Would really like to know.

Here are some things I’ve tried:
* Oil of Oregano – a tried and true favorite
* Airborne – the vitamins, electrolytes, and amino acids tablet that tastes like fanta when you put it in water
* Wellness vitamins/herbs/aminoacids
* Hyland’s homeopathic anti-flu tablets

Here are some things suggested online:
* Dress warmly when you go outside – cover hands, head (and nose?). And get as much sunlight as posisble to build your immune system.
* Gargle daily with water (just simply gargling once a day with water, and keeping hands washed regularly), some Japanese researchers show, but other researchers attribute the effect to placebo.
* Make sure to get outdoors for part of the day and get some sunlight (don’t spend all day indoors).
* Multivitamins are a good idea (many sources all over the web)
* Ginseng supplements may be a good idea
* Drink lots of fluids, gargle with saltwater to make the throat feel better, be in a place with more humidity, and (ta-ta!) chicken soup (I like this article)
* Most importantly, water, fluids, soups, liquids – to hydrate your body so that it can repair faster

Update (2-13-06):
* Lots of Vitamin C and chicken soup (also potentially cold-eeze and homeopathy)
* Suggestions from you guys: lots of sleep (Virginia), ginseng (Toby), ummm, bourbon (thanks, Scott). :)

What do you suggest?
Q: What’s your best remedy for warding off a cold BEFORE it happens?

Friday is Question Friday. Would love to know what you suggest! Thanks.

Idea Matt wrote a great post about a question he asked online, and the answers he got.

Here is his question: How did you get clients when you started your consulting practice? Here are some suggestions that he got:

* Keep a blog and a website for clients to get to know you (fairly expected answer)
* Partner and work with affiliate firms
* Get in touch with your local chamber of commerce, offer to give a talk
* Training courses, conferences
* Write a book
* Write magazine articles
* Write a press release
* Join forums and groups, offer free needs analysis to select members of the forums
* Write a tip sheet
* Have magazine publish an article about your business

Thanks, Matt.

Some interesting new video technology companies:

  • 1938media – video production house, posts new videos daily (from Hugh)
  • Blinkx – video search (from Scoble)
  • NowThen – history of your life starting today – you use your cell phone to email pics daily or however frequently you like (launched a month ago, from blinkx)

Speaking of video technology, here’s a good analysis of one possible result in YouTube/Google land: “pre-rolling” ads.

That’s it. Since we talked about Web 2.0 briefly today, the question is:

What are the best web applications you’ve seen recently?

Some of my answers:
* www.nowthen.com – Collect your history starting from today by emailing the site cell phone pictures of yourself and short text messages.
* I like myspace for musicians.
* Blogs, blogs, and more blogs. I’m a fan of great blogs. Dave Seah, Kathy Sierra, Evelyn, Alvin, Chris, Dave Shearon, Anna, Seth, Logic+Emotion, ConsumingAmbitions, news at PPND, SharpBrains, Cognitive Daily, photo of the day.

What do you think?!?! :)

What exactly is Web 2.0?

Here are two answers:

How does Web 2.0 differ from the regular internet? Some of the problems that people decribe with the early internet is that it was too based on older media, like TV, newspapers, even radio. And it wasn’t enough based on interactivity and personalization. The talk is that there is a new internet coming or in place now (depending on who you ask) that is about the individual user, that is about community, and that is about seamless individualization.

From Kevin’s notes on the page with the video:

Throughout history, each new medium (books, radio, cinema, television) has first been used to produce content equivalent to that found in existing media. The classic example is radio, which was first used to broadcast radio plays—content based on the familiar medium of theater. Eventually, however, out of the unique strengths of a medium will arise a new kind of content: one that doesn’t mimic what came before, but instead delivers an experience that would never have been possible before. Web 2.0 is that stage in the evolution of the Web as a medium.

It turns out that discussion about Web 2.0 can actually make some people pretty emotional. See Kathy Sierra’s post on this – she discusses the difference between Web 2.0 being a buzzword (just a word) and jargon (a word that means something deeper to the people who understand the field). I wrote a bit about jargon in my Quantum Speech post.

And to summarize Seth’s post, the enhancement of Web 2.0 can come from data (Web 3.0) or from intra-people connections (Web 4.0). Seth writes that Tim Berners-Lee defines the future Web 3.0 as a semantic web – where computers can analyze all the data in the world, and specifically all the data relevant to you. Then Seth introduces his version of Web 4.0, in which different gadgets and information systems can talk to each other, and in a way that’s not top-down, but as he describes, is like a tribe – “smaller, far more intense connections with trusted colleagues and their activities.”

