people with an Abundance Mindset think that there are enough resources for everyone, and their thoughts are centered on plenty. In order to adopt an Abundance Mindset, do the following:

  • Instead of feeling lack by focusing on what you don’t have, feel abundance by being grateful for what you do have.
  • Instead of fighting over what you perceive to be limited resources, actively look for ways to expand the pie so that everyone can get a piece.
  • Instead of staring at the door that just closed, start looking for a window that’s open.
  • Instead of constantly worrying about the future, be mindful of the gifts contained in the present.
  • Instead of comparing yourself to others, stay in your own life.
  • Instead of thinking that you have to be more or have more before you can he happy, choose to be happy with what you have, and with who you are, now.

Having an Abundance Mindset will open possibilities and allow you to see more alternatives. In addition, it will make you more resourceful and creative.

The Wealth Mindset

Another way of thinking of “mindset” is as a series of beliefs and thinking patterns. Therefore, if you want to adopt a Wealth Mindset you need to identify the beliefs and thinking habits that make up this mindset. So, what are the beliefs and assumptions that make up the Wealth Mindset?

Here are some of them:

  • Wealth creation is simply about acquiring the necessary knowledge on how to create, build, and protect wealth.
  • You should strive to become financially independent instead of relying on an employer for your financial well-being.
  • Money is good — money allows you to develop yourself to your fullest potential.
  • Building wealth is about having your money work hard for you.
  • To build wealth, you have to constantly learn and grow.
  • You are unique and valuable. In addition, what you have to offer to the world is unique and valuable, and you deserve to be well compensated for it.
  • If you want to make more money, you just need a better idea, and you need to bring focus and discipline to the process of turning that idea into reality.
  • Money doesn’t discriminate – it doesn’t care about your gender, race, ethnicity, and so on. In addition, it doesn’t care if you come from wealth or if your parents lived paycheck-to-paycheck. If you do what it takes to make money, and to take care of that money, you’ll become wealthy.

To create a Wealth Mindset, set financial goals. This will get you to think seriously about money and how to make it. Then, adopt the beliefs above and get to work.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Some people have an Employee Mindset, while others have an Entrepreneurial Mindset. People with an Entrepreneurial Mindset think in terms of finding opportunities and creating value. They’re driven and they know how to take calculated risks.

Here’s what having an Entrepreneurial Mindset is all about:

  • It’s about being self-directed, instead of waiting to be told what to do.
  • It’s about giving yourself permission, instead of waiting for permission from others.
  • It’s about being daring, bold and audacious.
  • Entrepreneurs see opportunities instead of problems.
  • They’re constantly thinking in terms of value creation.
  • They see constraints—such as limited resources—as a good thing. After all, it eliminates the paralysis of choice that would otherwise prevent them from getting started. They do what they can with what they have.
  • They’re constantly looking for problems that other people are having which they can solve.
  • They can tolerate discomfort and ambiguity.
  • It’s about getting up each time you fall, learning from your mistakes, and tolerating rejection.
  • It’s about getting good at learning new skills.
  • It’s about realizing that the buck stops with you.
  • It’s about being action-oriented.
  • It’s about learning to promote yourself and sell your goods and services.
  • It’s about creating a strategy, and then executing that strategy.

You can’t succeed as an entrepreneur without having an Entrepreneurial Mindset.

In addition, even if you currently work for somebody else, people with an Entrepreneurial Mindset are more valuable to their employers than people with an Employee Mindset–after all, they need less supervision and get better results.


Make your mind your friend by adopting the right mindsets. Live your best life by developing the five mindsets explained above.

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time quotes

Time is our most precious resource.

Here are 59 time quotes to help you make the most of your time.

1. “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” ~ Bruce Lee

2. “We give our time away all day long, to emotions that gain us no advantages, to people who do not value our time, to inefficient habits. If you want to take back this time, you need to cut to the chase.” ~ Stuart R. Levine

3. “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” ~ Lee Iacocca

4. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~ H. Jackson Brown

onehouradayformula banner long5. “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might as well put that passing to the best possible use.” ~ Earl Nightingale

6. “Either you run your day, or your day runs you.” ~ Jim Rohn

7. “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” ~ Golda Meir

8. “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” ~ Charles Richards

9. “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.” ~ Lord Chesterfield

10. “All you need to achieve your goals and drastically change your life is one-hour-a-day.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

11. “You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time.” ~ Doc Childre and Howard Martin

12. “It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.” ~ Marcia Wieder

13. “Your greatest resource is your time.” ~ Brian Tracy

14. “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~ Michael Altshuler

15. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” ~ Carl Sandburg

16. “Those who make the worse use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.” ~ Jean De La Bruyere

17. “In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.” ~ Sir John Lubbock

18. “The real problem of leisure time is how to keep others from using yours.” ~ Arthur Lacey

19. “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” ~Richard Whately

20. “Up until now you’ve probably heard the terms ‘investing” and ‘return on your investment’ only in relation to money. However, you have to start applying these concepts to your time as well. Make wise time investments and then enjoy the positive returns that you receive on your investment.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

21. “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” ~ Karen Lamb

22. “While we are postponing, life speeds by.” ~ Seneca

23. “The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: ‘I did not have time.’” ~ Franklin Field

24. “With perseverance, the very odds and ends of time may be worked up into results of the greatest value.” ~ The Royal Path of Life

25. “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” ~ Lord Chesterfield

Make It Happen!

