Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Darwin Day 2018

Monday, February 12th, 2018 | Life

Happy Darwin Day!

Exams

Sunday, January 28th, 2018 | Life

It feels like not a lot has happened in January. But it has been a busy month. Primarily because most of my Christmas and early January was taken up with revision for exams.

It’s not like undergraduate where we had them stacked on top of each other: we only had four to do. But you can’t get away with undergraduate level answers, either.

We also had an essay deadline. This fell on the first day of teaching for semester two. However, I submitted it at noon the day before, giving me a good 17 hours of relaxation between the two semesters.

It also feels like an anachronism that I’ve done all of this work: include deadlines in November and December, and we’re still waiting for results from the lot of them. I understand why marking takes a long time, but I’m part of the social media-obsessed instant generation. Basically, I don’t want to put in any work for semester two if I have already failed.

2017 in review

Saturday, January 6th, 2018 | Life

In, January I set out to make 2017 my year of marketing. Have I learnt it? Well, I’ve definitely learnt a lot. But there is always more to know. January was also “book launch” month. I released Why Restaurants Fail and How to Exit VIM, which, despite both being short books, would turn out to be my most popular. Our friends Craig & Zoe welcomed Holly into the world.

Valentine’s Day is tricky when you have a baby, so February was not all it could have been. As if it wasn’t already bad enough that I had had to trade down my guitar amp. The Patriots won the Super Bowl and I launched a new version of my website.

The excitement of our domestic lives increased significantly in March when we bought a stick blender. It proved very useful for Malaysian month. In business, I launched the IT Career Acceleration course and launched the WAM online store, built with Stripe and React. Venla had her naming ceremony.

I published yet another book in April. This time it was the Human Baby Cookbook. I also discovered that costermonger is a real thing and made it to the Division E final in the public speaking world championships. In business, I launched one of my courses on Udemy. Most of my time, though, was taken up running my 30-Day Anxiety Challenge for WAM subscribers.

Everyone knows that May is all about Eurovision. Portugal won for the first time. We discovered chanterelles in Pateley Bridge and said goodbye to Ho’s Chinese. On the back of my 30-Day Challenge, I launched my 4th book of 2017, Do More, Worry Less. And knocked a respectable 24 minutes off my half marathon time. Anxiety Leeds pitched at Leeds SOUP.

In June, Venla had her first trip to the beach and started learning the xylophone. We celebated Kerny’s first birthday and had a changing of the guard at West Yorkshire Humanists as Moz stepped down as chair and we celebrated 50 years of the group’s existence. Food was tasty but small due to canape month. I wrote half a million words in one week (according to Grammarly).

It was a good foodie month in July with hand-rolled truffles and MasterChef-inspired dishes. We attended the annual Finnish picnic and celebated Higgs Day. I ran an okay-ish time in the Leeds 10k and launched my Mindfulness for Anxiety course.

Things got technical in August, with a focus on accessibility and mobile-first navigation. We celebrated Leeds Pride and Anxiety Leeds published its first impact report. It was also a month crammed with sport: inspired by the Tour de France we got on bikes for the first time in decades. We went swimming. And I traded in my Air Retaliation 2s for new trainers and brought my Parkrun PB down to 25:06. We celebated Gran’s 90th birthday and Finland turning 100. Riitta came to visit and Hugh and Anna got married.

In September I helped the NHS launch their new homepage before heading back to university. We bought bikes and went to City Ride and ran the Kirkstall Abbey 7. I made a very early exit in the Toastmasters speech contest.

Richard Thaler collected a long-overdue Nobel prize in October. We celebated our second wedding anniversary and Venla’s first birthday. I also celebrated my birthday, just after squeezing in last year’s birthday present. I ran the Yorkshire 10 Mile in under 90 minutes and moved my Parkrun PB down to 24:37.

I declared that November would be a month of action for my business and it was. I published two books: a book version of the IT Contracting Master Class course and Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy. I published my course Mindfulness for Social Anxiety and made Running For Anxiety available to the public. I went to my first business networking event, WapenTalkie. Outside of work, I went sub-50 in the Abbey Dash, completed my first duathlon (and my second and continued training on the bike.

Finally, in December we celebrated the festive season. It wasn’t quite a white Christmas, but it did snow. Venla mastered the art of standing up and climbing and we celebrated Finland’s independence day. Elina became an auntie for the second time. We held the 8th annual Holiday Food Drive for local homeless shelters. I placed 9th in the Braham pie-athalon: a dualthon where you had to scoff a mince pie at each transition, and completed my first sportive.

Defrosted freezer

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 | Life

I, Chris Worfolk, hereby certify that on the 21 December 2017 I defrosted the freezer. In accordance with the presence established in case law by Pics vs I Didn’t Happen, I submit this photo, including the EXIF data, as proof. Thus, should any other party to this marriage again attempt to claim that they might have done it last time so it wasn’t their turn, even though they have never done it in the entire time we have lived at this properly, this post will serve as evidence to the falsity of their claim.