Enjoy the future.

It’s interesting that in both Kevin’s talk and Seth’s post, the best way to describe the future is by examples: “What will we be able to do with Web 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0?” Why do you think that is – that we need examples to explain something we don’t yet know? …. Aha, it’s because people think in stories. Because people live in stories and think in stories.

Update: BTW, you can tell that people have strong opinions on the term Web 2.0 if you read Kathy Sierra’s article on the difference between a buzzword and useful jargon for “Web 2.0”.

Welcome to February. Has your life changed since the New Year? Do you want it to?

What is the #1 habit you want to create right now? Do you want to eat healthier? Become more organized? Remember where you put your keys? Give up alcohol?

Here are some new results from Positive Psychology that could help you create new habits and break old behavior. Let’s look at the stories behind these new results to see whether they work for you.


Self-Regulation It turns out that one of the strongest things you can do for yourself to create a new habit is to exercise self-control in some area of your life. Roy Baumeister of Florida State University and his colleagues sum up three studies of self-control in a pre-publication.

The posture study: if you ask college students to watch their posture for two weeks – simply to improve it whenever possible – and then have the students take a self-control activity test, those who had been asked to work on their posture improved their self-control. Moms and ballet teachers all over the world must be celebrating this news.

Self-Regulation as a Muscle Self-control is often referred to as “self-regulation,” and the fascinating thesis of Baumeister and colleagues is that self-regulation can act as a muscle! What are some things that we know about muscles? 1) Muscles can be trained to get stronger over time, and 2) If weak, a muscle can be easily fatigued.

Baumeister postulates that the same two ideas can be applied to self-regulation. If a person is tempted multiple times, “Have a drink…. Come on, have a drink…. Have just one drink,” then each time, it becomes harder to say no. On the other hand, if a person trains his self-regulation, then it becomes easier to say no to temptations. How can you train your self-regulation? Self-regulation is your personality process to exert control over your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Baumeister proposes an interesting result – if you do ANYTHING that requires self-regulation, then that makes it EASIER for you to have self-regulation in EVERYTHING.

Self-Regulation Improves Many Habits

Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Baumeister reports on two studies – the exercise study and the money study. In the exercise study, students were taught a cardio and weights exercise regimen and were told to follow it closely for two months. At the end of two months, not only did their self-regulation increase under test circumstances (link how do scientists measure self-regulation?), but also the exercisers had less junk food, cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine. I know what you’re saying – those things are all related to getting healthier and exercising. True. But additionally, the students reported studying more, watching TV less, and doing more household chores like washing dishes. Why is it that if you start to exercise regularly, then that may result in you getting better grades or being a neater person?

Baumeister attributes it to a well-trained self-regulation muscle. In the money study, participants were asked to manage their finances for four months by following a specific system. Not only did the participants increase their average savings rate over four months from 8% to 38% of their income, but they also improved study habits and doing household chores and decreased cigarette use. Baumeister and colleagues use these results to say that self-regulation is not specific to one domain… being self-regulated in your money management leads to self-regulation in other areas. Does that mean that a person who develops great study habits may suddenly lose a lot of weight and become amazingly buff? Maybe, says Baumeister.

In the current issue of Health Psychology, Peter Hall of Ontario’s Waterloo University studies which part of the brain leads to good self-regulation. His answer is the strong executive function of the frontal lobes. Hall gives participants the Stroop test (try it here) in which the word GREEN may appear in red color. As one author describes, “to answer correctly you have to mentally override the impulse to read the word. The same effortful overriding—and the same underlying neuronal activity—is presumably needed to keep showing up at the gym, even when it hurts.”

STARTING Self-Regulation Today

What is something you can start doing today to put more self-regulation into your life? You can create more structure. Whether you decide that you will pre-pack your lunch so you don’t have something unhealthy at the local café. Or whether you schedule out exercise time for the remainder of the week. Or whether you clean your room. Or whether you decide to pay attention to posture. Or decide that you will open your email only every three hours – 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm – for no more than a half hour each time. Structure something concrete into your life. That’s the best way to develop self-regulation. Structure something simple into your life so it doesn’t turn everything in your life upside down but so that it does create some structure.

Start with a little bit of self-regulation – to get an effect across many habits.

This article is part of a series on creating new habits and behavior modification and originally appeared here.

Senia Maymin Senia Maymin, MBA, MAPP works in the financial industry and consults to corporations about Positive Psychology. Senia is the Editor of Positive Psychology News Daily, and runs a blog about positive psychology at Senia.com. Senia’s bio.

Senia writes on the first of each month, and her past articles are here.