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15 Day Challenge – Day 1 Fail

Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of my 15 day challenge where my main focus is stopping smoking. Sadly it didn’t happen.

I started the day convinced that I was going to be able to make it through my first day of non smoking. About half way through the day I had a load of things go wrong with my work and at the same time a bunch of other problems all hit me at the same time. I got so stressed that I gave in and went to grab a pack of cigarettes. It is amazing how these problems always come at the most inconvenient times. Also amazing how my brain will twist the stress of something to convincing me that I need to smoke.

Anyway, I have committed myself to getting back on track with my mission to quit the ciggies.

This is not some spur of the moment thing, it is actually something that I have been planning for a few weeks and these are some of the things I have set up for the next couple to help me become a non-smoker.

The first thing that I have coming up that will make this maybe easier is that I have a bit of travelling coming up where I will be sat on buses and trains for hours at a time, the big challenge here is breaking my usual habit of in between journeys where I would chain smoke knowing that I had massive journeys ahead of me where I cannot smoke.

The other clever little trick that I am doing is that I have a website project that I am working on at the moment that is in the ‘quit smoking’ market. Most of the work is carried out by my guys in the Philippines, but I still have to oversee it all. So my job for the next few weeks will involve reviewing content that is all about stopping smoking. I’m having to deal with all those nasty pics of cut open black lungs aswell as having too review alot ‘how to quit smoking’ articles and should pick up a few extra tricks to help me quit along the way. This niche site project is totally intended to help put me off the whole smoking thing and perfect timing, as with the new year ahead alot of peeps will be searching for info on how to stop smoking for the new years resolutions so once everything is in place it will also provide generate a nice little bit of passive income.

The other thing I have done is got loads of food supplies in with my intention that I am going to eat my way through this. I have heard so many times from people that successfully quit smoking that end up eating more. So I’m welcoming this and am gonna consciously make an effort to eat more and roll with it. I’m also using my replacement trick of trying to tackle a craving for a cigarette by instead eating a carrot for example.

My dirty little back up plan that I have sort of threatened myself with is the idea of using some extreme indulgence to put myself off cigarettes. The idea is that I would get a full pack of 20 cigarettes. cut the top and bottom off and smoke a full packet in one go. This would most likely make me sick or at least batter my lungs so much that I will not want a cigarette for a while, which would help kill my cravings. I am hoping that I don’t have to resort to using this crazy idea, but it is there as an emergency plan.

The other thing that I’m quitting again (well for the next 2 weeks anyway) is the coke. Which after the success of 30 days with out drinking any, I have now slipped back into dirty old ways and am drinking loads of coke again. I’m also continuing with my mission to write more whilst juggling several projects all at the same time, I’m thinking that keeping myself extremely busy will also help me stay off the cigs.

Oh these next couple of weeks are gonna be tough for me. I say, “Bring it on !”

Hey, and while we’re on the subject of challenges, have you voted for me yet ?

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30 Day Challenge Conclusion Leads to a Shorter yet Bigger Challenge

It has been over 10 days since I completed my 30 Day Challenge last month. I wanted to take a little time to reflect after the completion of my challenge to see it’s after effects, and today I wanted to share with you not only the results but also what I plan to do next with what I have got from this 30 day life experiment.

A quick review.

For those of you who missed it or have not been following my little experimental adventure you can check out some of the links bellow.

The start, Time for a Challenge. Wanna Join Me ?

Day 1,  Radical Scheming and Indulgence

Day 14 Quitting Coke Challenge

Day 25 Coke Success and Writing Nearly There.

The Result.

Well I can proudly say that I managed to stay off the dark sticky nectar (coca-cola) for a whole 30 days. Not only did I surprise myself with this one but I shocked many of my friends who know me as a drinking loads of coke all day long.

Admittedly the first few days were a bit tough with a few heavy migraines from simple caffeine withdrawals but I really got into my replacements, like carrots, fruit juice, green tea, and even water. I have no idea whether the extreme indigence trick at the start of the month helped me, but it certainly made me not fancy any coke for a week or so.

How did I do it ?

I think the number one magic ingredient that made the quitting coke easier was the fact that I had tricked my my mind by sorta saying to myself that I was not quitting, I am only stopping for 30 days.

The other magic ingredient that I think made it easier for me to succeed was that I was publicly sharing my challenge (a first for me). And I do really believe that all the comments and messages I received in support of me taking on challenge defiantly helped me commit to doing it.

