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Apr 17, 2017

17 Things Every Man Should Keep in His Car at All Times

Yes, sometimes cars break down and you'll need to stay safe. But, like it or not, our automobiles are also our little homes away from home on a road trip. So, it's important to stock it with things that might come up, be it emergency, or just an epic weekend away. Here are our seventeen essentials to always have on hand. 

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Apr 06, 2017

Instilling the Habit: How to Start Something Hard

The older we get, the harder it becomes to start new habits...and break old ones. We begin in earnest, but soon we fall back; the good seem to slip, and the bad seem to creep in. The best way to keep yourself accountable is to ask yourself this simple question (looking into a mirror is optional):

Am I doing what I want?     

 

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Mar 20, 2017

Yes, Every Man Needs A Journal. Here's Why.

I spent some time last week making a few DIY journals, and it made me think a bit about why I always have a stack of them filling my shelf. After looking through a few in the pile, I decided yes, they're definitely worth the effort. Here are a few reasons why.  

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Mar 15, 2017

Play the Long Game: Why You Should Commit Now to Commit Later

Let your big goals be long ones.

Don't think: "I want to write a book."

Instead think: "I am going to work on a book this year, and next year, and the year after that."

It's empowering to shift your timeframes this way, and I encourage you to try it. Here's why:

Long-term goals are commitments

Short term goals are small aspirations. They're about things you want, not about the person you want to become. When you let yourself to approach something over a period of years, or even decades, you make bigger choices and commitments about who you want to be.

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Feb 24, 2017

How I Succumbed to the Soothing Repetition of Routine (and Why I'm Happy About It)

I used to hate when things were the same. I grew up in a family where everything was always changing. We never ate the same thing twice, we had no hallowed holiday traditions, no yearly vacation spot, no alarm clocks, no bedtimes, no church, no chore chart or laundry days. We did everything ad hoc, on the fly, winging it from sun up to sunset.

Sometimes, on a weekend morning, we'd leave the house, all of us together, with some vague destination in mind – maybe a museum or a park – and end up somewhere completely different (a cemetery or a different state). If we went out to dinner to celebrate a birthday, we usually chose the

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Feb 10, 2017

What's Your Sweetheart's Love Language? We Have a DIY Valentine's Day Gift for That

 

The Five Love Languages has been on the New York Times Bestsellers List since it debuted in 1995. It’s spawned a series of follow up books, online personality tests, and spin-off community forums. And here’s how you can use that knowledge to learn more about yourself while scoring some quality points with your significant other this Valentine’s Day…   

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Jan 12, 2017

This Nearly 2,000-Year-Old Piece of Advice May Help You Wake Up & Get Out of Bed in the Morning

If you're a morning person — congratulations. Seriously, we're legitimately happy for you. The ability to sleep well, feel rested, and then be ready to get going nice and early is a real gift, and you're lucky to be wired that way.

For the rest of us, mornings can be rough. Especially in the wintertime, when it's dark, and cold, and tens of thousands of years of natural selection are encouraging you to stay hibernating so you can protect your genes from freezing off. 

But, of course,

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Jan 10, 2017

7 Essential Cocktail Recipes You Should Memorize Right Now

created at: 04/16/2013

Often, when I try to explain the idea behind ManMade or what I do for a living, someone who doesn't quite get it will inevitably say to me, "You mean like MacGyver?" Um...I guess?

7 cocktails recipes you must memorize right now

For the record, I don't think making stuff out of ordinary materials – what we do on ManMade – is anything like MacGyver. But I do like the approach of understanding how things work, and then applying standard techniques to whatever materials sit in front of you. Especially when those materials are bottles of spirits, and the techniques result in something like delicious cocktails.

'Cause here's the thing: when you become known amongst your peers as a guy who knows something about tasty cocktails, you become the guy who everyone turns to to make a tasty cocktail, whatever the occasion. And that's a good thing. It's a solid skill to have, and it's even more impressive if you don't have to look a recipe up on your phone before you start shaking and stirring.

So, with that in mind, here are seven standard recipes, ratios, and approaches to cocktail making that you can tuck in the back of your mind to whip up a tasty option, whatever you find in front of you.  (Oh, and if you need bottle recommendations, here are our picks for stocking your home bar without spending a ton of money.)

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Jan 03, 2017

How to Win the Argument..Without Losing the Friend

I love to connect with others to hear about the gems they've mined out of life lately. But, sharing ideas and experiences isn't always easy, especially when we don't agree. When we all meet at the collective table, whether it's a family get-together or coffee with friends, some disagreement is inevitable. But just because they're missing something or making a logical leap doesn't mean you have to fight. Here are a few tips to remember the next time a conversation steers down that road.  