Finnish Christmas Carols 2017

Thursday, December 21st, 2017 | Life

The Finnish Christmas Carols event is betting busier. It was standing room only this year. And the number of children seem to have multiplied, too. Venla still isn’t really old enough to know what is going on, but I took her to the front to dance in the children’s bit anyway.

Breathe stoke swimming

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 | Life

Apparently, most of the internet believes that breaststroke is called “breathe stoke”.

30 Days of Action: Day 30

Thursday, November 30th, 2017 | Life

How fast time flies. We’re at the end of the 30 days. Although, of course, many people have banged out a novel in this time.

First, things I’ve done today: I finished closing down the Mountain Wallet website. I’ve upgraded all of my WordPress installs to the latest version. Hopefully, this will fix the image upload bug.

For my own sake, I’m also going to review what I have achieved in the past 30 days.

What I’ve done this month

I finished writing, editing and producing my new book, Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy. It’s now available in paperback, Kindle and iBooks edition.

In fact, this is only one of two books I published in November, as I also released the book edition of the IT Contracting Master Class. Unlike the Skeptic’s Guide, nobody has bought a copy yet. But, at £75 a copy, who can blame them.

I’ve released a new course, Mindfulness for Social Anxiety. I’ve also given my existing courses some love by fixing the audio on Get More Restaurant Customers and adding captions to all of the lectures. I’ve also taken Running For Anxiety out of private beta and launched it to the public.

I’ve got a lot of content writing done for WAM. At least six new blog posts. I’ve also released five new videos and reached out to a number of guest posting opportunities, of which one was accepted. There has also been some behind-the-scenes work too, fixing Search Console errors and adding the new image search to the CMS.

I launched the personalised reports on WAM, too. These have already shown themselves to be a good potential avenue for bringing in new leads.

I’ve attended my first business networking event in the form of WapenTalkie.

I’ve also taken some of the hard decisions such as cancelling my 5000bc and Audioblocks memberships. I’m normally pretty bad at taking action here, but it had to be done.

What are the outcomes?

Much of what I have done will have benefits further down the line than can be seen immediately after. However, there are some promising indicators already:

I’ve had my best ever month selling courses. In fact, a few more sales today and I will have generated more revenue this month than the last six months combined.

Book sales are looking up a little, too. People are already buying Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy and a lot of people have bought How to Exit VIM, too.

Traffic on WAM is up approximately 20% between October and November and I’ve generated around a dozen potential new leads in the first week or so of the personalised reports going live.

Review of outcomes

There has definitely been some success this month, and avenues to explore further.

But, overall, it’s nowhere near good enough.

Productivity this month has been good. But it hasn’t felt that way: it feels like I’ve spent far too much time being ill, or looking after Venla. Fatherhood is rubbish because none of this is quality time, it is dealing with problems.

Secondly, the outcomes have, so far, been pretty poor, too. Sure, it’s better than I was doing. But it’s not paying the bills. Unless I can 100x the effectiveness of what is happening, it’s not going to be funding my Lamborghini anytime soon.

30 Days of Action: Day 29

Thursday, November 30th, 2017 | Life

Still ill yesterday, so I struggled through my full day of uni and then went home. Still a bit of process, though.

I finished writing a blog post on mindathlons, and I started drafting a new blog post on the physiological affects of anxiety.

I have also submitted an updated description to iBooks for Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy.

30 Days of Action: Day 28

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 | Life

Today has been an absolutely miserable day. Venla has passed her cold on to both Elina and I. Elina is really suffering and I had to continue on regardless as I had an exam. So, it’s been shit.

I have got two things done:

First, I’ve added an image search to the WAM CMS. This isn’t public facing, but it is useful for me.

Second, I’ve added the new videos to the blog posts. So, anyone reading the blog post can now watch the video instead. It’s been frustratingly complex because YouTube has changed their embed options so you no longer have a size option.

I’ve also spent some time trying to fix WordPress. Version 4.9 seems to have introduced a bug which prevents images from being uploaded. No luck there, though.

30 Days of Action: Day 27

Monday, November 27th, 2017 | Life

Venla has given me her cold and I have an exam tomorrow. I also strained my ankle on my run on Sunday. So, I’ve been pretty gentle with myself today, as I think up cleverer and cleverer ways to take revenge on my daughter.

I’ve got quite a bit done, though:

First of, Running For Anxiety is now live on the WAM website. Hordes of people have not yet signed up, but it will take a few days for Google to index it so we might be looking at Wednesday before the crowds join by their thousands.

I’ve been through Google Search Console and fixed all of the crawl errors on the website.

I’ve written next week’s Live Better newsletter. This one is on the topic of foods to avoid when you have anxiety.

I’ve written four blog posts for WAM, on the topics of caffeine, cognitive reappraisal, triathlon and yoga. Normally, I would think that four was too productive because I want my blog posts to be high quality, so I shouldn’t be able to produce them at that speed. However, I had them half written, either physically, or in my mind, so I’m not too worried.

Finally, I’ve updated my personal website to bring the books section up to date.