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How to change without willpower.

Hey! Look at that! It’s the first Monday of 2020. Must be time for some top money stories gathered from the far corners of the web. Today’s stories are more about habits in general than specifically about money. But I hope you’ll agree that this is a great batch of material.

It’s 2020 (and you’re in the future). [Wait But Why] — “The 2020s sounds like such a rad futuristic decade — and that’s how the 1920s seemed to people 100 years ago today. They were all used to the 19-teens, and suddenly they were like, ‘whoa cool we’re in the twenties!’ Then they got upset thinking about how much farther along in life their 1910 self thought they’d be by 1920. In any case, it’s a perfect time for one of those ‘shit we’re old’ posts.”

I love this sort of thing. I think about this kind of stuff all of the time. My favorite bit from the article? If you’re sixty or older, you were born closer to the 1800s than today. Crazy!

If you're sixty, you were born closer to the 1800s than today.

How to change without willpower. [The Cut] — “It’s a new year! Time to reinvent yourself. Maybe you want to save more money, get fit, date better, eat better, use your phone differently, or drink less. I have tried most of these. And the hardest one — drinking less, after years of trying to do just that — ended up being the easiest, in the end. The key, for me, wasn’t finding a way to handle temptation or desire. It was uprooting the desire to drink in the first place, and replacing it with an entirely new belief.”

The unexpected joy of giving up alcohol — or anything else. [Quartz] — “Much to my surprise, Dry January—or Drynuary, as it’s also known, in a double assault against both the Gregorian calendar and my ears—turned out to be kind of fun. That’s because I finally understood something I hadn’t comprehended from the outside: Subtracting a food or habit from your life doesn’t have to mean existing in a state of deprivation. Under the right circumstances, there is pleasure to be found in absence.”

I’ve written elsewhere about my own relationship with alcohol and how I believe I should drink less. Perhaps much less. I’m at the start of my own dry January, and it’s going well so far. I’m much more productive, that’s for sure. We’ll see how I feel at the end of the month.

Lastly, here’s an 18-minute video of Adam Driver giving a TED talk in 2016. It’s interesting to hear him talk about his journey from Marine to actor. I find his work compelling. He’s intense. I look forward to seeing where he goes in the future.

That’s it for today. We’ll be back tomorrow with more awesome stuff worth reading.