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It’s the end of another decade and what an interesting one it was.

Quality of life improved everywhere, the web became the web of all things, and social media.

Social media grew into a 6 foot four sixth-grade bully, starting as a cute freckled kid who was fun to play with.

In 2010, Instagram was just launching. Pinterest launched in 2010 as well. Even though Twitter started in 2006, it didn’t get a newsfeed until much later.

Remembering the world before social media is like trying to memorize phone numbers in 2020. There’s no reason for it.

Culture was different before social media became normal.

People weren’t depressed. They were less distracted and got more done. They were less superficial. They made less money.

Before the twenty-teens, social media was for young people. Now even the guy who walks your dog has a Twitter account. He thinks he knows what Trump needs to do to fix immigration.

Social media is the biggest change between the two decades.

Businesses use social media to advertise directly to their customers for cheap. They target the exact individuals most likely to buy their product according to algorithms made by IV leaguers.

people can connect with others who live road trips away. Social media does great things. There are consequences, but if you become a platform expert you can be an icon.

Kids no longer want to be astronauts and firefighters. They want to be YouTubers with cameras too close to their faces. That’s where the glory is now.

Politics are a little tense. I think it’s social media’s fault. Twitter.

Most people shouldn’t even be on Twitter. Arguing with strangers online makes less sense than Epstein killing himself.

Everyone wants to argue online; housewives search twitter to argue about vaccinations, triggered liberals and Trump bros look to fight each other in the streets. Everybody just wanna dunk on someone else to fix fragile self-esteem issues.

2019 Lessons

2019 did come with important lessons. The most important being: Learn how to avoid distractions.

We are distracted by everything now. Daily notifications are becoming close to outnumbering daily public bowel movements in San Francisco. But not quite.

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A map of Spotted human fecal matter in San Francisco | Credit

We also learned to keep our opinions to ourselves. Always a good one.

Then there was China. Learned some things over there. People sort of moved past the controversy with the NBA. The old media looks to make controversies out of so many things that the real controversies are forgotten in days.

But like having two genders, all of that is in the past.

We are looking towards a new decade; a year that should have brought flying cars and Disney Land in space if the 1950s had anything to say about it.

To start the new decade off right, below are twenty challenges you can vow to accomplish by the end of the year.

20 Challenges for 2020

1. Make goals

Making goals needs to be your first objective.

If you already have goals, break them down into smaller pieces. Micro goals that are part of a bigger objective is the best way to stay on the path. If your goal is too big, you will get discouraged when results take longer than you anticipate.

Small goals are mile markers that tell you how close you are.

List your goals in Evernote or an alternative note-taking application. Writing things down is becoming less convenient than new technology, although still important.

Evernote allows you to view your goals on any connected device. Since these devices are where we spend most of our time, our goals need to be there too.

Create an Evernote notebook a note for each goal. Write about why the goal is important; how your life will change when you succeed. List the sub-steps for the goal so you can measure your improvement. This will get you excited to accomplish more.

If there is one thing you do for the decade: make goals.

2. Make systems for your goals

Atomic Habits written by James Clear talks about making systems for your goals based on tiny habits. He believes small changes occurring at the same time produce remarkable results.

He writes about how our habits become systems. We can change our systems if we change the habits that make them. Clear references the popular book The Power of Habit that explains the components that make a habit.

If you understand how to change your habits you can change your systems.

Start to think about the habits of people you look up to. Which of their habits could you steal to make your life better?

Understand the habits you want then figure out how to get them. It could be making a code or tracking the habit every day using an app.

Upgrade your systems.

3. start a morning & night routine

I call morning and night routines primers because they “prime” you for a situational shift.

The morning routine primes you to start your day: usually includes a little exercise. While the night routine sets up for a good night’s sleep.

morning-meditation

I also have a primer on Sunday. Sunday is chore day.

I do all the cleaning, cooking, pet parenting, and email-deleting on one day. I don’t like doing chores when I could be writing. Or having fun. That happens on Saturday.

