Three tricks

1. Environmental design

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Hello, lunch. (LuAnn on Unsplash)

I think we can all agree chips are amazing.

Regardless of my intention to have healthy eating habits, when I buy a family size bag of chips (omg Twisties) I eat until I’m sick. Then as soon as I can move I grab the bag and finish it off. And feel sick again.

Scarfing down fried ‘taters is a pretty good way to quit being healthy. I know that. You know that. But still I quit eating well, and reach for chips.

Because… in the short term, deciding to quit takes less energy than choosing to persevere.

We’ve all been there — you worked all day, ran a thousand errands, fought with your significant other, volunteered, played sports…all the things. By this point Decision Fatigue is in full force. …


The psychology of opportunity

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Exciting or terrifying? Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

The one that got away, one big break, that singular pivotal moment that defined who you are…

Sometime during university I stopped singing. It would be easy to call music my “one that got away”.

But there’s a big problem with “the one…”

No one has complete information, or the calculating power, to fully understand the impact of each choice they make.

In The Fictional Dream of Optimization Charles Chu explains: to really know [the best life choices, even in hindsight], we’d have to know all possible futures and then (assuming you could even quantify ‘good’ or ‘bad’) do a dizzying amount of calculation to calculate the costs and benefits of each choice… Impossible.


Is poor posture why your neck and shoulders hurt? You can fix bad habits and relieve pain without even leaving your chair.

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Easy-peasy shoulder, lats, and chest stretch. Photo credit: rawpixel on Unsplash

About two years ago, I pulled my neck. I couldn’t move for three days. Excruciating pain shot down both sides of my body with every inhale.

After the muscle relaxants kicked in, I could wriggle my fingers. I used them to call work and say I wasn’t coming in.

“What happened??” asked my boss, after my gasped tale of paralysis.

Here’s the embarrassing thing: I didn’t know.

I was sleeping” I gasped, “ now my neck hurts and I can’t move.”

How can anything bad happen when you’re surrounded by pillows? Or sitting at your desk innocently reading an article on Medium? …


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Art meets science, Nasa’s photo of Great Exuma Island

And made you better at life

My mum programmed in C++ before it was cool (was it ever cool?), and certainly before women were supposed to do that sort of thing.

When I was 19, the same age she was married, Mum was granted her PhD in mathematics.

My father taught physics at an academically elite school.

My parents embody the love of science we have as a society. Science implies a level of certainty and rigor that art…well… doesn’t.

Frederick Taylor didn’t revolutionize business with The Principles of Artistic Management. Heaven forbid.

If you want to succeed at life, succeed at science. At the very least read self-help books that consolidate the science for you, so you can apply proven strategies to everyday living, right? …


And is it a scam? Contena review from a paying member, not an affiliate

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Image credit: Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Unlike many Contena reviews, this review is from a paid Contena member.

Below you’ll get brutally honest details about Contena from

  • My personal experience as a paying member, including screen shots
  • Comments from multiple people claiming to be Contena customers
  • Alternative writing resources, should you decide not to go with Contena
  • Can Contena influence reviews? Legal threats and affiliate partnerships

I worked hard to create a useful review for you, and believe it was accurate at the time it was written. Some details, like pricing, may have changed since then.

Like the comments from others, this review is opinion based on personal experience.


When good projects go bad.

We all have that one project. Maybe you wanted to write a novel, plan an event, or convince your partner to wash the dishes every once in a while.

You started. You worked hard. You made progress.

Then somehow you ended up with a pile of notes you’re struggling to organize, or an argument spanning from dishes to that one time five years ago when the back gate was left open.

My colleague and I built a giant report no one used.

You find yourself thinking “wow, this really got out of hand” or something less polite. …


My first Haibun

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Polar bears. Majestic. Adorable. Almost extinct. Give them a hand (image credit).

The point, says Basho, is a sense of Aware. I read and write and mix stories like paint, hoping to one day decipher the picture they create.

Haibun. “Prosimetric literary form”. Exploring meanings within meanings. Following links “Prosimetrum”. Mixing natural speech with poetic composition. Metric and fluid.

Haibun writers are clover roots. Hungry tips dappled in the land they are wide reaching, easily transplanted.

I think about moments in time. About stories, and being transplanted. “I’m sorry.” The thought plays over and over again. “You told your story. I didn’t listen.” The sound of being out of time sneaks up.

Suddenly outside,

Shocked spider running back to

warmth, froze in the grass


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Edu Lauton on Unsplash

They’re everywhere. How to spot one before it owns you.

My friend Sally swears sugar is destroying humanity.

Despite downing cider, burgers and cheesecake with the best of them, if you were to ask, she’d say she’s healthy because she doesn’t eat sugar.

Growing up I avoided fat like the plague, living on jelly beans, fruit and porridge because they were fat-free and therefore healthy.

I have since learned fat is essential on its own, and for helping your body absorb other nutrients.

Why are these eating habits so interesting?

The most powerful diet genre, the Cut Diet, gives you great insight into the way movements gather momentum.

Cut Diets promise health if we just cut out a specific food, or food group. They offer simple, straightforward solutions to a big, complex problem. …


And where it starts to make sense

2017. My fifth Thanksgiving. As an Australian-Canadian, I’ve seen way more Goon of Fortune than Thanksgiving.

At face value it seems simple and awesome. Relax. Give thanks.

Then it gets weird.

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Image credit

Gratitude vs. gluttony

On this grand day of gratitude, approximately 20-million turkeys are slaughtered every year in Canada, majority destined for the Thanksgiving table.

If these numbers referred to people, every October the entire population of New York, London, Sydney and Toronto would be wiped out.

In the U.S. this number jumps to around 45-million. …


He’s called The Grey streak.

That’s all I saw of him for the first hour. A grey streak tearing across my back yard in the middle of the night, from the shelter to the side fence.

He was a grey streak running the length of the fence as I slowly followed behind, in old runners so big I could step into them like sandals. Snow soaked the bottom of my pajamas.

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Shelter on my back deck, with a little heat mat and blankets. Paw prints this morning: it was used last night

It was negative-8 outside, dropping to negative-12 overnight (Celsius).

Cats, like people, can barely survive below freezing. If left outside, the Grey Streak would probably freeze to death overnight.

A few centimeters of snow covered an ice path to the back gate, solid and slippery after the previous melt. …

About

Carol Moynham

Loves making the world a better place and snacks.

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