My First 30 Days of Push Ups

I credit the book “Atomic Habits” for getting me going in the right direction. “You do not rise to the level of your goals—you fall to the level of your systems.”

It’s nice to have a goal – “I WANT A STRONG UPPER BODY!” Sure. But as author James Clear lays out, you need a system.

My new system starts the night before.

I plug in my phone, and it stays on the other side of the room. This way I’m not tempted to wake up and start scrolling.

Next, I cover my phone with a note written from the previous night. At night I got goals, strength, power! In the morning, ahhh, I just want to crawl back under the covers. But with a note on my phone that says, “HEY! DO YOUR PUSHUPS,” it’s snaps me back to the system.

Oh, another part of my system is I can’t do my push ups until I stretch for 15 minutes. That’s another goal – stretching for 30 minutes a day. That, and launching right into push ups probably isn’t too good on the muscles anyways, so yeah, I get down on my mat and go through a stretch routine.

After my timer goes off at 15 minutes, then I can finally do my push ups. I started at five (don’t start your habit off by making it too difficult), but now I’m up to 10. They’re still not easy, but I’m building a habit, not training for a competition.

Once I’ve stretched and done my push ups, I really have no desire to crawl back into bed now with my phone. The blood is flowing, heart is pumping – let’s go! Make that bed! Make breakfast! Drink coffee!

Then, all without too much effort, my day is off to a great start. That’s my system.

 

Social Media is Not Rare

From “Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It,” by Cal Newport, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, over at the NYTimes:

“In a capitalist economy, the market rewards things that are rare and valuable. Social media use is decidedly not rare or valuable. Any 16-year-old with a smartphone can invent a hashtag or repost a viral article.”

I’ve met great people via social media in recent years, but so much of the amazing dialogue got washed away in the river, never to be seen again.

Compare that to an article on a website, an interview in a magazine, an EP… these things are increasingly rare. A catalog came in the mail yesterday that, yes, it wanted to sell me a new puffy jacket for $300. But the catalog has stuck around for a few days now. It hasn’t washed away in a sea of other catalogs because catalogs cost money to send, which makes them rare compared to a Tweet.

Making Space

A timely arrival in my inbox, wise words from Derek Sivers,

“Life can be improved by adding, or by subtracting. The world pushes us to add, because that benefits them. But the secret is to focus on subtracting.”

Subtracting opens space.

Space, like wide open areas. Breathe the air and enjoy the views.

Space, like fewer notes to allow a song to breathe.

Space, surfaces cleared, tidy, with purpose and reason.

Space, as giving your brain a break.

Subtracting as a strategy in 2018 seems crazy pants, but I think we’re onto something here.

Social Network Changes

Somehow it’s the default now – you’re either on social media or you don’t exist. Forgotten. “Where have you been,” is the question, “I haven’t seen you online lately!”

It was only a few years ago when I ran a music site that published 20+ items per day. Now it’s the norm to publish 20+ updates per day about what we eat, what we read, and anything else that pops into our head.

For me, lately, though it’s a text. A phone call. Swapping emails into the night. All out of sight, at a much slower pace, but with a greater impact.

Nerding out with “Oriented Strand Board”

It’s been since 2011 since I’ve worked in an office, and I know cubicles are frowned upon, but I’d totally be up for building something like this (Hack) for my own home office purposes.

I’ve been interested in this “Oriented Strand Board” look since I first saw it at Urban Outfitters eons ago. I think the Abelton website (below) played a part, too.

Seriously, I need to learn how to build some of this stuff (below, from Imgur).

What is the Matrix

I was on Xanga in the late 90s. Then started a music blog in 2001. In recent years most writing I’ve done has been in the orbit of online marketing, social media, and such.

There was a time before all that when making music was most important. Playing the bass, dabbling with creating more music on the computer, I even put some music on Bandcamp at one point.

Where did I lose that? It’s not just that I know how the sausage is made, both from the editorial side of things, and also the label and publicist angle. For whatever reason, I see the doom and gloom of it. My naive zest from the 90s gone. Not in the sense that I thought I was going to “make it,” but just that child-like joy in “just” making something to make it.

Creating for the sake of creating, and not for some external validation, press, or east coast tour. My mind keeps taking me there, as if without those goals what’s the point. I don’t know how to pluck that from my thoughts.

Lately I’ve been forcing myself to open up Abelton Live and create something each day. Not to write full songs, and think of an album, or plan who will produce my EP – very far from it. I just want to rediscover that creative habit again, and honor the muse again.

Seoul Wave

This is breathtaking. Viewing at full screen I feel like I’m flying in and out of multiple lives, stories, chapters of a time.

I spent a month in Seoul and saw a city racing to the future. Here’s the film I made with the help of the great people I met along the way.

Absolutely stunning work. To think this sort of video would not be possible a decade ago without our drones, and cheap(er) cameras. (Vimeo)

Wallpapers from my Favorite Todo App

I’ve been using Todoist for quite awhile now. After you complete your tasks for the day, you’ll see great artwork designed by Margarida Mouta. Now you can add these adorable images as your phone background – check out ‘New Todoist Zero Wallpapers,’ via Greg Morris.

It’s not the biggest feature, or a flashy animation, but it works. At the end of the long day, sometimes all you need is a small little touch like that.