New Year’s Recommendations

I’m not one for setting New Year’s resolutions — I’m too prone to getting overly excited at first and then losing interest in them. Instead, in recent years I have focused on continually reviewing and recommitting to my priorities, and trying to build sustainable habits. I still go through ups and downs, times where I am more or less successful at maintaining those habits, but I find that this approach works better for me throughout the year.

That said, the beginning of the year is a nice time to reflect on what has worked well over the past year and share some recommendations with those of you looking for help with your own habits and priorities:

1. YogaToday — If you are looking for a low-friction way to introduce more yoga into your routine, I highly recommend YogaToday. They have the best array of teachers on any yoga website I’ve tried, with high-quality classes and a large archive to choose from. I don’t think online yoga classes can fully replace in-person classes with a live teacher, but I find that I’m more likely to practice yoga multiple times a week when I can also do it at home.

2. Audio Dharma — If you are interested in mindfulness meditation, want to deepen your understanding of it, or want a little boost to help you meditate more often, I recommend this podcast. They have new episodes nearly every day, including talks and guided meditations.

3. edX — If you want to take an online, university-level course, I recommend trying edX first. I have tried many other sites offering MOOCs or other online learning environments, and I’ve never found another service that provides the same sort of high-level, in-depth, long-lasting teaching as the edX classes.

4. Geocaching.com — If you are trying to spend more time outside or exercising, geocaching can be a great way to motivate yourself to get out there. Basically, geocaching is like doing a treasure hunt. You have GPS coordinates (or, if you’re like me, an app on your phone mapping those coordinates) and you go out for a walk to find the cache. I use it as an excuse to walk or hike in new places I might not otherwise explore.

5. Blogging U. — If you are trying to blog more often, expand your blogging skills, or increase your connections with other bloggers, my colleagues lead a variety of courses in the Blogging U series. Coming up next is Blogging 101: Zero to Hero. (I admit I’ve only tried the Photo 101 course, and I wasn’t the most diligent student, but I’ve seen so many people get so much out of these courses.)

How about you? Any fun or helpful resources you’d recommend?

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National Blog Posting Month

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been blogging more recently. In fact, today is the seventh day in a row that I’ve posted on this blog. Hooray!

Some of you may also be familiar with NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Well, I have no aspirations to write a novel, but I do sometimes need a push to blog more often. So I decided to use the idea of NaNoWriMo to inspire me to blog more often this month. I can’t promise that I’ll write every day in November, but I’ll do my best. (So far, so good!)

After I started this exercise, I discovered that blogging has its own November event: NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. Not surprisingly, it’s inspired by NaNoWriMo. Surprisingly, I managed to miss my coworkers talking all about it here:

30 Days, 30 Posts: NaBloPoMo is here!

Well, I did notice that post over the weekend when I was catching up on the previous week’s emails and blog posts. (I just didn’t mention it right away — I had more interesting things to blog about in the meantime! Also, I admit, I wanted to make sure I could keep it up for a bit first.) But I figured I would mention it now in case anyone else wants to join in. Even if you missed a few days, there’s no reason to let that stop you. It’s kind of freeing to stop worrying about what exactly to write and just do it!