Science with Angela

Picture of a dog on a leash walking away, with a stick in it's mouth, in the snow towards a deep, dark woods


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Abstract Watch Rules:

  1. You talk about Abstract Watch.
  2. You talk about Abstract Watch. Tell people you’re doing this. Do it with others. They will help to hold you accountable, and they will also make it more fun.
  3. Establish a new identity. Even when we want to improve and know what to do to improve… actually changing our behavior is the tough part. When I wanted to improve my running, calling myself a runner was essential for me to truly commit. So, the third rule of Abstract Watch, is you establish a new identity: call yourself a reader!
  4. Read an abstract a day. small, consistent efforts are more impactful and easier to stick to than a big, infrequent events. This holds for many activities: running, playing music, speaking a language, brushing your teeth. One abstract in one day won’t make a huge difference, but 30 abstracts over 30 days will. It will create momentum, confidence and achievement.
  5. Be flexible. If you miss a day, or two, for whatever reason, that’s ok, be flexible and kind to yourself. If you miss a few days, just start the next week over “serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” (Emerson)
  6. Read any abstract you want. If you don’t like the abstracts I’ve proposed, for whatever reason, then find another one you like and read it!! Just get in the habit and then, once you’ve built it, challenge yourself with one of the suggested abstracts – if you want. YOU are in charge!
  7. Keep track of it all. Entering data in a spreadsheet or a journal will be hugely satisfying: it will show you the breadth of knowledge you've gained and the time you’ve invested.
  8. Reward yourself after your first one, your first five, your first 10, your first 20 etc.
  9. Routinely think about why you’re doing this. The “why” will likely change over time. It’s fascinating to see what emerges and what you learn about yourself! (There is no right answer to “Why?”)


"The woods are lovely, dark and deep"

Robert Frost