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Travel Hack: Make Your Own Content

Travel Hack: Make Your Own Content

Summer’s coming and you might be getting ready to take a long trip, either on the road or perhaps a long flight to Grandma’s place. If you’ve got kids along for the ride, you know that keeping them occupied is a strong element of your own satisfaction with the journey itself. Here are some ideas on making your own content for the trip.

Materials

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  • Home computer (relatively updated) with CD burner (or a portable MP3 player, if you go digital)
  • Audio recording software (Audacity is free for PC or Mac)
  • A microphone (either your built-in, a desktop mic, whatever)
  • CD burning software (if you want to make an audio CD)
  • Books to read, magazine articles, something to talk about
  • Music (that you have purchased, own, etc- don’t sue me RIAA)
  • The family

Now What?

That depends on who’s going to be listening. I’ve got a four year old daughter and a 3 month old son. My daughter isn’t yet into chapter books, so in my case, it’d be fun to read stories into the mic, and let her listen along. Mix some music in there, and we’ve got a production. Using sound recording software is fairly easy, especially if it’s just for your own consumption. There’s a record button, a pause, a stop. It’s fairly straightforward.

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Record Billy Goats Gruff using all the funny voices you can muster. Read the next chapter of Harry Potter in your own voice, with your own effects. Sing along to the music, and better still, get the kids to help out!

Now, what becomes an additional fun part of this hack is that you can get your kids to do some of the recording with you. Sit them in front of the microphone, and now you’ve stretched the experience into the recording sessions, and also their consumption of their own voice when they get to the car.

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I won’t address older kids because they tend to have their own media to consume, but obviously, you can mix and match into this things that would be of interest to other people in the vehicle. Don’t forget yourself and your significant other. Feel free to mix in short bits that are pertinent to yourself, including a song or two that’s kid-safe but more for you than them.

Why This Works

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As I mentioned, part of the pain of travel is doing something to keep the kids engaged enough that they don’t suffer, and that their suffering doesn’t spill over into being your problem. Some famlies do well playing travel games, like spelling the alphabet over and over based on any text they can see out the window (I’ve occasionally been tempted to cheat and write “Q” on a napkin and hold it out the window).

But the beauty of this hack is that by getting the family into the act of creating the content, there’s much more reason for them to want to listen to it while on the road. Further, when all is said and done, the disc or mp3 files become a kind of soundtrack for the trip that you can later incorporate into a multimedia project later on. Imagine using bits of your newly created content along with some of the video and images you’ve snapped to send Gramma and Grandpa a new DVD of the family to watch.

Now, remix this. How would YOU add to this hack?

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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them

How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them

Where do you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even this time next year? These places are your goal destinations and although you might know that you don’t want to be standing still in the same place as you are now, it’s not always easy to identify what your real goals are.

Many people think that setting a goal destination is having a dream that is there in the far distant future but will never be attained. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy because of two things:

Firstly, that the goal isn’t specifically defined enough in the first place; and secondly, it remains a remote dream waiting for action which is never taken.

Defining your goal destination is something that you need to take some time to think carefully about. The following steps on how to plan your life goals should get you started on a journey to your destination.

1. Make a List of Your Goal Destinations

Goal destinations are the things that are important to you. Another word for them would be ambitions, but ambitions sound like something which outside of your grasp, whereas goal destinations are certainly achievable if you are willing to put in the effort working towards them.

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So what do you really want to do with your life? What are the main things that you would like to accomplish with your life? What is it that you would really regret not doing if you suddenly found you had a limited amount of time left on the earth?

Each of these things is a goal. Define each goal destination in one sentence.

If any of these goals is a stepping stone to another one of the goals, take it off this list as it isn’t a goal destination.

2. Think About the Time Frame to Have the Goal Accomplished

This is where the 5 year, 10 year, next year plan comes into it.

Learn the differences between a short term goal and a long term goal. Some goals will have a “shelf life” because of age, health, finance, etc, whereas others will be up to you as to when you would like to achieve them by.

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3. Write Down Your Goals Clearly

Write each goal destination at the top of a new piece of paper.

For each goal, write down what is it that you need and don’t have now that will allow you achieve that goal. This could be some kind of education, career change, finance, a new skill, etc. Any “stepping stone” goals you removed will fit into this exercise. If any of these smaller “goals” have sub-goals, go through the same process with these so that you have precise action points to work with.

4. Write Down What You Need to Do for Each Goal

Under each item listed, write down the things that you will need to do in order to complete each of the steps required to complete the goal. 

These items will become a check-list. They are a tangible way of checking how you are progressing towards reaching your goal destinations. A record of your success!

5. Write Down Your Timeframe With Specific and Realistic Dates

Using the time frames you created, on each goal destination sheet write down the year in which you will complete the goal by.

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For any goal which has no fixed completion date, think about when you would like to have accomplished it by and use that as your destination date.

Work within the time frames for each goal destination, make a note of realistic dates by which you will complete each of the small steps.

6. Schedule Your To-Dos

Now take an overview of all your goal destinations and make a schedule of what you need to do this week, this month, this year – in order to progress along the road towards your goal destinations.

Write these action points on a schedule, you have definite dates on which to do things.

7. Use Your Reticular Activating System to Get Your Goal

Learn in this Lifehack’s vlog how you can hack your brain with the Reticular Activation System (RAS) and reach your goal more efficiently:

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8. Review Your Progress

At the end of the year, review what you have done this year, mark things off the check-lists for each goal destination and write up the schedule with the action points you need for the next year.

Although it may take you several years to, for example, get the promotion you desire because you first need to get the MBA which means getting a job with more money to allow you to finance a part-time degree course, you will ultimately be successful in achieving your goal destination because you have planned out not only what you want, but how to get it, and have been pro-active towards achieving it.

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Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

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