My yearly challenges

Since 2008 I’ve taken on a new challenge every year. I do them for three reasons: learn something new, meet new people and to get outside my comfort zone. My challenges range from intense physical experiments to year-long endeavors aiming to create a habit. Here’s a list of everything I’ve tried over the years:

2019: Meditate for 30 minutes every day, all year round. I’m also studying Charlie Munger’s mental models, with the goal of getting better at making decisions.

2018: Trained for a year to become an amateur boxer. It took me a while to get good at it, so I’m continuing in 2019.

2017: Set out to do 150 hours of meditation and 150 hours of yoga over the course of the year.

2016: Volunteered for a day / week with cancer-related charities and hospitals in Bucharest and London.

2015: Interviewed elderly people and asked them a set of ten questions about life. I posted some of the interviews on this blog, here.

2014: Trained my memory with a world memory champion for a year, in order to be able to remember anything. That was awesome.

2013: Tried to learn Mandarin. Failed miserably.

2012: Went to the gym every weekday for a year. This has become a habit and I now work out every morning.

2011:  I read a book per week for a year. That was awesome, and I’ve tried maintaining the same pace over the years.

2010: Lived in London for £300 / month for three months, rent included (didn’t pay rent, actually, I crashed on friends’ couches).

2009: My challenge for the year was to win Seedcamp with Brainient and move to London. I managed to do both.

2008: Slept for 2.5 hours / day for two months during a polyphasic sleeping experiment. That was hard.