Stuck in by past choices

This month I got a notification from my webhost telling me that my webhosting will expire at the end of the month unless I renew.

When I picked up my webhost I went with the cheapest option because…well I was starting out with wordpress and paying for my blogging so I wanted the cheapest incase it went wrong. I had also just started working and didn’t really budget well.

Fast forward and now I host other sites (including for other people) so it made sense to pick up a larger hosting package from a compeititor. The only issue here is that my webhost also provided the domain name and hold ownership of the domain.

This means I can’t switch my website to a different webhost so I either pay more money to keep this site here or I move it and use a different domain name.

That’s not a big deal except I have a few good links to this domain such as to the digital version of the storyline productivity schedule and a few other textexapnder articles. This means that people would no longer find them. That’s a shame.

The moral of the story is not to get stuck with your choice when you start out, make sure you think about how you will grow in the future and insure you can expand. I don’t know what I’m going to do but by the end of the month this site will either

1) still be the same (and I’ll be a few pounds poorer)

2) have moved to a new domain (but everything will still be here)

3) Have been burned to the ground!!! and I’ll start again with a new blog


I don’t know which I will choose.


What I Learnt About Health, Fitness and Smart Devices From a Cancer Survivor

The link above is from a long, sometimes heavy, but also uplifting and inspiring blog post from Federico Viticci of Mac Stories on how he recovered from Cancer with the help of his iPhone.

It resounded with me as I have been on a bit of a personal mission to put on good weight and get healthier as well using technology. It resulted in me using a variety of the latest tools and apps to try and get fit. I started writing journal entries about my performance on Day One to track my progress with the intention of writing up a longer post on my experience.

The truth is that with all these cool tech items including food tracking application, pedometers, workout programs on my phone and activity tracking from my smartwatch, I didn’t make any long term significant changes. [I’m betting many people reading this are similar].

There were a few reasons including things like people questioning me when they saw me food logging (people really find it strange when a thin guy logs his food. Apparently, only fat people should be doing this [that’s not true but it’s certainly been people’s reactions to me].

But the true reason was….motivation.

When you read Federicco’s post you can’t help but notice that before his cancer he didn’t have the motivation to get fit, afterwards he did (and in bucket loads). I go through stints of motivation but they don’t last a long time. If I really want to achieve my fitness goals then I need to boost my motivation. The apps, fitness tracking tools and other accessories can help and I am going back to using them again, but the key factor in mine (or yours) success will be motivation.

[No question today, just a reminder to check out Federico’s post, it’s a really interesting and great read]



Quick thoughts on the Apple Watch

The second pre announcement of the Apple watch has occurred (yup, they’ve not released it yet but pre announced the watch) and a lot of people have had very strong reactions to the watch. Loosely there are three reactions

  1. This is the end to civilisation as we know it [people are going to stop interacting with each other]
  2. No one will buy this, Apple will go out of business
  3. This is the best thing ever ever ever
  4. [bonus:] This will distract me

I am exaggerating each point a little but only a little. In truth, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything pull such a strong reaction…maybe Google glass. But I suspect that none of these things are true. So here are some quick thoughts from me.

  1. The Apple watch will sell “well” no it won’t be another iPhone but it maybe another iPad, in addition the iPhone didn’t start off selling well. Some people will buy the edition but just like a solid Gold rolex, I doubt you or I will see one (often?)

  2. Civilisation won’t end. (going out on a limb there)

  3. People will still interact with each other

  4. The watch may be less distracting than a phone. A more discrete device for quick glances or actions may help you to take action quicker and get back to whatever you’re doing. It may also encourage you to choose more carefully which notifications you get and reduce distractions. [I found that with Android wear]

  5. The Apple watch will be less distracting than Android wear. Google makes money by distracting you, Apple makes money by selling you hardware.

  6. The price will hold off all but the early adopters.

  7. Only the early adopters would buy it anyway. [See android wear]

  8. The interface will be key here. Android wear’s interface is okay but is quite like a phone interface on your wrist. The Apple watch is different, It sounds worse to me but I am waiting to try it out. I thought a touchscreen keyboard would be worse but now I love it.

  9. It will almost exclusively only do things you can do with your phone (to start with at least).

  10. Some of those things will be much better with a device on your wrist [deleting spam emails]

  11. Some will be worse [notifications from your free with in app purchase game]

  12. The square screen is the right direction. I didn’t think so when I first saw smart watches come out but now I’m more convinced it is. The screen is better for an interface and my favourite watch faces aren’t the imitation watch faces but the unique ones that make the most of the data and flexibility of the screen. The work just as well on a square and circular screen.

  13. It’s still to early to say. Many people want to have a firm opinion on this subject, after all they get paid to have a strong for or against opinion [plus ARGH TECHNOLOGY!!! sells really well]. In all likelihood this will be something which is both good and bad and we’ll have to look at the long term effects to really know. Take smart phones, we’ve seen the benefit of being more connected with people all around the world, not having to take some many different items with us (map, camera, notebook) and so on, but we’ve also seen the reduction of communication round the table and increased anxiety for Fear Of Missing Out.


So let’s wait and see eh.

What are your thoughts on the Apple Watch/Smartwatches in general?



Why I’m giving away my best photos with Churchmag

For the last few months I’ve been working on a special photography project. It’s pushed me, challenged me and made me improve my photography ability to get it done.

As projects do, it has changed and evolved over time through a series of different ideas but this weekend will finally see this idea come to life. It’s a project I have code named “Photodesk” but the name is unimportant. What matters is who it is for an the problem it solves. So here it is.

