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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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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A thought on what happens after life.


It's an infinite loop intertwined with life that all humans have to deal with.

It's a looming shadow that leads to a hole in the ground.

It's a terrifying presence in everyday life, and you never really know when the scaly, slithering snake will strike.

It doesn't discriminate; It loves to take the youngest, it loves to take the oldest, and loves to take everything in between.

It's the silence before the storm and the storm itself.

It prowls, it preys, on the weakest.

It is both the biggest, strongest bear and the deadliest bug bite.

Death, it is the blackened stumps of the wildlife caught in the worst of fires.

Yet, it can be beautiful.

Most wouldn't think so, probably have never put "death" and "beautiful" together in the same sentence, let alone even in the same paragraph.

But death is beautiful.

It can be like the last whisper of a fall breeze before winter sets in.

Or is like the sunset, right when the last of the red from the sinking sun fades from the darkened night sky.

It can be the peace on a late Sunday afternoon, sitting in the shade of a giant tree in the summer.

It's like taking the hand of the partner you've decided to live with, even after fighting with them.

It's the hand you use to stroke the head of kittens, and the hand you use to scratch puppies tummies.

It's the hand that gives, but it is also the hand that takes away.

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