The Essential Zen Habits of 2019

By Leo Babauta

It’s hard to believe we’re closing out not just another year, but an entire decade!

It’s been quite a decade for Zen Habits, and also a really powerful year for me and my mission.

To start with, let’s talk about what I’ve done this year:

  1. Hired a Director of Operations to help my business (Coyote Jackson) and my mission in the world, and worked with him much of the year to develop a great system for our team working together.
  2. Completely relaunched the Fearless Training Program. Coyote and I moved the program, which is at the heart of our mission, from Patreon platform to its own website, and completely redesigned the program and made it a thousand times better. It’s now a powerful program with a community, small teams for accountability, a monthly live call, and more. Check it out here.
  3. Completely revamped the Sea Change Program. We then took on Sea Change, my program for changing your habits … and we completely redesigned the program. New website, new curated set of challenges, new training for beginners, and more. Check out Sea Change.
  4. Wrote & launched the Fearless Purpose Training Package in less than 2 weeks. I challenged myself to write a book in a week, and it took me about 5 days. Then I turned it into a training package, complete with videos and guided meditations, and launched it. I’m really proud of it!
  5. Launched the Mindful Focus Course. I launched this self-paced video course in April, and I think it’s a great resource for finding focus and for dealing mindfully with procrastination and distractions. Check out the course here.
  6. Dived deep into coaching. I took on 5 coaching clients this year, and have been diving deep into their goals, patterns, and struggles. It has been enlightening for me, and I have gotten a lot better at coaching over the course of this year. I really love this mode of working with people. Btw, I have two spots opening up in about a month, if you’re interested.
  7. Conducted two workshops. I conducted a workshop in Northern California as part of a retreat by my friend Jeffrey, and another at a retreat in Costa Rica by my friends Phil and Janice. Working live with people in retreats is one of my favorite things in the world. I will be holding a retreat in 2020!! More on this soon.
  8. Moved my family from Guam to San Diego. A huge personal undertaking this year, my wife and I and our two youngest kids (the two teenagers — the other four are grown!) moved from Guam, where we were living with family for about 9 months, to San Diego. We really loved being back in Guam, it was nourishing and wonderful. We also have enjoyed San Diego, though we haven’t reached out to anyone to develop friendships yet. Still settling in. This move took a ton of time and energy around the middle of the year.
  9. And some other stuff: I did a self-trust cultivator challenge, a 45-day discipline challenge, got back into learning the game of Go, back into strength training, and dove into different meditation practices.

I traveled less this year than in the last five years (though I did go to Costa Rica, Japan, Vietnam, Las Vegas and of course Guam). I stayed home more. I focused more. I worked more closely with people, in my mission. It was a beautiful year.

The Decade for Zen Habits

This has been a fantastic year for me personally, and for Zen Habits. Some of the highlights:

  1. I created the Sea Change Program in 2012, and have been adding content to it and improving it for the rest of the decade.
  2. My family & I moved from Guam to San Francisco in 2010. It was a huge move for us. We really loved living in that city. We later moved to Davis, CA, then briefly last year back to Guam, now San Diego.
  3. I published numerous books: focus, Effortless Life, Little Book of Contentment, the One Skill, Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness, the Habit Guide ebook, and Ultralight: The Zen Habits Guide to Traveling Light & Living Light.
  4. I launched a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign for my self-published Zen Habits book. Now available as the Essential Zen Habits book.
  5. I removed ads from Zen Habits in 2010, then a year later, redesigned it by hand to its current minimalist design.
  6. I did the Goruck Challenge in 2011, then a 50-mile ultramarathon with my friend Scott in 2013.
  7. I lost my father in 2015, then my father-in-law in 2016. Also my friend Scott Dinsmore in 2015.
  8. Created the 7-Day Vegan Challenge in 2013.
  9. Four of my kids became adults! The two younger ones became teenagers. I’m an old dad now. :)
  10. I made good friends. I traveled. Often, I traveled with those good friends. I learned a lot about meditation and mindfulness. It was a beautiful decade for me personally.

Essential Zen Habit Posts of 2019

To wrap up this year, here are my favorite Zen Habits posts from 2019:

  1. Meditation: Sitting with Your Basic Goodness
  2. The 11 Life Lessons It Turns Out I’ve Taught My Six Kids
  3. How to Have More Focused Hours in Your Day
  4. Meaningful work: A Simple 3-Step Method for Getting Your “One Thing” Done
  5. A Mindful Method for When You’re Tired
  6. New Year: The Beautiful Minimalism of a Blank Slate
  7. Why We Never Have Enough Time & What to Do About It
  8. Working with the Heartbreaking Feeling That Something is Wrong with You
  9. The Deliciousness of Dealing with a Negative Person
  10. The Most Neglected & Powerful Act of Self-Care

And more

For more best of Zen Habits: