Use the habit snowball effect

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Changing your life in any significant way is difficult. Have you ever tried to lose weight or stop binge-watching tv shows? It’s hard because the behaviors are so ingrained.

Habits make up 40% of what we do daily. They play a huge role in our lives. In times of stress, habits become even more important as we tend to lean on them. This applies to good habits as much as bad ones, which is why it’s important to build good habits whenever you can.

Habits fuel change. If you give them time to work, new habits can make you a…


Discover your personal writing process by trying different methods

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Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

There are many ways to write a novel, and none of them are wrong as long as you end up with a novel in the end. This can make it difficult to know how to start writing your novel. Some writers need an outline, while an outline would kill all the joy of writing for others. How do you know what is right for you?

The best thing you can do is try different methods. This list will give you several options to explore. You’ll soon discover which methods you prefer and which do not work for you.

1. Sit down and start writing by the seat of your pants

Writing by…


Borrow from myths and legends to form new ideas

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Gashadokuro

A Gashadokuro in Japanese folklore is said to be a huge skeleton created from amassed bones of people who died of starvation or in battle. They are fifteen times larger than humans and roam the night looking for lone travelers to eat.

This legend originated as a mass army of undead. However, when Utagawa Kuniyoshi created the ukiyo-e woodblock print, Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre, he depicted the undead army as one skeleton.

Writers can take inspiration from this artistic decision. By making creative changes to an already existing legend, we can create something unique. …


These tools will help you determine your values and set goals

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Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

What do you want in life? Can you answer that question specifically? I don’t think many people can. You might get answers such as “I want to be happy” or “I want to be successful.” These are valid goals, but how do you know if you’re working towards them?

To know this, you need to be more specific. How do you want to spend each day? Which values do you have, and how do your goals align with your values? These are fundamental questions that can get lost in the chaos of life. …


What to do when you’ve failed at something

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Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

How many times have you set a goal for yourself, only to fall short? It happens to me all the time. I want to accomplish something, I’m motivated, but I can’t do what I expect of myself.

Sometimes that can send me spiraling. The fear is there, and it’s a powerful feeling. Why even try if you’ll fail anyway? Failure has many negative consequences. It can make the same goal seem less attainable, distort your perception of your own abilities, or a feeling of helplessness.

That’s where you need to be brave. Face the fear of failing again. Welcome it…


Switch up these variables regularly to avoid plateaus

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Photo by GMB Fitness on Unsplash

Strength training is great at first. You get the initial progress of your body not being used to it. Then, as the months go on, progress slows down. You might even hit the dreaded plateau, where you train all the time, but you’re not improving at all.

A plateau can be a harsh blow to your motivation. You’re training because you want to get stronger, not stay the same. But what can you do? Maybe you start training harder, and that works for a while. But then you plateau again.

The key is not always to train harder but to…


Let the chicken choose its own name, even if that name is Tlogjhco

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Today’s recipe is one that is near and dear to my heart. This boiled egg recipe has been passed down in my family for generations.

It all started that fateful day when my good great-grandmother undercooked an egg so that the plum was running all over. She was wearing a flowery white dress. As she fell to her knees, she decided never to let this happen again. She dedicated the rest of her life to boiling the perfect egg.

Since then, my family has been studying chickens. We know secrets most egg farmers wouldn’t dream of. The key is where…


Why you should cut 10% of your words and 7 tips for how to do it

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

You’ve written a good first draft, with all the information you wanted to convey. Yet, when you read it, you’re not blown away by your own writing. That means it’s time for editing.

It’s common for a writer to use many words. That’s what writers do, isn’t it? However, great writing isn’t about using all those fancy words you know. Unless you’re doing a specific kind of writing, where the language itself is the focus, good writing is about conveying a message. The best way to convey a message is clearly and efficiently.

If you’re like me, you don’t write…


Chess is a fun game and a great mental workout

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Photo by ᴊᴀᴄʜʏᴍ ᴍɪᴄʜᴀʟ on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about learning chess? You’ve probably seen the game. Maybe you’ve learned how the pieces move and played a couple of games. Maybe you, like many others, have watched The Queens Gambit and been inspired.

Chess is not something you master quickly. If a beginner goes up against someone who knows the game well, they’d probably lose 10 out 10 times. Great players could beat 10 beginners at the same time while blindfolded. Learning chess goes way past learning the rules.

Chess is a game of mind against mind. Who knows more about strategy and tactics? Who…


From someone who’s played guitar for 17 years and wishes he’d read this when starting out

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Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

I started playing guitar about 17 years ago, and it’s been a fun journey. I’ve learned a lot on the way, but I wish I learned some of it earlier.

As a beginner guitarist, there are tons of resources to learn from. You can find libraries full of chords and tabs and YouTube lessons for any technique imaginable.

The downside is that it can be hard to know where you should focus. I’ve been there, learning a bit of this and a bit of that, but not really getting anywhere. It’s fun, but sometimes you need direction.

There are some…

Markus Skårnes

I write about Writing, Self-Improvement, Music, and whatever I feel like. Enjoy my writing? Sign up for my newsletter: https://markuswrites.substack.com/welcome

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