So to all you folks who voiced your support for me, a huge Thanks.

After the 30 days I was sooo happy that I had made it.

Then on day 31 (as planned) I celebrated that I had gone a month without drinking any coke and treated myself to a few bottles. I went about one day without drinking any coke after that. Then slowly started to drink 2 cokes a day, and right now I’m slipping back into drinking 2-3 a day.

Great that I am actually drinking less per day than before but, zero is where I’d really like to be at.

So I have a plan, more details below.

On the writing part of my challenge I’m really happy with the way my writing developed over the 30 days and I have really been getting into 750words as a tool to continue my mini-mission to develop my creative writing everyday.

I have continued with the writing but have started to slack off a little bit. My problem is not so much quantity but consistency, in that I do not write on some days and make up for it on other days by writing double or triple my daily goal (750 words). Either way, it is all good because it can only get better.

The downsides on completing this challenge.

The only problem with doing a 30 day challenge like I did last month is that now 2 weeks after I almost feel a bit useless and un-powerful. I was riding some weird sort of adrenalin last month enjoying the novelty of challenging myself. It was exciting and I felt enegised by the challenge.

Right now the I’m slipping back into my old ways and feeling like I need to do something about it, I also have one more extremely dirty habit that I have wanted to tackle for a long time.

So I have concocted a crafty little plan.

Now this one habit that I simply have to tackle, one that I have done for close to 20 years and I am going to tackle head on and share. Quitting Smoking. I am taking on the mission to become an official non-smoker.

I am even ashamed to write on this blog that I smoke and to be really honest I think this will be incredibly tough for me to do. I don’t even need to go into the reasons why I should stop smoking. I am going to combine this in with my last months challenges and also take those one again. The only difference this time is it will be a 15 Day Challenge. So that is a menu of full detox, no coca cola, lots of raw veg, creative writing every day and the big one not a single ciggrette for 15 days.

A Shorter but Bigger Challenge

From 15th to 30th of this month, bring on my half the time but double the challenge mission.

I wouldn’t be entering into this personal challenge without a couple of ninja tricks up my sleeve to make it more easy and interesting. And just you wait until you see what I have planned for this mini adventure. I’m still tweaking the exact rules of how I’m gonna take on this challenge and will lay it all down on day1when it all starts.

Until then it’s binge out time, I am gonna drink loads of coke and smoke my head off for the next few days then the challenge is on.

Whilst we’re talking of Challenges, have you seen this yet ?

Let me know what you think. Thoughts ? Ideas ? Suggestions ?

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Coke Success and Writing Nearly There. My 30 Day Challenge Update.

Day 25 of my 30 day challenge.

I set myself the challenge for 30 days to break a habit of drinking loads of coke every day, to develop the habit of writing more whilst on a detox also focusing on developing my online projects and businesses.

The first thing that I have surprised myself with and am really happy to say that the quitting coke thing seems to have worked. I’ve not touched the dirty dark stuff since my extreme indulgence binge at the start. You can follow the 30 day challenge and the quitting coke story here.

Anyway, today I wanted to share with you the other part of my challenge where I wanted to develop my writing skills. I set my self the goal of writing 3 articles every day for 30 days. If I keep to this which I have, but only just, I will have 90 articles by the end of a month.

This part of my challenge I have struggled with. I have missed some days and caught up on other days by writing extra. It’s all been a bit messy as I am tweaking the system of how I do it. You see the thing is I’m to easily distracted, so I have been using a few tricks to help me focus more on just writing.

The first thing I am pushing myself with is the idea of writing first and editing later. The trick being that I do not delete and edit as I go, I just plough through and keep writing then later go back and then edit.

Using the software Dark Room that simply a blacks out the screen and uses green text, I found very useful. Apparently the green text on a black background is easier on your eyes than traditional black text on a white background. I think it also pretty cool in a retro way, feeling your tapping away on old school computer from the 80′s.I have used Dark Room for an while combined with using a countdown timer to record how long it takes me to write.

I’ve also been experimenting with listening to different types of music whilst writing and writing in silence.

Then I remembered this web app that I had heard a few peeps raving about a while back.

Now this is awesome, 750words.com is the perfect answer to my challenge struggle. It is a website that you login to and fire out 750words of unfiltered private writing each day. Now what makes it even more cool is that you can compete with other people and study statistics about the speed of your writing, the tone and much more.

