We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
— Aristotle

The purpose of the one year pledge is to strengthen the body (‘eat,’ ‘move,’ ‘drink’), the mind (‘read’), and the spirit (‘give back,’ ‘experiment’). 

I’ve always been interested in self experimentation, challenges and new experiences.  There are so many variables that we can change in our lives that can contribute to, or detract from, our well being and happiness – and the only way to know what works is to try different things.  With most forms of personal experimentation, there is much more to be gained than to be lost. 

This year long pledge - hopefully the first of many - is designed to discover just how, and to what degree, certain habits make us healthier and happier (two things that I believe go hand in hand).  A year is a long time, and many elements of this pledge will require a good deal of willpower. Different aspects will be difficult for different people. But, for the reasons outlined in each element’s page on this website, I believe that each of these activities and restrictions would be beneficial for just about everybody out there.  If anyone wants to try this with me, they need not commit to every single element.  Each element, or some combination of a few, can be a standalone pledge.

As Ben Franklin said, “’Tis easy to frame a good bold resolution; But hard is the Task that concerns execution.” This won’t be easy, but it will surely be worthwhile.

The elements of the pledge are summarized on the right. For more detailed reasoning behind each element, see its page on this website. The blog section of the website will be updated sporadically with posts about overall progress, or about one element in particular.  Here is the one year pledge:


Eat – Whole foods as much as possible.  Zero Gluten.  At some point, a one month sugar detox.

Move – An average of two high intensity workouts per week.  An average of two long walks per week.  

Drink – No beer. Two three-week long periods of complete sobriety.

Read – At least 25 books.

Give back – 5% of income to charity and/or 75 hours of community service. Some small kindness daily.

Experiment – At least once a month, do something that differs considerably from life’s normal routine.