The only resolutions that work are lifestyle changes, and if you are really ready to do a lifestyle change, you don’t wait for January 1. Which is one of the gazillion reasons why most New Years’ resolutions don’t stick.  Read more

Here they are: The five posts from 2014 that had the most readers.

What does it really mean to work full time?

Leaving your options sets you back

Men with families feel more trapped than ever. Here’s how to fix that.

3 Cheers for women who say they don’t want to work. At least they’re honest.

5 Traits of high earners that will make you not want to be one

All five of the posts in this list are about people grappling with the expectations we put on smart people. Read more

This year I finally admitted I’m not the climb-my-way-to-the-top type I was when I first started writing. Probably this happened a long time ago, and I was in denial. After all, so much of my identity was wrapped up in being a higher performer.

But I look at the most popular posts of the last year, and I see the change.

I remember when my agent said she could get me a $100,000 book deal to write about Generation Y. I thought, “That’s not me. I’m not even part of Generation Y.” But it was me. I just didn’t see it.

And now I see that the most popular posts are about admitting that life is not turning out how I expected. I don’t have any posts in this list about being king of the hill. But I do have a lot of posts about coping with adjusted expectations. And, based on your comments, it seems like we are adjusting together.  Thank you for doing that with me. Read more

I think this year was a year of me looking for stuff. Trying to figure stuff out. Maybe trying to figure out what I’m looking for.

It was also the year I discovered pictures for my blog, and I even redesigned the whole blog so the photos are more prominent. So it makes sense to me to end with a picture of me looking for something — who knows what? — when I was a child. Because some things are just part of us. They don’t change, even when the year changes.

I don’t know if these are the best posts of the year. But they are some of the posts that received the most comments. My favorite post of the whole year is the one that’s first on this list. Hopefully I’ve picked a few of your favorites too, and a few that you missed, so there’s a fun one for you to read right now.

Happy new year, and thank you for reading my blog and commenting. You make me feel lucky. And here’s the list:

On Sunday my son sold his pig (271 comments)

Voices of the defenders of grad school. And me, crushing them. (249 comments)

Blueprint for a woman’s life (440 comments, 3,000 likes on Facebook)

5 Reasons to stop trying to be happy (146 comments)

Salaries top out at age 40 (102 comments, 471 likes on facebook)

What gen-yers don’t know about themselves (250 comments)

Generation Z will revolutionize education (175 comments)

 

 

Here’s a list of the posts that got the most comments this year. Interestingly, the post that got the most traffic is did not make the list. That post is: What it’s like to have sex with someone who has Asperger’s.

Thank you for a fun year. I feel so grateful to have my blog. Being able to write for this community and read the consistently insightful comments has made the year so much better.

Jan. How to make yourself more likable (208 comments)

Jan. 8 Tips for anger management (234 comments)

Jan. Do you overemphasize happiness? (249 comments)

Jan. Racism is alive and kicking. Hello, McDonald’s. (415 comments)

Jan. How to manage a college education (185 comments)

Jan. Being an expert takes time, not talent (183 comments)

Feb. Test: Is your life happy or interesting? (246 comments)

Mar. List of things I hate (183 comments)

Apr. Turning point (294 comments)

Aug. When you’re feeling lost, don’t hide (162 comments)

Nov. Veterans Day should be cancelled (335 comments)

Nov. 5 Reasons to stop trying to be happy (152 comments)

It’s the time of year when I list my top posts of 2009. When I first started doing this top-posts-of-the-year thing, I felt obligated to actually give you the real version of what was most popular. Now I don’t feel so obligated.

If you’re wondering, some of the posts that brought in more than 400 comments are:

But whatever. I feel like I’ve been talking about those posts all year. What about some other posts? One’s that are so well researched and I love what I learned from writing them:

Here are some firsts for me during the past year:

The process of picking the best posts of 2008 is actually very subjective. But I do think that year-end lists are a good way to look at the conversations we have had this year, and how our thinking has changed both personally and collectively.

Posts about my divorce weren’t my most popular, but I learned the most from them:

A Case Study in Staying Resilient: My Divorce Feb. 2008 (131)
I was scared to post an announcement about my divorce because I was in the middle of raising our first round of funding, and I thought I’d freak out investors. But I was more scared that if I stopped posting about myself I’d ruin the blog and my desire to write it. So I followed this post five seconds later with one about me being on CNN in an effort to distract investors. It turned out that investors were much more interested in divorce than CNN, and I realized that I was being rewarded by investors for being true to myself. Bonus: We raised $700,000 in funding.

Keeping an Eye on My Career While I go through a Divorce May 2008 (95)
The New York Times wrote about my divorce and questioned whether I should be blogging about it. My divorce lawyer told me I was going to jeopardize my settlement by blogging. “You look reckless,” he told me. I decided that I was willing to lose money in the settlement to be able to keep writing about my life. Addendum: My almost-ex-husband never complained about the blog.

Posts about the farmer were also not my most popular. But they were the most exciting for me to write. It’s been a year full of soul-searching about a lot of things in my life, including this blog. I knew I didn’t want to 500 posts on how to write a good resume. But I knew I wanted to still write about the intersection of work and life. The farmer gave me the opportunity to try something new. And these posts ended up opening a larger conversation among you guys about what I should be writing on the blog — input and insight that I really appreciate.

