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. — 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?

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!