A list? Was I too lazy to write a newsletter this month?


Maybe. But I also recognize that you might be suffering from "holiday brain" right now and could use something easy to digest.

So without further ado, here are 11 things I tried, liked, or figured out this year that I think you might be interested in. 

1. Top Tip For Your Kid / You / Anyone

Limit screen time, especially social media. Spending four hours a day flipping through Instagram and Facebook is, in my opinion, incongruous with being a productive, fulfilled human. Check out this CBS News article for more, and check out your device's settings for ways to track the time you spend staring at it.

2. Top Test Prep Realization

After trying a variety of methods to ensure our students do their homework - the right way - in between classes and tutoring sessions, we've developed a printed study journal that all of our students will get and use throughout the week to track their studying and mistake analysis. Very excited about this one since it should really make kids more productive.

3. Top Test-Day Tip

This's one's adapted from the great Erica Meltzer. At the beginning of every new reading passage, or any time during the test that you move on to a different kind of problem, reset mentally by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath. Really helps combat fatigue.

4. Top VKTP Business Development

Classes! There are 7 SAT test dates and 6 ACT test dates in 2019, and we'll have a class scheduled for each one of them. We limit most classes to 12 students to keep them interactive and engaging. Here's the schedule - let us know if your high school might like us to teach a class on campus, or we can also do on-site classes for an organization your kid's a part of.

5. Top Fitness Tip

Starting Strength. Ego aside, being strong is useful. Great, no-frills barbell training advice from Mark Rippetoe, a cantankerous veteran of the fitness industry. 

6. Health Information Tips

Peter Attia, M.D. Great articles and podcasts on nutrition, disease, exercise, longevity, and more. Deep (very deep) dives by a San Diego-based doctor driven to learn more and who's unafraid to admit he doesn't know the answers. "Facts, in medicine, have a half-life."

Rhonda Patrick, PhD. Her site, Found My Fitness, has a variety of tools to help you get healthier, including genetic analysis, and lots of podcasts. She's here in San Diego, too.

7. Business Tip

I joined a business owners' group this year, in which I can get feedback from people with a lot more experience than me. There's positive peer pressure. It's the whole "surround yourself with people who are on a higher level than you" thing, and it works.

8. Best T.V. Show

The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. I do usually like British T.V., but this show really stands out for its warmth, humor, and down-to-earth, genuinely likable contestants. Pretty much the antithesis of any American cooking show you've ever watched.

9. Vince's Favorite Movie of 2014 That He Only Just Now Saw in 2018

Ex Machina
. Creepy near-future sci-fi about the implications of developing a humanoid AI that can pass the Turing Test. Oscar Isaac is great as a Google-type company bro-CEO.

10. Top Financial Discovery

Ok, I discovered this a few years ago or so, but the FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) movement has started to go mainstream, and I've gotten more out of it this year than ever. Check out Mr. Money Mustache(goofy name, great advice) if you're interested in learning how to stop your "exploding volcano of wastefulness".

11. Favorite Novel

My Struggle, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. This 6-volume autobiographical series is fascinating for its unflinching self-portrayal - in voluminous detail - of a flawed Norwegian man and his life. 

That's it! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year everyone!

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