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Dec 29, 2016

If You Actually Want Your New Year's Resolutions to Stick — Do This, Not That

There's lots of scientific research on why setting goals on January 1 never really works out, and by March or April, we've all backslided into our old habits. Often, it's because goals aren't specific enough, or we haven't found the best way to track the work we've done. Or, perhaps we don't actually believe we can achieve that new version of ourselves for the long term.   

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Dec 28, 2016

40 Ways to Be a Better Man in 2016

created at: 12/29/2015
On this day a year ago, we shared this post on ManMade. We're bumping it to the top again to see if there's anything you tried this year that really impacted your life. Share your thoughts in the comments, please. 
 

A new year brings new opportunities to continue to grow. You don't have to tackle every item. Just pick five that resonate with you, and see what good you can do.   

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Dec 20, 2016

Make It Count: 6 Ways To Own This Holiday Season

This is the week. This is when we get to take a break, surround ourselves with friends and family, and eat plenty of great food. There really isn't much about this season I don't look forward to, and that's partly because I've learned to take a few steps to make sure it's a time we'll file away as a great memory for years to come.   

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Dec 09, 2016

Inspired: Some Favorite Quotes to Get You Moving (and Keep You Sane) This Weekend

If you hadn't noticed, I'm kinda into quotes as of late. (See my how-to for creating a wooden desktop inspiration holder) For some reason, this season, I'm touched by the power of keeping a few mantras in the front of my mind. It's been helpful as I meet new people, work to improve old relationships, and just get through the daily grind. Here are a few of my favorites this week. 

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Dec 07, 2016

Desktop Inspiration: How to Build Your Own Wooden Quote Holder

It's well known that what you focus on grows. That's why it's so important to keep the things that inspire us most close at hand. I have a few favorite words that I scatter throughout my office, journals, and walls, but this centralized space is perfect to keep that daily inspiration right where you need it.   

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Dec 06, 2016

How a Decade Changed My Idea of Success

Ever thought about how a decade changes everything? A lot has changed, and I'm looking back at how that has made a huge difference in how I define success.  


I turned 34 yesterday. Like many 30-something birthdays it came and went with a bit of well-wishing and then was quietly another day. Not to say I didn't enjoy it but it was a different enjoyment, a mature moment where I did what I wanted with the time and then settled back into the thrum of daily life. Of course, I use this yearly event to take a breath and look at how far I've come, and how a bit of life under my belt has changed everything.

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Nov 28, 2016

What Song Do You Want Played at Your Funeral?

Over the holiday weekend, as we were digesting our second plate of leftovers, we stumbled across the 1983 film, The Big Chill. My mom, being the definition of a baby boomer, had seen it countless times and could list every track name on the soundtrack. My wife, being the child of baby boomers who happened to own it on VHS as a child, had also seen it repeatedly, and was full of quotes and minor plot points. And then there was me, who simply hadn't gotten around to it. 

So, long story short, we put it on, and did that combo chatting, reading magazine, and movie watching thing that families do over holidays.    

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Oct 19, 2016

Seven Modern Classic Books to Put Hair on Your Chest

created at: 10/08/2014

Alright, so you’ve built the bookshelf, now it’s time to fill it out with some masculine reading material. Rather than attempting a comprehensive list of books all men ought to read, this list is specifically designed to get that testosterone pumping through your veins. With that in mind, we proudly present...   

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Sep 28, 2016

Libraries of Famous Men: Jefferson, Douglass, Roosevelt, and Hemingway

created at: 03/15/2015The Cabinet of Invisible Counselors is a term coined by success-guru Napoleon Hill referring to the great thinkers and authors whose work he found influential, whom he would summon in his imagination to consider their opinions on the tasks before him. Similarly, you may have heard the statement that, "You are the sum of the five people with whom you spend the most time." Combining these two ideas has been one of the great decisions of my life.      

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Sep 27, 2016

5 Movies That Left An Impression On Me

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindWe all watch a lot of movies these days, but only a few make an impression beyond the credits. Here are 5 of my favorites that left a mark.   

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Sep 27, 2016

40 Things You Can Do in One Minute or Less that Will Make Your Life That Much Better

A few years ago, I was attending a conference, and, as I recall, not really listening to the keynote speaker. It was one of those trying to eat-lunch-and-try-to-meet-new-people-and-I-can-barely-hear-from-the-back-of-the-room sort of things.

But, in a moment of unexpected drop in the banquet room din, I caught something that sunk in. The speaker, musing on happiness, suggested that it's all those little tasks and the clutter that hang over our heads and keep joy from settling in. That knowing you have a million little tasks to do is more stressful than actually doing those tasks. And it's not the big work projects, the term papers, the spring deep cleaning that keep us down, but the little stuff that piles up and creates anxiety about when we'll get it all done. 

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