Way Too Much Information
New year’s resolutions don’t work. If you want to achieve your goals in the 2019 you need to learn how to create habits that stick. It’s easier than you think.
Research has shown that New Year’s resolutions have an 80 percent failure rate, yet year on year we keep coming back for more. I know I certainly have.
From running a marathon and blogging consistently to earning more money and quitting coffee, my goals over the years have been nothing if not lofty. (I mean, quit coffee? Seriously?)
Let’s unpack why New Year’s resolutions don’t work, and then we’ll look at what we can do instead to get the results we want.
Humans are all about results, they’re what drive us to aim higher and go further. When you finish your first 5k you immediately set your sights on running ten.
But if you’ve never run a mile in your life, resolving to run a marathon in 2019 is a big ask. As Seth Godin points out, “If you set your bar at ‘amazing,’ it’s awfully difficult to start.”
The reason it’s difficult to start is that your eyes are on the prize, which in this case is 26 miles and a whole lot of training in the future. You’re focusing on the outcome instead of paying attention to the process.
When you don’t achieve your goal you immediately beat yourself up. You berate yourself for being a failure or a quitter. You wonder what’s wrong with you.
You don’t take the time to consider why you never achieved your goal, you just bemoan the fact that you didn’t. Now, on top of not fulfilling your dream of running a marathon, you’re also disappointed in yourself.
When you repeatedly fail to do the things you set out to do, your self-esteem is going to suffer. We thrive on our successes. Each win, however small, builds our self-confidence. The opposite is also true. When you fail repeatedly, you’ll eventually start to believe you’re not good enough.
When you make New Year’s resolutions there’s an unspoken assumption that you have 365 days to make good on them. On January first the end of the year can seem like a lifetime away.
This apparent lack of urgency inspires you to breeze through the first few weeks of the year. You reason that you’ll ease into things slowly. Before you know it, it’s March and you haven’t even laced up your new shoes, much less gone for a run.
Instead of setting big goals, aim to get one percent better everyday. It sounds pathetic, I know. What’s one percent in the greater scheme of things?
Humans love the big wins. They’re inspiring, and, if we’re honest, they’re a little bit sexy, too. But as James Clear—author of the New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits— points out, it’s the small daily habits and choices that transform us.
He ran the math on what that looks like. If you get one percent better every day for a year, you’ll end up 37 times better. Get one percent worse, and you’ll find yourself at zero.
Clear also reminds us that consistency is more important than perfection. You’re going to fall short occasionally, so be ready to accept it. Just dust yourself off and get back in the game. Don’t use the misstep as an excuse to go crazy. You know what I mean. You figure you blew your diet anyway, so why not make a meal of it?
Have you ever thought the reason for not achieving your goals was a lack of motivation? Me, too, but it turns out motivation isn’t what we need to get where we want to be. What we need, and science has proven this, is an implementation plan.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say you want to get in shape. Saying “I’m going to exercise more,” isn’t going to cut it. At best, it’s an intention, something you aspire to.
However, if you map out your new workout regime for the next week, you’ve created a plan to implement your goal to exercise more. Clear says the simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:
I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].
He offers examples for how this looks in action:
Even with this new way of looking at the year ahead and everything you hope to achieve, there will still be days (many of them, probably) when life happens, and all you want to do is collapse on the couch and zone out on Netflix and M&Ms.
That’s when you need to dig deep and go to the gym anyway. You can’t imagine it in the moment, but doing what you said you would do is going to make you feel way better than the alternative. Even if it’s not the best workout, showing up is what matters.
Remember: it’s the small choices that transform you into the superhero you aspire to be.
Yes, that’s really what this event is being called in the media (and yes, it is a mouthful). Let’s break the name down into bite-size pieces:
Unless it’s cloudy, you will have a good chance of catching this eclipse because this one is visible everywhere in the Americas. Boston, L.A., on vacation in the Caribbean, hanging out in Rio—everyone in the Western Hemisphere gets to see this one.
This eclipse even has convenient timing. In the Eastern time zone, the partial eclipse begins at 10:33 P.M., so you don’t even have to set your alarm like for the last one, which unfolded at 5 A.M. In the Pacific time zone, it’s a dinnertime eclipse that starts at 7:33 P.M.
