Archives for posts with tag: lifestyle change

I found this fantastic article on and I never knew Ben Franklin could be a master of politics and self-development?! His humility in accepting his flaws is refreshing and better yet his constant effort to improve himself is admirable.  Mr. Franklin has inspired me to try his approach in achieving my own good habit goals.

The article applies Mr. Franklin’s method with time management habits which will definitely be included on my goal list.  Without further ado here is the article…

Twelve Time Management Habits to Master.

Nearly three hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin came up with an approach to changing habits that has yet to be surpassed. A young adult seeking to straighten out his act, Franklin developed a list of thirteen virtues, jotting down a brief definition of each. These were character traits he took to be important, but in which he found himself lacking. He knew that nurturing these habits would bring about positive change in his life.

Starting at the top of the list, Franklin spent one week working on each virtue. In the morning he thought about how he would reinforce the new habit throughout the day. During the day he looked at his notes to remind himself of the new habit. At the end of the day, he counted how many times he fell back into the old habit.

While Franklin was surprised at first to see how “faulty” his behavior was, he was so resolved that he pressed on, working through the entire list in a thirteen-week cycle, and completing four such cycles in a year. As for results, he noted in his autobiography that while perfection was unattainable, he could see big improvements.

Modern psychologists recognize three key elements in Franklin’s three-hundred-year-old procedure for changing habits:

  1. He started out committed to the new behavior.
  2. He worked on only one habit at a time.
  3. He put in place visual reminders.

Applying Benjamin Franklin’s Method

Here are 12 time management habits for the new year. Tailor these as you like, but whatever you do, work on one each week using Benjamin Franklin’s method:

Habit 1: Strive to be authentic. Be as honest with yourself as you can about what you want and why you do what you do.

Habit 2: Favor trusting relationships. Put your efforts into building relationships with people you can trust and count on, and make sure those same people can trust and count on you.

Habit 3: Maintain a lifestyle that will give you maximum energy. Work your way up to doing aerobic exercise at least three times a week, eating a light lunch, and getting enough sleep.

Habit 4: Listen to your biorhythms and organize your day accordingly. Make it a habit to pay attention to regular fluctuations in your physical and mental energy levels throughout the day; and based on what you learn, make adjustments to how you schedule tasks.

Habit 5: Set very few priorities and stick to them. Select a maximum of two things that are your highest priority, and plan time to work on them.

Habit 6: Turn down things that are inconsistent with your priorities. Get good at saying no to other people, and do so frequently.

Habit 7: Set aside time for focused effort. Schedule time every day to work on just one thing.

Habit 8: Always look for ways of doing things better and faster. Be on the lookout for tasks you do over and over again, and look for ways of improving how you do them.

Habit 9: Build solid processes. Set up processes that last and that run without your attention.

Habit 10: Spot trouble ahead and solve problems immediately. Set aside time to think about what lies ahead, and face all problems as soon as you can.

Habit 11: Break your goals into small units of work, and think only about one unit at a time. Spend most of your time working on the task in front of you, and avoid dreaming too much about the big goal.

Habit 12: Finish what’s important and stop doing what’s no longer worthwhile. Don’t stop doing what you considered worth starting unless there’s a good reason to give it up.

Article written by Pat Brans – sourced from

What other habits can you guys think of applying Mr. Franklin’s method to?   Look forward to your comments:-)

xo Ash



Ughhh… Rush hour, traffic jams, gridlock, sitting in a parking lot (I could go on)… Whatever you want to call it, I despise it.


This is the one major aspect about living in a metropolitan city that really irks me.

It unfortunately is unavoidable when you live within a populated city…or is it???

There are systems many major cities have implemented to help alleviate the congestion on the major roads/ freeways.

Common systems include:

1. HOV lanes built for buses and carpoolers.

2. Ramp metering systems (or ramp signals) which have proved to be successful in decreasing traffic congestion and improving driver safety.

The recent upgrade in Melbourne, Australia has installed 62 ramp meters that are coordinated using the HERO suit of algorithms developed by Markos Papageorgiou and Associates from the Technical University of Crete.  All the ramps can be linked when required to resolve motorway bottlenecks before they emerge. The results of a recent trial improved capacity by 9% over the previous fixed time ramp metering system and average speeds increased by 20kmh.  The HERO system takes real time data every 20 seconds from the motorway, ramps and arterial road in order determine the best signal timing for the next 20 seconds.

3. Driving Fees on major downtown/CBD routes .

Now this leads me to a brilliant talk that I came across on TED.  This talk by Jonas Eliasson goes into how he solved a traffic jam issue on one of Stockholm Sweden’s major bridges.   Jonas Eliasson studies how small charges on crowded bridges effect traffic, what makes a person opt to bike to work and how far people choose to live from public transportation. As the Director of the Centre for Transport Studies at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology, Eliasson helped design, plan and evaluate Stockholm’s congestion tax, which was piloted in 2006 and made permanent in 2007. Eliasson is frequently brought on by other cities that are considering similar fees for rush hour use of crowded roads.

When they implemented a fee to drive on one of Stockholm’s major bridges, it resulted in 20% of the cars disappearing.  This 20% significantly improved the congestion on this bridge.  Interestingly, at the beginning of the fee being introduced the majority of the public were opposed to it and after it was established an astounding 70% of the public wanted to keep the fee – remember this is something that used to be free.  So where did the 20% of the people driving the cars go?  They changed and adapted to a new lifestyle.  The begun riding their bike, taking public transport or carpooling.

I guess what we can take from this with a little nudge, people can change and adapt to a new and most importantly healthy lifestyle.  Additionally, people are also willing pay a price if it leads to their quality of life improving.  Driving is a part of my job and therefore if my city implemented a reasonable fee on the major bridge I drive on each day to and from work I would pay it in a heart beat to gain back some of that time I lose sitting in traffic.

This talk is awesome…have a watch!