The Essential Zen Habits of 2008

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.

At the end of 2006, I thought I’d just had the best year of my life — I quit smoking, took up running, completed my first marathon, became an early riser, became organized and productive, started eliminating my debt and getting my finances in order, became a vegetarian, my youngest daughter Noelle was born, among other things. Not bad, for one year!

At the end of 2007, I knew I’d just had the best year of my life: I’d created Zen Habits and made it a Top 100 blog in its first year, I’d sold a best-selling ebook, I landed a book deal, I was able to eliminate my debt completely, and quit my day job. I couldn’t top that!

Well, I just did.

Now that 2008 is over, I think I’ve just had the best year of my life, once again. Zen Habits has steadily grown in readership, from 26,000 at the end of 2007 to about 80,000 today. I’ve had a wonderful year with all of you, the most supportive, encouraging, generous, and yes, stunningly attractive readers in the world.

Add to that: I wrote my book, The Power of Less, and it came out at the end of the year (if you haven’t bought it, please do so now!). I was able to spend the entire year doing something I love, which is writing for you guys.

Update: Omg, I can’t believe I forgot … I also had my church wedding in 2008, and an awesome honeymoon in Thailand!!! And I went to Honolulu, which I also loved, and I ran two marathons and did a triathlon! How could I forget all that?!

So as you can see, my 2008 was my best year ever largely thanks to ALL OF YOU. So THANK YOU, my friends! You are the best readers a writer could ever have, and I am deeply grateful for you, each and every day.

And so, to celebrate a new year and the end of a great year, here’s the unavoidable, inevitable, best of the year list. I’ll start with the Top 25 most popular posts of 2008, according to my trusty Google Analytics:

  1. 20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life
  2. Minimalist Fitness: How to Get In Lean Shape With Little or No Equipment
  3. 30 Things to Do to Keep From Getting Bored Out of Your Skull at Work
  4. 5 Amazing Mac Apps for Getting Things Done
  5. The Four Laws of Simplicity, and How to Apply Them to Life
  6. The Lazy Man’s Guide to Getting Things Done
  7. 21 Easy Hacks to Simplify Your Life
  8. The Minimalist’s Guide to Simple Housework
  9. 20 Money Hacks: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Finances
  10. 17 Fitness Truths To Get You In Great Shape
  11. 18 Five-Minute Decluttering Tips to Start Conquering Your Mess
  12. Top 5 Most Inspirational Videos on YouTube
  13. How to Go From Sedentary to Running in Five Steps
  14. How I Paid Off $35,000 in Debt, and How You Can Too
  15. The Seven Deadly Sins of a Relationship
  16. A 12-Step Program to Eating Healthier Than Ever Before
  17. 12 New Rules of Working You Should Embrace Today
  18. The Ultimate Guide to Motivation – How to Achieve Any Goal
  19. 7 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life, and How to Form Them
  20. 7 Powerful Steps to Overcoming Resistance and Actually Getting Stuff Done
  21. 20 Amazing and Essential Non-fiction Books to Enrich Your Library
  22. 25 Ways to Simplify Your Life with Kids
  23. Open Source Blogging: Feel Free to Steal My Content
  24. The Minimalist’s Guide to Fighting (and Beating) Clutter Entropy
  25. 12 Practical Steps for Learning to Go With the Flow

In addition to these 25 most popular articles, I’ve chosen a few others that I really liked. If I wanted, I could easily choose a dozen more, but anyway, here goes:

  1. 50 Amazing and Essential Novels to Enrich Your Library
  2. 25 Ways to Help a Fellow Human Being Today
  3. A Simple Guide to Being Present for the Overworked and Overwhelmed
  4. Productivity 2.0: How the New Rules of Work Are Changing the Game
  5. My Four Commandments
  6. The Six Greatest Gifts You Can Give Your Loved Ones
  7. The Essential Time-Saving Guide for Busy People
  8. Living Simply: The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Your Clutter

If you want to go back further, read Best of Zen Habits 2007. If that’s not enough, try the Beginner’s Guide to Zen Habits.

Elsewhere: Read an interview with me on Wisebread talking about The Power of Less for personal finances.