“Focus on the things you like about yourself... Embrace your quirks — your awkward laugh, your crooked smile, your unusual way of thinking about things. Through this acceptance, you’re acknowledging that you are worthy just the way you are.”

– Dr. Adia Gooden, Ph.D., in a TED Talk about cultivating unconditional self-worth.

Wellness Tip

Try Mental Subtraction

Think about someone important to you. Now, imagine what life would be like if you’d never met.

Kinda makes you appreciate that person, doesn’t it?

This simple activity is known as mental subtraction. It works because it counteracts our tendency to take positive events in our lives for granted.

In a 2008 study, participants wrote about one of two things: how they actually met their romantic partner (reality), or how they might never have met them (mental subtraction). The mental subtraction group felt more satisfied with their relationships.

The same thing happened for mentally subtracting positive events: imagining they never happened made people more grateful.

Want to give it a shot? Berkeley’s Greater Good Center details two simple exercises you can try – one for positive events and one for relationships. Each one takes just 15 minutes and all you need is a pen and paper.

Why not pick one and give it a try today?

Productivity Tip

Use This Trick To Learn Twice As Fast

What if you could double how fast you learn?

Sounds like a sci-fi movie brain hack, but it’s not – it’s real. Here’s how it works.

You know how normally when you practice a new skill, you repeat it over and over again until you get better at it? Instead of doing that, modify the activity slightly with each practice session.

Here’s researcher Pablo A. Celnik from John Hopkins University:

“If you practice a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row.”

According to the research, the adjustments should be small. Like slightly changing the size of a tennis racket or the tempo of a piece of music from one practice session to the next.

Small changes aid in ‘reconsolidation’ – the process where memories are recalled and modified with new knowledge.

Got new skills to learn? Try mixing it up a bit to speed up the process!

Routine Breakdown

David Beckham, Businessman & Former Pro Footballer

Life is busy for English football star turned businessman David Beckham, also a father of four. He says his typical morning includes the following:

  • Exercise. "It helps to start my day right. I enjoy spin classes and being in the gym.”
  • A healthy breakfast with his kids.
  • Checking his planner to see his daily tasks and what’s on his schedule for the coming week.
  • Walking his kids to school whenever he can.

Why it works:

  • As Beckham says, exercise helps to start the day right. Morning exercise boosts focus and energy as well as being good for physical health.
  • The Beckham family’s healthy breakfast usually involves simple food like eggs or porridge. Both high-protein breakfasts and oatmeal-based ones have research-backed benefits.
  • We’re all for weekly planning (obviously)! By keeping abreast of the week’s commitments, we’re better able to prepare, prioritize, and work on what matters most.
  • Walking has health benefits, but so does hanging out with your fam. In fact, Beckham says it’s his kids that most brighten up his mornings.

David Beckham says he’s very “detail orientated”, so it’s not surprising he keeps so on top of his schedule.

“In fact, most of the time as a real planner, I look at my diary at least a week in advance to see what’s coming up,” he says. “There is lots going on so it’s really important to know so I can prepare anything I need to in advance.”

Do you use your weekly and monthly planner sections to plan things well in advance? We’d love to hear about your own processes – let us know!