Sunday, December 9, 2012

How To Stay Committed To Your Goal.

We here at Shore Leave Media, in our never ending quest for excellence, have been constructing myriad plans and goals and such.

And like you, dear reader, we have difficulty staying committed to our goals.

Write for 6 hours a day? No problem!

Want to change the entire way you approach exercise? Sounds great!

Instead, we write twice a month, and work out for 15 minutes once, on a Sunday.

We are not slaves to our habits and that is the problem. Habits must be formed, supported, abandoned, or changed. So, says we, we says - how shall we form a new habit?

How can we support that habit?

How do we abandon dead habits or change them for the good?

A quick Google search of How To Stay Committed To Your Goals reveals that we aren't the only ones struggling with this issue:

Pick the Brain

Our first hit is a post on This blogger recommends establishing a few regular practices or strategies that can solidify your commitment to your goals in the time between when you resolve to achieve them, and when you've actually habituated work towards them. He calls them 'goal props'. Quickly listed - they are:
* The Mantra
* The Ritual
* The Plan
* The Auto-Respnse
So, create a mantra to condition your thinking. Create regular routines or rituals to condition your practice. Make plans based on your goals to focus on the ideas you fall in love with. These tactics should lead to the auto-response, the situation of being so committed to your goals that when you need to decide whether to act for your goals or be a lazy bum, your desire to not act is overridden by your previous conditioning. These are solid techniques. the bread-and-butter of any behavior modification program.

Pickthebrain's insights are similar in many ways to the ideas of the luminaries of self-motivation, Franklin Covey, Zig Zigler, and Julien Smith.

The Flinch

Who's Julien Smith? Julian smith is the author of The Flinch. His premise is this: Just like championship boxers, we go through life facing many jabs, hooks, and other hazards. We can flinch. We can, potentially, protect ourselves. Sometimes flinching makes perfect sense. If an ember from a burning log flies towards your eyeball, you flinch, turn away and all is well. This momentary danger is averted; the flinch was a positive reflex. But if we were, say, a championship boxer, then danger is the name of the game. If we hope to succeed at all, we must not acquiesce to our flinch, we must be totally counter-intuitive and lean into the danger.

Life, and success in it, involves danger. It involves risk. We only get true reward from risking something we already have. Maybe it's money. Maybe it's comfort. Maybe the risk is time. But whatever it is, it is dear to us, and we flinch at losing it. Sure, the rewards for risking it are quite high. And that is why the flinch is so important to overcome.

If we condition ourselves to flinch at the inherent uncertainty of life, then we will never conquer that uncertainty. It is our own flinch-like responses to challenge that create a dynamic of perpetual give-up. And if it is giving-up that we wish to overcome, then it is the flinching at adversity that we must jettison.

My two favorite recommendations for training yourself to face the flinch is to start every morning with a cold shower (definitely a flinch inducer) and starting a conversation with a random stranger every day.

Franklin Covey

I've attended a number of Franklin Covey training seminars over the years and I think the advice offered in those courses is good for those looking to improve their quality of life.

One course offered by Franklin Covey is the Four Disciplines of Execution.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution from The FaQtory on Vimeo.

The premise the Four Disciplines is that we have no dearth of good ideas. What we have is a dearth of discrimination. "Had we but world enough and time," Marvell told his coy mistress. If we could live forever, we could accomplish every good idea we ever had. But time's winged chariot moves quickly as we march toward vast deserts of eternity, and accomplishment depends on focusing on Wildly Important Goals amidst the whirlwind of life. So write down 2-3 VERY VERY Important Things You REALLY REALLY Want To Do and make an accomplishment chart of the steps you need to take to reach the finish line.

The 3 Keys of Change
Zig Zigler passed recently, but his echoing song lives on. Let's finish this post with simplicity, the truest form of accomplishment and goal attainment. The following is a slogan I have been carrying around in my mind and mouth for the past year. It comes from Seth Godin's Domino Project based on Zig's advice for forming new habits. The slogan is based on the idea that change is possible and change results from three simple steps. Here are the 3 keys of change:

1. Small steps work
2. Consistent effort works
3. Group support works.

That is all. Please share your thoughts and struggles in committing to change in the comment section below. All the best.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Jersey Mike's - Mike's way...

Jersey Mike's has its way. It's like Jersey Mike was the 6th wheel of the Five Guys. So when they cut him out of the Burger start-up, he started a sandwich shop instead.

Their sandwiches are large and their staff makes me feel uncomfortable; just like being in Jersey. And then I saw this in the meat-cooler.

Apparently, Mike's way is to keep his Hot Ham on ice...

Jersey Mike's Hot Ham, Added water else it's too damn hottt

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dumb dog, why are you followin' me?*

Hurricane Sandy from Space

Hurricane Sandy has been devastating. The full extent will take weeks to uncover, but this is no fly-by-night recovery. More to come in the days ahead, but I wanted to point out the fabulous job Gizmodo is doing covering the storm and its consequences - despite having been knocked off of their regular servers. Kudos to the Gawker franchise.
*3 points for anyone who can explain the title reference

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Zomney Apocalypse

Thank God Joss Whedon is looking out for all of us:

HA! Man he's good! I especially love, "No one knows if they'll be the super fast ones from 28 days later, or just the old school shambly ones. But they'll be out there, and they'll need brains."

