🔥 Challenges

Some of the challenges I've been doing this year.

Fabio Barbero published on

5 min, 802 words

Categories: Random


Good question. I realised a while back that I was getting stuck in many "unhealthy loops": checking my phone for no reason, browsing reddit/youtube in search of dopamine, finding myself in a stressful mindset... I had been doing meditation for a while, and finally decided to apply what I learned in those 10min meditations to my daily life.

Challenges have been a great way of getting out of my comfort zone and being more attentive to what my body feels. Waking up between 5-7am has greatly helped achieving these goals, as it gave me more time without external inputs (people don't usually text that early).



I had been doing very little to no sports in 2019-2020. In 2021, I decided that I want to do on average 1h of "sports" a day. By "sports" I am also including my daily 30min of Yoga, very long walks/hikes.

So far I am very much on track, even in advance! Buying a fitness tracker (a second hand Garmin Forerunner 456Music) has greatly helped tracking my time and motivating me, and I got the habit of doing Yoga for 30min first thing in the morning after my 10min meditation, and running around 2-3 times a week (~7km/run).

Here are the apps I use:

  • Yoga: DownDog app
  • Meditation: mindfulness.com
  • Fitness tracker: Garmin connect. I am not too comfortable with using this since it sends all my data to Garmin's servers, and although they have a pretty decent privacy policy I might try to build my own program that reads the raw data of the fitness tracker I have.

Update (23/04/2021): I just ran my first half marathon during the 2021 Bataverien running race! Update (12/09/2021): I just ran my first 20km of Brussels in 1h44.


My initial goal was to read on average 30min/day. I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with this, as I'm very much behind.

Books I've read so far (updated 28/12):

  • Twilight of the money gods : very interesting take on the history of economics.
  • Think Like an Anthropologist - Matthew Engelke : Anthropology is not for me... Did find stories of different cultures interesting.
  • Logicomix : one of the best educational comic books I've read
  • In Praise of Idleness : very interesting take on modern work philosophy, truly ahead of his time. alternative link
  • Optimism over dispair - Noam Chomsky : I won't finish this book, as it is simply a collection of interviews and is pretty repetitive.
  • Weapons of Math Destruction : very interesting book, would recommend to other Data Scientists.
  • A mathematician's apology : very much disagree with most of the opinions at the beginning of this book, but interesting to see someone else's opinion.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • Sapiens
  • 1984
  • The art of Strategy

I have also read multiple articles online, including The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.

Music sheets

Trying to read/practice 1 music sheet a month. This can just be a piano exercise or a silly song I want to be able to play properly at jams. So far, I've read (unchecked are still in progress):

Monthly challenges

March - Cold showers

The challenge description was very simple: take exclusively fully cold showers. Turned out to be a very effective way to save water at first, since it highly reduced my shower time. Why? The feeling is just great. It wakes up your body, and gives a great feeling of achievement afterwards.

April - blogposts

Here we are! I decided that I will take this month to fill up this website with short blogposts. Don't expect too much, I am not too comfortable writing and don't have any experience in doing this. And that's exactly why I'm doing it as a challenge! I plan on writing about 1 post/week (so around 4/5 posts).