May 2019 was full on. I was working on content for my new website while working through anxiety about business growth. Lots of learning opportunities. Watch the video for full discussion of three things I learned, or read abridged version with hyperlinks below the video.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
I’ve been reading Atomic habits by James Clear. It’s one of the most practical, clearest books on habits that I’ve ever read. It comes with a fabulous downloadable two-page cheat sheet. This sheet provides a two-page summary for building good habits and breaking bad habits. He has four laws for building good habits, with the inverse of these for breaking bad habits. For example, to build a good habit make it obvious; to break a bad habit make it invisible. I recommend reading the whole book rather than going straight to the cheat sheet. This way you get an understanding of why the laws work and examples of how they work.
One principle I’ve applied is that habits are based on identity. How we see ourselves shapes our choices. These choices then reinforce our identity. I found myself just asking a simple questions based on identity. For instance, “What would a healthy person do?” When I’m faced with a choice about going to the gym, or eating a certain types of food sometimes it’s just enough to ask myself “What would a healthy person do?” to make a good choice
Producing Videos for my Website
I had a new website built during May. I decided to produce a series of videos for the site. I wanted them to be more polished than my usual videos. The first 4-minute video I made took me four hours and 16 takes to make. (Phew!) The last one I made took 20 minutes and one take. In my May ‘What I Learned’ video I discuss the equipment I used (some very low-tech components as per the photo below) and expand on the following tips:
1) Lighting – getting the right mix of natural and artificial light
2) Think about what you will say – I used prompts on cards
3) Background – keep it clean and clear
4) Use subtitles – I use Recastly for mine
5) Decide where to post the videos – I posted these videos on Vimeo rather than YouTube. Vimeo gives a less cluttered look when embedded on a website compared to YouTube. This matched the more polished appearance I wanted for these videos. Also you can replace a video on Vimeo and maintain the same url. This means that if I update any of these videos in the future all I need to do is replace them on Vimeo.
Self-Management – Managing my Emotions
I entered the month on a plateau in regard to how I felt about my business. I felt stuck in regard to how to grow my business and anxious about whether I was making good choice to continue building a business rather than seeking employment. I recognised my state of mind being described in a webinar I attended. It’s normal (regardless of your work or personal situation) to feel a bit flat or stuck occasionally.
Three things that really helped me to move through this state over a couple of weeks were:
1) Reducing complaining an improving my self-talk
2) Mixing with more positive people
3) My support network – our relationships and the people we surround ourselves with are critical to helping us to move forward, grow and achieve our goals.
A big, big Thank You to my colleagues and friends who are always there with support and encouragement.