In the hour after the partial eclipse begins, the full Moon goes through a weird series of shapes that are often described as phases. But for most of this time the Moon does not resemble ordinary monthly lunar phases. No, these are strange looking. And they get stranger as they go along, so that the very weirdest might be the Moon’s configuration at around 11:30 EST, when only one little bright spot remains while the rest of the moon has turned orange, making the apparition resemble Mars with its polar cap.
Totality begins at 11:41 EST or 8:41 PST. And now the blackness that first bit into the Moon to produce its odd shapes is replaced by an eerie coppery glow. But this varies from eclipse to eclipse. Some lunar totalities are dark gray with a moon barely visible, and other times it’s almost a brick red. It depends on earthly atmospheric conditions, like whether there’s been recent volcanic eruptions. Actually, it’s the only time we can gaze at a celestial object to get a report card about ourselves.
Another feature—at least for those away from city lights—is that lunar totality restores thousands of faint stars to the winter sky, which the full Moon had washed out to invisibility before the eclipse begin.
Topping it all off, the eclipsed moon will hover in the highest up section of the zodiac. So instead of being possibly blocked by hills, trees or neighbors’ houses like the last lunar eclipse, this one is high overhead.
Lasting over an hour until 12:44 EST, the moon’s ruddy appearance remains more or less unvarying the whole while. Thankfully, this means that no one can be blamed for hitting the hay after observing the eclipse for, say, the first 20 minutes.
With all these pluses and benefits, it may be necessary not to oversell the event. The phrase “total eclipse” is shared by both lunar and solar versions. But while a solar totality is a frenetic excursion into another dimension, with absolutely astounding short-lived marvels that make many people weep with rapture, such as pink flames shooting from the sun’s edge, a lunar totality is a lengthy phenomenon during which essentially nothing happens.
Okay, so we’ve established that unlike total solar total eclipses, this January 20th event may not be life-changing. But it’s still definitely worth observing. Lunar eclipses always seem to hold a special fascination for children.
If you have any, wake them up for it, and they’ll remember it their entire lives.
Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s blog on stargazing and astronomy. Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, will help bring alive the wonders of our universe. From the beautiful stars and planets to magical auroras and eclipses, he covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob, the world’s mostly widely read astronomer, also has a new weekly podcast, Astounding Universe!
Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac
The Full Wolf Moon reaches its peak on January 21, 2019, at 12:16 A.M. EST (January 20 at 9:16 P.M. for those in PST).
This year, thanks to the Moon being both a Supermoon and part of a total lunar eclipse (a “Blood Moon”), January’s full Moon is being called the “Super Blood Wolf Moon.” How’s that for a name?
Total Lunar Eclipse (“Blood Moon”)
Just a few hours before the peak of the full Moon, a total lunar eclipse will be visible from all of North, Central, and South America. The eclipse will begin at approximately 9:35 P.M. EST (6:35 P.M. PST) on January 20 and end at 2:50 A.M. EST (11:50 P.M. PST). A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes into the shadow of the Earth, which causes the usually bright Moon to turn a dark, ominous red (giving the eclipsed Moon the nickname ”Blood Moon”).
In addition to a total lunar eclipse, we’ll also be treated to a Supermoon. A Supermoon occurs when the Moon is both full AND reaches the point in its orbit where it’s closest to Earth. A Supermoon is ever-so-slightly larger and brighter than a typical full Moon, though the difference is negligible when viewed with the naked eye.
All dates and times are ET.
||New Moon: January 5, 8:28 P.M.|
||First Quarter: January 14, 1:45 A.M.|
|Full Moon: January 21, 12:16 A.M.|
|Last Quarter: January 27, 4:10 P.M.|
In Native American and early Colonial times, the Full Moon for January was called the Full Wolf Moon. It appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages.
Traditionally, the January Moon is also known as the Old Moon. To some Native American tribes, this was the Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the next Full Moon, in February.
Aboveground crops: 10, 11, 19, 20
Belowground crops: 1, 27, 28
For Setting Eggs:
16, 17, 25, 26
A bright first Moon promises rain and a bountiful harvest; a red-tinted Moon means a dry year.
