The other day I released a post https://polyinnovator.space/10-ways-you-can-start-self-development-during-the-quarantine/
The actionable items on the list were great, and people liked them; Enough to make a sequel post explaining them in more detail.
When you're stuck at home, especially during a time like this, then you are going to feel like climbing the walls. I know that I personally feel this way, and that is with all these actionable steps I'm taking. After doing a lot of them my happiness started to rise.
Set good habits to maximize your time!
When you walk into your living room what do you see? Your TV, video game console, and Netflix; Or do you see a guitar you are learning to play, a book you're reading on the table, and your yoga mat in the corner.
Your environment will change your mentality on which habits get done. That includes both good and bad!
How to do you set good habits?
First clean up your space, allow the room to "breathe", and have a nice flow through the space without things being cluttered.
Next follow up on your idealistic goals, by acting doing them. Even if it is for 2 minutes, just by starting you are doing more than you were before.
Finally, allow yourself to maximize the availability of good habits (i.e. guitar front and center); While putting away the bad habits (i.e. junk food in hard to reach place, same with the TV remote).
30 Min Challenge
Spend just 30 minutes on something, and nothing more. Focus on the daily repetition, while not being too hard on yourself if you fail. More than likely you will fail, for I've even been doing this for years (and I still fail).
Mindset > success rate.
"Eat the frog"
In other words get the hardest to do task done 1st!
The trick is to set actionable and targeted micro-goals to accomplish the big task. It is like breaking it up into more digestible pieces.
Other folks will refer to it as the elephant, rather than a frog. Let's say for some reason you need to eat this poor animal. You wouldn't do it all at once, for you would break it up into smaller chunks (horrible thought I know, but it is just an analogy).
How to Read Everyday
This could be one of the first habits you build, as it is one of the easier ones. Just like I said before, just start with 30 minutes, and it doesn't have to be all at once. One of my best reading habits was formed from little micro bouts of reading throughout the day (such as when I'm waiting).
I highly recommend ebooks (kindle), and other people will say audiobooks . Although I treat those as their own separate habit, as they act differently in the brain in my experience.
Find something easy to start out with, and work your way up the snowball effect. I set a huge goal of 100 books this year (Already at 3/100, and started a month ago).
Set a goal
Make sure it is actionable, and not too outrageous. Now I'm sure you must be thinking, well didn't you set an outrageous one? Well, yes, yes I did.
Let me explain why, for one I believe I can do it from my reading experience. Secondly, I taught myself to speed read (and when I don't speed read, I often still read fast). Lastly, I'm using this one as more of a shoot for the moon sort of thing.
If I fail at reading it this year, I would have still read a monumentally higher amount in 2020. Perhaps that mentality would suit you as well.
Pick a time
Some people prefer reading in the morning, and others at night. If you know you time then go for it. If you don't have a specific one, like myself, then try for both. See what fits, and who knows maybe they both will.
What matters is that you build the habit through consistency.
Adapt your mindset
Reading isn't just for pleasure, in fact most of the successful people in history attribute their success to learning. Particularly learning via the method of reading.
I actually don't even really read fiction books anymore (I probably should though), for it doesn't entice me like the premise of learning something new.
Take a sample from my book, as well as others, and read for the pursuit of learning something!
Pick an easy book first
You can stick it out and read a long book, but it is satisfying nonetheless to just finish a book. Might as well start small, and build your way up!
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Understand that you're probably gonna suck at first, and that is okay!
As a personal trainer I often find myself eyeing other gym goers because of their form. Maybe they are swinging the body, bending their wrist, or lifting too heavy. Regardless I feel bad if I don't step in and help, and I know to some that is "rude". However I'd rather be rude, than have someone hurt themselves.
Point is that to try and take an open mind approach. Know that at first you may suck (you actually may be better than you think however), and that it takes repetition to get good.
Start small, and focus on form!
My ratio for workouts is: 3, 20, and then exponential.
What I mean is that if I am trying something new (particularly hard new too), or just something really challenging (like a higher weight). I stick to 3 reps, and rarely do I ever do more than that. If I do it is just double the small set, so six.
If I get to the point where I know 3 is not enough, then I move to 20 reps of that exercise. Now depending on how challenging the movement is, that may take a while.
I usually break it up into either 2 sets of 10, or four sets of 5. The latter being the usual. Take that for what you will!
The reason why I stick to those numbers, is that it allows me time to focus purely on form. That is most important for overall gains/improvement. Let alone safety.
P.S. After 3 and 20, I go to 50 reps and 100 reps.
