The 10 Best Articles of 2014

Well friends, we have reached the final month of another great year. After publishing a new article every Monday and Thursday during 2014, I'd like to share the 10 best articles of the year.

I started this tradition last year when I published my list of the 10 Best Articles of 2013. For me, it is always interesting to review my work and see which articles exploded out of the gate and which ones limped across the finish line. For you, I think it's nice to have a summary of the articles that are worth your time and attention.

Before we get started, I wanted to let you know I researched and compiled science-backed ways to stick to good habits and stop procrastinating. Want to check out my insights? Download my free PDF guide “Transform Your Habits” here.

Let's get into it…

The 10 Best Articles of 2014

1. This Coach Improved Every Tiny Thing by 1 Percent and Here’s What Happened

This is the post that I always refer back to when I'm talking about the power of small improvements and tiny gains. Other people seem to have enjoyed it as well and it is the most read post of 2014. (One company even made the “1 Percent Gains” idea their company motto for the year!)

2. Martha Graham on the Hidden Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others

This one caught fire on Facebook, which was a total surprise to me (again, showing that I'm a terrible judge of my own work). That said, the comparison trap is something that we all fall into and Martha Graham has some wise words for dealing with it.

3. The Physics of Productivity: Newton’s Laws of Getting Stuff Done

This article was a lot of fun for me. I had an idea for using one of Newton's Laws as a productivity metaphor and decided to run with and see if I could come up with something for all three. It turned out to be a hit (and, according to some, quite useful).

4. The Theory of Cumulative Stress: How to Recover When Stress Builds Up

To achieve optimal health we have to balance the different inputs and outputs in our daily life. This post explains how. (I'll be honest: I think this post only became popular because of the hand-drawn image—but the image does drive home the main point.)

5. How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science)

Sometime in the recent past, our culture became obsessed with the idea that it takes 21 days (or 30 days or some other magical amount time) to build a new habit. This post not only explains how this happened, it also debunks the myth and shares the science behind how long it really takes to build a behavior that sticks.

6. Warren Buffett’s “2 List” Strategy: How to Maximize Your Focus and Master Your Priorities

This article shares the story of Warren Buffett's strategy for focusing on the things that matter and ignoring the things that don't.

7. How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guide

A step-by-step guide (pictures included) on how to build a new habit and stick with it for the long-run.

8. How to Get Better Sleep: The Beginner’s Guide to Overcoming Sleep Deprivation

This is the article I am most proud of writing during 2014 and I'm glad that others enjoyed it as well. It is the most thoroughly researched piece that I created all year and I even had a few sleep researchers and physicians contact me to say how much they enjoyed it. In the future, my plan is to develop a system (and a team) that will help me produce articles of this caliber each week.

9. Why Trying to Be Perfect Won’t Help You Achieve Your Goals (And What Will)

Regular readers know that I love talking about falling in love with the boredom of practicing your craft, working toward mastery, and putting in your repetitions. I believe this is the path to greatness. This post shares a story that explains why repetitions are so important.

10. How to be More Productive and Eliminate Time Wasting Activities by Using the “Eisenhower Box”

This article shares a simple strategy that Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, used to manage his daily priorities and use his time effectively.

3 Posts That Deserve a Second Look

As always, there were many posts that I thought were great, but didn't make the cut for the top 10 of the year. Here are three that I think are worth a second look…

  1. Do Things You Can Sustain
  2. How to Uncover Your Creative Talent by Using the “Equal Odds Rule”
  3. Sisu: How to Develop Mental Toughness in the Face of Adversity

Finally, my most popular photo essay of 2014 was The Blue City of Chefchaouen, Morocco

My Best Articles of All-Time

Looking for more good articles to read? Check out other top posts and the complete archive of the best articles I've written.

Thanks for reading!