It’s a new year, some people like new years resolutions and some hate them. I’m not interested in the debate, but I have noticed that when people ask my advice or for suggestions I often end up saying the same things. I want to make it easier to reference and more widely available. You could go deep and wide on any of these, but most of these suggestions are for a simple and very valuable starting point. To help people survive and thrive through understanding knowledge let me suggest that in 2109 you emphasize mental health, relationships and cyber security. If you want my advice for things to try in 2019: here it is.
- Begin a meditation practice. Our minds are the only things we have to experience the world, we should probably train them (Paraphrase of Sam Harris in his Waking Up Meditation course). Being aware of our, thoughts and how they flow, that emotions are mostly choices can help free us from the grip of negative feelings. Even if you can reduce only by half or a third the time you would have spent worried about what others think of you or angry at another for their choices or sad for matters you have no influence over, that time and attention can now be spent in a more productive state of mind. There are lots of apps out there to get you started. I’ve heard good things about Headspace, 10% Happier and Calm, though my personal favorite is Waking Up by Sam Harris. The practice of meditation helps to cultivate the state of mindfulness much like exercise cultivates fitness. Speaking of which…
- Exercise. Exercise leads to fitness and that to a better life- the research on this is unending and unquestionable. There are tons of ways to get this going: there are some really compelling at-home options that can cost less than a gym membership. There are options that can build community (and are free), but if its gotta be free, in your home and take almost no time, the seven minute workout app on your amazon Alexa or in the amazon app on your phone can do the trick
- Use a password manager. I recommend and use Bitwarden [update in 2021 no longer Lastpass will likely post later on why] – it has a free tier to get started. There are lots of very well reviewed ones , but you must begin using one, because 2018 was the year of the breaches, and so were all the years before it And 2019 will be too… Just do it. Today. Right now. Stop reading this and start setting up a password manager. Here’s an independent how-to from a security and privacy non-profit here. Seriously this blog will wait, go do it.
- Use signal messenger. It’s encrypted end to end and doesn’t harvest and store your metadata (unlike whatsapp or facebook messenger). https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/how-use-signal-ios
- Read Non-Violent Communication. If you have relationships in your life and need to understand your needs and those of others better, and how to communicate them, this book will prove invaluable.
- Read Essentialism. It has great advice about how to focus on what is most essential, how to say no the numerous trivial to say yes to the singular essential.
- Read a couple greats on purpose Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. I wrote a bit more on these last two.
That’s it, my best advice for now (and it keeps growing), let me know how they go for you!