Developing Elusive Habits or How Skiing Made Me a More Productive Person and a Better Father

Five-ish years ago, I went skiing for the second time in my life.

The next morning, newly-discovered leg muscles were sore, and I stretched out on the ski lodge bed, perusing various blogs. I came across a blog that raved about Evernote and its ability to skyrocket productivity. It was love at first download. Not just love for Evernote, but love for the whole idea of improving my productivity and general self-efficacy. 

I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) that afternoon, and when I returned to Boston from the mountains, I implemented a GTD system within Evernote. Since then, I have developed crushes on several other apps and productivity methods. I’ve used these apps and methods to build and maintain my personal time and task management systems, and have learned much about myself and what it takes to be the best version of myself.

But regardless of how many apps I download or productivity books I read, there are always areas in need of improvement.

One such area is journaling. I love to write. I have weird fascinations with notebooks, pens, and pencils, but for whatever reason, the habit of daily journaling eludes me. I know how beneficial it is, yet I start and stop journals all the time. Presently, on my bookshelf and in my desk drawers, there are at least 7 journals with a few entries on the first few pages. And then… nothing. 

Last week, reading a blog post by the Productivityist, Mike Vardy, I decided enough was enough. It’s time to journal and to do so consistently. But how?

Here’s my plan: 

Instead of addressing my journal to my future self, I’m going to address it to my future daughter. 

Someday in the future (I picture this happening on a spaceship), I will hand Barbara Ulysses Motta (kidding, Mom) a box of journals dating back to her second trimester. In these pages, she will see how weird (but productive!) her father is. 

Who better to hold me accountable than Barbara Ulysses? (Still kidding, Mom.)

What habits elude you? What extreme steps could you take to develop the elusive habit?

Tweet me at mjmottajr or e-mail at with your thoughts. 


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