A growing Moon and a flowing tide are lucky times to marry.
A halo around the Moon predicts wet or stormy weather.
Spindletop is a salt dome oil field located in the southern portion of Beaumont, Texas in the United States. The Spindletop dome was derived from the Louann Salt evaporite layer of the Jurassic geologic period. On January 10, 1901, a well at Spindletop struck oil (“came in”). The Spindletop gusher blew for nine days at a rate estimated at 100,000 barrels (16,000 m3) of oil per day.Gulf Oil and Texaco, now part of Chevron Corporation, were formed to develop production at Spindletop.  According to Daniel Yergin, it was the Spindletop discovery that led the United States into the oil age. Prior to Spindletop, oil was primarily used for lighting and as a lubricant. Because of the quantity of oil discovered, it suddenly became economically feasible to burn petroleum as a fuel for mass consumption.
The frenzy of oil exploration and the economic development it generated in the state became known as the Texas oil boom. The United States soon became the world’s leading oil producer.
There had long been suspicions that oil might be under “Spindletop Hill.” The area was known for its vast sulfur springs and bubbling gas seepages that would ignite if lit. In August 1892, George W. O’Brien, George W. Carroll, Pattillo Higgins and others formed the Gladys City Oil, Gas, and Manufacturing Company to do exploratory drilling on Spindletop Hill. The company drilled many dry holes and ran into trouble, as investors began to balk at pouring more money into drilling with no oil to show for it.
Pattillo Higgins left the company and teamed with Captain Anthony F. Lucas, the leading expert in the U.S. on salt dome formations. Lucas made a lease agreement in 1899 with the Gladys City Company and a subsequent agreement with Higgins. Lucas drilled to 575 feet (180 m) before running out of money. He secured additional funding from John H. Galey and James M. Guffey of Pittsburgh, but the deal left Lucas with only an eighth share of the lease and Higgins with nothing.
Lucas continued drilling and on January 10, 1901, at a depth of 1,139 ft (347 m), what is known as the Lucas Gusher or the Lucas Geyser blew oil over 150 feet (50 m) in the air at a rate of 100,000 barrels per day (16,000 m3/d)(4,200,000 gallons). It took nine days before the well was brought under control.
Spindletop was the largest gusher the world had seen and catapulted Beaumont into an oil-fueled boomtown. Beaumont’s population of 10,000 tripled in three months and eventually rose to 50,000. Speculation led land prices to increase rapidly. By the end of 1902, more than 500 companies had been formed and 285 wells were in operation.
Spindletop was the first oilfield found on the US Gulf Coast, and prompted further drilling, and further oil field discoveries. Oil drillers looking for another Spindletop particularly sought out other salt domes, and were often successful. The Gulf Coast turned into a major oil region.
Standard Oil, which then had a monopoly or near-monopoly on the petroleum industry in the eastern states, was prevented from moving aggressively into the new oilfield by state antitrust laws. Populist sentiment against Standard Oil was particularly strong at the time of the Spindletop discovery. In 1900, an oil products marketing company affiliated with Standard Oil had been banned from the state for its cutthroat business practices. Although Standard built refineries in the area, Standard was unable to dominate the new Gulf Coast oil fields the way it had in the eastern states. As a result, a number of startup oil companies at Spindletop, such as Texaco and Gulf Oil, grew into formidable competitors to Standard Oil.
Among those drilling at Spindletop was W. Scott Heywood, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, who in 1901 made the first oil discovery in nearby Jeff Davis Parish in southwestern Louisiana. In 1932, Heywood was elected to a single term in the Louisiana State Senate.
Production at Spindletop began to decline rapidly after 1902, and the wells produced only 10,000 barrels per day (1,600 m3/d) by 1904. On November 14, 1925, the Yount-Lee Oil Company brought in its McFaddin No. 2 at a depth of about 2,500 feet (800 m), sparking a second boom, which culminated in the field’s peak production year of 1927, during which 21 million barrels (3.3 GL) were produced. Over the ten years following the McFaddin discovery, more than 72 million barrels (11.4 GL) of oil were produced, mostly from the newer areas of the field. Spindletop continued as a productive source of oil until about 1936. It was then mined for sulfur from the 1950s to about 1975.
