Weekly Challenge 3: Meditate

Hope everyone who participated in the 1st 2 weekly challenges has had great success, and is excited for this weeks. Feel free to continue to keep up the previous challenges as there may be future ones that build off of them 😉

I have the feeling that some of you have already dismissed me as a new age wacko from the title of this weeks challenge alone, but there have been plenty of studies that have shown the long term benefits of meditation. Whether your goal is reduced stress, increased relaxation, or clarity of purpose meditation may just be the key.

Speaking frankly this has been a habit I’ve tried to build up for quite some time and have had little success sticking with so I’m hoping this challenge and all of you will help to keep me accountable.

But where to start? There are a number of apps out there and I’ll list a few I know of below. I’ve also read numerous blog posts and listened to a number of podcasts on the subject so a quick “google” should point you in the right direction. At the end of the day it all seems to boil down to this…

  • Find a quiet place
  • Sit still
  • Count your breaths
  • When your mind wanders (and it will), return to your breathing

To join the challenge follow this link or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you complete your meditation, be sure to “check in” on coach.me.

Some apps to help with the meditation habit:

The Gratitude Journal

As you likely know this weeks challenge to to journal every day. I’m glad that I’ve been successful everyday, but if I am honest I have been successful at doing so this entire year!

What is new for me is the keeping of a separate “gratitude journal”. I’m not sure where I first heard about the practice, but if you read up on productivity, life hack, and minimalism topics (like I have a tendency to) it will undoubtedly come up.

Originally I tried to incorporate it into my daily journal, but found I just wasn’t making time for it and it wasn’t called out enough. What has been working for me is to do the gratitude journal 1st thing in the morning which helps set a more positive track for the day, and then journaling about what happened during the day right before bed.

If you’re not keeping a “gratitude journal” I would strongly encourage it. Even though it’s only been a few days it’s still fun to read, and they help bring a smile to my face.

How to find and replace text in a string using Perl

To replace specific text in a string with other text, using perl, the syntax is…

$fullString =~ s/$findString/$replaceString/;

Weekly Challenge 2: Journal

Hope everyone who participated in the 1st weekly challenge had great success, and is excited for this weeks. Feel free to continue to keep up the 1st challenge as there may be future ones that build off of it 😉

For week 2 the challenge is to journal daily. Whether you call it a journal, diary, log, or chronicle the point is the same: to record your daily experiences so that you can reflect back on them. Plus, someday it may be interesting for your kids or family to read about your daily life after you’re gone.

But what to journal? Anything you want really, but here are a few ideas:

  • Your feelings or workout
  • What you had to eat
  • What you did that day
  • What you’re grateful for
  • That you’re doing this crazy weekly challenge some guy named Mark came up with

But where to journal? Choose what you will, but my preference is the Day One app for iPhone and Mac. Other options could be Evernote (cross platform), Journey (Android), or good old paper and pen.

Again, you may be asking what the challenge is if you’ve been a long time journaler, but if you’re like me you may have tried and stopped or been quite inconsistent. Here’s a chance to build up that consistency, and like the 1st weekly challenge this may be a foundational habit to challenges coming up. 😉

To join the challenge click here or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you complete your journal entry, be sure to “check in” on coach.me.

Apple vs FBI

So my mom asked my opinion on the current standoff between Apple and the FBI over their insistence on building a back door into the iPhone “just this once” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). As I said to her…

I completely agree with Apple’s stance. Once they create such a method to circumvent the security on the phone, I guarantee it will be ordered to do so from now until eternity. That is unless you believe everything the government and law enforcement tell you. In that case, then yes it will be just one time (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Let’s also address certain politicians insistence on “opening up” security and “using our heads”…

START: Sarcasm and Contempt
Yeah, let’s open up security all over the place. In fact, then no one will ever be able to transmit anything securely ever again. Hint: “open up” just means lets build in a vulnerability, a bug – intentionally!! You didn’t want your credit card info submitted securely now do you? Probably should let the gov’t be able to scan all your photos and financial documents, and travel plans, and basically anything that’s stored digitally. Not like that’s everything now a days.

Not that hackers or “bad guys” would take advantage of that or anything. Gahh!!

END: Sarcasm and Contempt

Weekly Challenge 1: Nothing Alaming

Welcome to the first in a series of weekly challenges. This first one is “nothing alarming”, and anyone should be able to do it.

Simply pick a time you’re comfortable waking up. Set an alarm, and wake up when it goes off.

What’s the challenge here? For some it may be waking up to an alarm. But here’s the kicker… No using the “snooze” and you have to wake up at the same time on the weekend (and tomorrow if you have it off).

To join the challenge search in coach.me for “WC01” or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you wake up to your alarm, be sure to “check in” on coach.me.

Join my weekly challenge!

I would like to invite all of you to a little series of weekly challenges! Doing something for a day doesn’t provide much benefit. Asking to do something for an entire month may be too much…

But we can all do something for a week. Who knows. You may like it!

My goal is to post each challenge on Sunday right here on MarkJacobsen.net and provide a link to the goal on coach.me where you can check in each day, chat with others participating in the challenge, and follow your progress.

At the end of the week, if you want to keep up the challenge as a regular habit keep it around. If you want to just move onto the next do that.

What are these challenges going to be? Who knows. Some may be easy. Others more difficult. They could be heath, diet, or productivity related. They may even be categorized as something else.

Your first challenge is to go out and download the coach.me app from the iTunes App Store or the Play Store, create an account, get logged in, and follow me so I know you’re playing along.

The first challenge will be posted Sunday.