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Welcome to PhilNewton.net

As this is my first post here, I thought I'd write a little about my goals for this site.

The two most important goals for me are:

Improve every day

As the tag line suggests, I want to improve myself every day. I also want to improve the day of anyone who reads this blog.

I love to learn, and I've realised that blogging is a great platform to learn from. Not only can it help you interact with intelligent people who share your passions, but it helps you improve yourself as you start to learn your own capabilities.

Say something worth hearing

A lot of people with blogs want to be heard. I want to say something worth hearing. Sharing what I learn is a big part of this goal, and as blogging is also a good learning platform, the odds for achieving this are stacked in my favour.

The rest

I have plenty more goals, but these are the core ideas that I'm building the site around.

I'll be updating some of my older articles from the Sodaware blog to publish on this site, but for the next few months I'll be focussing on adding new, interesting content.

Printable CEO Scoring

Jana recently asked an interesting question relating to my progress log system – specifically about my modified version of the Printable CEO:

"My question: do you use your modified PCEO just for work-related activities or also for non-work goals (i.e., the activites to ensure 'balance')?"

The short answer is "It's mostly business", and to be honest I never really thought about adding many non-work activities to it. The "b-Alert" tracker takes care of making sure I'm balancing my day, and the PCEO gives me a way of measuring how productive I've been. So far it's helped overcome the problem of doing lots of small (and important) tasks and feeling like I've wasted a day, because I can look at the scores and see that I achieved a lot. I like that.

This question came at a good time, as I've recently modified some of the activities on my score card to reflect a slight adjustment in focus. I'll compare old and new, and walk through a few of the decisions I made when creating my score card.

Old vs New

The Old Way
10 Concrete project work
10 Direct income work
5 Blog or site article
5 Personal or business development
5 Publicly publishable code
2 Site promotion
2 Concrete business work
2 Project proposal
1 Volunteer project work
1 Misc. Contribution
The New Way

10 Concrete project work
10 Direct income work
5 Blog or site article
5 Personal or business development
5 Publicly publishable resource
2 Business promotion
2 Concrete business work
2 Volunteer project work
1 Misc. Contribution
1 Building/Strengthening a relationship

How I created the original score card

When I first started using the PCEO, I was a little unsure of what activities to use, so a lot of the points are similar to Dave's original system. Looking over them, you can see they're divided into four major sections:

  • "Visible" work – The high scoring activities are all visible work. "Concrete Project Work" can cover anything on a project, from documentation to coding some fancy particles.
  • Things of value – The next scoring band concentrated on things that are of value to other people, such as sharing source code or writing an article for the blog. It also covered business/personal development work, such as writing goals or creating something that helps with business work.
  • "Smaller" business tasks – "Concrete business work" covered most business tasks, such as tweaking the website, doing accounts or anything else not covered higher up the chain.
  • Contribution – I do volunteer work for the Scout Association, and I felt planning activities for that deserved rewarding on the PCEO chart. "Misc. Contribution" covers helping other people on forums or newsgroups.

The new and improved version

There aren't any radical changes, but I think the small tweaks I made will have a positive effect. I was quite happy with the original scoring, but I felt it had a few weaknesses which I've tried to address:

  • Promoting volunteer work – I removed the somewhat redundant "Project Proposal", and promoted volunteer work into its place, because I felt that I was neglecting this area a little.
  • "Strengthening/Creating relationships" – Going back to Dave's version, I liked the section on relationships. It's all too easy to overlook the important relationships in our lives, whether they're business or personal. Again, that's a weakness in my original system that I wanted to address.
  • Other tweaks – I changed the focus on a few items slightly. "Site promotion" went to "business promotion", and "publishable code" went to "publishable resource". This gave it a broader scope, and means there is a reward for sharing any resource of use, such as a template.

That's all folks!

So that's my PCEO scoring system in all its glory. If you're just getting started with the Printable CEO, it can be difficult to work out a way of scoring your activities, but hopefully seeing my version will inspire you to create something cool.

External Articles: David Seah - The Printable CEO

30 Days of Positive Affirmations - Conclusion

So, my thirty day trial of affirmations is now over. How did things go?

What was it all about?

My "experiment" was to use positive affirmations on a daily basis, to see if they made a difference in my life. The initial idea was to repeat my affirmations once in the morning when I woke up, and then again at night just before I went to bed. I started with six affirmations, most of which were inspired by content on bmindful.com.

What went wrong?

The first week went well, but I noticed something of a slow down in week two. I tweaked my affirmations to make them shorter and easier to remember, and I also increased my exposure to them by carrying them around on a small card in my wallet. I found the article "Creating Effective Affirmations" at bmindful particularly useful when rewriting my affirmations.

What went right?

As I touched on in But I Can't!, sometimes I will mentally talk myself out of a situation through a negative self voice. I've found that using daily positive affirmations has stopped me from using this negative voice, and I've often found myself overriding my negativity with my new affirmations.

It's refreshing to be in a situation that would normally cause anxiety, and to hear your "inner voice" repeating positive affirmations instead of negative ones, and needless to say it makes a difference to mood and productivity. I found that shorter affirmations worked best, so I modified my original six accordingly. I also found that more focussed affirmations worked better, so I kept each affirmation focussed on a single subject. The increased exposure was also quite effective, especially as some affirmations tend to stick better than others.

Was it worth doing?

Undoubtedly, yes. I'm sticking with these affirmations for the foreseeable future. Whilst they haven't completely transformed my life, they've made a noticeable improvement. As with everything I do, I'll continue tweaking my system to get the best results.

If you're thinking of using positive affirmations in your life, I can highly recommend "bmindful.com". It has a selection of well written articles about affirmations, and also has a list of affirmations that you can add to your own custom list.

Affirmations - Week Two

I've finished my second week of using daily positive affirmations, which wasn't as eventful as the first week. Here's a look at my observations so far:

What's working?

I still get a positive boost when reading them in the morning, and they're still helping me through sticky situations.

I'm still surprised by just how effective they can be at times, and I often find myself repeating my affirmations if I'm feeling low. They don't completely remove the negativity, but they certainly make a difference.

What's not working?

Although I look at my affirmations twice a day, they're still not as ingrained as I'd like them to be. There are still times when they don't seem to work, and I think this problem could be solved by exposing myself to my affirmations more often.

Some affirmations are working much better than others, and I've found that short, simple and focused ones work much better for me.

What's going to change?

I've got six affirmations, which I'm going to tweak slightly. A few are a little too verbose, and some overlap a little in their intent. I'm also going to increase the regularity at which I read them, and make a small card to carry around with me.

So far this experience has been quite eye-opening. I always suspected affirmations would have a positive effect, but I never got around to trying them out. The results I'm getting so far are certainly encouraging, and I'm hoping these tweaks will improve my performance.

Affirmations - Week One

It's been a week since I started using daily positive affirmations, and I'm seeing some interesting results so far.

There's definitely been a positive effect. I've been in a few negative situations over the past week, and when my usual reaction of feeling down started, my affirmations kicked in and I booted out the offending thoughts. It was certainly an uplifting experience.

If you've ever heard of the "Law of Belief", you'll probably recognise what's happening. The Law of Belief postulates that people behave in a manner consistent with their beliefs. It's a simple principle that can have powerful results, but most people only ever experience the negative effects.

For example, if you sit on your own, slouch down and say to yourself "I'm such a failure", then that's exactly what you'll be! Having this negative belief will do you no good at all, and will only help to reinforce your feelings.

The good news is that you can choose to believe whatever you want, and that is a very powerful tool for personal development. Affirmations will help you reinforce positive beliefs, and banish those limiting negative beliefs.