The Beginner’s Guide to Zen Habits – A Guided Tour

‘Smile, breathe and go slowly.’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh

By Leo Babauta

While some of you have been following Zen Habits since its early days (beginning of 2007), many of you are fairly new readers.

To help you through the fairly overwhelming archives, I’ve compiled a beginner’s guide. Kind of a Quick Start guide.

First, a note: Please don’t try to go through this all at once. There are days and days worth of reading here. I’ve just organized that so that you can go to the stuff you want to learn about first.

Take it in small chunks.

Where do you start when you have a thousand posts to read through? You start with the best, or at least the most popular.

So here they are:

Most Popular Posts

  1. breathe.
  2. be still.
  3. a brief guide to life.
  4. the best goal is no goal
  5. the lost art of solitude
  6. the elements of living lightly
  7. the zen of doing
  8. The Ultimate How to Get Lean Guide.
  9. simplify, and savor life
  10. How Not to Hurry
  11. Email Sanity: How to Clear Your Inbox When You’re Drowning
  12. the barefoot philosophy
  13. The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People
  14. The Little But Really Useful Guide to Creativity
  15. The Simple, Ridiculously Useful Guide to Earning a Living from Your Passion
  16. 10 Benefits of Rising Early, and How to Do It
  17. 20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life
  18. Simple Living Manifesto: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life
  19. A Guide to Creating a Minimalist Home
  20. Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

Browse the Archives

But those are just the stars of the All-Star team. You can actually scroll through the entire list of posts (warning:it’s long), in the Archives.

Next you’ll want to delve into some of your favorite topics. You can go through the main categories:

Or you can go through a few compiled guides I’ve hand picked for some of the more popular categories:

  1. Everything You Wanted to Know About Simplifying Your Life, and Way More
  2. The Unsurpassable Productivity List: A Handy Guide to Getting Important Things Done
  3. All The Best Tips on Getting In Shape, In One Handy List
  4. The Golden Money List: Hundreds of Tips for Turning Your Financial Life Around

And if that’s not enough for you, here’s are some Best of Zen Habits collections (I stopped doing this a little while ago, but they’re still useful):

About Leo

By now, you might want to know more about Leo, the guy who writes this blog … well, I’ll give you more than you’ll ever want to know.

Short version: I’m married with six kids, recently moved to San Francisco, started Zen Habits in January 2007, love to write, run, and read, live a simple life. I also started mnmlist, wrote The Power of Less, and am now self-publishing a book called focus.

Long version: If that wasn’t enough, here’s more than you ever wanted to know:


Whew! That was a lot of reading. There’s more, if you’d like, though. I’ve written a number of books:

  1. focus
  2. Zen To Done.
  3. The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life.
  4. The Zen Habits Handbook for Life.
  5. Essential Motivation Handbook.

Or my print book, The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential, in Business and in Life. Buy it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Borders, or IndieBound. I’d love it if you also bought copies for friends, relatives, co-workers, all the people in your company! And of course, recommend it to everyone. :)

A couple reviews of The Power of Less: Technotip, Financial Methods.

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