Make some routines. Morning routines are most valuable, followed by bedtime routines. And then my Sunday chore day.

if your bandwidth allows one routine, make it a morning routine.

Your goal is to make a routine that creates a noticeable improvement in your life.

Morning Primer Components
  • Meditate
  • Shadowboxing
  • Read
  • Yoga
  • Stretch
  • Journal
  • Morning pages – The Artist’s Way
  • Run
  • Breathing exercises
Night Primer Components

4. Read two books per month

Reading one book a month is pathetic. It’s a sin to make time-based excuses for why you can’t read two books a month.

I’ll give you two audiobooks for free. You don’t even need to read books anymore. You can listen to them.

Reading a physical book is not better than listening to an audiobook. They’re different methods of consuming knowledge.

I like to buy the kindle version of a book first. I’ll buy the audiobook if I enjoyed the book. I’m amazed that I get different insights from the same book if I consume it in a different medium.

If you’re competitive, sign up for Goodreads and do the upcoming 2020 reading challenge. Goodreads is some kind of social media network for book readers–I don’t know, it doesn’t make sense to me either. Look for me and you will find my account.

I like Goodreads for tracking how many books I read. That’s how I use it.

5. Get a certification

Get a new certification. It could be something in your field, or just something you’re interested in.

  • You can get a useful certification–like CPR–in a day. Many online courses give certifications at the end. Udemy does it. It’s not a true certification but I’ll take it.

Certifications make you more competent. CPR certified isn’t a big deal in itself. The act of getting it is.

Getting a certification adds another thing you can do. And that matters because you are going forward. You achieved something. You worked.

Some general certification suggestions

6. Invest

Start investing. Whatever age you are right now is the right age to start investing. The earlier the better.

Technology made investing accessible. Before the internet, you had to exchange securities over the phone with your broker; look at the newspaper for price movements.

Since Robinhood kicked off free trading, you don’t even pay trade commissions anymore.

It’s never been a better time to invest. There are enough finance books on amazon to fill a shipping crate. You can easily learn how to trade or invest online.

7. start an exercise routine or dedicate yourself to a physical skill

Start an exercise routine or dedicate yourself to a physical skill. The New Years’ weight loss resolution with a little extra.

I believe in pursuing mastery in three different areas: Body, Spirit, and mind. Walking three different paths. These paths become your identity.

You need to dedicate yourself to a physical skill for your mind and your spirit. All three work together.

You need a physical skill you identify with for your health. Being healthy has too many advantages for you to miss out on. It doesn’t have to be something hardcore either. Walking could be it for you. But you need something.

You need a system that requires exercise.

8. Make a visual improvement

It’s 2020, Queer Eye is on Netflix and you deserve to look good. This year, make a visual improvement to how the world sees you.

No one will tell you this, but how you look matters. Good looking people get more advantages. That’s just the way things are. It isn’t fair. But this is the game.

It feels good to be wanted by others–even if you don’t care what they think about you. Looking good is one part of being a desirable person.

If you’re overweight, lose weight. No one cares that you’re fat; everyone is fat. If you lose weight you’ll be healthier and happier. it isn’t PC. The truth often isn’t.

If you have a crooked smile, you can fix that for cheap. You can get a new wardrobe, go tanning; do something that makes you look in the mirror for a few seconds longer.

9. Heal an injury or nagging pain

Let’s vow to live without pain in 2020. No, more, injuries.

To heal ourselves we may need to go to a doctor. Handle that if it applies to you. It’s always good to get a check-up a few times a year. Get your blood drawn. Or request an allergy panel.

Your body needs maintenance while most of us focus on improvements. Weight lifting isn’t “Maintenance”, stretching is.

Athletes stretch all the time. you stretched at practice if you played sports growing up. Not many people stretch anymore. And while we sit, our pelvis’ (Pelvi?) are anteriorly shifting.

Image result for pelvic tilt"
Credit:Tnation – Great site too

Setup a recovery program for yourself. Include stretching, rolling out, and sauna. Sauna is shown to reduce all total mortality with consistent use.