26. “I recommend you take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.”  ~ Earl of Chesterfield

27. “How long will you wait for the right time to come? The right time is now, and the right place is here.” ~ Dada J.P. Vaswani

28. “Your purpose should dictate how you spend your time.” ~ Brenda Johnson Padgitt

29. “Stop allowing time to control you; instead, take control of your time.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

30. “Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year — and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” ~ Anthony Robbins

31. “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” ~ Charles Buxton

32. “Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.” ~ Carl Sandburg

33. “Managing your time without setting priorities is like shooting randomly and calling whatever you hit the target.”
~ Peter Turla

34. “The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business–or almost anywhere else for that matter.” ~ Lee Iacocca

35. “Spare moments are the gold dust of time.” ~ Bishop Hail

36. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey

37. “If you want to be more productive, you need to become master of your minutes.” ~ Crystal Paine

38. “You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” ~ Tony Morgan

39. “If you don’t set aside some time each day to create the life you want, then you’ll be spending your time surviving instead of living your best life.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

40. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~ Peter Drucker

41. “Don’t spend a dollar’s worth of time on a ten cent decision.” ~ Peter Turla

42. “We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things.” ~ Jim Rohn

43. “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

44. “You wake up in the morning, and your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of un-manufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions. No one can take it from you. And no one receives either more or less than you receive.” ~ Arnold Bennett

45. “A man must be master of his hours and days, not their servant.” ~ William Frederick Book

46. “Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.” ~ Horace Mann

47. “It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.” ~ Marcia Wieder

48. “The time for action is now. It is never too late to do something.” ~ Carl Sandburg

49. “Until you value yourself, you will not value your time.” ~ M. Scott Peck

50. “The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: ‘I did not have time.’” ~ Franklin Field

51. “We say we waste time, but that is impossible. We waste ourselves.” ~ Alice Boch

52. “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” ~ Brian Tracy

53. “What comes first, the compass or the clock? Before one can truly manage time (the clock), it is important to know where you are going, what your priorities and goals are, in which direction you are headed (the compass). Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going. Rather than always focusing on what’s urgent, learn to focus on what is really important.“~ Unknown

54. “We realize our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities. We confess, we have left undone those things that ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.“ ~ Charles E. Hummel

55. “To get all there is out of living, we must employ our time wisely, never being in too much of a hurry to stop and sip life, but never losing our sense of the enormous value of a minute.” ~ Robert Updefraff

56. “If, before going to bed every night, you will tear a page from the calendar, and remark, there goes another day of my life, never to return, you will become time conscious.“ ~ A.B. Zu Tavern

57. “We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.“ ~ Henry Ward Beecher

58. This is the key to time management – to see the value of every moment. Menachem Mendel Schneerson

59. “Use some time each day, one-hour-a-day is all you need, to bust your regrets. What do you regret not having done in the past? Start doing it now.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega


I hope your found these 59 time quotes useful. Live your best life by improving how you manage your time.

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Your sedentary lifestyle is killing you. The solution is to find ways to move more.

ways to move more

Humans were made to move.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) only 20 percent of American adults meet the minimum national exercise guidelines of at least 150 minutes per week of mixed aerobic workouts and strength training.

onehouradayformula banner longIn turn, a lack of physical activity has clearly been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers. In addition, being inactive can add to feelings of anxiety and depression. It can even lead to premature death. On the other hand, here are some of the many benefits of moving more throughout the day:

  • Control your weight.
  • Improve your mental health and mood.
  • Combat disease.
  • Increase your chances of living longer.
  • Improve your sleep.
  • Have more energy.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Improved brain function.

The human body isn’t designed to sit bent and scrunched up in a chair all day, day after day – it’s designed to move. Fortunately, any movement can be considered physical activity and is beneficial, even small amounts of movement. In this post you’ll find 24 sneaky ways to move more.

Ways to Move More

1. Set the Goal to Move More. In my post on 29 New Year’s Resolution Ideas – Make 2016 Your Best Year Ever I recommended that you set the resolution of moving more. If you didn’t set that resolution at the start of the year, you still have time to do so. Set the goal to move more for what’s left of the year, and make a commitment to stick to that goal.

