Keep on track … blog your New Year’s resolutions. Photo: iStock
Like most somewhat boring people, I have several New Year’s resolutions, and I’m already falling a little behind. I’m trying to read a book every week. This guy manages to read a book a day, so I should be fine with a book a week right?
By the end of the first week, I was already phoning it in. Busy with holiday stuff, I ended up only managing a tiny Philip Roth book. The instinct to follow my resolution isn’t quite here yet, but the instinct to blog it? Innate.
Blogs are usually created for other people to read. A resolution blog is for you. Put it in the public eye if you want, fold it into your main blog if you want, but keeping it private is totally fine too. The main thing is, whether you have readers or not, you should feel guilty for not updating it, and good when you do.
Whatever you write about the progress of your resolution — one more week without smoking, some kilos lost, a few more reasons you are breaking up with your boyfriend — putting it down will formalise it and make it feel real. Even if you failed miserably that week, a quick post about why you failed means you won’t forget the resolution as easily, and might serve to correct that failure later. Blogging quantifies your resolution, it gives it obvious goals, and it intensifies the emotional attachment you have to that goal.
The internet has a huge variety of tools that can assist with self-help goals, from fitness tracking apps to, well, there are a whole lot of fitness apps, but blogging is different. Your blog is yours. The requirement to somewhat pour yourself into a blog makes it much harder to drop than, say, an app you have entered a few numbers into. Plus it looks pretty.
Blogging is fun, when you get down to it. Seeing something you wrote formatted nicely online can be a teensy rush. It’s easy to give up to yourself, and rationalise within your head. Think “I’m really busy this week”. A split second lie to yourself is easy, but a blog post takes a few seconds to write, so even if you decide to write “too busy this week to x” you will still have that goal somewhere in your mind.
Wow, this ended up a little “self-helpie”. Here are some tips on blogging resolutions:
- If you already have a Tumblr, folding your resolution in is easy. Just tag it with something — such as #bri2013 (books reading in 2013) and then check “yourblogname.tumblr.com/tagged/yourtag” You can use this to collect more than just resolution posts — here are all the films I saw last year.
- If you don’t have a blog of any kind, I’d recommend Tumblr for most users. It is super-easy to use and customise. If you are thinking of writing a fair bit for each post, however (though you don’t need to!), you might want to look at Blogger or WordPress.
- Miss a week? No problem. Explain why.
- Don’t write like someone is going to mark it, but do write in a way you would be comfortable with someone else casually glancing over. Or don’t write at all, pictures are fine.
Are you using technology in any way to help with your resolution? Are resolutions delusional illusions based on an arbitrary definition of time? Is your resolution to stop wasting so much time on the internet? Let us know in the comments.
Henry Cooke is a 20-year-old student/nerd who lives and breathes the internet — which he believes is mankind’s crowning achievement. He blogs about the trends and technologies of the net, translating the babble and buzzwords so they make sense to regular folk. Email Henry or follow him on Twitter.