Well Form and Consistency
Now form is of the utmost importance, but you have to be consistent with it. If you don't use it, then you lose it. As the saying goes, and it is very true. If you stop, then there is a rebound time.
Granted due to the nuclei in the muscle cells, there is a quicker turn around; Than if you are just starting out from scratch, but you shouldn't rely on that.
Stay consistent with your workouts as best you can.
Calisthenics is the way to go, and they're highly scalable
In short it is bodyweight exercises. Why use external weights, when your body can be the tool of exercise. Many people can't even do the simplest movements too, and so it is even more imperative to start with your body.
In some eastern countries it is traditional to sit on the floor and eat, instead of using a table. This actually helps the population stay more fit because of all the up and down motions. Not to mention the flexibility of sitting with crossed legs, which allows elderly people to stay mobile longer.
All that causes the people to use their bodies in the same way as calisthenics. Essentially one and the same, with the movement resembling air squats.
Push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges, and body rows. Perfect starter workout.
Be a content creator
You have some sort of knowledge that would be fascinating to SOMEONE. The only problem is that you don't know who that person is. When I started writing I had very few people ever see my work, let alone know it exists. It wasn't that I hid it, it was just I hadn't gotten to the audience yet.
Now that people read these blogs, more and more of you are gathering to know more. That is fantastic because I love creating content for you.
Perhaps you might be one and the same! ;)
Join a new platform, especially maybe TikTok
In the same mindset as the last point, is the creating content. In this case TikTok videos. It is a highly viral platform, so you can grow fast. I got 900 followers in a week, now at 2700, which is more than all my other socials combined.
I hope to see you on there!
Build a Lego Set
Seriously there is nothing like getting your hands on something, and building/creating something out of it.
I grew up with the toys, and even to this day I would think about the things I'd create. Not only does it generate creativity, but also it seems to expand my spatial awareness.
I tend to build space ships, which helps me think more 3D, and I just recently got my Legos back from my family's house. Without any hesitation I built a new ship, more advanced than anything before, and I can escape my burnouts with them. Try it!
Discover your Ikigai
I'll be making more Omni-Content about Ikigai in the future, but in short it is the junction between four areas.
What you're good at.
What the world needs.
What you can get paid for.
What you love to do.
When combined you get things like an occupation, hobby, or something of the sort. However if you combine all three, then you get YOUR Ikigai. It is a Japanese concept, that brings you to the perfect outcome of your life.
Spend this time while not working, to find what yours is!
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Learning New Skills
In any case learning something new is always highly recommended, especially here on PolyInnovator. I mean that is what the Omni-Content Phase 1 is all about, Self-Education.
Find a topic that interests you
I highly encourage you to go on Google, and stumble upon a rabbit hole. What I mean by that is, when you search for something, look for interesting websites. Find a site that is connected to others, or perhaps on the Google feed open up a bunch of interesting tabs. Find your way through the topic, and see if it continues to peak your fancy.
If not, then move on, rinse and repeat.
Pick up that Guitar, or challenge
Look we all have that one thing we've been putting on the back burner. Go get it out of the closet, dust it off, and spend 30 minutes actually trying it. Say you're gonna teach yourself a chord, learn the notes of the strings, or probably first learn how to tune the guitar.
Start a Modular Degree
In essence at this point the Mod Degree is just a framework, but hopefully in the near future it will be more interactive. For now focus on collected interesting areas of knowledge you would like to learn, or a hard skill for a job. Then find courses on those, and you can organize them into a more degree-like structure.
You can take the Self-Education Mini course for free on this site, which prepares you for making a Mod Degree. Soon I'll wrap up the bow tie on the Build Your Own Modular Degree course, and you can get your hands on that.
Diet, Nutrition, Eating Regimen
Your body is a machine, learn what fuel suits it best
There is some interesting developments when it comes to diets. For one Keto has grown to be quite popular, and I don't endorse it unless you're ready. As with any diet there is challenge, but you need to research a lot before going into ketosis!
!!Diets don't mean lose weight, or even gain weight, just organizing what you are consuming!!
Every person is different, so there is no standalone diet that is perfect
One interesting "new" thing is the Genomic Diet, which is based off your genetic profile.
Basically your body is a machine like I said before, in that same mental picture I want you to imagine foods like different parts. Each machine part will fit into your body mechanism differently. Perhaps a screw is too big, and it takes too much fuel to operate the drill. You get the idea.
Depending on your genes, there are going to be certain mechanisms in you that are different than in other people. I think a lot of the diets base it around blood type, which if you don't know yours then you should look it up.
