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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

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Here’s how to create a winning one

Photo: Watcharin Panyawutso/EyeEm/Getty Images

You’ve surely heard the protest chant:

But imagine walking by a protest and hearing this:

Doesn’t have the same ring to it.

And yet that’s closer to how we talk to ourselves when we’re trying to make a change to our habits or routines. We say to others, “Do it ” But we say to ourselves, “Give it a try sometime, or…


Embrace whatever pandemic solitude remains—and, in the future, re-create it

Photo: Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

I recently found myself standing alone on the Arctic tundra, over 100 miles from civilization. I spent a month up there reporting portions of my new book, . There was no human around me for miles and miles. There were also no people “with” me through TV, podcasts, social media, email, or text messages.

The realization that I was in a rare state of supreme solitude was both unnerving and freeing. Unnerving because the frozen ground was littered with grizzly poop and if the weather were to change — and did often and quick out there — I’d…


Your body is trying to tell you something

Photo: Liza Summer/Pexels

I don’t like to say “no.” As a freelancer, I don’t make money unless I work––so when editors reach out with potential assignments, I typically say “yes” without a second thought. The extra money in my pocket is always helpful, but honestly? It’s more about FOMO. I’m worried work won’t keep coming to my inbox if I don’t say “yes” every time––even if I don’t have the bandwidth to do the work I’m agreeing to.

Here’s the problem: On fear-of-missing-out autopilot, I often don’t notice I’m approaching burnout until I’m already crashing and burning. As the work piles up and…


How a healthy dose of ferocity promotes healing and growth

Photo: Liza Summer/Pexels

“You need to calm down,” someone recently said to me on a phone call. “You’re making a huge deal out of nothing.” Adrenaline coursed through my arms and legs, like my body wanted me to run.

Normally, I’d bow out of the conversation to avoid conflict, make a mental note not to bring up personal topics with that person again, and recover with some self-care –– a hot bath, a walk through the neighborhood, or a chat with a supportive friend.

As I internally grappled with how to respond, I pictured myself as a kid, gaslit into doubting my feelings…


The rejuvenating power of feeling like a visitor

Photo: Masaaki Komori/Unsplash

Rejuvenation. That’s what a friend recently told me she needed. She’d written a book that was published in October, right before the election, but she’d felt too exhausted to publicize it. Not that it would have mattered anyway. The world was shouty and stressed.

Now, with vaccines and tulips all around us, she was still dragging herself from masked grocery store visits to the occasional school pickup (when school wasn’t closed because of Covid.) “What can rejuvenate me?” she asked. We listed the obvious options for middle-aged women in Brooklyn: yoga, wine, essential oils, hanging out in someone’s backyard for…


To find your focus, understand the relationship between motivation and discomfort

Photo: Attila Csaszar/Getty Images

It took me five years to write my last book, which was a lot longer than it should have taken. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do — I did. I just didn’t do it. I wasn’t motivated.

My book, , is about how to stop getting distracted. Ironically, the problem was that I kept getting distracted. That is, until I learned the key to finally doing what I set out to do.

When I finally understood the biology behind why we do what we do, I didn’t just write the book; I became more productive at…


💉 Today’s tip: Start a “vaccinated” list.

Yes, the vaccine rollout has been slow and messy and frustrating in a hundred different ways. But it’s happening, and keeping track of how it’s happening in your own life is one way to feel like we’re making real progress in ending the pandemic. The therapist Kathleen Smith recently tweeted a great idea: “I started a list on the fridge of family and friends who’ve been vaccinated, and it feels so great every time I get to add somebody.”

Keep your own list, and whenever things start to feel overwhelming again, re-read those…


🥬 Today’s tip: Recrisp your greens.

There’s something uniquely demoralizing about stocking up on veggies and then opening up the crisper drawer only to realize they’re looking limp and pale and somehow like they are actually disappointed in you. But all is not lost! Medium’s Ash Blair recommends chopping up your leafy greens and submerging them in a bowl of cold water in the fridge. In a couple of hours, you’ll come back to a bowl with a lot less water and a lot more crispy greens.

With this tool in your tool belt, you’ll be able to more easily…


💪 Today’s tip: Try “exercise snacking.”

For many of us, one byproduct of “pandemic time” has been the near impossibility of making a schedule and sticking to it. And that includes the one routine almost everyone aspires to lock in: exercising.

Luckily for us all, it doesn’t take a huge time investment to make your fitness efforts count. As Adriana Velez writes for, “exercise snacking” counts. Exercise snacking can look like squeezing in a five minute burst of jumping jacks here, or ten minutes of MadFit on YouTube there. Even these micro-workouts will give you the science-backed benefits that…


Woman on the phone while holding a piece of paper.
Woman on the phone while holding a piece of paper.
Photo: 10'000 Hours/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Perhaps someone in your life needs a little bit of convincing to get a lifesaving, pandemic-ending vaccination. Their reasons may be grounded in something real, like historical trauma due to the health care system’s legacy of racism. Or they may be the byproduct of — as you see it, anyway — complete, incomprehensible boneheadedness.

Whether your first reaction is to nod in sympathy or to recommend that they get their heads checked for brain worms, you’re likelier to change their mind if you first ask yourself some questions about your own motivations and tactics.

The productivity and creativity expert Barry…

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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