A purple to blue gradient with a white wrench and white text reading April 2023 'Tools of Titans' + Why Do We Poison Our Homes

April 2023: ‘Tools of Titans’ + Why Do We Poison Our Homes?

These recaps are usually posted and sent at the beginning of the month. But this one has a very good reason for being delayed: I just moved across the country, from Iowa to Alabama! Missing my home state but enjoying the warmer weather and good hiking.

And, just in case my father is reading this, my Iowa Hawkeye gear has not been joined by any Alabama football merch. He can breathe a sigh of relief. 

Here’s my April recap: 

Best Book I Read This Month 

Tools Of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss is such a fascinating read. Built on years and years of notes Ferriss took from interviews, the book is essentially a lengthy ‘how to’ manual with all sorts of tips, tricks, and best practices. You can find it here

Best Article I Read This Month

A new tactic for holding police accountable? Tracking the numbers. Click here for an interesting read about how police are being held accountable through spreadsheets. 

Tip + Trick of the Month

It is really hard to fight your environment when you’re trying to build new habits. I got lucky and just moved to a new house that I thoughtfully set up to encourage the habits I want to see in my life. But even if you’re staying in the same house (office, neighborhood, etc.), is there a way you could reorder things to make maintaining healthy habits simpler? 

Quote of the Month

“Ours is a culture where we wear our ability to get by on very little sleep as a kind of badge of honor that symbolizes work ethic, or toughness, or some other virtue—but really, it’s a total profound failure of priorities and of self-respect.” -Tim Ferriss

Kelvey’s Thought for the Month

Since developing a thyroid condition, I’ve been learning more about endocrine disruptors in the home. All the research led to one question: WHY do we insist on poisoning our homes? 

Cleaning products. 

Food products.

Laundry products.

Shower products. 

A huge percentage of the things we use around our house every day have ingredients that are seriously damaging to our health. Endocrine disruptors and carcinogens are incredibly common. It’s insane that we trade our health away for household products. 

This week, I would challenge you to take a look at a few products you regularly use. Look up the ingredients. You may even want to ditch the product and choose something better for your health. Small swaps around the house could end up having a huge impact on your health. 

Enjoy the start of your summer. I’ll catch you next month.

May 2022 I Hate Running and You Can Too + Doing Over Data

May 2022: I Hate Running and You Can Too + Doing Over Data

Is it officially summer now? Here’s a May recap as we head into June. 

Best Book I Read This Month 

Running is not my workout of choice. It isn’t even my cardio of choice. But after listening to Brendan Leonard, creator of the Semi-Rad brand, on a podcast, I had to pick one of his books up. I Hate Running and You Can Too is, in my opinion, not just for people who want to run (although it will definitely get you athletically motivated). I think it’s a great (short, funny, visual…) read for anyone thinking about doing and discipline. Buy it or learn more here. 

Best Article I Read This Month

Okay…I’m shamelessly promoting my own work this month instead of a different author’s piece. I recently spent some time in New York City (hence the Phantom of the Opera photo in the header) and was excited to see all the ferry terminal information boards highlighting projects I had written about, and am even more excited now that the piece has officially published. Coastal cities have coastal problems – oysters are one cool solution. Read it here. 

Tip + Trick of the Month

Get sneaky about your food to hit your goals. Need to up your protein? Buy protein pasta, dress every possible dish up with Greek yogurt, sneak protein powder into desserts. Need to eat more leafy greens? Blend them up, saute them into a pasta dish, cook them so you can’t tell they’re there. You don’t have to be miserable to win in the kitchen, just clever. 

And trying to give up meat but can’t quite make it work? Let me know. I can help.

Quote of the Month

“Forget the noun, do the verb.” -Austin Kleon

Kelvey’s Thought for the Month

Yesterday, I managed to snap my Apple Watch off my wrist in the gym parking lot and the screen shattered. (Yes, I now know that they make tempered glass screen protectors for your smartwatch too.) After staring at my broken screen for a good long minute, do you know what I nearly did? 

I nearly got back in my car and left instead of walking into the gym and working out. 

Setting aside the fact that yesterday was the Mondayest Tuesday ever, why did that thought pop into my head? I was literally standing outside the gym, and I’m a person who enjoys working out. But those factors didn’t seem to matter in the moment – what mattered is that I wouldn’t have the data from the workout. 

I wouldn’t be seeing the calories burned and steps counted. I wouldn’t be seeing how long the workout was. I wouldn’t be contributing toward any of my automatically recorded digital goals. 

Be proud, reader – I still went in and checked off leg day. But that thought process served as a warning to me that I would like to pass along. We all treat data as king, but it is the actual doing that is most important, not the recording of the doing. Take that as you will, apply it liberally. 

Have a great June. I’ll see you next month.

5 COVID-19 Habits I'm Keeping

5 COVID-19 Habits I’m Keeping

COVID-19 made us all adapt huge portions of our lives – including our habits. Some of these habit adaptations were negative (Netflix, we really need to stop meeting each other like this). But some of these new habits were pretty positive.

Here are five habits picked up during COVID-19 that I’m planning on keeping: 

Religiously Sanitizing Gym Equipment

I definitely already used hand sanitizer religiously when at the gym but, gross admission, I was pretty lax when it came to thoroughly sanitizing my gym equipment. Then COVID struck. Fast forward to today, and the idea of touching gym equipment that hasn’t been wiped down grosses me out. 

Normalizing Canceling Plans When Sick

It was incredibly easy to cancel plans during COVID-19 when you felt sick – just add in a, “Sorry, but I want to be cautious, especially right now.” But why do we need that disclaimer to cancel plans or use sick days? You’re sick, germs are real, and healing takes rest – cancel the plans with no remorse. 

Spending Extra Time Making Pets Happy

When you’re away from your pets for a lot of time during the day, you miss many of their habits and what makes them happy. The part of COVID-19 I have LOVED is working from home and getting to see my dogs for much more of the day. I now know exactly how much they like to sleep during the day, what toys they will play with, and the number of times my dachshund wants me to give him scratches (note: it is far more than reasonable). And knowing these things, I WANT to do what makes them happy. They’re a part of my life – I am their entire life, so I want to make it good for them. 

Listening To Your Body When Planning Workouts

Before COVID-19 I would usually push myself through hard workouts, even if my body was telling me not to do it. Now, I can recognize when I need to keep pushing and when I need to adjust. Hard workouts are good – they aren’t good ALL the time. 

Making Things From Scratch

I would bake from time to time before COVID-19, but the number of things I made from scratch during this stretch exploded (at least, by my standards). Normal bread? Sure. But cornbread, frozen Greek yogurt, homemade mug cakes, hot chocolate mix, and more too. Everything tastes better when you make it yourself…and, you know, do it well. 

What are the COVID-19 habits that you want to have stick around?

You set yourself up for failure in 2019 when you treat your goals and resolutions the same way - here's why.

Why Your Resolutions And Your Goals Need To Be Different

Welcome to 2019! This is the year that you will finally pull yourself together, accomplish your dreams, and knock out your goals.

Or so you tell yourself. Obviously, this year will be different than 2018, 2017, 2016… Continue reading “Why Your Resolutions And Your Goals Need To Be Different”

moon rising and "the next phase starts now"

the next phase starts NOW

I’ve been using the month of January to study through Proverbs, and it has rocked my world. However, there have been a few specific verses scattered throughout that although subtle, shared a common theme: that of being a wife, particularly, a good or godly one. Continue reading “the next phase starts NOW”