On Friday, after several months of umming and ahhing, I published a 'Goodbye' post on my CycleLove blog.

The tl;dr is that as much as I love bikes, writing here on my personal blog is the thing I want to concentrate my energy on. (Because it feels like I'm helping people, rather than helping promote cycling brands).

As part of the wrapping up process on CycleLove — along with saying many thankyous and hello/goodbyes — I've been reconfiguring my social media accounts.

The first comment that was left on Instagram, which I've changed from @cyclelove to @jamesgreig, went simple like this:

"James Greig 2.0!"

I think Jeroen has raised an interesting point here. (Thanks buddy!)

What if you really could upgrade your personal operating system?

It's not as far-fetched as it might seem.

After programmers have released software out into the wild they usually discover problems with their code. They'll then release patches, designed to fix the bug in question without compromising the integrity of what's already in place. All the user has to do is click an 'Update' button and the issue is fixed.

When it comes to humans, the process isn't quite so straight-forward.

(At least not for a few hundred years until when we all have brains that are augmented by computers).

You can't turn yourself off and on again.

But by isolating small parts of your behaviour that you're not happy with, it is possible to make changes that layer up over time to make a significance difference to your life.

How to upgrade your personal operating system, one patch at a time

Want to eat more healthily?
Instead of going all-out on a diet that's impossible to stick to, swap out one thing that you eat for a healthier option. (Perhaps your breakfast cereal, for example)

Want to get better at sharing your feelings?
You can't flip a switch, but you can practice in short bursts. Try opening up to a friend about something you'd usually consider off limits, or writing your feelings down in an email. (And for even greater benefits, try combining this with the step below).

Want to be a writer or a blogger?
Stop talking about writing, and sit down every day for a month and write. Even if it's only one sentence a day, you're still writing. (This can be applied to any activity you'd like to incorporate into your daily routine).

Want to be less shy?
Try alternating between 'normal' and 'talkative' days. When you're having a talkative day, try striking up conversations with people you don't know. (I've found my cycle to work good for this: you can have a chat with someone at traffic lights, safe in the knowledge that in 20 seconds you'll be off again).

On the benefits of making small changes

Dylan Wilbanks has written about his friend Wendy's experience with this technique, describing a time when she decided to combat her intra- and inter-personal struggles with a series of self-improvement hacks

You can read the full details of Wendy's (personal) software upgrades in her Google code repository, which include some ingenious enhancements for version 3.0:

Whatever it is that you want to do, it's within your reach — if — you take it one step at a time.

Which part of yourself will you work on first?

Posted to life in 2014.

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