Justin: let's quickly update this article, from December of 2019, so that it works now, in December 2020. DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL EDITS ARE COMPLETE.
2019 was an amazing year for me, but I know for a fact that 2020 is going to be even better. How can I be so certain? Because of my New Year's resolutions.
We are all in control of our own lives, meaning the only thing stopping any of us from having an amazing year is the decisions we, ourselves, make. That's just how the world works—and it's why I know I can make 2020 the best year ever, no matter what happens.
Some things are scientifically shown to make people happier. My resolutions will focus on those things, objectively ensuring that 2020 will be the best year ever. Here are those resolutions.
Resolution 1: Work outside the house more often
I work from home, which can sometimes feel isolating. I always feel better if I spend an afternoon working somewhere besides my house, which is why I think it's important to have a secondary workspace.
It's also why, in 2020, I'm going to make a concerted effort to work somewhere besides my house every week. You should too.
Think of some other place you can get things done—ideally, someplace with a lot of people. The more crowded, the better. A coffee shop, maybe, or the library if you don't want to spend any money. You could even rent a desk in a co-working space, or hang out at a bar with your laptop. There are so many public places, in every city on earth. That's something that we can all take for granted, without second-guessing—even for a moment!
If you work from home, or even if you work in an office, working somewhere else is an easy way to make sure 2020 is amazing. Just make sure you have noise-canceling headphones—being around other people constantly is really distracting.
Resolution 2: Spend less time online and more time with friends and family
Obviously I love the internet—it's where I work, yes, but also where I spend most of my free time. That's ok, to a point, but research shows that people who spend more time on the internet are less happy.
So, in 2020, I'm going to spend less time online outside of work hours. I promise you: I will not be spending my evenings next year binge-watching TV shows, playing online games, or scrolling through social feeds.
What will I do instead? Use that time for things that will actually make me happy. Think about it: I could spend time with multiple friends, in public places. Or I could host parties, with numerous people from separate households.
2020 is going to be the best.
Resolution 3: Stop spending so much time on video calls
I attend a lot of Zoom meetings for work, which I don't mind: video calls are a not-at-all-exhausting alternative to in-person meetings. It's hard to imagine any kind of scenario where we would all collectively change our minds about that.
But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. There were some weeks in 2019 where I spent as many as three hours on video calls. That's way too much! In 2020, I'm going to get that number down, no matter what happens. You can hold me to that.
Note to the editor: I'll see if I can get to updating this before New Year's, but for now, let's just make sure it's removed from the publication schedule. It would be really, really embarrassing if this was somehow published accidentally before I had a chance to update it, so I want to be one hundred percent sure that doesn't happen.