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How To Make Your Own Standing Desk and Save $600

How To Make Your Own Standing Desk and Save $600

A few years ago, a friend of mine bought one of the first standing desks when they hit the market. I fell in love with his standing desk until I heard how much it cost him — over $600!

More and more standing desk alternatives have hit the market, but the costs still hover in the several-hundred-dollar range. I knew there had to be a way to drive down the price, and in less than 30 minutes, I figured out the solution that I’m going to share with you here today.

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Here, I’m going to show you how you can make a standing desk in 30 minutes for less than $20. Yes, I did say $20.

Do I have your attention now?

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A Little Background on the Standing Desk

The standing desk is a godsend for those who are doing their best to shy from the sedentary lifestyle. According to Kelly Starrett, famed physical therapist, standing desks assist with avoiding musculoskeletal injuries, but the key is to take it slow and work your way into using one. Using a standing desk exclusively can create back problems when acclimating too quickly. The positive benefit? Standing while working can increase caloric expenditure by as much as 300 calories per day.

With that information quickly covered, let’s get cracking and get you standing!

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Step 1: Measure the distance from the floor to your elbow.

Using a ruler or tape measure, find the distance from the floor to your elbow. My measurement was roughly 40 inches, the approximate point that your keyboard should be to provide a comfortable working area for productivity.

Step 2: Find a lifter for your desk or table legs.

Channelling the hidden MacGyver in me, I did some research and found an incredible bargain! Instead of buying a desk, hydraulics, or some space-age leverage system, I found just the item I was searching for. It’s called a bed riser. This little gem is what allows you to raise your existing desk, raising and resting the legs within this inverted plant pot-shaped device. Depending on your height, you may need to stack a few of these risers. I’m 5 feet 10 inches, so one was plenty for me. Bed risers are available at IKEA, Wal-Mart, or any place that sells beds. A set of four at IKEA costs $4.49. Other places sell them at $11 for a set of four.

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Step 3: Adjust to your preference.

Once my wife and I safely set our existing desk onto the risers, we needed a few adjustments to get the keyboard closer to elbow height. Luckily, I found some wood in my garage. Using a plank and two 2X4’s, I screwed it all together. My standing desk cost me $4.50 out of pocket. With wood to purchase or asking for remnant pieces from the hardware store, the project could still be completed for around $20 — certainly for much less than $600!

Conclusion and Review

So, let’s review what you need to do in three easy steps:

  1. Determine the right distance from the floor to your elbow.
  2. Using bed risers, place the legs into the risers.
  3. If the risers aren’t enough, make the adjustments required for a happy standing experience.

After two weeks, I concur with the recommendation to take it easy the first few days. If you are not used to working on your feet, take a break every few hours or use a barstool as pictured above. I’ve noticed an increase in my mobility already, and the ability to move around has enhanced my creative thought processes as well. So if you’re up for a quick DIY project that will help your health, I recommend the $20 Standing Desk strategy.

Happy standing!

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Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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