7 TED Talks To Help You Keep Your Resolutions

7 TED Talks To Help You Keep Your Resolutions

Resolutions are easy to make, but hard to keep.

As 2017 ends and 2018 begins, I cannot help but notice how time flies. When I was younger my days were short and my years were long, but now my days are long and my years are short. Now it seems as if there is never enough time to get everything done, including New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like me, you probably have not had the greatest luck following through on your New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are easy to make, but hard to keep.

So if you need some inspiration or ideas for how to keep your resolutions or goals, here are some TED Talks by great thinkers who have already done the hard work of thinking for you:

1. "How to Gain Control of Your Free Time" (Laura Vanderkam)

Imagine you are already writing your Christmas card for next year, what things were the highlights that you want to tell your friends and family about? Make a list of what made the year ‘amazing’ and make those your goals or resolutions to work on. Vanderkam suggests dividing these goals into 3 lists: career, relationships and self. She says that with 168 hours in a week, if you figure out where your priorities lie you can make room for what really matters.

2. “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit” (Judson Brewer)

Ever meditated before? Brewer suggests that a combination of curiosity and mindfulness can help us because as we focus and “as we learn to see more and more clearly the results of our actions, we let go of old habits and form new ones.”

3. "Try Something New for 30 Days" (Matt Cutts)

If you want to subtract or add something to your life, Cutts says that you can do anything for 30 days if you really want something badly enough. Cutts claims that doing small, sustainable changes are more likely to stick and form a habit. There are 365 new days, so that’s 12 new habits you can try for 30 days each if you want!

4. "Keep Your Goals to Yourself" (Derek Sivers)

According to research, the good feeling you get from telling others about your goals will make you less motivated to then achieve them because you already feel some satisfaction. So Stivers suggests resisting the temptation to share your goals with others, or do so only in a way that won’t bring you satisfaction but will rather challenge you.

5. "Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach" (Atul Gawande)

Although you should keep your goals to yourself, you should have someone to coach you or at least hold you accountable according to Gawande. For Gawande, making it on your own can be difficult because you may not recognize some of the issues standing in your way or how to fix them. So if you want to keep improving or feel stagnant in your skills, getting a coach or a mentor can help by being “your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of your reality.”

6. "Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals" (Tim Ferriss)

Although most people set goals, Ferriss urges ‘fear-setting’ or laying out your fears or “What ifs” about any decisions. After defining your fears, identify ways you can then prevent them and then ways you can "repair" or fix them if your fear comes true. Just as important is to consider what are the possible benefits and the "cost of inaction" of your decision too.

7. "What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection" (Jia Jiang)

As you do your ‘fear-setting’, you may find yourself like Jiang asking "What if I’m rejected?" Jiang decided to face his fear and embrace rejection by seeking experiences where he would be rejected. After 100 days of rejection, Jiang learned that your reaction to rejection is what matters because you can turn rejections into opportunities.

So there are 365 days worth of opportunities ahead of you - I hope these TED Talks will inspire you to make the most of them.


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I Will Always Respect The American Flag, Even If You Won't

No, it's not about my disagreement with your protest; it's about what the flag truly symbolizes.

Nothing annoys me more than people who disrespect the military. It really isn't always their fault, though. Many people are just generally unaware of how much servicemen and servicewomen sacrifice for us, the general civilian public, so they don't understand what they are degrading.

However, that does not lessen the bitterness that people who associate a flag with fallen brothers and sisters in arms and family feel when people kneel for and generally disrespect the flag. To them, kneeling for and disrespecting the flag is not just a protest against the nation and its ill actions, but rather a disrespect for the lives lost defending that flag and its rights.

My issue is not with the reason for the protest, rather it is with the unintended consequences.

I am POSITIVE that those who kneel during the National Anthem in front of the flag and disrespect it have never seen one being presented to the weeping family of a dead soldier. They have never stood at a funeral and heard "Taps" being played by fellow servicemen. They have never felt a 21-gun salute rattle their bones.

My first semester at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, I was blessed with being able to work on a project concerning PTSD in veterans and possible solutions to this widespread reaction. I was blessed enough to be able to interview active and retired service members with PTSD or that have experience with PTSD. Talking to them was the most eye-opening experience I have ever had. I listened to their harrowing stories from their conflicts while deployed and their struggles once they returned home.

I was completely moved not only by their bravery and resilience but also by their unwavering willingness to return in a heartbeat to defend those back in the States. They even explicitly mentioned returning to defend those who had views different than theirs, especially concerning this kneeling matter, solely because freedom of speech and expression are two of the essential pillars the USA was built upon.

The issue is most people don't understand what the flag really means. It’s easy to view it simplistically and say that when one kneels for the flag they are just kneeling to show their revolt for the general mistreatment of their race by the nation. However, they do not realize that to the large military population of the USA it means much more. It means that you are disregarding their friends who gave the ultimate sacrifice and the families that have received a folded flag in remembrance of their deceased loved ones.

I understand your right to peacefully protest, and I support that right, just as those who are, have been and will be overseas support that right. That’s why they signed up. They want to give all of us that are privileged enough to be citizens of the USA the opportunity to do whatever we want within humane limits. And that includes the right to peacefully protest. Anything.

However, I personally will never partake in this form of protest regardless of how strongly I feel for the cause behind it because I cannot support actions that hurt those who have given their all for us.

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Why Being Nice Makes Me Sad

Something to Relate To

Every day I wake up with a goal to be a better person. Which sounds very cliché, don't you think?

One thing that I have is manners. Manners are embedded in my personality because I was raised with a level of respect. My parents did a fantastic job of raising me, better than any other parents I know, but my mother has always been the real MVP.

My mother always taught me to treat everyone with respect because things are interpreted differently by each person, and being disrespectful to the wrong person could be dangerous. Thanks to my mother’s wisdom, I have made so many friends. I love diversity, and I love everyone. I hardly have conflicts with anyone. This school year so far, I have met more people than I had throughout high school. It’s awesome to have friends. But, my kindness has created blurred vision, especially when it comes to judging a person. You see, when you’re nice and you do things for people, you attract the wrong crowd. You begin to attract disrespectful people who only want to take advantage of that compassion.

By being a nice person, I open my arms to everyone because that’s what a nice person does in general. But, being nice has also lowered my standards for friends and relationships. Over time, you become a product of your environment, so I want to surround myself with people who will encourage me to make good decisions and do great things. But, it’s hard for me to reject someone because by being nice, sometimes I forget to consider my own happiness.

I care more about making others happy than I do myself. In addition, I am not happy. But that doesn’t make sense, right? I like making others happy, so seeing them happy doesn’t make me happy? No. Sometimes I don’t want to do things, but I make sacrifices to see other people happy. Now, it is beginning to exhaust me. I can’t be myself if it makes others unhappy. I feel pressured by my close friends to make stupid decisions and it’s hard for me to say no. If I stand up for myself, I will lose my friends. Nobody likes being put in their place, especially by a “pushover.”

Two of the most important things to remember about life, especially when judging a person, is:

- You are a product of your surroundings.

- People will never change for someone, they will only change for themselves.

I have gone through many personality changes in the past month, to the point where I realize just how terrible I am letting myself be treated. I have been so nice to the wrong people who now feel as if they can say or do whatever they want to me. I have done so much for those people, and it’s hard for me to let them go, but toxicity is toxicity and I should not continue to sacrifice my well being to please them.

I hate being nice, but at the end of the day I will not change. True kindness is a rare thing in this new millennial.

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