Do the Opposite #43 - The Accomplishments List, the True Cost of Commuting, Cooking at Home, BuJo

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The Accomplishments List

This is something that helps me a lot. I tend to either be very confident and happy with myself and my accomplishments, or I fall down into slight depression, despondence and think that everyone is better than me, doing smarter things than me, etc etc.

When I catch myself slipping into the 'negative thoughts pit' I try to get out by changing my thoughts to more positive ones, meditating and doing something that brings me joy, going for a walk or a run. Sometimes though it's not enough, and I want to instantly change my mood for the better, to try to 'change the paradigm'.

Here's where the Accomplishments List comes to the rescue! It's a simple list where I write down my accomplishments so far, be they small or large. Something like: "I've successfully found a job after college" or "I've managed to switch careers from marketing to coding" and smaller like: "I've sent this newsletter consistently every week for 43 weeks in a row" :)

Writing the Accomplishments List is good for you whether you are in a good mood or if you are feeling down. If you are in a good mood, it will be easier to start writing and then later you can refer to the list when you need to. If you feel like you are in a downward spiral or just feeling down, starting to write the list might be difficult, but as you force your mind to focus on the good things, on your achievements and everything you have already done well, your mood will change with it ― the more you add to the list, the better you will feel.

Try it out! Write your Accomplishments List today and let me know how it goes!


1) "The True Cost of Commuting" by Mr. Money Mustache
You know I've been reading a lot of FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early) resources recently (with more resource to come soon!), and, as part of that, slowly going through Mr. Money Mustache's blog. This article stood out to me as an example of how bad commuting really is for our finances, with a breakdown of how much every extra mile of commuting takes out of our budget.

I, like the couple in the article, also used to throw away the commute discussions with "oh it's a less than an hour commute? That's OK!". Especially here in Toronto that's quite a wide-spread attitude. From now on I am going to consider the commute to work way more seriously in any future decisions I make.

2) "Shopify: A StarCraft Inspired Business Strategy" | Non-GAAP Thoughts
I am a fan of StarCraft - we used to play it as children, and now we play it after work sometimes. Here's a great analysis of Shopify strategy that uses StarCraft strategies and metas as metaphors.

3) "Reader Case Study: Minimum Wage with a Baby on the Way" by Mr. Money Mustache
Another post that made an impression on me from the great archives of MMM. We often think that FIRE is only for high-income earners who can afford saving 50% or more of their income. This case-study provides a lot of insight on how people whose income is on the lower side can get into the FIRE game too. What I like is the specific changes suggested in the article.


1) 15 Mistakes Most Beginner Cooks Make (Part 1) | Pro Home Cooks
My wife and I have been binge-watching this channel as we are switching to 95-98% cooking at home versus eating out (part of the changes we are making to enable us to save more). This channel teaches the viewers how to cook at home well. This week I've baked some muffins using the recipe from the channel. We've also made Thai Red Curry ourselves, which was fun! I highly recommend you try cooking some of the recipes!

2) Minimalist Bullet Journal Setup 2020 | Simple Happy Zen
You know that I am a big proponent of the Bullet Journal system. This time of year is the time when we transition from the previous year's BuJo to the new one!

3) "Overcome Excessive Consumption as a Minimalist | TV, Social Media, Shopping" | Heal Your Living
This video serves as inspiration to cut back on consumption and to pause before making impulse purchases, to consider whether that's something you really need. A good approach for reducing consumption I've picked up recently is to force yourself to wait for 3-7 days (or at least a day) before buying something, to see whether you still want to buy it then. A good rule of thumb is to do that for any purchase over $50, for example.

Tweet of the Week


"I'm not afraid of dying. I'm afraid I haven't been alive enough."


"If you're looking for a formula for greatness, the closest we'll ever get, I think, is this: Consistency driven by a deep love of the work."
― Maria Popova

"The more pleasures a man captures, the more masters he will have to serve."
― Seneca

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
― Chinese Proverb

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Keep doing the opposite,
Alex Kallaway