New Year’s Resolutions

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Before we jump into today’s post, I’d like to apologize for the hiatus. Over the last few months, between visits from family and our annual trip home, I was unable to find any time to write. In any case, I’m back now so let’s get to it.

Most people start the New Year with resolutions; the most common being “I’m going to join the gym to lose weight and live healthier.” In fact for most gyms, January isthe best time of the year because everyone is just getting out of vacation mode, and starting to realize how much weight they put on during the holidays. Gyms commonly even double or triple their membership during January.  Most people sign up for the gym with gusto, but stop visiting by February, according to Gold’s Gym.

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The reason I bring this up is that a new gym just opened up in my town. The Honey Bee and I paid it a visit last week and loved it. In fact, we loved it so much that we both signed up right away. All the equipment is shiny and spanking new and the price is ridiculously low. And no, this is not some kind of teaser offer. I’m paying under € 25/month for a massive gym with all the equipment and classes I could ask for. And the best part is that it is located very very close to where I work.

So, what makes this different from any other gym I’ve joined in the past? What prevents me from getting lazy and canceling my membership, you ask. Well, I believe if there is something you want to make yourself do regularly, you have to facilitate it by minimizing the amount of friction involved. For example, at most of the other gyms I’ve joined in the past, I had to wake up much earlier, go out of my way to get to the gym, come back home, bathe, have breakfast, and then head back out again to go to work. All the traveling back and forth was a massive waste of time. But since this gym has opened sooo close to where I work, that friction is minimized.

Let me explain…in order to avoid the crowds and to start off my day right, I continue to work out in the mornings. After my workout, I shower and get dressed at the 3gym itself, and a few short minutes later I am at the office, where after a quick bite (prepared courtesy of the Honey Bee) I get to work. And it’s not like I’m waking up at an ungodly hour or to do this. I wake up only 30 minutes earlier than I used to. The entire process has become much more streamlined and efficient because of not having to travel back and forth, showering at the gym, and having breakfast at work.

I’ve been going regularly for almost a week now, and I honestly feel like this is working for me. Working out allows me to get rid of the any stress, frustration or anxiety that may have built up in my system, thus allowing me to start each day off on a fresh new slate. I feel super energized and positive when I get to work. I can’t recommend this enough. For those of you who are not already doing this, please take this as inspiration/excuse and make your new year’s resolutions accordingly.

On that note, let me wrap this up by wishing you all a very Happy & Prosperous 2018, and here’s hoping that we all stick to our new year’s resolutions.

Feliz Año Nuevo!

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Fun with Time Zones

“What’s the time difference between India and Spain?” a colleague asked me in the middle of a general conversation at the office one day.

“3.5 or 4.5 hours, depending on the time of the year because India doesn’t have Daylight Savings Time and Spain does” I replied.

“How can that be?” he asked. “I’ve never heard of a half-hour time difference!”

Ever since I learned about the concept of time zones and India’s time zone in particular, I always considered a 30 minute time difference normal and never really gave it any thought. But now this simple conversation got me thinking and I decided to investigate.

After some quick research, I understood why he found it strange. Most of the world doesn’t have half-hourly time zones. So, just like a 30 minute difference in time zones was normal for me because I had grown up in one, a one hour difference was standard for him as he had never seen any other. In fact it’s kind of funny, but most of Western Europe and parts of Central & Eastern Europe (> 30 countries), have just one time zone and the US, which is one country, has 6!

As it turns out, apart from 30 minute differences in time zones, there are also 45 minute differences. Both these kinds of time zones are generally more prolific in the Asia-Pacific region. Often, they are also associated with islands that are part of some country, or independent island nations.

In general though, such time zones seem to be used mainly for secular purposes-for countries to distinguish themselves and help them create a distinct national identity.

Some of the larger countries that have non-hourly time zones (including some islands that might belong to these nations) include India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Afghanistan, N. Korea, certain areas of Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

And so, just like that, one simple question challenged a long-held assumption and along the way, the both of us learned something new.

To read more about time zones, you can click here to visit the Wikipedia page.