CBD Cream reduces pain and inflammation. it comes as a massage oil. And lube.

If budget isn’t an issue, The TimTam is the top of the line recovery tool.

Firas Zihabi created TimTam to help his athletes heal better. He’s the head coach of Tristar gym, known for fighters including GSP, Kevin Lee, and Rory Macdonald.

10. Start journaling for a purpose archiving the history of your life

Journaling is a great way to empty your thoughts. Journal at night to sleep better, or in the morning for a meditative session.

My favorite part of journaling–the most important, I believe–is life archiving. I narrate my life nightly. This helps me process. More importantly, I can relive any day in my life I want. Not many people can say that, but everyone can if they journal once a day.

Imagine being in your old age, reliving your teenage years, back when your sexual organs weren’t covered in dust like an old drumset. Relive those days.

11. Get MORE income

Raise your income. It doesn’t have to be starting a business. Everyone online tells you to start a business, but you don’t need to. Not everyone is made that way. But this year, you’re going to get more income.

Get a raise or start a new job. Go back to school and become a Zoologist. Do something that gets you more money and more meaning. Mo Meaning Mo Money.

Start a side hustle. Invest.

Get some more money this year.

12. Learn how to defend yourself

You need to know how to save your life. Everyone should learn how to defend themselves so we have fewer victims in the world.

It’s foolish asking bad people to change; they are variables you do not possess certainty of control. But you can change who you are.

Become victim-proof instead of glorifying your tragedy, begging for the world to change. It’s no different than an old man wishing he could change the world back to the way it was in his time. You can only change your thoughts and your actions.

Jujitsu is fantastic. boxing is good. Self-Defense classes are hit or miss. Some of them can be a Mcdojo.

Learn how to defend yourself.

13. Get more Quiet Time

How much silent time do you get a day? Get more next year.

It feels like silent time becomes rarer as technology improves. Every gadget we get takes time away. There aren’t many things you buy that give you more time. Some holiday gift guides are completely different.

If you are always taking in information, you don’t have time to process the information you already have.

Meditation isn’t a luxury in our age but a toothbrush for your brain. Meditation cleans the plaque deep in the crevices of your wrinkled brain unlike anything else.

Have you ever scheduled time to process your thoughts before?

You don’t need a lot of quiet time. An hour a day at least is nice. Try reading. Don’t use any high-stimulus technology like your smartphone or watching tv.

14. travel to a foreign country

Until you leave your country, you don’t understand other people live completely different than you while functioning just fine. Even thriving.

Most Americans are only familiar with American life. This is bad. You only get one perspective to view the world through.

Traveling internationally is fun but it is also quite difficult. You have to deal with customs, a new culture, language differences. Overcoming these obstacles make you a competent human.

man hanging on rope near waterfalls during daytime

While traveling you will learn about who you are in ways impossible in the US. Even if you don’t live in America, travel.

You have entrenched routines in your life. you go to the same store, the same gym, see the same places, everything is the same.

Traveling makes everything different.

You get to feel alive again with a new world.

This year I traveled to Paris. Twice. The people are quite stoic and direct. They don’t ask how are you because they don’t care. The French people don’t use unnecessary formalities Americans use for small talk every day.

I realized my small talk wasn’t something I needed to do. I saw people behaving differently. It permitted me to move closer to my best, most authentic self.

15. Host a party

Surveys are 99% bullshit and you shouldn’t trust them. They are interesting to review but they aren’t science. Surveys are more of a talking point or a curiosity.

This survey shows that 25% of Millenials have no acquaintances. No friends, nothing. Those Millenials have apartments like this.

woman leaning forward to man in gray top
get nastyy

Your challenge is throwing a party. It doesn’t even have to be at your house. You can arrange a get-together at a bar. Put some work into it.

Having friends is amazing for your mental health. It’s one of your needs. Making friends is hard today in many urban places because people aren’t interacting in person anymore.

Throw a party. Try to meet at least one new person you can hang out again with.