Of course, I'll just point out that if our nation becomes insolvent, then we also lose our schools and health care. Then our zombies will sound like this:

No joke, though - when the Occupoopers were loitering in our city, my husband didn't want me going that way without a sharp blade for fear of Zombie attack! But it actually starts to make sense: The Occupy 'movement' encouraged ignorance and uncivil behavior. The above example is one of thousands that were documented of someone spouting off an ignorant - often child-like - misconception of how the world works at the top of their lungs while vilifying a group and verbally assaulting an individual. Their onslaught often feels like a beleaguering and unstoppable corpse of speech scraping at your face shouting, "BRAINS."  

The Occupy 'movement' encouraged unwashedness and disanitation. It's prime infection spreading living! On the street, no showers or bathrooms, free drugs and freer sex. Max Brooks couldn't have written it more perfectly (well actually, he did). 

Third, the Occupy 'movement', when it moved, often moved in packs, trolling down the road moaning. 

Maybe that was singing, not moaning. Maybe they're protesters, not zombies. Maybe they're hip new hippies who don't bathe because hygiene is oppression, and not risen corpses animated to locomotion with an unquenchable thirst for grey matter. Maybe they support Marxism without the intellectual riggor, and not eating brains, Brains, BRAINS! But only maybe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Google's Terms and Conditions

The T&C of Google Adsense Section 5, subsection xi states:
"You shall not, and shall not authorize or encourage any third party to...(xi) engage in any action or practice that reflects poorly on Google or otherwise disparages or devalues Google’s reputation or goodwill." 
Indeed. We wholeheartedly agree. Who would dare disparage or devalue all that Google give us? But just what does Google give us? 

In the Atlantic in 2008, Nicholas Carr writes that, 
"Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. "
That's pretty valuable. But we asked, "What does Google give us?"

Again from Nicholas Carr, referring to the internet and its high church - Google:  
It’s becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV...The company has declared that its mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It seeks to develop “the perfect search engine,” which it defines as something that “understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.” "
Nothing sinister about that. Most of adult life is the administration of paper work and information and your bills and whatnot why wouldn't you want super powerful computers and super smart  Taylorists managing our brains? 

According to Hans Reimer of Market Vantage Google oversees: 
    • Who I am and where I live
    • All of my email addresses and passwords
    • My Facebook and Twitter usernames and passwords and, by extension, what’s on my Facebook page, who my friends are, what I’m tweeting and about and who I am following
    • The name, address, employer, phone numbers, and email addresses of everyone I have even a tenuous relationship with, because I have over 2,000 contacts
    • Pictures of my family, friends, and places I have visited
    • My shopping list plus what movies I want to see and what books I want to read  because I keep these in Notes that I sync with my Android phone
    • What I will be doing for the foreseeable future and what I have done in the past – it’s all in my Google Calendar
    • Where I am right at this moment to within a couple of meters, what direction I am moving in and how fast I am going
    • What I am discussing with people via email
    • What I search for on Google
    • What websites I visit, assuming I use Chrome as my browser
    • What is on my to-do list
    • Any content in my Google documents

Sounds helpful. That is quite a lot of information about me readily available and vulnerable. So of course I wouldn't want to disparage or devalue such a powerful entity. It's less terms and conditions and more a statement of self-interest. 

Carr even admits that he's a reactionary Luddite and points to many instances of supporters of the status quo bemoaning the coming of a new technological age as the greatest evil. They were all proved wrong for they only saw the end of what they knew. They were blind to what was to be. 

So three chairs for Google! 

3 chairs for Google

As a post script, this article would not have been possible were it not for the kindness that Providence Google gives us all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Home New Normal

Shore Leave Media - Foreclosing on Your Future
Shore Leave Media is proud to take up our new nesting place here on blogger. Old content is still at our Wordpress blog for now, please wander through our juvenilia at your leisure. This is a place for grown up things and grown up ideas. Peter Pan will have to suck it up and make it to the staff meeting at 8:30 or he's gone. Don't worry, with an job market like this, we can always get someone new.

Speaking of New...

Now I have nothing to say of their politics - only that I think they actually walk a fine line - but I do enjoy watching the New Normal. As we get situated here, be thankful Mr Shore isn't having my baby.

This show is as campy as I thought it would be, coming from Ryan Murphy who was also creator of the wildly successful and sickly nauseating Glee. But beyond the caricature that each character dances around descending into, we find astoundingly honest and modern takes on all of the hot button issues you hope presidential candidates will ignore.

The New Normal also does a great job of smashing up stereotypes and mashing them together. Take the character Nana. She is the surrogate's grandmother, herself a young slutty mother once upon a time. Today she is an Arizona right of right, conservative family values taken with klingon intensity. She is crass and hostile to just about everyone. But even so, she's a necessary foil who's pretty much aware that she plays that role. It's the only thing that drowns out the camp - how self aware all the choreography and social tropes seem in the show. Somehow I buy how deeply everyone is going through the motions.