And the winner is…


Thanks to all those who entered my competition to win the Muji-Chrononotebook.

The entry closing date was Saturday 10th January 2009 at 12pm GMT.

Here’s how the winner was selected.

1. I had 11 entries in the end (which was strange because when I announced the competition a lot more people were interested)

I entered the numbers 1 to 11 in to the website. When put in random order whichever number appeared first would be the winning comment:


2. Hit Randomize!


3. So No. 7 came out first. Over to the entries to see which comment is No. 7.


4. And the winner is…..MIKE, from Providence, RI – well done Mike, check your inbox!

Thanks for all of the entries and kind comments guys. Look out for more competitions in the future!


A few notes on running competitions on your blog (if you have one)

  • I decided to run a ‘Subscriber only’ competition for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the chance to give a little back to my subscribers as a thanks (to add extra value to being a subscriber of my blog) and secondly to see if running a subscriber competition would increase numbers. It did increase numbers so I am pleased. I am also aware that people may have only subscribed to enter the competition but I am OK with this as it is inevitable, and it still gets me on their radar.
  • I thought it would be really easy to add a password to the end of a blog post that could only be visible by RSS or Email subscribers. How wrong I was! Unless I completely missed something in my googling, there is no easy way. I tried a footer plugin that didn’t work (hence two posts to annouce the competition, sorry about that). In the end I had to get something up there quickly. I used feedburners ‘feed flares’ feature, which is where you can add links to the end of your feed such as “add to delicious” or “digg this”. I tried to make a custom one but I’ve not messed around with XML before so it didn’t work. I had to therefore opt for an already available text only feed flare hence the rather odd password “Hello, World”.
  • What have I learned about running a competition on my blog? 1. Test your entry mechanism first! (I should have done this anyway and not procrastinated – not taking my own advice on that one!) 2. It is a great way to increase subscribers, I got a jump of probably over 30 subscribers. I also got a link off Zen Habits at that time though…



In other news: Ross over at the excellent Will it Change You? blog has just released his eBook “Jump-Start Change”. Do head over an check it out.

Image by Kazeeee on Flickr via Creative Commons

Why I Blog (and 5 other random things)


I’ve been tagged! Thanks to Ross over at the excellent Will it Change You? Blog.

I’m not usually one for chain letters or anything similar to that, but I’ve never been tagged in a blog meme myself so I thought I’d give this one a shot. Please forgive the boring insight into my personal life, but maybe you will find it mildly interesting. I’ve published this on a Friday for some relaxed reading.

OK, here goes –  6 random things about me.

1. I play the Guitar. For those that have followed my Lifestyle Project, this may not be something that you didn’t know but I have been playing for over a decade now and I’m still to be signed. Seriously, I really enjoy playing and find it a great way to relax. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to song writing and soloing, which is probably why I haven’t really ever managed to finish writing a song and knit-pick the exact notes of a solo over and over again until I get there.

2. I did a parachute jump once. It was a static line jump from 4,000ft. I was amazing and surreal.

3. I’m an Advanced Scuba Diver. Once upon a time I wanted to move out to Australia and be a dive instructor. The fact is that I haven’t done any proper diving for years now, but the flame still burns. I’ve lost my diving log book which was a bit careless. I really want to go diving in Cuba and give my girlfriend the gift of experience scuba diving.

4. I collect watches. Or I like to think I do. I have 10 now I think, but my last watch purchase was to cut this down a bit as I now have a good quality everyday watch and a dress watch.

5. I wear contact lenses. Boring I know but I was running out of things to say.

6. The real reason I started this blog is….well when I originally started I was just messing about with the technology (I’m a well and truly out of the closet geek), I was reading a lot of blogs and getting on the whole productivity bandwagon. One thing I noticed about myself is that I am a starter and not a finisher. I quickly loose interest in things once I have mastered them with a reasonable level of competence. Acknowledging this I starting blogging a few times but gave up quickly. Once I learned more I actually got in to a regular posting routine and it’s been consistent for 8 months now (which is quite good for me to stick at something). Anyway, I wanted to prove that I could finish things, so I though if I could just finish a blog post that would be me learning to finish something. So yes every time I finish a blog post I ‘complete’ something. This is a real challenge for me. I am great at starting blog posts and coming up with ideas, but getting to the finished article is the real challenge, so with every post I publish I get a tiny little bit better at actually finishing things. Small steps.

So there you have it, my 6 Random things.

Here’s the science bit.


7. DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN (not actually a rule)

You’ve Been Tagged

I’ve chosen people who are active contributors to my blog, those who have made an effort to communicate with me and those who I think may participate:

Apologies if you have been tagged before. If you don’t want to participate by posting on your blog you could always leave a comment on this post with your 6 things or opt out completely, like I said at the beginning of the post I am not normally one for such things as I like to keep blogging simple.

P.S. I did think of trying to start my own meme asking people “What’s Your Lifestyle Project?” and tagging them in, to try and get the concept circulating around the blogosphere, but I thought it might be a bit spammy.


Image by Sarah Parrott on Flickr via Creative Commons

Our Lifestyle Projects (and the future)

This your kind of thing? Please think about subscribing via RSS or eMail (it’s free).
Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Image by Vermin Inc on Flickr via Creative Commons
Image by Vermin Inc on Flickr via Creative Commons

“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” John M. Richardson Jr.

Without doubt, I think that the part of my Blog that has triumphed is the “What’s your Lifestyle Project?” page. It was a slow start, but once a few people posted the confidence of the community grew and now the flood gates have opened for people sharing their Lifestyle Projects. This is excellent, thanks to everyone that has shared.

If you haven’t shared your Lifestyle Project yet, please take a moment to think about it and do so here.

I have to be honest, I’ve been on a bit on a mission with Twitter recently and whenever someone follows me I send them a thanks notice via Tweet Later which invites them to share their Lifestyle Project on the Blog. This has been a great success, with 50 people so far sharing their Lifestyle Projects. I have done a short response to every single one, but plan to contact some individuals in the future to do some more in depth responses, actions plans and posts. Drop me a line if you would be interested lifestyle [dot] project [at] yahoo [dot] com.

What I have noticed so far is that there are a number of similar projects (or goals) amongst the submissions. I guess to an extent this is to be expected as readers of my Blog, and my followers on twitter are bound to have similar interests. There is a strange comfort in knowing that other people are striving for the same achievements as yourself and I’m sure we can all help each other realise our dreams.

My plans now are to improve this area of the site and refocus the Blog content more strategically towards helping myself and my readers pursue their Lifestyle Projects. I will be analysing the responses so far and aiming to increase submissions. I want to keep that area of the site simple but I am going to pursue options for managing people’s submissions of Lifestyle Projects better. I am aware of various sites that people can use to track their goals, but really all you need to track your goals in a list of what you are prioritising.

I’m on holiday next week, in part to research options for moving abroad as mentioned previously. Once I get back I plan to move the Blog properly on to a hosted platform, with a site redesign and more content focus.

So over to you my readers, how would you like to see this area of the site (and indeed the blog as a whole) progress? I have some ideas but would be interested in your feedback. Please do leave a comment below and let me know.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your kind words about the blogs so far, and taking time to interact with the Lifestyle Project community! The futures bright, so stay tuned!


Thanks for your feedback on my Friday Fun & Roundup posts. For the moment, I’m going to stick with them and try and make the posts as interesting and useful as possible.


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