The Before 30 Challenge ….

Male, 26 years old.

Not in the greatest shape.

Physically and mentally.

These are the facts that matter with this challenge. This is my new label to instil some discipline into my life.

Recently, I’ve been struck with the melancholy introspective thought that I am not where I want to be. I don’t have the best body. I don’t feel particularly sharp. I feel I struggle with words. I haven’t read enough books this year.

A lot of these things, have stemmed from my destructive habits I developed during university.

After all, I was dissatisfied with my course, anxious about passing, disenchanted with how utterly broken universities were run and feeling lost and without purpose.

This of course, meant that I meant a good deal of time feeling aimless, lazy, procrastinating and dissatisfied with any results that were handed to me.

I used to be a lot poorer mentally, but such depressing airs did little for my anathema for self-pity, so over the years, I’ve been writing on a private blog, talking myself out of the funk.

I’m not a person who is used to feeling low, and so … lots of harsh self-criticism later, I’ve managed to create a mindset that is a lot healthier, a lot more stable and with disciplined control over emotions.

So then, why do I feel mentally poor? Well its less to do with self-esteem and more with mental acuity. I don’t feel as learned, as clever as I should be. I can feel my synapses dying for some mental exercises.

It has gotten to the point where I am actively trying to BODMAS my way through counting registers at the end of my shifts just to keep my maths skills sharp.

2019 also marks the year where I have read the least amount of books.

A defining mark of shame for a guy who likes to say he is a bookworm first, before anything else.

To address the other issue. I believe I am a little bit overweight.

Even that statement is a bit of a revelation to me. Its stranger to see it, written factually than just a concept you can ignore in your head.

But, as I’ve mentioned …. I haven’t gotten where I am, without being brutally honest with myself and criticising the flaws.

Can’t fix problems, if you can’t ID them.

And if you can’t be honest with yourself, who else can you trust?

Now, I can hear you say Damocles, that’s all good and all, but what is the point of all these revelations if you aren’t willing to commit to the proverbs you preach? Who is going to judge you and your acts?

I guess this is why I’ve named it the Before 30 Challenge.

This challenge has come about, simply because I want to think that people in their 30s are at their peak. Peak attractiveness, peak confidence, peak everything. I’ve always been attracted to women in their 30s, because mentally and physically, they just seem to have it all together.

I want to feel and see the evidence of that when staring at my 30s reflection.

I refuse to live a life where I will look back and have cause to regret. Because that would mean I made a mistake, that was in my control. And there are a thousands things I control, and its foolish to think that the world is spiralling out of control, when I know I can do so much with myself here and now.

Its a lack of responsibility to care for yourself, that leads to a lot of darker things.

So hence, I am starting this challenge to look after myself.

On the mental side, I will start doing the following things:

  1. Write at least once a week. It can be personal. It can be a poem. It might be a screenplay. It could be a short story. Anything. As long as I write and practice.
  2. Read a chapter of a book once a week. Not hard. But I’ve stopped reading for so long, it makes me tired. I want to get my reading stamina up again. I’ve missed flicking pages, adopting new styles of writing and learning new words.
  3. Start doing more mathematics equations on a daily basis.

For the physical element, I plan on starting these regimes:

  1. Cut down on the snacking. Limit myself to only 1 snack bag a week
  2. 1/2 hour of skipping rope a day
  3. 1/2 hour of push ups/sit ups a day
  4. Increase my weekly number of running and walking exercises. Except … I politely refuse to do any hiking. Because if I wanted to climb mountains, I wouldn’t have invested in a car, discovered jumping out of planes or be satisfied with climbing them in Red Dead Redemption 2 …. on a horse.

All these things seem easy. But for a lazy slob like myself, I think it will prove challenging.

I’d rather set myself realistic and simple goals, than try to overachieve and fall on my ass and feel even shittier about myself.

Habits and routines are hard to get into, but once I commit to them for more than a month, I hope they will get less painful and less de-motivating.

On this journal, I will post my weekly exercise, and allow you all to critique, and hopefully witness some form of growth in my writing skills.

Please support me along this journey, and with any luck, by the time I am 30, I will have exceeded all these targets and really feel like I’ve restored some order to my aimless life.

Life should have objectives … they help us feel like we got purpose.

acta non verba.

I’ve written enough about the Before 30 Challenge. Now its time for me to execute.

~ Damocles.


I’ll get to your level one day Saitama. Hopefully without the balding effect. 

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