How we live

Frameworks for life

I love organized patterns, structures, and frameworks. They reduce stress, cognitive load, and decision making on topics where I lack expertise. That means I spend more time focusing on the parts of life I care about. Here are my favorites:

Finances

Ramit Sethi teaches you how to set your finances on auto-pilot. Make money when you’re sleeping and enjoy a nice pool of money called Guilt Free Spending. It took me about six months to get finances buttoned up but it was pretty painless, and to be honest, quite fun. He writes a language easy to understand with anecdotes that make a scary topic accessible.

Home

Marie Kondo believes when our home is a happy place, we can bring our lives into a happy place. Her framework is famous for finding items that spark joy, but her system protects from rebounds or doing a little cleaning every day. Patterns like similar items together and make sure all items are visible in a drawer are small changes that have huge impact.

Art

Julia Cameron’s self-directed 8-week course of writing every morning and taking yourself on artist dates is blissful, inspiring, and challenging. She helps you unblock creative insecurities, experiment with art, and do daily self-reflections. She and I both believe, everyone is creative and can be an artist.

Health

The Whole 30 diet is a true challenge. It’s an elimination diet that only allows for fruit, vegetables, and meat. No sugar, dairy, grains, beans, booze, honey, soy, etc. The authors say

This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.

That’s some tough love. I am still working on finding a way to integrate my Whole 30 insights into a daily lifestyle. Stay tuned on that.

Nina Mehta is an Indian American writer and product designer in San Francisco. She started writing online in the 90s and began her career in journalism near sweet home Chicago. Nina has since lived and worked in Berlin, London, and Tokyo.

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