This weekend I’m teaming up with Churchmag to giveaway some of my best photos, ones which have been constructed to help support text and messages to subscribers of the Churchmag newsletter. To help equip the church and christians around the world

That’s it. we’re giving away my best photos for you to use in blog posts, social media updates, church bullitins and more.
Click this link to sign up for the newsletter


Play Hurt

The amateur believes that she must have all her ducks in a row before she can launch her start-up or compose her symphony or design her iPhone app.

The professional knows better. … Athletes play hurt. Warriors fight scared. The professional takes two aspirin and keeps on truckin’.

This kicks off a great post by John Saddington on getting started, and keeping trucking. In the past I think I’ve been pretty good at the former…now I need to get better at the latter. To push through the pain barrier and just keep swimming.

Check out the whole post, it’s worth it.


On daily podcasting

Last weekend I set myself a challenge. It was one that I had come up with the previous week and saw an opportunity to take with the school holiday the previous week and coming week. That challenge was to start a daily podcast (Monday to Friday) Called Droid Today

There were a few reasons for this, I’ve been dying to start a new podcast and had a few false starts in the past year. I’ve recorded demo episodes, had ideas, tried to get guest on board etc. But in the end I finally decided to dive in and go all out with a daily android podcast called “Droid Today” I blame the podcast on podcasting for this

The idea was to do a daily podcast (Monday to Friday), for a month, on Android news and associated topics on slow news days. The show would be limited to only 22 or so minutes to keep it short.

Here are a few quick thoughts on what I’ve learnt so far.

  1. I regretted the idea on day two (I woke up with another 19+ episodes to make before it could end)
  2. I expected fireworks or nothing. It’s been neither.
  3. Episode one took me two days to get ready.
  4. Since episode 2 it’s taken me about an hour for each one.
  5. Getting to the end of week one felt Incredible! Knowing I had met my challenge was a big reward.
  6. I doubt I’m going to meet my targets
  7. I’m going to push to the end anyway
  8. I suspect I’ll keep podcasting afterwards but I’m not sure that it will be daily or about Android.
  9. It’s fun to be doing something other than writing, it doesn’t feel as draining
  10. getting a cough while you are recording is INCREDIBLY annoying.

I’m sure there are more points I could make but in general I think I’d round it up as.

It’s not the best idea. It feels AWESOME to be doing something even if it isn’t going to be successful. I’m sure I’ll carry on with something afterwards.

I suspect this is partially because I’ve set such clear checkpoints and targets as well as limits so I can either walk away or carry on and not feel bad about either. Perhaps this could benefit you?

Are you doing any new challenges? Maybe there is an idea you’ve wanted to do but not quiet worked out. Perhaps you should just go for it and see what happens.


Jekyll blog platform

I came across this blogging platform recently and I’m very interested in the idea. It runs on a “static” page rather than a dynamic system like WordPress and you can blog by simply writing on your Mac or PC and saving a text document into a certain file. This is then turned into your latest blog post.

I love the simplicity of jekyll blogs, no fiddling with plugins, or settings, just write in a simple text editor (in markdown of course) save and go. I’m thinking of switching this site over but there are some issues…namely the installation process requiress some knowledge of basic computer instructions.

Anyway I’m sure I’ll try it out even if I don’t switch.


Why I haven’t achieved my goals

Today I read an article on Cracked that made me discouraged…and then encouraged. You see this article was on why you haven’t achieved anything. Yes you and I. It’s pretty depressing stuff and uses some foul language so you’ve been warned. HOWEVER, it’s also encouraging. It shows that you are like everyone else and there are ways you can change. It part of that crazy section of psychology of “you suck, it’s pretty dam near impossible for you to stop sucking, but actually it’s really simple for you to stop sucking. But you may still suck.”

Anyway you may want to read it. But this got me to think very critically about why I haven’t achieved many of the goals I’ve set out to. Here are some quick reasons why.

  1. I had too many goals

  2. My goals were unrealistic

  3. My goals were too abstract with no actionable points

  4. I was afraid (this is a big one)

  5. I got distracted by another goal

  6. I gave up when the going got tough (see I was afraid)

  7. I wanted the rewards and didn’t really want the work (see previous points)

  8. I didn’t have the skills I needed

Honestly, I think points 4, 5 and 6 are the key ones. The others all form around that. If I had kept putting in the work, then I would have got the skills and the rewards, If I wasn’t so afraid of succeeding and failing at the same time, I would have tried harder. If I had not been distracted by a million ideas, then I would have stuck to my one goal.

The first three are just why my goals were harder or took more time. I firmly believe that smart goals are useful, especially when you consider that the only way to become something or someone is to do something (What does a writer do? Writer, so how do you become a writer…not write? NO DUMMY! [admittedly “Just Write” is terrible advice too])

With all that in mind, it great to think about for the goals I want to achieve (and yes I want to achieve the goal not do the goal which is probably a sign of the problem).

[Bonus] Resolutions

I wrote this post earlier in the week but in the meantime I heard the productivityist podcast with guest Patrick Rohne. In the episode they spent sometime talking about Resolutions and why Patrick doesn’t have resolutions but instead has intentions for the year. His reason for this is because he thinks resolutions have become lazy, uncommitted and weak. Where as an intention is stronger.

I have to agree with him. Everyone expects you to fail a resolution and yet the word comes from Resolve (decide firmly on a course of action.) and Resolute (admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering). Hardly something people should fail or give up on. That just goes to show how easy it is to fail, give up and not make that change.

I feel it reinforces the point from the cracked article, The odds are against you changing. If you want to change, you have to work for it. As John Maxwell says.

What is holding you back?

Do you have a list of things which stop you achieving your goals? Leave a comment below and share your struggles.