I’ve been using Mint.com for a decade, and tried dozens of personal finance apps over the last few years. Yet I lost track of my expenses and got myself into financial trouble last year. I had $600 in my bank account and $10,000 in taxes due.

I blamed my financial mishap on the tools being inadequate — automated categories were often wrong so I had to manually correct them, summaries of my income and expenses were inaccurate due to work reimbursements and sharing a house with roommates, and if I ever miss a few months, I’d need to spend hours organizing and cleaning before I could trust the data. …

Exactly one week ago I made a lifelong promise to myself to always exercise 30 minutes a day regardless of whatever happens. Over the last week there’s been days where I had to wake up at 5am to catch a flight and had 3 hours of sleep, there’s been days when I felt completely unmotivated and had trouble dragging myself out of bed let alone going to gym. Yet I’ve not let myself down even once and kept it up every single day and I can’t tell you how great that feels.


Commitment and persistence

Committing is hard, especially when we don’t fully know whether what we are committing to is actually good for us long term. How many fewer people will voluntarily get married if the option of divorce is simply not available? Yet we know that the ability to commit and most importantly stick to our commitments and persist is so crucial to our success as human beings.

Is there something we can do to train our ability to persist in the face of difficulties, to form habits, and to never waver in our conviction? Is there something, small or large, that you are so certain is the right thing to do, that you can commit to for the rest of your life? …

Tony Xiao

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