Adventures in Links — January 8, 2016 (New Year’s Resolutions)


Theme: New Year’s Resolutions

A week ago, 2016 started and the Internet was awash with “New Year – New me!” memes and promises. At the start of a new year, many people feel compelled to try to improve themselves, either by losing weight, volunteering, or being more spontaneous. However, most people will “fail” at these same resolutions, partly because a year is a really long time to try to stick with something and partly because it’s hard to create new, healthy habits – especially if you’re overstressed, overworked, and underpaid, like many Americans are.

That doesn’t mean that resolutions aren’t worthwhile. I personally set a few every year (though I prefer to call them “goals”) and consider myself a success if I’ve accomplished most of them by the end of the year. They’re also vague, long-term goals like “Set aside more time for writing” and “Get better at making healthy choices.” The goals constantly remind me that this is something I want to do but because I didn’t quantify them (“Go to the gym every day for an hour!”) it’s harder for me to fail them. Did I write more articles than last year? Yep, so I accomplished my goal! Did my girlfriend and I fight less and talk more by the end of the year? Yep, so I accomplished my goal! And so on.

So today’s links talk about New Year’s resolutions, why people fail and succeed, and what realistic resolutions look like. By now, most people have stopped trying to complete their resolutions, so I hope these links give you the shot in the arm to keep trying. And remember: just because you had a bad day doesn’t mean you failed; it just means you’ll have to try again tomorrow. Good luck!

So what are the most popular resolutions and how can you achieve them? Well, if you click here, you’ll go to a list of the top 10 most popular resolutions. It’s fun to compare your personal goals with them and get new ideas. However, if you want to figure out how to achieve your resolutions, click here.   This extensive “life-hack”-filled list gives you hacks, tips, advice, and practical information on how to do everything from stopping procrastinating to reading more to spending less time on social media. It’s not a guaranteed list for how to succeed (because there really is none), but it’s a good start.

If you’d like a full “guidebook” on how to choose resolutions, stick with them, and understand their invisible costs (thereby preparing you for the actual hard work you’ll have to do), click here. It’s a really well thought out and organized guide on how to choose resolutions, make smart goals, stay motivated, and be kind to yourself if you stumble. I actually really liked it despite my leeriness of self-help guides.

For those days when you’re feeling really uninspired and unmotivated, watch these TED Talks. The playlist of 12 Talks helps motivate you to go out and be your best and change the world, including how to increase your happiness, ask for what you want, and be more mindful. TED Talks are informative and inspiring and always leave me wanting to rush out and do things. They’re also great background for working out, drawing, or cooking.

The final piece of motivation I can offer you is this post about an adorable robot that can help you keep your resolutions. The MOTI will buzz and light up whenever you’re supposed to do something – go on a run, read for 30 minutes, look for a new job – and you have to turn it off. When you complete the action, it will buzz and light up again. It’s supposed to remind you to do things and make you happy with its dancing. I think it’s adorable, and if it didn’t cost $79, I would absolutely go buy it. It’s just too frickin’ cute.

But what happens if you “fail”? What happens if you go a week without going to the gym or stop making your lunch the night before or go a month without drawing? Well, that’s fine! Fatigue happens, and there’s a reason most people don’t accomplish their resolutions. If you click here, you can learn about why that is and what resolution you should choose instead (Hint: it involves fatigue.). For a more in-depth discussion on the subject, you can click here, and for an article that helps you overcome these problems and achieve your goals, click here.

However, remember that even if you go a week or a month or six months without starting or restarting your resolutions, know that you can change that at any time. Don’t want to go out in the winter because it’s cold and dark? Well, spring will come. Upset that you haven’t published anything for three months? It’s time to start pitching. Feeling guilty that you haven’t volunteered at your local library yet? Give them a call. And remember: everyone struggles, which you can see in this video.

You got this!

* Featured image from


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