Charm, in most men and nearly all women, is a decoration.
E. M. Forster
Human bodies love flow and movement and respond in kind when used in this way.
Our bodies love movement. When we stretch or dance, our bodies adjust, realign and start to become fluid with the rhythm of life. Our mood lifts and we feel more connected with the world around us. If you are feeling stuck, ready to release old energy, or eager to feel more alive, try moving your body. By giving your muscles a chance to do what they were created for, you may find that all areas of your body and your life benefit as well.
Many times we can be so busy that we forget moving our body is even an option. Some of us remain seated at our computer for hours every day or rush from task to task with robotic precision. When we are caught up in crossing items off our to-do lists, we tend to neglect all the opportunities there are to enjoy our bodies in the process of living. If this is true for you, begin looking for opportunities to move. You might try dancing or moving about freely as you clean your home, tend your garden or care for your children. If you are able to devote a set amount of time to self-care, practices such as yoga, dance, tai chi and walking are all great ways to keep your body in motion.
Imagine how freeing it would feel to trust your body’s movements completely, knowing it has a perfect strength and rhythm of its own. See if you can sense your bones providing graceful support, your muscles and tendons expanding and contracting in just the right measure, your lungs changing pace to fill deeply with fresh air. Movement is a vital celebration of life. It is a way to proclaim your own existence and relish in the joy of being alive. Today, and into the future, give yourself the gift of your body in motion.
Having a conversation about money might be the dullest of conversations, but you’re able to make progress by connecting with common sense and your practical side. You’re also right to believe that getting any monetary discussion done and dusted clears the way for you and someone close to do something much more interesting and enjoyable. Get business out of the way before indulging in pleasure.
You could have an abundance of romantic memories to reflect upon, but some can produce strong emotions. However, the upside of this surrounds being able to use past experience to illuminate the way forward in your emotional world or one special connection in the present. Lessons lurk in your passionate past, and if you give them the right levels of attention, then what appears murky or ill-defined here and now could experience a warm vibe of clarity.
Finding that emotionally warm and comforting vibe in a love relationship will be extra important to you now as support from a loved one could mean more to you than support coming from anywhere else. It might also be helpful with you gaining a more reassuring view of circumstances in another area of your world. With the love of someone special behind you, many worries and concerns could be allayed in a heartbeat.
You’re someone who likes and needs space in a love connection, and this is probably something a loved one might fail to understand. Your level of devotion is unquestionable, but there are times when you need space to reconnect with yourself. Now could be such a time and before you prime yourself for a tense exchange with your paramour about your need for some ‘you time’ don’t rule out how understanding or supportive they might be.
A challenge that arises in your emotional world could be what’s needed to alter the trajectory of current love life circumstances. Consider it a cosmic reminder that not every plan that goes skewiffy is something to resent. Even if your love life conditions need swift attention, you’ll see how a quick response from you can make light work of what might have normally caused you to feel deflated or thwarted.
Communication could be prone to going off on tangents or entering very sensitive territory if you don’t apply plenty of care when communicating with your romantic interest at this time. Instead of choosing to ‘wing it’ and release what’s on your mind or in your heart, choose instead to refine the way you express or convey yourself. It might take more than one attempt to get it right but as soon as you sense any confusion or tension, stop in your tracks, count to ten and start again!
The cool, calm and collected way you manage an unexpected development could impress the object of your affections in a big way. There’s something very sexy about how you display grace under pressure and your way of accepting rather than resenting spontaneity can be reassuring to your passionate observer. It will take more than one sudden challenge to disrupt your relationship, and a loved one might learn a thing or two from watching you deal with and resolve it.
Your romantic aspirations might be crystal clear in your mind but overcoming obstacles to turn visions into something real might not be easy. Effort might feel rudderless, leaving you feeling confused about whether you’re applying it in the right ways or wasting your time. The answer might surround not overthinking or focusing too intently on a romantic plan going precisely to plan. Love refuses to work to any strict agenda, and with enough emotional patience and persistence, you’ll start to feel something is moving in the right direction.
