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.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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The American Morality Question No One Wants To Discuss

Trump represents a deeper morality issue in America.

The 2016 presidential election changed America. Whether you supported Trump or Hilary, the ramifications of 2016 are becoming more and more apparent. November 8, 2016, my fiance and I had our eyes glued to the TV as we watched Trump win. We had started the night expecting to celebrate the first woman president but instead watched our fears come true.

As disappointed as I was, I still wanted Trump to succeed. No American wants their country to fail. The Trump presidency has been a roller coaster that I did not want to board, yet here we are. We have a president embroiled in multiple legal investigations ranging from Russia's interference in American democracy to sexual harassment claims. Our country is more divided than it has been in many years. The question becomes, where do we go from here?

Some may argue that the first step is Trump's impeachment. While that is a possibility, in the long run, I will leave that to Mueller and Congress when the time comes. America's issue is not an issue of our president, but what he represents. Trump represents a plethora of moral issues that have risen to the surface once again in America.

Trump ran a platform on fearmongering of immigrants. The same immigrants that helped build our country. Now ICE is rounding up immigrants across America to deport them if they do not have the proper paperwork.

Trump has a long history of racist actions and comments. The racism that was shoved under the surface is now rising once again. From Charlottesville's protests to police brutality, even to instances such as a Starbuck's manager calling the police on two customers due to their race.

America would have called for Obama's impeachment if his morals were on the same level as Trump's. Trump rebels against what a white Christian American majority preaches. He has had multiple wives (divorces), multiple affair scandals, etc. Yet Americans keep making excuses for him. It is time to stop. Stop making excuses for Trump and justifying your own vote that got us here. Start addressing the issues that are coming to the surface.

I see conservatives saying it isn't a "gun" issue, it is a heart issue that is causing gun violence across our country. If you can believe that, why won't you believe the same goes for our president? That the same goes for the racism and sexism plaguing America. When we have to teach African American boys what to do to survive, something is wrong with our country. Something big.

America's heart needs to be fixed and it has been a long time coming. Years and years of injustices have occurred without a reckoning. Without a moment of truth for those who have ignored the many issues in America. I can only hope that our moment of truth is coming now.

Examine your morals and discover where they derive. Are they from religion? Are they from society? Are they from hate? Are they from love? Who do you want to be? Someone who is fueled by hate or someone fueled by love?

Cover Image Credit: PBS Newshour | YouTube

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