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Well, it’s a new year, and that means men all over the world are setting goals to improve themselves over the next twelve months.

If you’re one of these men, here’s a useful mental model to keep in mind as you get cracking on your efforts: progress isn’t linear.

Instead, progress usually looks more like the chart above.

It took me a while to internalize this concept, but once I did, it significantly reduced the amount of frustration and angst I experienced as I worked on various personal goals.

Up until a few years ago, I had this notion that if I set a goal, planned meticulously, and executed it day in and day out, my progress towards that goal would be a straight line up and to the right on the line graph of life.

But inevitably, my abstract notion of how I thought progress would look clashed with the reality of how it did, resulting in much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Or, at a minimum, feeling all dejected and put out for a day or two.

How Barbell Training Taught Me Not to Get Discouraged When Faced With Setbacks

The idea that progress isn’t linear really hit home thanks to the barbell training I’ve done for the past seven years. During the first few months of serious training, I did experience linear progress. With every workout, I was able to add weight to the bar. I loved it! It was so motivating to know going into each workout that I’d be hitting new personal records.

But then, about six months into my training, my linear progression stopped. Instead of hitting PRs every workout, I’d hit them once a week. Then after a few months of hitting PRs every week, I began to only hit them once a month. After a few months of hitting PRs monthly, they started to come once every three months, then once every six months, and then once a year.

When I first encountered this slowing progress, my coach had to let me in on a secret about weightlifting: as you get stronger and stronger, it takes longer and longer for your body to accumulate the stress it needs to elicit a strength adaptation. It might even take more than a year to hit a new PR.

In addition to my slowing progress caused by the law of diminishing returns, I’ve also faced a series of injuries during my lifting career — I’ve struggled with tendonitis in my biceps, hamstrings, and adductors — that set me back at various times. Those injuries derailed my progress for weeks and sometimes months.

To show how progress with my barbell training hasn’t been linear, let’s look at my deadlift.

In 2016, I pulled 500 lbs. It wasn’t until the end of 2018 that I pulled 605 lbs. That’s two years. That’s a long time before hitting another milestone. Along the way, I had workouts where I couldn’t even budge 405 off the floor and weeks where it just seemed like I had to keep lowering the weight to hit my reps. In short, the path to 600 certainly wasn’t a straight shot.

At the beginning of 2020, I hit another deadlift PR: 615. In other words, after a year of hard work, I added a measly ten pounds to my deadlift.

I’m amid a lull in my barbell training right now. For the past several months, I’ve been battling knee pain and tennis elbow that have made training impossible. I’m focusing on rehab and hopefully on the road to recovery. It’s taken a while, though. I hope to be back to serious training here in a few months. If all goes well, I may even hit a few new PRs in a year or so.

Progress with these injuries hasn’t been linear either. Some days I feel like I’m about to turn a corner with them, but then the very next day, the pain comes roaring back. But if I look at where I was four months ago with these injuries compared to where I am today, I’ve definitely made progress; it’s been up and down, but with a generally upwards trajectory. It’s progress, it’s just not linear.

Making Progress on Being a Mope Hasn’t Been Linear Either

Another area where I’ve seen progress, but not linearly, is my mood. I’m mercurial by nature. I’ve struggled with the black dog for most of my adult life. It’s something I’ve consciously been working on for the better part of 15 years. Overall, I think I’m in a better place now with my mood. Kate would affirm this. My temperamental troughs are less frequent than they were a decade ago, and when they do hit, they’re very

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Odds & Ends: October 27, 2023

Why Note-Taking Applications Don’t Make us Smarter. I like the concept of creating a super-powered cloud-based brain by capturing my thoughts and readings in a central note-taking application. My note-taking application will unleash an untapped torrent of creativity, I dream. Every time I try to put the idea into action, the results are always disappointing. This article will explain what could be causing the lack of enthusiasm. You can’t really outsource the old-fashioned way of thinking to a machine. Not yet, at least.

Clive Barker’s The Thief Of Always We have just finished reading it aloud to our family and everyone enjoyed it. Clive Barker is a prolific horror writer for adults. He also wrote this book aimed towards children. The story revolves around young Harvey Swick whose boredom drives him to the Holiday House where he spends each day experiencing all four seasons and major holidays. What could be more fun than celebrating Halloween and Christmas each day? There is a price to pay for all the fun. The second half is weaker than the beginning, but it’s still a good book for a pre-Halloween quick read.

Peak Refuel Backpacking Meals. Last week, the McKays backpacked in AR and ate these freeze-dried foods during our trip. These are the meals we like to take with us when backpacking. These meals are delicious and contain more calories (and protein) than most other backpacking foods. Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Pesto Pasta and Beef Stroganoff are two of the best.

WoodWick Candles Hygge is in order as the weather gets colder. Hygge, a Danish concept, is the idea of creating an atmosphere of coziness and relaxation in your home, especially during the darker and colder seasons of winter and fall. Hygge is a Danish concept that emphasizes the importance of candles. WoodWick makes one of our favourite candles. The wick, as the name suggests, is made of wood. When lit, it looks like a fireplace fire. It’s soothing. It’s great for meditations with fire.

