Essential Zen Habits of 2015

By Leo Babauta

What a year it has been. This past year has been filled with personal tragedy, triumphs, travel, connection with friends, creation, and learning.

And I’ve been able to have all of you with me, all year. I’m deeply grateful for that.

Some big things happened for me this year:

My dad died. A year ago, my dad was in the hospital and then died in early January. It affected me all year, and I miss him today. Read more: The Art of Being My Dad. My friend Scott died. Scott was one of my best friends, and not long before he died, we were able to do a meetup with some great readers in Paris. He was on an epic tour of the world with his wife Chelsea when he was killed in a tragic accident on Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was senseless, and yet Scott went out the way he lived life: appreciating its incredible beauty, with the love of his life. I miss him incredibly. Read more: Scott Dinsmore, I Miss You Deeply. I published a book. Just last week, I published what might be my favorite book I’ve ever written — Essential Zen Habits. It’s concise, with the best things I’ve learned about creating new habits, quitting bad habits, and dealing with struggles. Support me by buying the book! I did a travel experiment. My Grand Travel Experiment was conducted on my trip through Europe with Eva and the kids. I experimented with ways travel and still meditate, exercise, work, and eat (fairly) healthy. Read the results. I learned a lot. I spent a lot of time learning about mindfulness, compassionate communication, coaching people, learning, programming, chess, and more. I worked with a coach for much of the year. I got accountability from friends. I did a drawing challenge and a writing challenge with my wife and kids. It was a good year of learning. Life changes came my way. Other than the deaths in my life, my son went to live and work in southeast Asia, my daughter graduated from college, my other son became a senior in high school, my wife’s father’s dementia continued to progress. It’s been a year of change. I worked on a habit app and Sea Change. I’ve spent several months working on a new version of my Sea Change habit program and a new habit app. Still working on it, more to come in 2016! (Read more.)

I also traveled a lot (Seattle, L.A., Portland, Europe, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Tokyo) and did a lot of fitness stuff (weights, running, walking, cycling) and meditated all year and helped unschool several of our kids. Wow! It looks impressive when you look back on all of it, but really it was just one day at a time, enjoying every moment.

The Best Zen Habits Posts of 2015

To wrap up this year, here are my favorite Zen Habits post from 2015:

Advice for People in Their Early 20s The Contentment Habit Unconditional Acceptance of Yourself An Addict’s Guide to Overcoming the Distraction Habit You’re Not Doing Life Wrong The Anti-Bucket List Your Internet Habits Create Your Reality When Others Frustrate You I Suck at Habits: How Do I Get Better? The Simple Health Plan And more

For more best of Zen Habits:

Best of Zen Habits in 2007. The Essential Zen Habits of 2008. The Essential Zen Habits of 2009. The Essential Zen Habits of 2010. The Essential Zen Habits of 2011. The Essential Zen Habits of 2012. The Essential Zen Habits of 2013. The Essential Zen Habits of 2014.