2. Maximize Your Daily Movements. Look for ways to add more movement to things you’re already doing. Look at the following:

  • When you drive to work, forgo the coveted parking space right next to the building’s entrance. Instead, choose a parking space farther away from the front door and add steps to your day.
  • At work, visit the restroom at the other end of the building. Taking the stairs to the restroom on another floor is even better.
  • Refill your coffee cup at the machine farthest from your workstation.
  • Use the printer or copier furthest away from your desk.

A few extra steps here and there can go a long way.

3. Move Faster. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines moderate aerobic activity as “anything that makes your heart beat faster.” That means a wide variety of daily activities can become exercise if you do them faster or more intensely.

Picking up the pace, even if you’re just walking to your car, will help you burn more calories and strengthen your legs. I walk to the gym, and I run errands by foot (my apartment building has a great location). I’ve now resolved to walk to these destinations more quickly.

Get more out of your movements by doing them faster.

4. Increase the Beat. A lot of us listen to music while doing things like walking or exercising. As stated in the point above, you can get more out of your movements by increasing the speed at which you do them. And a great way to pick up the speed is to listen to music with a faster tempo.

As I wrote in my post, 12 Easy Ways to Bring More Music Into Your Life, songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) make you work out harder. I, for one, am going to look for songs with this BPM so I can start jogging faster.

5. Get a High Energy Dog. Having a dog will force you to move more. After all, you’ll have to take it out at least once a day so that it can get some exercise, or risk having your furniture destroyed as punishment for keeping it cooped up inside all day.

I’m currently considering getting a Husky, which is a gorgeous, sweet-tempered dog breed that needs lots of activity to stay happy.

6. Make Moving Fun. Moving more doesn’t have to be one more task or chore to add to your to-do list. Instead, you can categorize it as “play”. How? By making it fun! Here are some ideas:

  • Get a mini-trampoline –rebounding is great exercise, and it’s lots of fun.
  • Join a dance class.
  • Try the latest exercise class that’s all the rage. These include Pound, a class created by a drummer that uses lightly weighted “drumsticks” called Ripstix; pole workouts; and rowing-based strength classes.

7. Devote One-Hour-A-Day to Fitness. I devote one-hour-a-day to fitness. As I’ve written previously, I run three times a week, and I lift weights at the gym three times a week. Although I’m currently resting one day a week, I’m looking for a good stretching DVD I can do for one-hour on the seventh day.

Keep in mind that even if you do devote one-hour-a-day to exercising, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to move for the rest of the day. The benefits of exercise can be reduced if you spend most of the rest of your day sitting. So make sure that you still squeeze in as much active time as possible throughout the day.

8. Walk Indoors.  Most experts recommend that you take at least 10,ooo steps a day– which is roughly the equivalent of 5 miles. The good news is, you can walk those miles indoors. If it’s raining out, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, or you simply don’t want to leave the house, walk indoors. There are many great walking workout programs you can get on Amazon.

As an example, there’s 10,000 Steps Weight Loss – Walk On: 5 Fat Burning Miles Walking Exercise DVD. Each of the five walks is about 15 minutes long, and one mile in distance. Do all five walks at once, or spread them out throughout the day; it’s your choice.

9. Maximize Your TV Watching Time. Most people spend a lot of time watching TV. And what does that mean? It means that they spend even more time sitting. However, there are many ways to be active while you watch TV. Here are some ideas:

  • Get a treadmill or a stationary bike and use it while you watch TV.
  • If you don’t want to be in full out exercise mode while you watch TV, at least get yourself a portable pedal bike.
  • Use the commercials –hold a plank during commercial breaks, do burpees, or do some jumping jacks.
  • Preset the timer on your TV to turn off after an hour to remind you to get up and go do something more active.
  • At the very least, hide the remote control so that you have to get up to change the channel.

Turn TV time into active time.

10. Use Temptation Bundling. In my post, Adopt Good Habits With Temptation Bundling, I write about Wharton professor Katherine Milkman. Her guilty habit is listening to low-brow novels on audio tape. So she came up with the following idea: she could listen to those audio tapes only while she was exercising.

You can follow this same approach in order to move more. What are your guilty habits? Tell yourself that you can only engage in these activities while you’re exercising, squatting, standing, or moving around.

11. Incorporate Movement Into Your Morning Routine. One of the best ways to have a great day is to start it off with a morning routine that will set you up for success. Get moving from the moment your feet touch the ground in the morning by incorporating movement into your morning routine. Here’s three ways to do this:

12. Spend More Time In Nature. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and I’ve already written about the many benefits of spending more time in nature. An added benefit is that when you’re out in nature it’s highly likely that you’ll be moving around. After all, the outdoors was made for all of the following:

  • Playing Frisbee at the park, or throwing a ball back and forth.
  • Playing with your dog or your kids on the grass.
  • Flying a kite.

Whenever you can, head outdoors and move around under the clear blue sky.

