Quote I’m pondering – “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
New breakfast for 2019 – We’ve all heard of smoothies, though have you ever had a smoothie bowl? We were visiting this wonderful little cafe next to a beach on the outskirts of Copenhagen the other day. They intro’d us to a terrifically tasty and nutritious smoothie bowl. Since then we’ve been experimenting with various home made versions. The best of which we’ve found at minimalistbaker.com . If you’re looking for something new for breakfast, or have kids and want to spice things up (outside of toast and cereal), then smoothie bowls are quick, tasty and healthy.
Soundtrack I’m listening too – Cloud Atlas isn’t a film I plan to watch again, however its soundtrack (on youtube here) is a beautiful listen and I’m listening to it alot. I’m finding it’s helping me at work, enabling me to better focus in an open space when I need it. If you’re looking for music to increase your productivity & effectiveness, add this to your playlist.
For those interested in workplace predictions for 2019, this post on LinkedIn contains a few interesting points. Number 1. isn’t new, yet it’s still curious to me why companies continue to make this mistake.
“1. Employers will continue to invest a ton of money in recruiting and on-boarding employees, while paying little attention to the talent that’s seeping out the back door.”
What we’re using in our fridge and fruit bowls – these small discs are proving to keep our fruit and veg fresh for longer. They utilise the most natural way possible for keeping it fresh and they really work! We’ve tried many alternatives (including special bags) and nothing has worked better than the Nanology Fruit & Veg savers.
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Regular readers will have noticed an absence of posts here in the last few weeks. I took a long Christmas break to spend time away from work, my writing and anything else that didn’t include my wife and kids.
Now I’m back and thinking about the year ahead of me.
How do you set up your year ahead? I take time in early January for 2 activities. Both are key in helping me make the right choices and grow in areas I either need to grow or hadn’t considered before.
Number 1. Making choices easier
Claire Diaz Ortiz introduced me to the concept of having a word of the year in a blog post she wrote a few years back, I’ve had one ever since. My word of the year for 2018 was ‘change’. The idea of a word for the year is to have a word that represents the year in front of you. Last year I moved myself and my family to Denmark, went car free (using public transport and bicycle only), and introduced daily fasting into my eating routine. It’s fair to say that when choices arrived, my word of the year guided me significantly.
My word for the year 2019 is ‘Possible’. I want the year ahead to be one where things I think may not be possible are possible. It’s a positive word that sets a frame of mind, one focused on making things happen and getting things done. If you’ve not experimented with a word to represent your year ahead, why not try now? There’s no better time than early January, when our minds are focused on starting afresh. If you’re new to this you could use this site for inspiration: myoneword.org
Number 2. Choose influencers
Another activity I do in early January is choose 5 people to influence and change my thinking. What’s slightly unusual here is I choose 5 people I don’t have in person access too. The famous quote ‘You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with’ attributed to Jim Rohn is the inspiration for this. I started doing it a few years ago after finding I was unconsciously making huge positive changes to my life, based on regularly listening to content from Tim Ferriss.
This year I’ve chosen:
- Tim Ferriss – Tim features in my influencer list every year. The Tim Ferriss show, his books, blog posts and tweets are life changing.
- Will Smith – Pretty much my reason to have an Instagram account. I’ve followed him on and off over the years, as the way he lives his life is incredibly inclusive and positive, this year I’m following him more closely.
- Satya Nadella – Quite possibly the best CEO in history, Satya changed Microsoft’s culture for the better while I worked there, and through his actions and writing, he continues to inspire my thinking around how I work and the impact I can have.
- Jason Fried – One of the founders of Basecamp. Ever since hearing his conversation with Tim Ferriss I’ve been studying how Basecamp does business with its customers as well as its employees. He’s written some fantastic books, blog posts and been in some incredible interviews. I’m looking forward to changing how I view business and work through learning from Jason this year.
- Adam Buxton – Ever since watching the Adam and Joe show I’ve been enjoying Adam’s particular style of humour and wit. A few years back he started a podcast where he has conversations with people like Louis Theroux, Simon Pegg and Charlie Brooker (creator of Black Mirror). The Adam Buxton podcast is funny, interesting and brings joy to anyone who listens.
If you want to take control and steer your year in the direction you want, try these 2 activities and feel the positive change happen around you. It works for me, I hope it works for you also.
Quote I’ve been pondering “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” – John F. Kennedy
I’ve been reading about why creativity is the most important skill in the world. It’s a good reminder that being creative is the ability to solve problems with relevance and novelty. Solving problems in original ways, both big & small is being creative. It means we’re all creative in some way at some point. If you have any doubts that you’re creative, then think about how you solve problems.
Favourite purchase – The Orbiloc safety light. It’s visible up to 5KM, 100% water proof, impact resistant and fits on almost anything. We have it for our dog Bertie (it’s a popular canine light in Denmark). If you have a dog or do any kind of activity in the dark (above or under water), then you can’t beat this light for visibility.
No New Years resolutions for me again this year, I’m following the Past Year Review that Tim Ferriss describes here. This method involves identifying your peak highs and lows from the previous year and making sure you’re including the peak highs in the next 12 months (and booking them on your calendar, they don’t count unless you’ve committed).
What we’ve been listening to at home – Guardians of the Galaxy 2 soundtrack. With songs like Mr. Blue Sky and Father & Son it’s hard not feel good while listening to this one. I’ve now added this soundtrack to my playlist of music at work. Give it a listen, I highly recommend it for increasing happy energy.
1.Quote I’ve been pondering “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one. ” Brad Paisley
2. Article I’ve been reading – Splashdatas top 100 worst passwords of 2018. It’s hard to believe that 123456 & password continue to be the top 2 passwords used across the internet. If you don’t have a good password the New Year is a great time to make that change.
3. Best purchase of December (outside of presents) – The HP OfficeJet 250 mobile All-in-One printer. This printer is small, it fits into my day rucksack. We wanted a printer at home that didn’t take up much room and this is perfect. It prints terrific photo quality, has smart phone compatibility, bluetooth or wireless connectivity and is fully loaded with all the features you’d expect from an All-in-One printer.
4. Book I’m reading (among others) – It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by the CEO and CFO at Basecamp. This book was a Christmas present from my wife’s parents and so far it’s a fantastic read. It starts with a brilliant premise, viewing your company as if it were a product. Leaders need to work as hard on their company as they do on their products. Most modern tech companies claim to be ‘non’ corporate nowadays, yet the reality is they are corporate. Setting goals, having free drinks, food and table football is actually corporate. Not being corporate is Basecamp, where they have no goals. Here’s a question: would sales numbers actually change one iota if a business didn’t set goals? Are those goals informing and improving the work done, or simply increasing the amount of stress and the chance that someone within the company will potentially compromise real values to meet those fake numbers? I think we all know the answer…
5. Firework season is upon us now New Years is around the corner. Our dog Bertie isn’t the biggest fan, though he is a fan of his Thundershirt. We’ve invested in this vest as it comforts him in times of stress (like fireworks). If you have a cat or a dog and wonder what you can do during fireworks then this vest is a fantastic investment.
Wishing you all a terrific weekend and Happy New Year celebration!