The Only New Year Resolution List You Need

Posted by Harshad

The Only New Year Resolution List You Need

The Only New Year Resolution List You Need

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 07:01 AM PST

Do you have your resolutions thought out yet? I have. It is the same as the previous year’s but I am keeping to it not because I didn’t achieve them, but because it is the only new year resolution list I ever need.

Making New Year resolutions has become more of a tradition than a true reflection of what we want in life. Most of us don’t know what we want in life. Some of us want the "wrong" things, the things that did not change anything and thus make us feel like our lives have been stagnant after all this while.

Far from being judgemental here, this post is here to help. Feel free to walk away any time, if you want an easier guide to making your new year resolutions because this one will require you to do a lot of thinking about your life, and you may not like the answers that you arrive at.

1. Reevaluate Your Career

I’m sure you’ve heard of the difference between a career and a job? The short and simple answer is that a career spans years, while you can hold one job for this week, and another for the next. But let’s look at the longer version. Where do you stand in your career?

Before you jump into an "I am already up a rung in the career ladder" or "I’m up for a promotion", don’t. A promotion is just a concept that has meaning if you stay in salaried employment. If you suddenly find yourself out on the streets one day because something happened to the company you work with, where will your accumulated skills take you?

To put this into context, if you were to turn freelance, is what you know enough to keep food on the table? Do you have a reputation, a portfolio or a string of achievements that keeps you relevant in the industry you are in? Put some thought into that, and start drafting a plan to actually give value to your skillset.

2. Change Something About Your Life

Sounds like this is a broad one, right? Yet, I’m not referring to your hair, or your job (because it’s usually more of the same, see point 1), or your car, or another degree. I’m talking about life-changing events like finally tying the knot, or buying that house, or expanding the family.

I’m talking about that something that leaves a mark on your life, a stain you can’t get rid of, yet are proud to flaunt for all to see.

Stop hiding behind materialistic pursuits, thinking that they can make you happier. Invest in something that you can call yours: a relationship, a home, your attitude towards your parents, your spouse, your children, your life, yourself. Strive to be a bigger better person, so that when you reach December you can say, I did that, or I’ve been there or…

I’ve changed.

3. Fight for Something

If the previous year was smooth-sailing for you, then the new year is when you fight for something. Step out of your comfort zone, and make a stand. It doesn’t have to be something that needs you to take to the streets. This is personal. This is an exercise to liberate yourself.

Muster up the courage to ask for a raise, ask that cute girl in finance out, stand up to that professor who clearly has a beef with anything that has your name on it, or that noisy (or nosy) neighbour, or that colleague who has a lot of opinions in meetings but never does any of the hardwork, etc. We all have our own battles to fight. Find yours.

Demand to be taken seriously, have an opinion (that’s a statement, not a question), fight for your say, fight for your right to be part of something. Everyone loves a good hero; and this sudden burst of courage will definitely fuel other similar actions.

4. Do Something Unexpected

This can be considered an extension or an alternative to item 3. If you have nothing to fight for, nothing to confront, then do something totally unexpected of you.

The catch here is to do something you are proud to tell your children, not your employer. Take up a cause, join a flash mob, support an awareness campaign, run for charity, adopt a pet from the shelter, get a tattoo, try food with names you cannot pronounce, make amends with family etc.

Can’t find anything? Look back at the criticism you have been getting from your family members (that’s the reason for the "make amends" item up there) over the holidays at home, and ask yourself what you can do about it.

Aunt Laura said you can’t cook a meal to save your life? Learn. Uncle George been laughing at your beer belly one too many times? Work it off. Mom upset you haven’t found a suitor? You know what to do. Then, show up next Christmas and show them what one year can do to someone who is determined.

5. Be Human Again

It is quite normal these days to spend more time with your gadgets than with people. There are side effects from this but there are plenty of ways to regain control. This item has to do with reconnecting with your emotions, your humanity.

Show gratitude

I’m sorry to say that no one owes you anything, not the company you applied to, not your university you are studying at, not your co-workers in the office, not even your parents at home. What anyone does, they do it for something in return, or because it is their responsibility.

And yet, there is kindness in the world, and it can come from the strangest of places, even though we are told not to expect them. The important thing is that when you are in the presence of an act of kindness, participate, extend it or if you are on the receiving end, appreciate it.

Learn to cry again

Over the last year, I’ve had this routine where I look at news items, articles, photographs or videos that make me cry, right before I get to work. It wasn’t planned or even expected but the exercise helps me put my life in perspective when compared to the horrible or heartwarming things reported by the media.

Of course, some of them are publicity stunts, while others are primed to make you shed a tear or two. Don’t be cynical and ruin a good thing. At the end of the day, it’s the stories that really call out to your emotional side that will leave a mark on you, or haunt you.

Stories that make you feel (and shed tears) are the best kind. Allow yourself to react. It will change your perspective of life and let you reconnect with yourself.


Life is too short to hold a grudge. Before you say that this contradicts "Do Something Unexpected", note that that exercise is for you to better your life, not to stick it to their faces. At the end of the day, if they can’t find anything about your life to criticize, you have won, and now have a better control of your life.

When the lesson has been learned, forgive and move on.

6. Find a reason to be happy

Because that’s all we ever wanted, isn’t it? We want a reason to be happy, yet instead of working for that, we choose to ignore it to strive for things that don’t make us happy.

Here’s a secret. Any of the items above will do that for you. In #1, being honest will give you satisfaction. In #2, being responsible for something will change your world. In #3, being brave will make you (and probably the people you know) proud while #4 will make your young nieces, nephews or kids say you’re cool (if you ever want honesty, ask a child).

