Minimalist Miscellany: No-Shopping, Kindness, Resolutions and Giving

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Today’s Minimalist Miscellany links to stories about no-shopping years, teaching kindness, New Year’s resolutions and charitable giving.

A Fun Way to Stop Buying Things You Don’t Really Need describes an artist who stopped shopping for a year. Sarah Lazarovic painted items she wanted instead of buying them and documented the lessons she learned.

Author Ann Patchett also took a year off from shopping. In My Year of No Shopping, she says, “The things we buy and buy and buy are like a thick coat of Vaseline smeared on glass: We can see some shapes out there, light and dark, but in our constant craving for what we may still want, we miss life’s details.”

Can Kindness Be Taught? discusses the Kindness Curriculum, developed by the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin (Madison). This mindfulness-based program for preschoolers is available free of charge. Kind Campaign and Random Acts of Kindness have free resources for helping older children practice kindness.

Thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions? You’ll want to read How to Make (and Keep) a New Year’s Resolution and 5 things to do now for New Year’s resolution success.

If you’ve given up on resolutions, check out 5 Alternatives to a Traditional New Year’s Resolution. I really like “Establish weekly experiments that test out various habits or that challenge you to do new things.”

The Tech to Help Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions suggests apps to help you meet your goals.

Consumer Reports has prepared a list of some of the highest- and lowest-rated charities that you might want to read before donating. Also check out GiveWell’s list of top-rated charities. GiveWell uses an evidence-based method to find the charities that “offer the best bang for the buck in terms of lives saved or improved per dollar donated.”

Do you have any links you’d like to share with Minimalist Miscellany?