The 10 Best Articles of 2016 | James Clear

The 10 Best Articles of 2016

Hi friends! Today I would like to continue a tradition I have conducted each year JamesClear.com has been around. I’d like to share my 10 best articles of the year.

Before we dive into the list for 2016, I’ll point out that you are welcome to browse the 10 Best Articles of 2013, 2014, and 2015 as well.

I always find it interesting to see which articles resonated most with you all (and which ones flopped), and I hope you find this list helpful too.

The 10 Best Articles of 2016

1. Make Your Life Better by Saying Thank You in These 7 Situations

This post explains the power of a simple phrase: thank you. It also discusses a variety of situations when we should say thank you, but usually say something else instead.

2. The Evolution of Anxiety: Why We Worry and What to Do About It

This article discusses how our evolutionary instincts clash with the modern world and what this means for anxiety, stress, and worry. I’m proud of this one because of how I was able to blend science, practical application, and fun hand-drawn images. My best articles tend to be ones that are educational, entertaining, and useful.

3. The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It

This article shares the story of the famous author, Victor Hugo, and the totally-strange-but-somehow-effective strategy he used to overcome his chronic procrastination. Throughout the post, I weave in some interesting scientific insights about why we procrastinate and what we can do about it.

4. The Downside of Work-Life Balance

A few years ago, I came across this interesting concept about work-life balance called The Four Burners Theory. In this article, I finally got around to writing about it, and I lay out three different approaches I have used for dealing with the fundamental tradeoffs of life and work.

5. Motivation is Overvalued. Environment Often Matters More.

The power of the environment is one of my favorite themes when it comes to discussing our habits and behavior. This article examines how environment has shaped the course of humanity over the centuries and then dives into the practical application of these ideas for our modern world.

6. The 3 Stages of Failure in Life and Work (And How to Fix Them)

For one of my longest and most comprehensive articles of the year, I decided to discuss the 3 stages of failure. The examples I use primarily draw from the business world, but many of the lessons hold true for life as well. In addition to describing the symptoms, I try to offer practical strategies for fixing each of the 3 stages of failure.

7. Motivation: The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated

Throughout the second half of the year, I focused on creating a variety of comprehensive guides on various topics related to habits and human performance. One of the best ones was this guide on motivation. In fact, if you search “motivation” in Google, this article will likely come up #1 or #2.

8. The Science of Sleep: A Brief Guide on How to Sleep Better Every Night

Another one of my comprehensive guides dived into the science of sleep. In this 4,600-word beast, you will not only find out how much sleep you actually need and how sleep works, but also proven ideas for how to get better sleep each night.

9. Healthy Eating: The Beginner’s Guide on How to Eat Healthy and Stick to It

This guide takes a different stance on healthy eating. Rather than focusing on telling you what to eat or how much to eat, this guide explains why we eat the way we do and what to do about it. It focuses on behaviors like why we tend to eat so much junk food and why we overeat so frequently, and then lays out simple strategies for overcoming these unhealthy habits.

10. The Proven Path to Doing Unique and Meaningful Work

Finally, we have an article that shares some brilliant advice that comes from a Finnish photographer named Arno Rafael Minkkinen. In this article, I explain the philosophy Minkkinen used to make it through the difficult portions of his career and ultimately produce unique and meaningful work. No matter what profession you are in, his advice is valuable.

My Best Articles of All-Time

Looking for more good articles to read? Check out the complete archive of the best articles I’ve written.

Thanks for reading!