And #5 is… well, a long time coming.

Lists can serve at best, a reminder for the coming new year; at worst, a reason to hate yourself at the end of the new year. Don’t fall into the same trap. Make the coming new year a different one and happy new year.


Typography Posters: 20 Great Quotes To Inspire You

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 05:01 AM PST

Are you part of the crowd that loves to share advice on posters? Designers are always looking for inspiration to spark their creative minds, and nothing gives us more strength, wisdom and guidance than advice from the greats.

Today I would like to bring to your attention 20 typography posters with all-inspiring quotes for your motivation. These quotes are framed in typography with beautiful illustrations and other design elements to help get the message across, and raise your spirits.

Tip: Come back and look though them again when you are down on your luck, or just need a boost in your mood or confidence.

Steve Jobs Design Quote Poster by PosterVine. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works – Steve Jobs.

Your Future by Kerrie Virtuousone. Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow – Robert Kiyosaki.

Discipline Quote Poster by SaraChristensen. Anyone who has ever made anything of importance was disciplined – Andrew Hendrixson

Typography Quote by Sam Stratton. Every artist was once an amateur – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Life in Your Years by Brandon Ehrlich. And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years – Abraham Lincoln.

Stop Sketching. Start Building. by Startup Vitamins. Stop sketching, start building – Dennis Crowley.

Design. by Joseph Wharton. Design is what you do when you don’t yet know what you are doing – G. Stiny.

Kiss From a Rose. by Jeroen van Eerden. An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail – Edwin Land.

Ben Howard – Keep Your Head Up by IMattthew. Keep your head up, keep your heart strong – Ben Howard.

What Is Simplicity? by Pawel Kadysz. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – Leonardo da Vinci.

The Gift v2 by Joseph Wharton. The artist is nothing without the gift but the gift is nothing without work – Emile Zola.

Things in Life by brian hurst. The best things in life aren’t things – Art Buchwald.

The Greatest Pleasure… by IrvingGFM. The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do – Walter Bagehot.

Last Time by fabio perez. When was the last time you did something for the first time? – Unknown.

It Is During … by Waterboy1992. It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light – Aristotle Onassis.

The White Paper by GE-7. The white paper is an open ticket to travel around the world – Nezar Qabbani.

Happy Tuesday by Jeff Caceres. Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life – Karen Salmansohn.

Free Verse 18 – Napoleon Hill by Salve-S. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way – Napoleon Hill.

A Person Who Never Made A Mistake by Adrian R. Eriksen. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new – Albert Einstein.

Free Verse 11 – Johnny Depp by Salve-S. Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live – Johnny Depp


How To Successfully Take On And Handle More Design Work

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 02:01 AM PST

If you’re a freelance designer, there will probably come a time when you will either want, or need, to take on a few extra clients. However, it can be difficult to squeeze in more business if you already feel overwhelmed with what’s on your plate.

The good news is there’s plenty you can do to reduce that overwhelm and become more efficient. Today, we’ll go over how to make room in a busy schedule for extra clients or projects, without sacrificing the quality of your output.

Assembly Line

Most people, when they start on a new project, tackle it from the top. That is, they’ll begin working on one thing until that thing is done. This is a highly inefficient method of getting work done, and designers in particular can greatly benefit from what’s commonly called "chunking" or blocking tasks.

Chunking is a productivity tactic that allows you to work in an "assembly line" style, thereby finishing several projects simultaneously in phases.

I use this tactic all the time, with both my design and writing work. It works so well for me that many clients are actually stunned at how fast I can get things done, with zero loss in quality.

Schedule A Day Just For Planning

As we accumulate more responsibilities throughout our week, we slowly get more and more overwhelmed by everything that’s demanding our attention. Thinking and planning our work, believe it or not, can drain us and make us less likely to actually finish it.

That’s why it’s important to plan before you actually have to work.

It’s worth setting aside an entire day just to plan what you’re going to do over the coming days, weeks, or months, to avoid having it trip you up later. I recommend doing this over the weekend, but a weekday can work too, if your schedule is flexible enough.

Get Curious

Instead of letting yourself get completely overwhelmed by all the things you have to do for a new project, try approaching each task with an attitude of curiosity. Just think: once you learn or implement something new, you’ll be able to do it forever. You’ll never have to re-learn that thing.

That adds to your confidence, because you now have a new piece of knowledge to store in your vault. This is especially good news if you’ve just finished a difficult bit of code or a design element that can be reused for later projects. Once certain work is done, it never has to be done again from scratch.

Become More Efficient

You can’t be an expert in everything. Remember that even the most competent designer has weaknesses. It might be worth outsourcing parts of your project to other independent contractors (provided your client has no problem with it) so that you’re able to accept more work, as well as focus more on the type of work you enjoy best and are really good at.

If being effective is doing the right things, being efficient is doing things right. Both are important to a successful design business.

Role-Playing Success

Imagine if you were perfectly competent and able to juggle, say, 2 or 3 more client projects than you currently do. How would you go about doing it? You might think that if you were totally competent and efficient, your problems would solve themselves, but humor me for a minute anyway.

It may sound silly, but role-playing a really motivated, knowledgable person allows you to think about how he or she might handle the schedule you’re struggling with. You may be surprised at how many productivity roadblocks you think you have will disappear once you free yourself from thinking about them.

In Conclusion

Success is nothing more than experience. If you drive, you remember what it was like when you first got behind the wheel and started learning. It probably took you many years of driving every day to become confident enough that it became second nature to you. Oftentimes it simply takes looking at a problem from a new angle to more easily come up with a solution.



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