P.S. Speaking of blood type, there is a massive blood donation shortage in the U.S., even before the pandemic. If you are healthy and able, then I encourage you to go donate. Mine is scheduled next weekend!
You don't have to lose/gain weight to have a healthy diet
People often confuse exercise and diet, with the association with weight. It isn't a motivator. If you are eating different to lose weight, great, but that won't keep you going when it gets hard.
You have to have a higher purpose, such as energy or strength. If you need to lose weight for longevity, or gain weight for muscles. Those are some strong reasons, and I know it is hard.
Eating healthy until you CRAVE broccoli (then you won't want to quit!)
One of the strangest things that happened to me, in one of my healthier years, was the fact that I was craving broccoli. I wanted it as bad as I wanted a sugary snack. Perhaps I was low on vitamin K, or something along those lines.
However the point being if you get to the point where you're craving fruit or veggies instead of candy and snacks then you win.
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Optimize the Files of YOUR Life
Your brain is like a palace, with many corridors; You must learn them!
More than just learn them, control them, and manipulate where your memories are stored. Your brain is all about connections, and more importantly strengthening those connections.
Clean your living space
A clean room (house), is a clean mind. Simple as that.
Your memory is not what it used to be, and even back then it sucked.
Our brains are meant for processing information, taking in stuff, then letting it go. We are not made to remember well, and as we age it only diminishes.
You must put it down somewhere, brain dump essentially, to not only clear your mind; But to also make sure the information is not lost.
Think of your brain like a VHS tape, and every so often you rerecord over the old tape.
Build a Second Brain
On the same light as some of the previous points, the connection between ideas, and the organization of your memories. You can't do it all yourself, which is why greats of history like Marcus Aurelius stuck to journaling.
A second brain is a concept from Silicon Valley, of the idea for organizing what your learn and your goals.
I'll have more on this topic in the future, especially when it comes to Notion.so ! However for now I encourage you to look into the idea.
Consistency with Daily Habits
When you get up, what do you think of? Is it the urge to check your socials, or is it to get the day started right?
To be honest it is both for me, and I feel that it might be for you too. That dichotomy between a productive habit, and an unproductive one is tough. Let's choose the better option together.
Use the 1-Hour Power Rule
Work on it for solely one hour, no longer, and no less. Regardless of the quality of the action you took, whether that is exercise or some creative endeavor. Then let it go, and if you choose to work on it the next day then great. If not, then no big deal.
You build discipline
Guess what? It compounds, and not just in one area. Tim Ferriss famously put it as "Attention Units", which are basically your focus units for the day. When you run out, then you basically want to go watch Netflix. Maybe not even that, which is not okay.
We need to have more, and my idea is that the more you productively use the AU's then the more you can have. It is like a muscle, and I know I am not alone in that thought.
The more you train your focus muscle, the more you can use it in the future.
Quantity over Quality
Habits and knowledge cement over time, and so must your actions follow suit with that. If you do it just every so often, then you won't get the idea ingrained enough for it to matter.
Yes the quality of the learning, and the source of it is truly important. However you can always relearn it later, and that is easier than it sounds.
Work on that thing on the Backburner
"Finish that old project"
You have had that old hobby you put off for so long, or that one reading club that no one finished the book.
Brush the dust off, figuratively or literally, and get back on to it!
A day old, or a decade old
Whether or not you started it when you were a child, or right before this whole pandemic started. There is that old flame of an interest still lingering. Let it burn, and fuel it for another go.
For example, I wrote a video game series in my youth, and now I am revamping it with game development knowledge I've attained. Perhaps I'll be able to create it under PolyInnovator Gaming Studios!
It is not like you "don't have the time"
I mean come on, firstly you read most of this article already, which already means you have time. Secondly, we are all on quarantine globally. There is no "time" excuse right now. Even if you are an essential worker, you still have more time than usual. P.S. If you are essential thank you for your service!
In other words, don't use excuses!!
Find a way to do it all
Start a new habit of "getting anything I start done", and pursue that by doing each of these on the list. Now you can't expect a website about being a polymath, to not try and tempt you with the idea of doing them all.
However do note it should be more of a snowball effect, rather than an all at once kind of thing. You don't want to get overwhelmed, and burnout from the stress.
In fact it should be the opposite, with the habits forming left and right. One right after the other, then your happiness is likely to increase. These things should be tough to challenge you, yes, but we do not want them to make you overly anxious. Know your balance, and take care of yourself!
Start the first one week, the another the next, and so forth.