X

Four Things I’m Doing Each Day To Become More Awesome

“We get a little better or a we get a little worse every day. Let’s get a little better today.” – Jason Street


I push self-improvement a lot on this site, and travel is often a vehicle to reach those goals, rather than the goal itself. Last year I wrote about the joy of learning something new, and I’ve tried to give you ideas to find your own ‘something new’ by sharing my own pursuits, whether it’s learning Spanish, French, Chinese, martial arts, dancing, cooking or whatever else I manage to come across while I’m out there.

Sometimes these things can look a little grand, so today I wanted to bring it back down to ground level. Learning new things doesn’t have to be a big elaborate affair you need to travel around the world to do. Over the past couple of years I’ve been adding new things to my daily routine, most of which don’t take up much time or money at all (in fact, they’re all free).

This is my “Daily Four”, and no matter how busy I am I make a special effort to do them all each day.


Yousician

yousician

Yousician is like that video game Guitar Hero, only you use a real guitar, and you learn actual guitar skills. Before each level there is a short video tutorial teaching you some new chords, or new strumming or picking pattern, and then you go onto the game where you’ll practice those new skills and try to pass the level. It’s fun, challenging, and you’ll definitely learn something.

I have a paid account, but you certainly don’t need one. You can use it free for up to one lesson daily, and even after that you can have unlimited practice time on the lessons you’ve already passed. This is the newest addition to my daily exercises, and probably the funnest, too.

Cost: Free, with paid options available.
Time needed: Around 10-15 minutes a day.
Get it at: www.yousician.com
Add me: Feel free to add me to your friends list! My username is brenontheroad.


Headspace

headspace

Meditation has always been a ‘hocus pocus’ lala land thing to me, until I learned that Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed daily meditation “changed his life” during his early years of fame. Since Arnie is one of the baddest dudes ever invented, I got interested. For the last year or so, I’ve been practicing meditation using the app Headspace.

As I’ve adopted a more minimalist lifestyle over the last four years I’ve noticed how beneficial it is to live an uncluttered life, but I never realised the mind could be cluttered in the same way. As I learn to meditate, I’m starting to learn to focus the mind and stay relaxed and stress free. Any time I’m working on something that’s starting to piss me off, I’ll do a Headspace lesson and always end up feeling clear and ready to go afterwards. It’s like sending your brain to the gym.

The first module is free, and I actually was doing it over and over again before I finally decided to upgrade. Even if you just do this I’m sure you’ll find it awesome, so I definitely recommend it!

Cost: Free, with paid upgrade available.
Time needed: 10 minutes a day.
Get it at: www.headspace.com


Mobility WOD

mwod

Kelly Starrett is a mobility guru and has a Youtube channel called Mobility WOD, dedicated to helping you prevent injuries and gain increased mobility, flexibility and strength. These videos literally changed my life.

I suffered a bad shoulder injury two years ago that left me unable to do any type of exercise without serious pain in my right arm – even push ups were painful. As someone who loves the gym and playing sport, this was almost unbearable so I just trained through the pain which obviously made things worse. Even lifting my arm in salsa class to spin my partner around started to hurt.

Over those years I visited 3 different physios, had an ultrasound, a steroid injection, an x-ray, an MRI, saw my GP multiple times, a shoulder specialist yet still nobody could fix it. The pain became a normal part of my life. I was ready to become that old guy who can’t do shit because he “has bad shoulders”. When I learned Clayton from Spartan Traveler had overcome similar issues with his knee, I emailed him and he introduced me to Mobility WOD. He explained to me that if the MRI showed nothing, it probably wasn’t an injury – it was just battered tissue that was twisted and tight and positioned badly, probably from years of bad posture or movement. He explained since nobody has perfect posture or movement, this basically happens to everyone as they get older. That’s where Mobility WOD came in – a collection of exercises designed to unglue tight and ropey soft tissue, loosen the muscles and correct bad postures and movements so you could move freely again, like you did when you were a kid.

After years of dead ends that was the first logical explanation I had heard, so I excitedly searched all the shoulder Mobility WODs and did every single one of them. They were pretty weird, but I felt them work almost immediately. Within a few days my shoulder had improved ten-fold, maybe to 80% health. Within a week I was back in the gym lifting weight. I couldn’t believe it. The solution was so simple yet thousands of dollars in medical advice from various “experts” in various countries wasn’t able to give it to me. I tweeted Kelly Starrett and told him his videos were freaking life changing.

Mobility WOD or Mobility Workout Of The Day is designed as a daily exercise. It’s now the first thing I do in the morning. Every day it’s a different muscle group so it keeps it interesting, and often I’ll redo old ones if I found them particularly effective, especially on my shoulders. It’s completely changed the way I exercise, not to mention giving me my shoulders back which is something I can’t even describe.

I would recommend this to absolutely everyone, regardless of age, gender or fitness level.

Cost: Free.
Time needed: Around ten minutes a day.
Get it at: Mobility WOD on Youtube


Duolingo

duolingo

You know how much I love to learn languages. It enriches your travel experiences and is always a valuable endeavour regardless of whether you enjoy travelling or not.

Duolingo is a language game, where you finish lessons and earn points, gems and gain new levels. The Duolingo team claims it’s been proven that 34 hours of playing is the equivalent of one university semester of language tuition – whether or not that’s true I don’t know or care. I do know it’s pretty fun and your language skills will definitely improve.

I usually play in the morning while lying in bed, and get through around two or three lessons per day. I’m currently using it for Spanish and French only, but as an English speaker you’ll have 14 different languages to choose from. Way more fun than memorising verb tables.

Cost: Free.
Time needed: Around ten minutes a day.
Get it at: www.duolingo.com
Add me: Feel free to add me to your friends list! My username is brenontheroad.


What you may have noticed is that none of these things require more than ten minutes a day, and all of them are free. Just a small investment of time each day and you can be learning an instrument, speaking a second language, building a strong, injury-free body and a creating a more focused and happy mind. This is my Daily Four, and you’re more than welcome to steal it and adopt it as your own.

Enjoy!

Bren

Note: I pay for all my memberships in full (where applicable) and this post is not sponsored in any way. You can read my Disclosure Policy here.

Shares

Are you on Facebook?!

If You Liked This, You May Also Like…

Note: The posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. Please check out my Disclosure Policy for more information.

2 thoughts on “Four Things I’m Doing Each Day To Become More Awesome

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shares