We are currently living in a hyperconnected world, a world in which nobody has ever seen before. We have everything at our fingertips and can contact anyone from around the world.
Well, not really, as we are superficially connected online with our “friends” and are more isolated than ever. Today’s struggle with isolation links to addiction, violence, and depression. The World health organisation has reported that more people kill themselves than die from all wars and natural disasters.
we are superficially connected online with our “friends” and are more isolated than ever.
Saying no to things in order to say yes to the important things
Saying no to negative thoughts and to things that I believe are not essential. We can say no to zoom calls, watching Netflix, sleeping in so that we can say yes to reading, exercising, and being productive on our business.
Trying to select the no option at times will help you steer away from the negative choices and towards the positive ones.
Book 1: Weight Room Wisdom: Lessons In Leadership From 99 Strength Coaches
Fantastic book from the legendary strength coach Dan John. This book is made up of stories from 99 of the best S&C coaches in the world. Written to inspire and motivate both coach and athlete. It is broken up into mini metaphorical and personal stories that can be read over your morning coffee.
SSC Top Tip: Read one chapter per day, it is a straightforward read, and you could do it over one sitting, but I feel you will take more away if you take your time and focus on one per day.
Book 2: Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones
In recent times I have read many books on habits and habit change but is by far the best out there. James breaks it down to small, manageable chunks for you to digest, which links to how he shows us how to attack this area of our lives. James explains it is not about making significant changes, but tiny ones and then building on that.
SSC Top Tip: This book is very practical, so implement the ideas as you read the book. Don’t just read the book through and put it all into practice at the end. Implement it as you read along.
Book 3: Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
This Is the debut book from the minimalists, two best friends who walked away from six-figure salaries and started to focus on what is essential in life. After life-changing events, Josh and Ryan discovered minimalism, which allowed them to remove all excess things in their lives.
SSC Top Tip: Check out their Documentary on Netflix along with reading the book, as it helps the reader a greater picture.
We can all relate to this story. Finally bought that bestselling book, it is neatly sat next to the bed. The first night works an absolute dream, and you read 10 pages. The second night, not so much, and you get in 5 pages. On the third night, you could only handle one page as George from work dumped that silly end of month report on your desk. Now what? Yes, its probably gathering dust along with the rest of them that ‘you will get to sometime.’
“insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”Albert Einstein
As stated by Einstein himself, if you keep doing the same things, you will not get a different result. Therefore, if you wish to start reading again, you need to change your habits around reading. By changing these habits, you will gradually build up more and more reading hours.
Which brings us nicely on to my recommended reading tips:
Wake up 20 minutes earlier and read with your favorite hot drink. By doing this, you create a habit of reading early in the day, which will prevent you from being rushed as the day progresses.
Small steps – Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t expect to sit down and read the whole book in one sitting. Start with reading 5 to 10 pages per day. This will help you build momentum and that habit, which is required for long term reading.
A pretty obvious one, but make sure you enjoy the book! Don’t just read it because everyone else has. If you don’t enjoy the book, this will link to you not enjoying reading, which will turn you off the idea. It is ok to put down the book and change it for another. Personally, I read about 25% of the book (easy to measure with a kindle!) before I decide to keep on reading or replace it.
Set up a reading area. This does not have to be the fancy reading corners you see on social media. This can be any area in your home, in which you can get comfortable and enjoy the experience.
Be accountable. Try to link up with a friend who may read the same book. This will give you more of an incentive to read it, so you chat and discuss when you next meet up face to face or over zoom!
I hope these tips help you in your quest to get reading more and feel free to let me know in the comments below which book you choose to read.
Morning routines? – what are they, are they needed, some may say yes, others no. However, today, I will talk about my routine so you may get some ideas if you are contemplating beginning one yourself. This is not to say you should follow this exact routine, the critical thing is to do whatever sets you up for the day ahead.
In regards to waking up, I try to get up between 6-7am each morning as I feel I have wasted the morning if I get up any later than that. Usually, this is followed by the making of morning coffee along with a quick clean of the kitchen. This idea was proposed by James Clear in his fantastic book ‘Atomic Habits.’ James suggests that try to follow a habit directly after another (the cleaning of the kitchen after making the coffee). This is followed by sitting in a reading corner, located in our room. We did not have this corner before lockdown, but this time at home has really opened our eyes to the importance of having one.
Now the routine really begins, it starts off usually with a guided meditation using the 10% Happier app. It is an excellent app as it has various levels and times which can suit every individual. This is followed by listening and reading the daily stoic podcast and book. These are both by Ryan Holiday and would definitely recommend if you are interested in stoicism (like myself). These are only a few minutes long and are great with your morning coffee! The final part of my morning routine is 20 minutes of reading. This typically various from texts in stoicism such as Meditations, Letters from a Stoic, etc. to other non-fiction books that I may be currently reading.
In total, the routine takes about 45 minutes as I like to take my time, but this can be easily cut down to 30 minutes. At the moment, this routine is going well as I am currently based at home, but when work returns, I may have to adjust it. I hope this gives you some ideas in regards to what you could potentially do in your morning routine and feel free to let me know what your morning routine involves in the comments below!