This awesome web app was created by Buster Benson of Enjoymentland.com and what inspires me even more is when I discovered some of Busters other products that he has created like HealthMonth.com and the story of how he created that as a result of his own 90day challenge to create a business that creates meaningful work for him.

I’m digging the idea of meaningful work and I’m finding more and more that I am bending to this way of working also in the way of creating meaning work for myself. If it’s not work that excites or inspires me then I’m not interested.

With 5 days left of my 30 day challenge I have decided that I am going to do this again next month another 30 day challenge for November. I’m still deciding on exactly what I am gonna tackle in my next 30day challenge (I’m defiantly continuing with developing my writing via 750words.com ). I have seen such good results this month that I wanna continue the roll.

If you want to improve your lifestyle next mouth and join me on this next challenge, let me know in the comments below.

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Quitting Coke Challenge – Day 14

My original challenge that I set for myself was to kick a bad habit (coca-cola), develop a good habit (creative writing) and do a 30 day detox whilst also concentrating on giving my online businesses a boost.

Here’s the update on the quitting coke part. And that promised footage of the first day where I’m experimenting by overindulging in coke to help quit.

The Two Weeks Deep Update

The first day – Extreme Indulgence Experiment

Two weeks without drinking a single coke !

Now that is extraordinaire for me.

Seriously, I was drinking alot of this stuff all day long. I would usually do 2 cokes within the first hour of waking up and then it would continue from there.

So how did it go ?

Well, first couple of days I did not feel right and had some heavy headaches. Day 3 I was ok, day 4 the cravings started. I would almost hear little voices in my saying, “go on, you can have one coke secretly, no one will ever know” or “one won’t hurt”.

It’s weird as well how now any coke advertising or imagery feels like it jumps out at me, especially when I go to a shop or restaurant when choosing a drink the coke always seems to stand out.

I have resisted and surprised myself in that I’m loving my coke replacements. Big manly 2 liter bottles of cold water on hand all day and a few hot green teas. The other thing I’m doing is as part of my 30 day life booster challenge is getting into eating more raw vegetables and grabbing a carrot when I feel the urge for a coke seems to be working for me at the moment. One of my little rules I say to myself is, if I feel like a coke just have something else that is more healthy than a coke (not difficult to find coke replacements).

So far so good.

Do you reckon I’ll be able to stick it out ?

get rid of caffeine, caffeine addiction, too much caffeine, caffeine effects, coke, coca cola, extreme indulgence

Quitting Caffeine by Using Extreme indulgence experiment. I drink far too much Coke, so I decided to quit for 30 days and start with this little experiment. Can I quit drinking coca-cola using this method ? Will the cravings for caffeine drive me insane. Can I quit my caffeine addiction ?

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A Million Dollars for Honduras, Hand made Asia, Content vs Community and Cultivating change in Thailand. An Hour of Inspiration from TEDx.

Last month, I was honoured to be an antendee at TEDx in Bangkok, a gathering of big thinkers, artists, entrepreneurs, grass roots changers, musicians, and amazing minds. This one day event featured some fantastic speakers and this is my round up of my four favorite presentations that moved me in big ways.

*these videos are just over 15minutes each so if you are in a rush, you may want to bookmark this page and watch them later when you have the time to enjoy them fully. Definately worth a look, you will be amazed, inspired and most probably make you think differently about the world today and how you see things .

Raising One Million Dollars for Honduras

Shin Fujiyama was born in a fishing town in Japan in 1983 and immigrated to the US shortly after with his family. During his third year at the University of Mary Washington, Fujiyama decided to volunteer for a week in Honduras at a girls’ shelter without giving it much thought. He had no idea that the short trip would ignite his passion to help vulnerable children so much. A few months later, he launched Students Helping Honduras in his dorm room with his classmates and younger sister, Cosmo. Since then, Fujiyama’s organization has taken more than 1,000 volunteers to Honduras and has raised more than one million dollars to help vulnerable children raise themselves out of poverty. His goal is to create a chapter of SHH in every single university in the US.  Find out more at StudentsHelpingHonduras.org