You might have something to look forward to that fills you with a sense of excitement in your emotional world or with someone special. If this involves travel, then you can be certain your vision of a passionate adventure won’t be disappointing. Even if you can’t travel physically, you and the object of your affections can make special, sexy plans that provide stimulation in all the right ways. Trust whatever has you excited because something passionate awaits.
A sense of inner restlessness could create a confusing vibe in your emotional world generally or within a special connection. If you sense there are benefits to enjoying your own space and company, then do so. Enjoying a bit of ‘you time’ can help you get a firmer grip on what’s unfolding with affairs of the heart or your paramour. As keen as you might be to restore a harmonious equilibrium in your love life, be careful with how much energy you invest in any challenging romantic scenarios, especially if you feel you’ll struggle to summon it anyway.
Bringing a new level of freedom to your emotional world doesn’t require grand, far-reaching gestures or actions. You’d be amazed what putting a bit more trust in your passionate heart can bring. You might find yourself reassessing your attitude toward love and romance at this time, but that’s not a bad idea, either. You’re able to inject a new level of passion into a love connection mainly by wanting to do so. If the desire is there, then a new level of desire can be achieved!
The more you and a loved one can focus on your shared needs for creativity and open communication; the deeper one connection can become at this time. This applies even more if tension or conflict has pushed you apart recently or you both want to inject some sexy spontaneity and lightheartedness back into your relationship. When it comes to connecting with your passionate purpose and need for emotional stability, you and a loved one appear to be on the same page.
Something could trigger memories of a love affair from long ago, and this can be both positive and negative, depending on how long you allow it to linger. You’ve no reason to believe that a previous painful episode is waiting for a chance to spring into action and create havoc in your love life now. It’s more important you focus your fervent energy on making something special happen in the present rather than allow something from the past to distract you.
It’s by releasing passionate thoughts, hearing them conveyed with your own voice and seeing the way they’re received by a loved one that will reassure you that you’ve hit on something that the two of you can pursue together. What you’re saying or suggesting makes sense and helps you and someone special feel that you’re both on the same page in a way you need to be. Embracing the spirit of collaboration on offer could be nothing short of thrilling.
It could be time reassess the direction of a love relationship, especially now that recent emotional intensity is waning, granting you a clearer perspective on where you stand and what you want. The spark that was once felt with a romantic routine might also be waning, offering nowhere near the same level of excitement you experienced once upon a time. You know that new, passionate energy is needed in a love connection, and a way forward to bring it is on its way.
Whether single or attached, it could be possible for you and a certain person to ‘click’ in a way that intrigues and reassures you. You’ll instantly feel that you can be your authentic self with them and can be both spontaneous and just a little bit detached at the same time. It’s the way you can remain protected by your personal boundaries while still being able to test the limits of your passion that will help something special to unfold gradually.
This is a time to trust your judgment in the form of your intuition, rather than heed the distracting observations or advice from others where a love life matter is concerned. Nobody is more knowledgeable about what your heart is dealing with and processing now than you, and you’re not obliged to justify anything to anyone. You might not have all the answers but are undoubtedly on the right track to gaining a crucial one related to affairs of the heart.
A clash of attitudes or opinions could occur between a plan you see as cut and dried and the way a loved one or someone close views it. It might seem as if you haven’t considered their needs, but you know that’s not the case. It will be up to you to achieve some level of balance between your vision of the future and the role the object of your affections plays in it. If handled sensitively and with the right levels of openness, a compromise can be reached.
Whether it’s speaking your mind or probing a loved one for elusive information, it’s possible to come across as heavy-handed, and that won’t get either of you anywhere. You’re encouraged to pay close attention to timing because progress on a level you’re keen to make it on relies on choosing your moment carefully. Your intuition won’t fail you when it comes to offering hints regarding when to open your heart or make any bold romantic move you’re considering.
You might feel uncomfortable trying to process passionate emotions and might also sense that something connected with affairs of the heart feels stuck or stagnant in some way. However, releasing outdated ideas about what you want and need from a love connection is your first step to altering your romantic trajectory. It’s time to let go of what – or possibly who – no longer serves you or can play a part in achieving your true, passionate potential. Your love life fate is in your hands – and not before time!
