They say it takes 21-days to form a habit (some say it's closer to 66-days) so perhaps this update is too soon to tell any long-term benefits.
But if the first 2-weeks are any indication, then this might have been the best decision I've made in a long time. Read on to see the list of changes I've instituted in the past 15 days.
Quick Update on My Reading Commitment
I didn't post about this originally, but I've decided to read one book a week in 2016. Ambitious, I know. But it's actually not that bad once you boil it down.
As part of the 4-hour work week exercises, I timed my reading speed to see how fast I was reading and if I could bump up my rate of cognition.
I found my baseline reading was 336 words per minute.
Not bad. But if I could push that just 25% higher, I could read another book every 4-weeks.
After several tests, I was able to get 749 WPM. That's a 123% increase.
Whew, I can read 200 books this year with that speed!
Now to be fair, this was blazing through and catching some but not all of the content. But I guess that's speed reading for you, right?
Now, my average WPM is most likely going to be in the 400 range given the fact that I take more time with certain books than others (for instance, Running Lean I blazed through, but 4-hour Work Week I took a lot more time because it was planning / workbook like almost).
This exercise really helped break down my reading to a daily goal: 40 pages.
He estimated that the average book size he read was 250 - 300 pages. And if he read 40-pages a day, then he could knock out his required reading and meet his 1 book per week goal.
He also said he reads first thing in the morning before his day starts. That way, he'll for sure get it done.
Important tip: Schedule your must do activities early in the day so you don't put them off
He's got some other good tidbits on his journey so check out his post.
Now moving on, what books have I read?
Here's the books I've read YTD:
- Zero To One by Peter Thiel
- 4-hr Work Week by Tim Ferris
- Running Lean by Ash Maurya
- Don't Just Roll The Dice by Neil Davidson (e-book)
- Pitching Hacks by Venture Hacks (e-book)
- The Marketers Pocket Guide to Writing Well by Hubspot (e-book)
You can check out my Goodreads profile for quick reviews of the above and see what I'm reading now.
Discipline is a muscle.
I've found that once you start being ruthless with your dedication on a certain task that other things come easier.
The decision to read more has led to a drastic change in my chosen inputs of all kinds as well as an emphasis on personal productivity.
It wasn't even planned, but I must say, I feel more focused and hungry.
YTD List of Changes / Accomplishments
- Cut out Netlfix (except for a show on the weekend which was the compromise with Robyn).
- I have not listened to pop music. I've only listened to Beethoven, Bach, and Christian Music.
- Read 6 books
- Published 2 blog posts (including this one), began or edited 2 more
- Ahead of Read the The Bible in 1-year goal
- Sold my truck
- Gave away stuff to Goodwill (2x)
- Unsubscribed from 167 promotional emails (yeah, tell me about it)
- Fasted 1-day (something I plan to do more: intermittent fasting)
- Started a detailed food journal
- Deleted and reorganized my iPhone apps
- Got a library card
- Instigated a daily calendar for myself
- Re-organized my computer filing system
- Got a new notebook and started taking more notes.
- Done a lot of dreamlining and muse consideration as well as future planning / thinking
- I've probably listened to about 10 podcasts give or take
Some of these things have been on my list for a LONG TIME. Removing distractions, prioritizing, executing...
Wow, I kind of like this reading stuff.
There's been other benefits I won't post here but I'd love to chat with anyone over coffee about them if they want to know more.
I also made a "Do more" and "Do less" list. For accountability, I'm posting them here.
Things I want to do MORE of:
- Working out / exercising (probably do this 2x / week on avg, should be 4x - 5x)
- Visual goal-setting (posting things up and have a nice visual to stay on track, keep eye on the prize(s)
- Bible Study
- Date night / purposeful planning
- Serving others
- Being outside
- Dinner with friends
- Focused skill development
- Reading resources / research on my gut health (still on this crazy diet but not much improvement in my stomach health yet)
Things I want to do LESS of:
- Checking email on my phone (need to institute the batching at certain times)
- Social media on phone (when waiting in lines, bored, etc. I revert back to the twitter, instagram, and facebook)
- Basically I don't want to be tied to my phone (maybe I'll start shutting it off one-day per week)
- Defensive attitude / behavior (this is a tough one for me and something I've struggled with a long time). I've been reading The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert and he said something that struck me: "Defensive Behavior, invites aggressive action." Gary's a surgeon with words.
- Drinking coffee (I probably average 4 - 6 cups / day)
- Eating less chips (I eat a LOT of tortilla chips)
- Complaining (I'd like to do the 21-day no complaint experiment)
More updates to come I'm sure.
But what about you? How has your progress been on your new year's resolutions? Shoot me an email and let me know: luke [at] luketucker [dot] com.