A New Way to Measure Blog ROI June 2008 (112)

How I Started Taming My Workaholic Tendencies June 2008 (136)

Vulnerability is the Key to Likability at Work (and on the Farm) Aug. 2008 (104)

Self-Sabotage is Never Limited to Just One Area of Your Life Oct. 2008 (47)

How to Go to a Meeting When You Want to Sit Home and Cry Nov. 2008 (103)

This is the list you were probably expecting. Before I got sidetracked:

Subjectively popular posts of 2008

The Hardest Part of My Job is that Everyone Lies about Parenting June 2008 (161)

Plastic Surgery is the Next Must-Have Career Tool, Maybe May 2008 (126)

Advice from the Top: Marry a Stay-at-Home Spouse or Buy the Equivalent May 2008 (168)

7 Reasons Why Graduate School is Outdated June 2008 (135)

Living Up to Your Potential is BS June 2008 (202)

My Annual Rant about Christmas at Work Dec. 2008 (187)

Post that generated the most thank-you notes:

How to Answer the Toughest Interview Question Feb. 2008 (117)

Post that I cried the most while I wrote:

The Part of Postpartum Depression that No one Talks About Feb. 2008 (102)

Post with the most diatribes in the comments section:

Writing Without Typos is Totally Outdated May 2008 (151)

Post that generated the most interviews from mainstream media:

Give Thanks that there is No Job Shortage for Young People Nov. 2008 (115)

Most popular guest post:

Twentysomething: Why My Generation is More Productive than Yours Sept. 2008 (140)

Thank you so much for all your comments and emails. The blog continues to be my favorite part of my job. And maybe my favorite job that I’ve ever had.

The best part of blogging is the community. I have been a columnist for a long time, but I have only been a blogger for a year and a half. And I have to say that the conversation part of blogging is amazing, and it’s something you don’t get as a columnist.

So here’s a thank you to everyone who has been part of the conversation on this blog – either by reading or responding or both. You have taught me so much. And my own attempts at perfecting my intersection of work and life are much less lonely and difficult because I do it with a community like this one.

And, speaking of community, here are a few statistics about the blog, beginning with this list of posts that received the most comments this year. (This list is very skewed toward the end of the year, because the blog got more popular as the year progressed.)

Five Steps to Taming Materialism from an Accidental Expert (77 comments)

What Generation are You Part of, Really? Take this Test. (115 comments)

My Financial History, and Stop Whining about Your Job (69 comments)

Bad Career Advice: Do What You Love (72 comments)

Stop Worrying that Your Twentysomething is Lost (89 comments)

The End of Work as We Know It (74 comments)

Five Situations when You Shouldn’t Go to Graduate School (103 comments)

Five Workplace Practices that Should be Over. Now. (73 comments)

What if the Interviewer Never Calls You Back? (64 comments)

Five Things People Say About Christmas that Drive Me Nuts (230 comments)

Personal Favorites
A lot of people write to me to ask me if I really write all my own posts. And a lot of people ask me how I have time to write so much.

It’s true that most posts take tons of time – three or four hours when all is said and done. But really, the question is what would I do if I weren’t writing these posts? So often, the blog is a way for me to understand myself, and the people around me, and I have never had a job I love more than writing this blog.

These are five posts that meant a lot to me to write, even if they were not the most popular in the comments section.

My Name is Not Really Penelope

An Unexpected Lesson About Procrastination

My 9/11 Day. My Husband. The Meaning of My To-Do List.

Stop Thinking You’ll Get By on Your High I.Q.

Big Announcement: I’m Starting a Company!

Favorite on Google: Marriage Counseling
The first post about my marriage was a turning point in the blog – traffic went up significantly, and has stayed there. This might be because even though I have some of the worst search engine optimization in the blogosphere, my blog now comes up number eight from the top when you search marriage counseling on Google.

But the traffic surge also convinced me that the personal matters a lot in blogging. Information is a commodity on the Internet, and a good way to stand out is to infuse your posts with your personality.

It has been suggested (see comments) that I change my tagline to be “advice at the center of work and sex.” I can see how this would be popular, and I maybe would do it, if I could figure out how to ever have sex again. For now, I’m just having marriage trouble, and marriage-trouble traffic.

My First Day of Marriage Counseling (176 comments)

My Own Marriage and the Myth of the Stay-at-Home Dad (171 comments)

5 Communication Lessons Learned in Marriage Counseling (84 comments)

Favorite Among Haters: Yahoo Finance Column
Each week for the past year, I have heard from hundreds of people on Yahoo Finance complaining about the advice I give. Here is the Yahoo column that caused the most number of people to take the time to write a comment saying that I’m an idiot:

Ten New Etiquette Tips for the Workplace (2798 comments)

Top Twentysomething Columns
One of my favorite parts of the blog is the Twentysomething column. It was the way that I found a business partner, and it’s also a great way for me to learn because it always surprises me. The three most commented-on Twentysomething columns came from three different writers:

Ryan Healy, Be Responsible, Go Back Home after College

Jon Morrow, Why I Regret Getting Straight A’s in College

Rebecca Thorman, The Rising Rift Between Gen X and Gen Y

Thank you for a great year. I feel very lucky to be part of this community, and I’m looking forward to another year of conversation, controversy and fun.