25 February 2016

life's a game

Eric Barker is the only blogger I subscribe to, and I love this week's post. Enjoy.

This Is The Most Fun Way To Make Your Life Awesome

“Working on your goals” is usually not fun. It’s way too formal and serious. And that’s one of the reasons we quit.
So how can you build good habits, improve yourself and have a great life — while still having a blast?
I decided to call an expert on the subject. Steve Kamb is the bestselling author of Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story.
Steve meshes psychology with video games, movies and pop culture to make achieving goals enjoyable. He’s also the “Rebel Leader” at Nerd Fitness where he’s helped nearly 300,000 people achieve their fitness goals.
What’s his secret? Steve says you need to turn your life into a game. Sound silly? It is. But it works. Steve’s ideas can help you get the life you want — and they’re spectacular for motivating kids as well.
When I hear something over and over from very different sources, I take notice. And “make it a game” is one of those things:
Warning: There is much silly ahead. But silly is fun. And this is the kind that can help you achieve your dreams and live a better life.
Let the games begin…
 What’s Your “Next Level”?
We all know we’re supposed to set goals for ourselves and… Sorry, I’m already yawning. “Goals” are so formal and stuffy.
So let’s look at life like a video game. What are your levels? What do you need to accomplish to unlock that next reward?
You need to get to 100 points to unlock the ability to buy that shiny new thing you’ve been wanting. Every hour you spend working on that awful project for work gets you 10 points.
Or every time you visit the gym gets you 10 points. Want to be a better parent? 20 points for every hug you give your child. Here’s Steve:
As I was contemplating this idea of improving myself, I thought back to why all these games were so addicting to me. I wasn’t aware at the time, but behavioral psychology and game mechanics often go hand in hand. Specifically this idea of the “Progress Principle” — that progress is the most motivating thing. I started to apply these ideas to my life, and thought, “Instead of getting addicted to another video game, why don’t I apply those game mechanics to my life and get addicted to improving myself?” I took the goals I wanted to achieve and created “levels” so that I could see consistent progress and feel good everyday.
And Steve’s right about the research. Harvard’s Teresa Amabile found that nothing is more motivating than progress.

19 February 2016

getting pregnant is hard

To clarify, *I* am not trying to get pregnant. We are done/shop is closed/that ship has sailed (for us)/we are happy with two.

But my friends are discussing when to start trying to get pregnant, and I suddenly remembered when my partner and I were first trying. Prior to this, we thought if we didn't use some kind of protection, we'd be zapped by pregnancy immediately. Ha!

I want to set some things straight, and I hope this can help someone out there feel more prepared. Knowledge is power, so let's get powerful.

1. It's not that easy to get pregnant.

There is basically this teeny tiny window of a few days each month where pregnancy is even possible, and some months, nothing will happen for no obvious reason at all. It's supposed to take up to a year for healthy couples to get pregnant, which means (for the non-math-inclined) there are eleven months of not getting pregnant without any causes other than chance.

02 February 2016

another happy dance around the world

I enjoy living under a rock, but I somehow missed this video that came out four years ago. In any case, it's an awesome follow-up to my favorite video of all time.