The Reason Why You Should Keep Lesser New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of the year again: when most new year resolutions are still well-kept. While I’m no fan of making and/or keeping new years resolutions, I do find them interesting.

Often, one of the reasons why some new year resolutions ultimately last only a couple of weeks is having too much of them. As progress-driven creatures, we often aspire to make several dozens of goals to accomplish in the same year, at the same time, in order to propel us further. Little do we know that this causes divided attention which bogs down our progress to achieve our goals, also cutting short of the quality of the end results.

The cure is simple: resolve to keep only a few resolutions, but put all your effort in keeping them. Make a resolution to keep to less resolutions that personally does the most good in the new year. Simplify your 2015 and achieve more.

Year in Review: 2014

2014 has been an inspirational year for me, and it would not be possible without Needs Over Wants and its readers. A big thanks to everyone who journeyed with and made 2014 a special year for Needs Over Wants.

Year in Review

In all honesty, this metrics of this site is not that surprising, but it did grow steadily over the months (except November. There’s a huge dent there). I’m very grateful for that. Here is a review of what 2014 is to Needs Over Wants:

May 2014

Returned to long-forgotten WordPress account and wrote an introductory post. Blog was then still “Kevin’s Blog”.

July 2014

First topical post. Posts from then on mostly revolve around personal development.

August 2014

Blog renamed to “Needs Over Wants”. Moved some posts to Students Productivity (inactive).

September 2014

Busiest month for 2014 at Needs Over Wants. Posts now center around minimalism.

November 2014

Dormant period.

December 2014

Wrapping 2014 up with this post.

Popular Posts of 2014

Minimalism and Mental Solitude. The Age of Information swallows us whole with its massive streams of information. Most of them are not even important at all. It is about time for us to filter information that matter and make room for mental solitude.

Minimalism and Social Solitude. The world adopts the Extrovert Ideal, but this is unnecessarily ideal. Sometimes it is good to just drop unimportant commitments, lock ourselves up and grab a book to read.

Definition of Minimalism. What is minimalism? Minimalism is a lifestyle, exclusively dedicated to the idea of “less is more”. To me, I have 2 distinct definitions of minimalism, each applicable in different aspects of our lives.

My Favorite Posts of 2014

Some Misconceptions of Minimalism. More often than not, people shun minimalism, thinking that they should give away worldly luxuries and live on almost nothing. Such thoughts should be well-addressed and minimalism should be clearly defined.

A Different Christmas Culture: Travel. A touch of what the holidays are like here in Indonesia. Some thoughts on whether or not travel is an appropriate gift (not limited to Christmas gifts) to our families.

The Ever-Changing Market: Harm to Minimalism. Advertisements stimulate mindless material acquisition, excessive consumerism and materialism, also FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). We need to stop chasing after the wind, and fight against it instead.

Thank you for all your support throughout this wonderful year. Thank you for reading. I look forward to an exciting new year here at Needs Over Wants with more posts advocating to the idea of living less, and I’d like to invite you to join me in 2015.

See you all next year.

A Different Christmas Culture: Travel

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

―St. Augustine

Christmas in Indonesia is somewhat different from Christmas elsewhere. We still have the ever-rampant Christmas sales everywhere, but the tradition in celebrating it is rather different.

More often than not, only few families here gather around and exchange gifts and eat scrumptious meals and enjoy the warmth of a family the way everyone else does. When it comes to Christmas, the most popular question here would be “Where will you go?”. Christmas is a peak holiday season where families here would travel abroad in the Christmas – New Year time period.

This is a part of our culture, but still resembles the Western culture of Christmas in the way the spirit of giving is emphasized (parents here give kids gifts, only in the form of a one-week paid trip to Hong Kong with family, or equivalent). However, we practically chopped off all unnecessary physical items to be bought as gifts and substituted it with quality time in a quality place other than home. Less clutter.

Aside from that, giving a travel gift helps us not to indulge in impulsive purchases. No more window shopping or anything like it, especially when “SALE” is printed everywhere during Christmas.

On the other hand, the sad truth is that most people (in Indonesia, as I see it) would only visit the popular tourist attractions. They merely give short-term chills and thrills that would eventually be replaced by the next travel holiday season. In the end, all we remember would be something that seemed repetitive and monotonous (theme parks, theme parks, theme parks). They are not important.

Comparatively, travel is better than physical gifts in terms of value (memories last longer than physical objects). Travel also demotes the endless Christmas shopping spree. But is travel the right Christmas gift? There is no same answer for everyone. To me, travel is a great gift choice if it does not involve the same-old go-to tourist attractions, but the lesser-known, culture-related destinations that can expand our world view. Attending local events, tasting local delicacies and conversing with the natives of the area are great places to start. As for families, some creativity might be useful to spice up their holiday plans, because some of these lesser-known destinations are not necessarily approved to be ‘fun’ for kids. Tell the great stories that comes with the destination, make them feel comfortable and excited.

Travel is the window to the world, and not merely a pleasure haven. With Christmas just around the corner, will travel be your Christmas gift this year?

Minimalism and Mental Solitude

“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”

―Pablo Picasso

NOTE: This is the second of a two-part series on Minimalism and Solitude. Click here to check out the first.

Once upon a time, humans searched for information. Now, information searches humans.

As a matter of fact, information searches humans thoroughly. Regardless of who you are or where you might be, it will find you and showcase you its contents. Kind of like the world’s most persistent salesperson in a way, and ― depending on how you view it ― could be a blessing or a curse.

And today, information is no longer a stream, but an ocean with (nearly) everyone immersed in it. Everywhere you go is a battleground of noise, advertisements and endless media disruptions. All these clutter our head, and unnecessarily causes us to deviate from our goals and dreams.

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Minimalism and Social Solitude

“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
― Henry David Thoreau

NOTE: This is the first of a two-part series on Minimalism and Solitude. Click here to check out part 2.

If there’s a choice between being exposed to cacophonies in massive events and reading a good book at home, I’ll most definitely opt for the latter (I have a high Introversion preference). Being an introvert, solitude is becoming a necessity for me. Not only does it “recharge” myself for the all-time-loud-and-exhausting school hours the following day, but it also helps me focus more on tasks at hand, and getting to know more of myself (questioning myself on important personal matters, stuff like that). Solitude, however, is not confined to introverts. Extroverts need them as well, though not as much as introverts need them. Everyone needs solitude to find rest away from our busy everyday lives and contemplate on life-shaping decisions (such as deciding which university to attend, which is unfortunately pretty complicated).

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