13. Use Your Commute. Rethink the way you get to and from work. Do you drive? How about walking, rollerblading, or cycling to work, instead? You’ll be adding movement to your day, saving on gas, and maybe even saving on parking.

If you ride public transportation, try standing up for most of the way. A European Heart Journal study found that standing instead of sitting an extra two hours a day can lower blood sugar and boost good cholesterol.  In addition, get off the bus or subway a stop early and walk part of the way.

14. Set Goals for Your Amount of Sitting Time. lan Hedge, a professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, explains that both sitting all day and standing all day are bad for you. He recommends that you break up your activity throughout the day.

Hedge indicates that for every half-hour working in an office, people should do the following:

  • Sit for 20 minutes;
  • Stand for eight minutes; and
  • Move around and stretch for two minutes.

There are apps that will remind you to get up and move around every so often. These include the following:

  • Breakpal.com–a reminder will pop up on your screen to get up and exercise, and you’ll be directed to a short exercise video.
  • TimeOut, which blacks out your screen for 15 seconds every 10 minutes, and for 10 minutes once an hour, forcing you to take short breaks.

15. Fidget More. A study involving over 12,000 British women found that those who fidgeted while seated staved off the negative effects of sitting much better than the non-fidgety women. In addition, people who fidget tend to be thinner than those who don’t because they burn more calories throughout the day. Do yourself a favor and fidget around a bit.

One way to fidget more is to to get a Hokki Stool to sit on. It’s an ergonomic stool that transforms stationary sitting into an activity.

16. Play a Fitness Board Game. Board games can develop thinking abilities and life skills. In addition, you can get board games that will help you to stay fit.

One option is the Fitness in a Box Board Game — to move around the board you have to perform activities like jumping, stretching, and adopting strength-building poses. Bakari Fitness Memory Game is another fitness board game; it doubles as a memory game.

17. Go On Active Dates. When you want to spend some quality time with your spouse or significant other, instead of going to dinner and a movie, do something active. Challenge them to a game of tennis, go hiking, or go kayaking. Other ideas include the following:

  • Visit a new town and take a walking tour.
  • Go geocaching.
  • Go on a city-wide scavenger hunt.

You know the saying, the couple that sweats together, stays together. 🙂

18. Same With Catching Up With Friends. When you want to catch up with friends, instead of going out for coffee or a drink, go to the museum or a gallery exhibit. Other ideas include going to a planetarium, going bowling, or playing golf (meeting for a round of golf isn’t just for men).

If your friends live nearby, you can even start a walking club: get together for speed walking before work.

19. Use Stolen Moments. Any time you have a few minutes to spare here and there, use that time to get some movement in. Here are some examples:

  • If you’re waiting for your son or daughter to finish soccer practice, walk a few times around the field.
  • Got some errands to run nearby? Try walking to get your errands done. Typically, if it’s within two miles from you it can be considered walkable.
  • Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.

20. Take Up An Active Hobby. Hobbies aren’t just a way to pass the time. They can also improve the quality of your life. To squeeze more activity into your life, take up a hobby that involves moving around, such as birding, nature photography, or indoor rock climbing.

21. Try Active Meditation. If you’re thinking of taking up meditation to relieve stress, become more mindful, and improve your focus and concentration, instead of sitting in the lotus position consider taking up a form of active meditation.

Forms of active meditation include Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Yoga.

22. Encourage Your Boss to Make the Office More Exercise Friendly. Many employers are  looking for ways to get their employees to exercise more. After all, people who exercise are healthier and take less sick days. In addition, they’re more creative and productive, and they tend to have better attitudes.

Here are some of the things you could recommend:

  • Propose walking meetings — have walking-and-talking meetings instead of the usual sit-down ones.
  • Start a company team — you can play softball, soccer, or tag football.
  • Start a mid-morning stretch group.

Round up all the studies out there which document the many benefits to companies of having a healthy, active work force, and impress your boss with your initiative.

23. Use the Rule of Threes. If you don’t have time to exercise for 30 minutes straight, break it up into three 10-minute segments. Get 10 minutes of cardio in the morning, 10 minutes of cardio after lunch, and 10 minutes of cardio in the evening.

24. Volunteer in Ways that Allow You to Be Active. A popular goal is to help others by volunteering. If volunteering is one of your goals, tie it to the goal of moving more. Look for volunteering opportunity that involve movement, such as these:

  • Participate in clean-up days in your community.
  • Volunteer to run/walk for an event, like Race for the Cure or Relay for Life.
  • Volunteer at a community garden.
  • Volunteer to coach little league. You’ll spend more time with your kid, get to know his or her friends, and get some exercise in. Three for one!

Volunteer and become more active, at the same time.


Improve your life by becoming more active. This includes not just exercising or playing sports, but also adding more movement to your day. Live your best life by moving more.

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