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The Independent Institute
Commentary

Let Vanilla Ice Help You Have a Great 2012


Welcome to 2012. If you’re like most of us, you’ve broken at least one (if not all) of your New Year’s Resolutions even though we’re only a couple of days into the new year. What can you do about it? Here’s some advice for a great new year based on the first line of Vanilla Ice’s breakthrough hit “Ice Ice Baby.”

1. Stop. Perhaps you think this is the year to start a bunch of great and worthwhile endeavors. You might still be going strong during the first week of January, but my guess is that life will eventually get in the way. Act first, and find something to Stop.

What can you Stop? Your social media habits are a good place to start. How many of your tweets and Facebook status updates can be translated as “I’m awesome; check me out” without losing information? You just tweeted that you’re in an awesome place with an impressive person. Does this give your friends and followers useful information on which they can act, or does it just tell them that you go to awesome places and hang out with impressive people? I’m trying to follow Jon Acuff’s advice by asking “why” about whatever I write for public consumption so as to improve the quality (and if anything, reduce the quantity) of my output.

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Art Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, and Assistant Professor of Economics at Samford University.
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