Critical Thinking - How I Filter Information Before Blogging
The goal of this blog is to give you, dear reader, useful pieces of information that allow you to live a healthier, happier life. I'm hoping that any regular readers consider it a credible source of information that has helped them. In this post I hope to show you how I gather good, useful information that goes into this blog.
When I first started personal training (a service you're welcome to trial) I experienced complete information overload on all topics related to exercise and nutrition. For a long-ish time I believed many completely false things about these topics and as a result, gave my clients sub-par advice that didn't help them progress as well as they could. Thankfully I'm far past that stage of my career now, but it took a good year or so to hone my critical thinking skills. Once I did, however, the quality of my service got much better and I'm glad to say that my studio is now a complete BS free zone.
Here's the way, as briefly as possible that I find information, check that it's credible and work it into a blog post:
- Google the topic I'm writing about, such as "magnesium supplements"
- Find a relevant article/scientific paper on the chosen topic
- If an article; is it well written and properly referenced? If so, chase the references and read them myself to check accuracy of reporting. If the author of an article says a study says something when in fact the study says nothing of the sort, they can't be considered a credible source of information
- If a scientific paper, read. If I can understand it and it gives a takeaway relevant to the target audience of this blog, terrific. If not, discard and find something more relevant
- Does the info in the article or paper fall in line with my other reading? If so, it's a good source and can be used along with others to form a coherent article. If not, further reading is needed to come to a solid conclusion
- Once all information has been gathered, condense into a logical structure that I hope you find useful!
Some key rules I make myself adhere to when writing:
- Never start speculating. Speculation on big, important topics isn't something I consider useful to anyone reading. People much cleverer than I have extensively researched every topic I could ever hope to write about on this blog. I'm simply trying to put things into a format for the average person hoping to learn a bit more about things that can help them live a healthier life
- Make sure that each blog post has concise takeaways that can help someone easily decide how to implement something new in their life based on the information presented in the blog
- Write about topics that aren't quite as mainstream as the normal fodder in the fitness industry - you won't find articles that are based on how to count calories, or whether high intensity training is better than low intensity because these topics have been beaten to death already by countless people
- Write posts that encourage further reading for people by linking directly to references
- Never stray outside professional boundaries. There won't be any articles on psychology, drugs or topics that a physiotherapist might cover. This blog is consistent with the information that clients will get from me during sessions
I hope this brief look at my thought process and rules give you a good idea of what to expect on this blog. If you're a frequent reader, thank you and I hope you get valuable, actionable information from this blog.