Quote of the week

In a certain sense, a person who looks at the present through the lens of the future and takes into consideration his entire being, can be satisfied with his lot. . . If a person reaches the point of being so satisfied that they say, “I don’t want to learn any more or do anything more or be any further,” then he should be turned into a mummy. A mummy, of all things hideous, is the most hideous. And the most hideous mummies are the ones that run around the streets talking.

–H.W. Beecher

The Art of Manliness published Odds & Ends – October 27, 2023 first.

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Gifting Ideas for The Upcoming Season – Thanksgiving Edition

This article originally appeared here: Gifting ideas for the Upcoming Season, Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving is not just about turkeys, pies and parades. It’s also a time to celebrate the warmth and joy of family and the expression of gratitude. The hearty meal may be the highlight of the day, but it is the thoughtfulness and care that goes into the gifts that we give to our loved ones that really embody this special occasion. The festive season is fast approaching, and there’s never been a better time to think about thoughtful gifts to show our loved ones how much we care.

Host/Hostess gifts

What do you give to the person who does all the work in the kitchen, if anything?

When in doubt, choose the classics. The combination of a fine bottle of wine and artisanal cheeses is always a winner. It’s the ideal gift to express your appreciation to your Thanksgiving host, offering a sophisticated touch to the festive celebrations.Customized Serving Trays: If you want to add that extra personal touch, consider gifting a customized serving tray. It can be engraved with a family name or special message. This keepsake will make their Thanksgiving spread a memorable one.

Gifts for Family

The best family gifts involve sharing experiences, making memories and cherishing our time together.

Board Games and puzzles: There’s nothing that brings families together more than a friendly competition. These gifts are sure to bring hours of enjoyment and engagement, whether it is a strategy game that tests the mind or a picture puzzle with a scenic view. They’re also a great way to bridge generation gaps, so everyone, from the grandma down to the youngest relative, can have a good time. DIY Craft Kits: Let your creative juices flow! These kits aren’t only for children; they can be used by the whole family. These kits are great for anyone who wants to get their hands dirty. They can be used to create Thanksgiving decorations, paint, or do any other crafty project. Who knows? Who knows?

Fashionable Gifts

Dressing up is a part of the holiday spirit. Why not give a gift that will add a little style to your celebration?

Varsity jackets are cool. It could be the nostalgia that they bring back, or their effortless style. These jackets are versatile and trendy, making them a wardrobe staple. These jackets are versatile and can be worn with anything. They’re a wardrobe essential. These unique designs are not only beautiful but tell a tale. These pieces make the recipient feel valued and remembered. They are a great choice for the holiday season.

Tech and Gadgets

Tech gifts today are not just flashy gadgets. They’re also tools that can enhance our everyday experiences.

Smart Home Devices – The future is intelligent, so what better way to enter it than by using smart home devices. These devices, whether they’re voice-controlled assistants or smart lighting or thermostats that can be controlled by a smartphone, not only make your life easier, but also modernize any home. These are the perfect gifts for those who want to stay on top of their game. They’ll elevate your living space. What’s a good party without some tunes? Portable Bluetooth speakers allow you to take your music with you wherever you go. Compact, powerful and boasting impressive

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Reviewing The Black Label Trading Co. Royalty Cigar

Black Label Trading Co. Royalty Cigar

Black Label Trading Co. Royalty Cigar

While scrolling through CigarPage’s catalog, I came across Black Label Trading Co.’s aggressive macabre branding and was immediately curious.

I am the target demographic for this brand; I have a black cat, my first concert was Iron Maiden, and I have a 12-foot skeleton in front of my house that stands year-round, scaring children and squirrels alike.

If the branding doesn’t pique your interest, knowing that this cigar won the 2023 Cigar Journal’s Best Boutique Nicaraguan Brand award should. Come along as I review the Royalty corona via the following categories:

Cigar FormulaCigar OverviewLook & FeelFlavours & BurnIdeal PairingsOverall Experience

You can use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to learn more.

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Download the Black Label Trading Co. Royalty Cigar Matrix as a PDF.

Black Label Trading Royal Cigar Review Formula
Learn more about the Bespoke Unit Cigar Formula

Cigar Overview

Brand: Black Label Trading Co.Range: RoyaltyReviewed Vitolas: 5.5 x 42 CoronaWrapper: Ecuadorian CorojoBinder: HonduranFiller: NicaraguanFactory: Oveja Negra, EstelíHandmade: YesBody: FullEstimated Smoking Time: 60  MinutesPricing: $132 / Box [Buy Now]

The Royalty range uses an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper, Honduran binder, and long Nicaraguan filler tobacco. The cigars are hand-rolled in Estelí, Nicaragua, at the Fábrica de Oveja Negra, which translates to “black sheep factory.”

Black Label Royalty Cigar with Box & Formula

Shop The Black Label Royalty Online!

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