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January 6, 2008   

What I’ve learned

I call it “self-brainwashing” but it’s really just something I do to put myself in the mindset I want to be. These last few years, I have surrounded myself with reading (and listening, via podcasts) materials related to personal finance. This action has allowed me to accomplish two main things I really wanted to do:

  • Learn enough about personal finance to actually take action (then take action, obviously)
  • Program my mindset to be finance-conscious in my everyday actions/habits

Because I had strategically placed this information where I couldn’t get away from it, I succeeded in these two goals. How had I accomplished this “strategic placement”?

  • By having podcasts automatically download and load into a “smart playlist” on my iPod. All I had to do was plug in my iPod every couple of days and I had something new to listen to everyday. Since I had to charge up my iPod anyway, this was zero work after I first decided which podcasts to listen to. Admittedly, finding the right podcasts took some time at the beginning.
  • By subscribing to feeds from personal finance bloggers that I enjoyed reading. Again, as with the iPod, I had to first decide which bloggers were worth my time, but after that, I was able to keep the idea of personal financial responsibility at the forefront of my consciousness.

Where I need work

This year, I really want to get serious about fitness and healthy eating as a priority. The biggest obstacle in the past has been in keeping it in the forefront of my mind. I slip up, not because of hunger or tiredness or an intense craving, but because I stop thinking about it. Health just slips my mind and fails to seem very important. I know, that sounds like sacrilege to some people, but to me, that’s just how I roll.

Given 1) information immersion works for me and 2) I see an area in my life where I fail because I stop thinking about my goals, I have decided to take the same approach for health that I did for personal finance.

Where you can help me

Please suggest health podcasts and blogs (with a preference for podcasts, since I will be doing a lot of commuting again soon) that you enjoy. Thanks!

Do any of you guys do this type of conscious immersion?

Andre Alforque
January 7, 2008 at 9:34 am

Interesting concept. Maybe I should immerse myself in dating material.

Too bad you don’t get the Red Eye (a free publication in the Chicago area). The “Pop Fitness” section gives some great tips on a regular basis. I cut out one article and posted it on my cork board at work: Don’t sit still (a few exercises you can perform at work to get your blood flowing).

January 7, 2008 at 10:52 am

I do, but not necessarily through information saturation, but through just constant mental repetition. Like right now, even if I’m dead tired, I force myself to go over to my guitar and at least practice scales or chords for 10-15 minutes a day (unless it’s ridiculously late at night and would wake up neighbors or something).

I need to do what you did for finances, though, since that’s not something you can simply will yourself to know how to do 😛

January 7, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Great idea. When I decided to get healthy I read as much as I could and saturated my brain with it too. I also went the social route, through the years have joined a few different SparkPeople-type websites that I would visit daily and would keep me thinking about making healthy choices.

I can’t recommend any podcasts, as I don’t listen to any health related ones. Some of the health related rss feeds I have that I think you might like are:


Actually, I take it back. I read mostly hard core Grrl Weightlifting blogs these days, and CrossFit. So I’m a bad resource. Sorry.

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