16. Reconnect with a lost friend

If you’re in your twenties or later, you have had different friend groups throughout your life. You probably lost more friends than gained. Some friends have falling outs, others never talk to each other again because of an unpaid loan.

Loyalty is more important than a bad loan or a falling out. If you had any great friends in the past you don’t speak to anymore, reach out to them. If they wronged you, forgive them. Only forgive people who add value to your life.

three men's sitting on white concrete bollard near body of water during daytime

Don’t go back to hang out with your friends who never left the town they grew up in and still chase after cheerleaders much past their prime.

Reach out to your friends who are working to make their lives great. You can never have enough strong people in your arc.

17. Make a new friend

Make a new friend this year. A new best friend. Someone you can see a few times a week.

The best way to meet a frequent friend is through a shared activity. A weightlifting gym is a great place to meet a new friend and see them all the time. You can lift together.

It’s not hard to talk to people in the gym if you refrain from trying to fuck them. Just ask someone for a spot, or ask if you can work in their set.

man sitting on the floor holding man's arm

I met my best friend while at the gym with my girlfriend. He was in the roman chair doing leg lifts for abs. I explained the movement and why it was a great core exercise to my girlfriend. He saw us talking about him, pulled out an Airpod out and said, “What’s up?” He wasn’t sure if I was talking shit or what.

We talked about training abs for a little bit. Then we decided to finish our workout together. He’s been one of my closest friends for the past two years. He’s a Syrian Immigrant.

18. Remove a toxic relationship

Cut a toxic relationship from your life in 2020. My definition of a toxic relationship is a person who makes you feel bad, hurts you or encourages your bad habits.

A toxic vampire could make you feel bad by complaining all the time. About their lives, about girls, about politics. Whiners are whimps.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t talk about your problems. Talk about your problems with your brothers to look for solutions. If you can’t find an answer to a problem, one of your brothers may have dealt with your problem in the past. Look to them for guidance.

Bad relationships can damage all parts of your life. If you’re in a bad romantic relationship; end it now. Do you really want to start a new decade with a person who is ruining your life?

Unfortunately, there is no “one”. There are billions of people. Even though most of them are overweight, you can find someone to love you better.

If your partner isn’t someone who adores you and you adore them, get rid of them this year.

19. create a personal code

This one is a plug for the Andreian Code and living by a code. Codes don’t need to be complex. A philosophy or code is simply a way to live life.

What matters to you? What triggers your worst habits? Who should you spend more time with and who should you spend less time with? What activities should you invest in? What do you want to master? Do you want a legacy? If so, what is it?

Make a code for your values. Store it in Evernote and a few other places. Consider your code something you make and live by that you pass to an apprentice. Or your children.

If the gym is a weekly requirement, write it down. it may not make sense now. When dark days come, you will be saved by the written account of your values. Your code. Your identity.

Create a code for your life and your values.

20. Find a reason to love every moment

Life is hard. It isn’t fair. Often we feel like no one is on our side and sometimes we are correct. Even with all that, you only get one life. You deserve to love every moment of it. This is your life and nothing should have permission to bother you for a second.

The MMA Community suffered a horrific loss when UFC Heavyweight Walt harris’s daughter was kidnapped. After about two weeks with no answers, Aniah Blanchard was found dead by a gunshot wound.

A man tried to kidnap her and she fought for the gun. She fought for her life.

She was only 19 when she passed away.

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Walt Harris & Aniah Blanchard: Credit

This news depressed me for a period. I was sad. Sad and Angry.

The tragedy made me contemplate how a man convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping could get bail to do it again. It made me want the death penalty applied to more crimes. It brought me to darkness.

I don’t know Walt personally. I can’t imagine how Walt feels.

The world is a dark place but we need to love every moment of it. You can never take your time for granted.

Find a reason to love every moment. It could be gratitude, a near-death experience that causes you to treasure life–whatever.

Find your reason to love each moment. There’s no guarantee of anything else after this. Spending your one ticket in misery is useless.

Time to face the new year bravely.

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