Handmade in a Digital World

Elizabeth Briel is an artist who explores Asia with her camera, notebook, and paintbrushes. She prints 19th-century photos of disappearing places in distinctive blue tones, paints pictures of sharp-witted women from around the world, and writes about the arts of Asia. While living in Cambodia she taught photography to street children; in Hong Kong she founded a community gallery; and she now works from a Bangkok studio. ThingsAsian Press has published her illustrations and photos in books, and in 2011 will release her book Sensual Papers: a Quest Through the Back Roads and Rivers of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam about her search for handmade papers and the people who make them. She continually experiments with ways to connect artists to communities, and building bridges of understanding between West, East and places in between — we all have more in common than it may seem at first glance. Elizabeth is based in Bangkok and Sydney. Find out more at her website: ebriel.com

Community Trumps Content

Jeff Utecht is an international educator and educational technology consultant. Currently Jeff is working as a Technology and Learning Coordinator for International School Bangkok. He has consulted with and presented at international schools around the world. Jeff has been teaching online graduate classes for different American Universities since 2007. Jeff regularly shares his thoughts on education and technology on his blog, thethinkingstick.com. Jeff has recently been mentioned in the books ‘Reinventing Project-Based Learning’ and ‘Web 2.0, New Tools, New Schools’. Jeff recently wrote a chapter for the book ‘Wired For Learning: An Educator’s Guide to Web 2.0′. To learn more about Jeff visit: JeffUtecht.com

Cultivating Alternative Agriculture in Thailand

Bennett Haynes works for an organic farmers’ organization in northeast Thailand called the Alternative Agriculture Network — Esan (AAN). During his first year with the AAN, Bennett organized an organic farming curriculum with a local organization called Surin Farmers Support in Surin province. Since then, Bennett has been working on “food ways” research with villagers in Yasothon province. He also coordinates consumer awareness campaigns with the Yasothon Green Market and supports high quality standards for the market.
As northeast Thailand grows, what are the implications for food security and food culture? How can organic farming of rice, vegetables, fruits and local herbal plants provide a safe alternative for farmers and consumers? These are the challenges that the AAN approaches through farmer-to-farmer exchange, community-based research, technical training and alternative markets. The AAN also collaborates with key government offices to access more farmers and develop community food security policy. Find out more at AANesan.wordpress.com

See all of the speakers presentations from this years Thailand TEDx, TEDxKrungthep.

Interesting stuff, eh ? Which of these TEDx presentations moved you the most and why ?

Jeff Utecht
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30 Day Booster. Day 1 – Radical Scheming and Indulgence

So here we go with day one of my little personal mission impossible. I have set the challenge and I have made it public so now is time for action. In case you missed the start, check out, Challenge Time.

I was hardly able to sleep last night because I was could not stop thinking about this upcoming adventure. Too much adrenaline and excitement and a sprinkle of nervousness.

Day one is planning and preparation, and I’m still drinking coke but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

I start with a stack of plain A4 size paper and a pen. I did some hardcore battle planing making mind maps and lists covering all the areas that I am tackling this month. I have planned out a whole bunch of categories and topics about which I am writing about every day. My little rules for this are 3 written articles varying in length from 250 – 750 words. Some of which are for this blog and some are for other projects.

And on the quitting coke thing, I think that, (in fact I know, because I have tried before) the cravings will drive me up the wall and insane. So to start my 30 detox especially focusing on the quitting of drinking Coca-cola, I start day one by getting a small crate of coke, 24 glass bottles of black fizzy dirtiness.

Your probably thinking,

“Hang on a minute, I thought you were quitting coke ?”

I am going to give my craving a huge upper cut in the chin by using some Radical Indulgence. I plan to drink as much coke as I possibly can, all 24 bottles in 24 hours if I can. This will most likely make me sick and it won’t kill me but, it will (or should) kill my craving to drink coke for a while at least. This technique of  Radical Indulgence named by Karol Gajda of  RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com comes from the idea of the story of the drunk teenager coming home and the parents forcing them to drink loads of alcohol until they are sick to make the teenager think twice about drinking in the future. The same has been done with tobacco, the parent forcing the kid to smoke a full packet of cigarettes. Or even forcing them to eat a packet of cigarettes, but that’s taking the ‘being cruel to kind’ a bit too far.

So day one of my detox is kicking off with some hardcore radical indigence, brain vomiting (ideas from the mind splattered out on to paper) and battle planning.

Expect so exciting stuff happening here over the next few weeks.

So is my mission a little bit too impossible ? Could I be maybe biting off more than I can chew ? Could I be setting myself up for failure by attempting to many things at once ? Let me know in the comments below. Any tips, ideas and support is much appreciated.

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Time for a Challenge. Wanna Join Me ?

