18 Ways to Live by in 2018

Ditching resolutions for guiding principles

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Original note circulating on Facebook and Twitter.

I can never keep New Year’s resolutions, so I came up with 18 ways to live by in 2018, motivated by my most memorable experiences from last year. They’re probably most relevant for ambitious 20-something year old women, but they might be applicable to others…


  1. Mentor younger people because good role models can change lives
  2. When solving problems, strive for the simple + elegant solutions. Popular scientific breakthroughs are easily understood, not necessarily complex
  3. Don’t ask for help the minute you get stuck; try cracking the problem first
  4. Regularly read academic papers and discuss with others. This is a skill many non-researchers forget after school
  5. Stop pursuing the most hyped activities for the sake of following the crowd. Time to chart your own path — take classes that are hidden gems and don’t mindlessly interview at all the companies
  6. Don’t subconsciously let your priors affect your decision-making more than your current observations. Most people do this today, making it harder to understand new things


  1. Share your writing. Be more emotionally vulnerable with the world
  2. Don’t apologize out of habit or to fill up space in a conversation
  3. Be open to new relationships. Don’t let past negative experiences prevent you from close connections
  4. Prioritize sleep so you can be a kinder human. Be woke all the time, not awake all the time
  5. Treat your digestive system and body with respect. Don’t solely bombard it with dining hall pasta and late night quesadillas
  6. Perform when given the opportunity; who cares if your skills are rusty? Chances are you’re well qualified


  1. The first month of a new experience will always be challenging; get used to it. The most rewarding times require lots of hard + painful work
  2. You don’t have to be the “cool girl” — don’t laugh at vulgar or offensive jokes for the sake of fitting in
  3. Stop hiding your ambition to seem cool or make friends. The world needs to hear ambitious women
  4. Don’t feel weird when you’re the only girl in the room; it will only happen more in life
  5. Stop caring if people judge you for working too hard. If you think reading or studying is more fun than going out, then read or study
  6. Get comfortable challenging the opinions of successful + established people. The really amazing people, the outliers, will welcome your comments
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