English literature and creative writing grad. Writing about self-improvement, books, happiness, and writing.

An elimination diet proved I felt better if I didn’t eat meat—but I needed a realistic plan to make long-term behavior change

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I love meat yet in May 2020, I began a transition period to go from meat-eater to vegetarian. Within a few months, I was fully vegetarian with no cravings for meat at all.

If you’ve eaten meat your whole life as I have, then you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s really hard to give up. You don’t just wake up one day and cut something out of your diet that you love, because that takes an inordinate amount of willpower. …


52 books — 1 book a week — a different theme each month — fiction and non-fiction — everything planned out for you

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Welcome to your 2021 reading challenge!

Below you’ll find a list of 52 books. Your challenge is to read 1 book a week, every week, in 2021. To keep it exciting, each month has a theme, and the list covers fiction and non-fiction books so there is something for everyone. Everything has been planned out for you so the only thing you need to do is buy the books.

*This article includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase via these links then I will receive a small commission but at no extra cost to you.*

Reading times have been added next to each book title to help you plan your week. And don’t forget to check out my tips at the end of this article on how to get the most out of a reading challenge. But for now, let’s dive into the list. …


Analysis of the techniques used by published writers, to help you master the art of great writing

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Consider this: One writer produces 40,000 words per year, another writer produces 400,000 words per year. Who do you think is going to be the better writer? I’d bet my life on the latter. How can I be so sure? Because I’ve been both of those writers.

For anyone arguing that quantity doesn’t equal quality, then let me tell you this: When you practice something, you make mistakes, a lot of mistakes, that is how you learn what works and what doesn’t. Therefore, it takes the writer who produces 40,000 words per year 10 years to learn from the same mistakes that the writer producing 400,000 words per year learns in just 12 months. …


Everyone can suffer from feeling gloomy occasionally, but these scientifically proven tips might help.

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At the time of writing, it’s just 3 days away from what is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year — Blue Monday. It falls on the third Monday in January, which makes it the 18th this year. There’s even a scientific formula for it.

[W+(D-d)]xTQ/MxNA

Or better explained as:

[(W)weather+(D)debt-(d)monthly salary] x (T)time since Christmas (Q)time since failure of attempt to give something up/(M)low motivational level x (NA) the need to take action

If you’re anything like me though then you don’t like formulas telling you how you should feel — this is probably why I love January. …


SATIRE

Life is sweet when you’re the better sex

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I wake up every day so stoked to be a man. It’s hard not to have a constant smile on your face when there are so many opportunities afforded to you just because you’re the stronger sex. I want to share with you just 5 of the many reasons why I love being a guy.

1. Men get to hold doors open for everyone

One of many free workouts men get every day. While women are throwing money away on expensive gym memberships, men get to work on their biceps and triceps just from all the doors we hold open.

If we’re lucky they’re heavy doors and we get to use our legs too. There have even been a few occasions when I’ve personally had to wedge the door open with my whole body. …


From morning habits to boosting productivity, here are the key takeaways from Dr. Stuart Farrimond’s latest book — The Science of Living

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“Multitaskers are 40% less productive than serial taskers.”

— The Science of Living

I’ve just finished reading The Science of Living: 219 Reasons to Rethink Your Daily Routine by Dr. Stuart Farrimond. It’s unlike any other productivity book I’ve ever read as it looks at the science behind our daily habits and debunks long-held beliefs about what our daily routines should actually look like.

We all have a 3-hour peak productivity window every day. What we do and eat during our lunch break determines how productive we are in the afternoon. It’s in our DNA to want to sleep 2 x per day. …


The ‘active recovery’ technique minimizes time spent on writing rejection recovery and helps to reduce rejection rates in the future

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Rejection: We spend far too much time trying to get over it, if we ever get over it at all, and this has a huge negative impact on our writing and consequently our future rejection rates.

I analyzed 400 pieces of my (fiction and non-fiction) writing, and I noticed a pattern. One rejection was always followed by two or three more. There were then several acceptances in a row before three or four rejections once again. The rejections weren’t just the same piece of writing simply being submitted elsewhere; they were new pieces.

What was wrong?

The negative impact of my first rejection had a knock-on effect on my next 2, 3, or 4 pieces of writing. In other words, it was taking me 2–4 days to recover from the first rejection. Looking at my writing in the days following a rejection, I can see that my writing was highly emotionally charged and not particularly professional — no wonder these pieces had been rejected. …


How to define what you want from life now and in the future

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There are 7.8 billion people on this planet, and we’re not all going to agree on what life should look like. I’m not going to tell you that there’s only one way to live your life because the perfect life for one person could be a living nightmare for the next.

One thing I’m 100% certain of, though, is that if we reduced what we want in life down to just one single emotion, then that emotion would be happiness.

Happiness is at the core of everything we strive for. What we’re asking ourselves when we pose the question ‘Is my life on the right track?’ …


If you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan then these magical stories will be right up your (diagon)ally.

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Can you believe that it’s been over a decade since the last book in the Harry Potter series — The Deathly Hallows — was published. If you’re looking for a magical fix then look no further. I’ve ‘Accio’d (get it?) 4 books that are sure to cast a spell over you.

1. A Deadly Education

by Naomi Novik


Research reveals that these qualities are integral to a long-term happy relationship

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What if there was a formula for a long-term successful relationship?

Dr. Stuart Farrimond in his latest book The Science of Living reveals that time and time again research shows that there are key traits found in all long-term successful relationships.

Similar interests and attitudes to social issues as well as good communication skills are some of the traits that always rank highly, and yet it’s the sexual traits that are rarely spoken about which have just as much if not more of an impact on relationship happiness and longevity.

‘Cherish intimacy because loving sexual contact is a feature of happy long-term relationships.’ …

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