For the month of October I am taking on a challenge for 30 days with the simple intention on making my life extra awesome.  This is something I do quite regularly, sometimes 10 days, sometimes 7 days, and 30days about twice a year. Usually every few months I set myself a goal, mission or challenge, but this is the first time ever I am publically sharing my crazy little plan.

So the idea is that I am going to use this period for the whole of next month to focus and get alot of stuff done whilst also improving my lifestyle.

So what’s the challenge ?

Well actually a bunch of challenges that all sort of interconnect. I plan to break one bad habit and develop a new habit whilst also putting a crazy amount of focus into my online business.

Breaking a habit

I am addicted to coke (the black fizzy liquid). I used drinking Coca-cola as a way to cut down the amount of beer I was drinking a few years ago. It worked, but the problem is now that I drink far to much coke and could pretty much say I’m hooked on it. Of course it is not the most healthy drink in the world to be drinking all day, but I love it. I have a neat little trick up my sleeve on how I am going to tackle this one that may be quite entertaining. More coming soon on that.

Developing a new habit.

Any habit can be achieved (or broken) by doing it for 21 consecutive days. So my habit that I would like to grow is simply writing. Sounds pretty basic but, for me writing is really not time efficient. It is almost impossible to build online businesses without writing, and although I have content writers who I employ to write stuff for my affiliate businesses I would love to write more on this blog and eventually one day I may even write a book. I get really jealous reading some blogs where they say they can write several blog posts in an hour whilst I struggle to write a half-decent article for hours. It’s not that I’m stupid, I can obviously write, but speed and quality is what I want to improve. I am going to tackle this by writing 3 short articles a day for 30 days. And I am also going to commit to posting an article every day on this blog for the whole of next month.

Business Booster.

I will kill one of my existing businesses that ain’t performing. I will build a new business from scratch or fully develop an existing one. I will also be doing alot of work on this blog which not really a business in itself but more of a fun place that is sort of becoming my online home. I am also considering sharing my Business Booster Mission right here on this blog. BUT only if you are interested, so let me know if this is something you’d like to see.

And just to make it more challenging, I am also going on a 30day detox. Zero intoxicants, no caffeine, no alcohol, loads of raw fruit and vegetables, a little exercise and hour less sleep per night.

Care to join me ?

Challenged yourself recently ? Have you got something you’d like to challenge yourself with ? A habit you want to break ? A habit you want to develop ? A 30 day Business Booster Adventure ? A 30 day detox ? Whatever.

Comments, suggestions, and ideas would be much appreciated. I guess need a little support.

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What have I got myself into ?

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

The story of why I started this blog came from a me a facing a fear that I have had for years. I was basically totally petrified of the idea of speaking on video but at the same time really wanted to start a putting video online so could I share some of my stories and tips and tricks on living the unconventional lifestyle, long term travel, online business and all that.

Camera Shyness

I really do not feel comfortable being on camera at all. I have never really been a huge fan of having my photograph taken. When someone pulls a camera out at a party, alot of people strike a pose meanwhile I am the one who dives for cover.  I have made up every excuse imaginable on reasons why I should not do this video stuff, eg.I heard a theory from somewhere (cannot remember where) that had a concept where if you take a photo of someone you steal a tiny little part of there soul (scary stuff).

The day I faced that fear.

Whilst I was back home in the UK earier this year I made that jump and did it. I filmed that first video (must admit I took several attempts) and put it on youtube.  My goal that I secretly set myself was to put out 5 videos. One every 1-2 weeks, surely if I can do this it will get easier with each video and I will have conquered my fear.  Then I figured that i should have a website to feature all this stuff, and that is how MiltBlog.com came to be.

So I put my stuff out there and nobody ripped me apart or took the piss as I had feared. In fact, quite the opposite happened, I have recived some great messages and emails from all sorts of people who I never knew before who dig what I’m doing here.

As I predicted these videos got easier each time, and I got the 5th video and thought, “Let’s go mad, Aim for 10 !”

See all my videos below in one big fat playlist or click here

So right now I’m over 3months in and have passed the 10 videos mark and I would not say that I’m 100% comfortable on camera now, but I certainly not quivering with fear like before. And I feel great for it, it is true, there is benefit to facing our fears.

So Now What ?

But what am I gonna do now ?

New target of 50 Videos ?

What’s the future of this little blog ?

I am on the verge on turning it up and taking this project to the next level.

Do you think that I should continue with all this ?

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