Tagged With habits

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What’s your favourite mental hack? How do you trick your dumb human brain into doing its job right? Hacker News, a forum for people too nerdy for Reddit, traded their favourite tricks in a thread started by user simonswords82. Here are the best.

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I'm a casual yoga-er, but when I meet people who are serious about yoga, they're always talking about their "practice." Basically, if you're really into it, you don't need to wait for a convenient class or a new episode from your favourite YouTube yoga channel. You work on what you want, where you want, on your own terms. If you're joining our December yoga challenge, now might be a good time to build your own home practice.

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If you have even the tiniest inkling that you might want to get in shape in the new year—or anytime really — don’t wait until January. The best time to start a gym habit is right now, when you’ll have the place to yourself.

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The minimalist habit tracker habitctl runs in the command line. (If you don’t know what the command line is, this is not the tool for you.) As such, it’s one of the simplest habit trackers you can use, while still being more sophisticated than a text file (which was developer Sebastian Morr’s previous habit-tracking method).

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When you just want to turn your brain off and sleep, meditation apps are perfect. A guiding voice, or the sounds of something peaceful such as rain, helps to fill the silence so your thoughts can’t creep in. The best ones strategically bore you into drowsiness. (You can look for sleep-focused meditation tracks, but I’m guilty of misusing the Headspace intro lessons for this purpose.)

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iOS: Throughout the day, I always know I should be doing things to better my health and overall disposition: Standing at regular intervals, drinking a lot of water, telling my friends they are great and we should hang out, and so on. And while these thoughts hit me on occasion, they're never enough to create a regular lifestyle pattern. Thankfully, the free iOS app Aloe Bud is happy to help out.

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We're all probably a little more addicted to our phones than we'd like to be. I know that I instinctively pull mine out whenever there's a break in the action of the day be that when I'm on the train, between meetings, or even waiting on food at a restaurant. It's easy to take your phone out and get absorbed in what's happening on Facebook or Instagram.

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If you made a simple creative action every day, what would you have at the end of 100 days? April 3 starts #The100DayProject, which invites you to answer that question for yourself. Past participants have done 100 days of collages, pompoms, illustrated quotes and dancing in public.

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Everyone tells you that to build a new good habit, you should start small. Pick one incremental way to ease into your New Thing, and slowly work up from there. It's sensible advice, and I've never, ever taken it.

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Epictetus, in Discourses, wrote: "And since strong habit leads, and we are accustomed to employ desire and aversion only to things which are not within the power of our will, we ought to oppose to this habit a contrary habit...". If you want to break a bad habit, try doing something new or develop a new good habit that contradicts your bad habit.

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Recently, the nonprofit privacy advocacy organisation Electronic Frontier Foundation announced the passing of its founder, John Perry Barlow. He was 70. In addition to his groundbreaking work at EFF and his contributions to the Grateful Dead as a lyricist (Cassidy, anyone?), he established a set of guidelines by which all grown ups should operate.