2021 has been a year of rebirth for me.
I’m trying to reinvent myself. I’ve doubled down on personal growth and decided to give certain things I hear people raving about a go.
I wanted to outline a few of those things here in case you wanted to give them a try, too.
Strap in. Let’s go.
1. Bullet Journaling
Bullet journaling, for my hectic life, is like finding an ice cold bottle of Dasani stuck in an ice-filled cooler after wandering the desert for 14 days. Can you even survive that long without water? I digress.
Seriously, bullet journaling has changed my life, and I’ve only been doing it for about two months now.
If you want to learn a bit more about it, I recommend reading the field guide first, which is this book right here.
What I like so much about Bullet Journaling are the following:
- You never miss anything — When you write a “to-do” down in your journal, the system is setup so that you will either schedule it for later, get it done right that second, or cross it off because it didn’t matter that much in hindsight.
- You’re essentially tracking your life — I have a record of what I worked on on April 3, 2021. I also have a record of what I did that week. I also have a record of what I did that month. As someone who worships at the altar of the word “perspective,” this has been a game-changer.
- You can create “collections” to track habits or hobbies — I go to Jiu-Jitsu three times per week now. Without a bullet journal, I might write down what I learned in practice on some piece of paper that would inevitably get buried under a mountain of other papers and get lost forever. With my bullet journal, I simply make a “collection” inside of it where I can keep all those things in one place. I’ve given you a picture below to take a look at.
Ignore how terrible I am at describing jiu-jitsu moves.
I don’t want to spend too much timing talking to you about yet another productivity system or habit tracking “thing,” but trust me when I say that the bullet journal is the crème de la crème for organizing your entire life in one place.
2. Reading 50 Pages Of A Book Every Day
“What!” my sister yelled.
That’s what she said when I told her that I read 50 pages of a book every single day.
This generally makes it so I can finish one book per week, thus averaging a little over 50 books per year.
Of all the items on this checklist, this is the one with the highest-impact. It’s because of this habit that I got into bullet journaling, cryptocurrency, and photography.
When you think about it, there’s a book out there that can teach you pretty much everything. If you want to become a better photographer, for instance, you can get a book on that. Are you sick and tired of WANTING to spend more time on hobbies and learning new things?
Great. Buy a book about it and you’ll become way more knowledgable in just one week.
Again, try it. Here’s the books I’ve read so far this year in case you were wondering.
- The 48 Laws Of Power — Robert Greene
- Beyond Order — Jordan Peterson
- Can’t Hurt Me — David Goggins
- Extreme Ownership — Jocko Willink
- The Art Of Social Excellence — Henrik Fexeus
- The Obstacle Is The Way — Ryan Holiday
- The Kings Of Crypto — Jeff John Roberts
- The Bullet Journal Method — Ryder Carroll
- The Bitcoin Standard — Saifedean Ammous
- Out Of The Ether — Matthew Leising
- CANON 90D For Dummies
- Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs Of Places — Henry Carrol
- Big Magic — Elizabeth Gilbert
Jiu-Jitsu. The ultimate mixture of fun, sweat, socializing, and humble-pie. With a martial art like Jiu-Jitsu, you accomplish so many things at one time.
- You get healthier, since it’s a workout.
- You meet awesome people.
- You learn how to defend yourself.
- You get to unplug your brain from the realities of life for 2 hours.
I mean, it’s a win-win-win-win. I’m trying to think of another martial art that accomplishes the same thing.
In 2020, after I got home from the Philippines, I weighed about 155 pounds soaking wet. That didn’t sit right with me. I used to weigh 190 pounds in college, and I seriously neglected my body from the ages of 23–27 and let my weight dwindle down to pre-10th grade levels.
This year I had enough of that and took up jiu-jitsu.
Take care of your body this year. It’s your soul’s spaceship on this weird odyssey through time and space. Treat it better.
4. Investing In Cryptocurrency
So, don’t take this as financial advice or anything, but I’m a huge fan of cryptocurrency right now.
I’ve written about it on multiple occasions already, and even though my overall portfolio looks abysmal right now, I know that the market, at the very least, has a lot of promise over the next 5 years.
I outline why I love Bitcoin so much in another post, but it basically just gets down to the fact that the US government is printing money like we’re in a World War.
I like Bitcoin as a store of value for the forseeable future, and who knows, if it goes to $1,000,000 in 5 years like a lot of analysts say it will, then I’ll have a good chunk of coin on my hands.
We’re still very early in this game.
5. Learning A New Language
In the last 6 weeks I’ve decided to start learning Spanish. I spend one hour every night reading and one hour every night doing Spanish lessons on Rosetta Stone.
My evenings are pretty full, but that’s the benefits of being 28 and single with a lot of time on your hands.
I just came down to Mexico a few weeks ago and although I had such a hard time understanding ANYTHING in those first few days, I must say that I’m improving at a rapid rate with just an hour of practice every day.
I got an email from a subscriber the other day. Let me copy what he told me:
“Very often your language skills will resemble those of a 2-year old, even though you are older than that.
…there is something empowering to know that one day, while you are having breakfast, you’ll be hearing people speaking outside on the streets and it will make sense. Every word (or sort of).
That moment, you’ll never be the same. You’ll have embraced a new you, made of all your efforts till that point.”
A subscriber by the name of Eugenio sent those four wonderful paragraphs to me the other day.
As an English speaker, learning a new language is basically you saying “I respect other cultures enough to want to learn their language instead of make them bend to mine.”
That’s all fine and good to say that you WANT to learn a language, but the time and effort you put into actually getting it through your thick skull is something not many people are prepared to invest.
Learn a new language. Seeing someone’s face light up because you know their language is a wonderful feeling. It could quite literally be the single greatest thing YOU can do to help build bridges and mend the wounds of today’s division.
Stop sharing social media posts and think you’re doing your part. Learn a fucking language.
So yeah, those are five of the best things I’ve done so far this year. What about you?