Things that should not be New Year resolutions

The time around New Year is when people start making resolutions. Usually after shy admissions that previous resolutions set burnt out first week (day, hour) into it.

Very few things are better off accomplished by long procrastination, followed by promise to do it later. So, things you should do – continuously. Not because it’s new year, but because you just should.


Backup is one of the topics that I never get tired to talk about. Because no matter how much IT people scream about it – still had not sunk in for most computer masses. It had not even sunk in for good chunk of IT people.

Backup is not something you resolve to do some time later. It is the process that should be continuous, organized, up to date and verified.


There had been some high profile security happening last year and as usual hardly pleasant ones. We tend to forget just how much of our information depends on bits of text called passwords and how far those password get send and how shallow they can end up being stored.

Having multiple solid password for online sites you use doesn’t just happen. It is a process that takes some time and dedication.


Cringe when you look at bunch of inboxes? Or maybe pile of setup packages? Couple thousands of bookmarks? Likely none of these were made in a day. Just as likely none of these are going to be dealt with by singular heroic effort.

The things that accumulate gradually are best dealt with in same incremental manner. Answer an email. Check out an app. Read a post. Repeat and watch mayhem fade.


If even useful things can add up to clutter, not so useful things add up to pure evil waste of time and nerves. Imagine counter attached to something minor you do often (click an icon after computer startup, put your phone into silent mode in the evening). How many times will that counter click in a year? In ten years?

At first the point of IT technology was to do things humans are not good at. I think it’s time we add things that humans should not waste their time on. Look for routine tasks and make computer (smartphone, whatever) do it for you. It won’t mind. You will be amazed just how much more free you feel.


For many people learning doesn’t even seem to be a valid resolution. Merely something they have/had to do at designated time and place in their lives. Nothing had crippled more my desire and willingness to learn than formal education system (your mileage may vary).

Learning new things is not something to be done because it has to be done. It is something that we can profit from in some many ways – from purely intellectual to down-to-earth financial.


Now that I am sufficiently guilty about few points on this list I will go back to some stuff that is long overdue.

And as for last more personal non-resolution – regular readers may have noticed much more hectic posting frequency. I had said a little under year ago that frankly I am running out of awesome stuff I know to write about. Well, the breaking point is here. I don’t have one more excellent thing to write about, not before I find at get acquainted with it.

So my non-resolution is to not fall into writing about fluff. To give myself some breathing space and time to encounter more great things. I can’t just resolve to that – I can only keep working, learning and watching it happen.

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  • Angelo R. #

    Finding new things to talk about is always the hardest part.. especially when you're talking about new pieces of software. Best of luck to you in the new year finding new things!
  • Rarst #

    @Angelo R. Finding is not that hard by itself, but it takes time. I lost count how many times I spent good chunk of the evening testing something for post and ending up throwing it out because of bugs or other issues. I definitely do not want my posts to become to shallow and that means less of them.
  • Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#94) « What's On My PC #

    [...] Rarst.net Things that should not be New Year resolutions [...]
  • Chad Z #

    @Rarst Good. Quality over quantity. I really enjoy what you ahve to say, and you're right to not water that down.
  • Rarst #

    @Chad Z Thank you for support. :) I know that it can be discouraging for readers to see blog posts "drying up". Well, it's much more discouraging to see endless stream of half-hearted fluff and I would never let this blog to become latter.