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.

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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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The Easiest Way to Declutter Your Desk

Decluttering is such a *insert negative noun here*

Often finding yourself saying that? Well a lot of people face this very problem and can get frustrated with it. Stress no more! Below are 3 short, sweet and simple steps to declutter and get back up on your productive saddle. Continue reading