Making progress in other areas of your world might appear to be a breeze compared to the inertia you might be encountering in your love life. However, it might only require a tweak to a routine or for a tiny spark of spontaneity to be applied to affairs of the heart that brings something new and more fulfilling. Something you do that’s steeped deeply in a routine needs to change, even if it’s a seemingly small habit. Dare to do something differently and see where it gets you.
Your desire to achieve a deeper level of commitment comes at a price that will involve freedom you’ve enjoyed or possibly clung to being relinquished. However, you’re prepared to let go of any reasons you’ve nurtured that played a part in being cautious or reluctant to take this romantic plunge in the past. A new – and more fulfilling – level of interaction and involvement comes from taking a small but exciting risk – and all in the name of love!
You might sense you have something to say to the one you love but are right to resist consciously rehearsing your words. With the right mindset, you could find your words flow in a way that would make any poet jealous, and your keenness to be transparent with thoughts and feelings will ensure nothing important is left unsaid.
A bit of tension in a love connection could be what’s needed if it leads to a revelation about one issue that you and someone close must address. Avoiding further confusion or frustrations requires you to put your head together. However, ensure your head and heart are working in tandem before you say or do something impulsive. A loved one will need to do the same. However, a solution can be found if the matter is brought into the open calmly and sensibly.
Claire Petulengro, Astrologer
From The Astrology Room
ARIES (March 21st-April 20th)
Some of your sign are going to be stuck in the position of having to choose between two people. It may not even be lovers, but it could be a partner and an in law, or a family member and their spouse. Caution. Wait until you uncover the whole story.
TAURUS (April 21st-May 21st)
You’ll be able to find out some very interesting facts this weekend. They’ll help you to understand why a close one has been acting so strangely of late. Call now to hear why business and pleasure should not mix.
GEMINI (May 22nd-June 21st)
Please never underestimate yourself Gemini. You are one of my favourite signs of the zodiac, for you are like a chameleon who really can merge themselves into any lifestyle they choose. Do however remember that you also need to be in charge!
CANCER (June 22nd-July 23rd)
Something that has not been done will soon be landing on your doorstep as a responsibility. Try to do all you can to get things under way so you can show what a consummate professional you are.
LEO (July 24th-August 23rd)
You’ll be trying to control everything today. Instead, try following the lead of those you trust. It’s sure to show you some alternative views of life you haven’t seen before. A new attraction makes you question much, in a very productive way.
VIRGO (August 24th-September 23rd)
Think positive and life will be positive. You have been talking yourself into negativity. You and I know that’s not a path you wish to travel down (again). Change what you do this weekend.
LIBRA (September 24th-October 23rd)
It’s time to let the person who is dragging you down in life go, or you are only going to find yourself stuck in a rut for an even longer period of time than you have been. Fresh starts and new beginnings are waiting for you.
SCORPIO (October 24th-November 22nd)
Determination will get you through anything today Scorpio (yes, even things you don’t know!). Use your time wisely and tackle the things you have been avoiding. Success is yours if you do.
SAGITTARIUS (November 23rd-December 21st)
A relationship which has been going through an awkward sticky patch is given a boost by the planets. What happens today gives you reason to work through issues. Time spent reviewing paperwork can save you both time and money.
CAPRICORN (December 22nd-January 20th)
You may think you’ve done something bad, but the planets simply see it as a learning curve as to what not to do next time. I like you Capricorn, because your honesty means you always have to follow your heart.
AQUARIUS (January 21st-February 19th)
Try to spend some time today focusing less on other peoples’ problems and more on your own life. It’s how you will start to make the progress you have secretly been hoping for. Talking may be painful, but can work miracles.
PISCES (February 20th-March 20th)
You think you’re not getting anywhere, but you’re wrong. Stop looking backwards and focus eyes forward. What you want does not seem so far away now does it Pisces? Admitting what you wanted would have meant fewer delays.
To book a private tarot, horoscope or clairvoyant reading with Claire over the telephone, click here.
Phone consultations cost UK£55, US$83 for 20mins, UK£90, US$135 for 40mins.