Another year here at the Art of Manliness is in the books. 2017 was a big year for us at AoM. We launched a new book, dabbled with being a publisher ourselves, and launched a whole new online/offline program called The Strenuous Life. More on those big projects here in a bit.
We’re also coming up on a big milestone for the Art of Manliness in just a couple weeks. On January 4, the Art of Manliness will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. It’s hard to believe AoM has been around for a decade! I’ll write some more thoughts on AoM’s 10th birthday when it arrives, but in the meantime, thanks to everyone who has been with us on this adventure here at AoM!
We’re taking a break until January so we can spend the holidays with our family and friends, and plan for 2018. While we’re gone, take a look at our review and round-up of the very best of the Art of Manliness in 2017.
Most Popular Articles of the Year Based on Traffic
- Turn 12 Everyday Products Into Improvised Weapons
- Why the Secret of a Happy, Successful Marriage Is Treating It Like a Bank Account
- Getting Ripped vs. Getting Strong
- Why You Should Go to Church (Even If You’re Not Sure of Your Beliefs)
- 10 Physical Skills Every Man Should Master
- 23 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do
- How to Survive a Shark Attack
- 5 Willpower Habits Every Man Should Master
- The Reverse Sear: The Best Cooking Method for Steak
- What to Do If You’re Being Followed
- 10 Things That Will Put Hair On Your Chest
- How to Wear a Suit Without a Tie
Of course traffic isn’t the only measure of the worth of an article. Here are some of our personal favorites from this year:
- Spiritual Disciplines for Training the Soul (Series)
- Why We Should Celebrate the Masks of Masculinity
- Emerson’s Advice on How to Read for Greater Self-Reliance
- 20 Classic Poems Every Man Should Read
- Embracing the Grind in Barbell Training (And Beyond)
- Got Sisu? Essential Guerrilla Tactics From the Finnish Winter War
- Meditations on Meditations: Reflections on a First Reading of Marcus Aurelius
- The Tragic, Liberating Message About Manliness Hidden in American Tall Tales
- Cardio for the Man Who Hates Cardio: The Benefits of Rucking
- The Causes and Solutions to Overprotective Parenting (Series)
- Never Walk By a Mistake
- Lessons From Fahrenheit 451 for the Modern Day
- How to REALLY Avoid Living a Life of Quiet Desperation
- Lessons From the Roman Art of War
- You Can’t Return to Eden
- Declutter Your Digital Life
- How Millennials Could Be the Next Greatest Generation of Personal Finance + How Millennials Can Overcome Their 6 Biggest Financial Challenges
- Lessons From Walter Cronkite in the Lost Art of Gravitas
- A Man’s Guide to Self-Reliance
- Possibilities in Spare Moments
It’s been fun to watch the AoM Podcast really come into its own this year. What started out as a little side project back in 2009, has grown into the main way many of you connect with the Art of Manliness. It’s certainly become my main love! Thanks to your support, we had over 22 million listens on the podcast in 2017.
This year we had many great guests come on the show to talk about a variety of topics on how to become a better man.
Most Popular Podcasts of the Year Based on Listens
- Becoming a Tactical Athlete
- How Your Climate-Controlled Comfort Is Killing You
- The Real Science of Supplements and Nutrition
- Learning the Art of Charm
- Why Action Is the Answer
- The Meaning of Beards
- Making Exercise a Habit
- Stick With It: The Science of Behavior Change
- The Power of Likability
- How to Finally Beat Procrastination
- Not Caring What Other People Think is a Superpower
- Why Men Have a Hard Time Making Friends
My Personal Picks
Here are the shows I personally found the most interesting, engaging, and/or useful (some of the most popular above would be included in this list as well):
- The Untold Story of WWII’s 45th Infantry Division
- The Stranger in the Woods — The Story of the Last True Hermit
- An Introduction to Stoicism
- The Case for Blue Collar Work With Mike Rowe
- The Road to Character
- Life Lessons From an Adventurer
- What Homer’s Odyssey Can Teach Us Today
- Exploring Archetypes With Jordan B. Peterson
- Is This a Date or Not? The Problem With Ambiguity in Relationships
- The Kaizen Method — Get 1% Better Each Day
- How Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith Are the Cure for Sad Clown Syndrome
- War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity
- The Philosophy of Frugality
- How to Raise Free Range Kids
- What the Ancient Greeks and Romans Thought About Manliness
- Doing More With Less
- This Will Make a Man of You
If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the Art of Manliness podcast. It’s a great way to get your AoM fix while commuting or working out.
Also, we’d really appreciate if you’d give the podcast a review in iTunes or Stitcher. It’s a big help in getting more people to discover the show!
The Strenuous Life
Ever since starting the Art of Manliness in 2008, I wanted to create something that would help readers take our content offline. I never wanted readers just to consume our content, but to put it to use in their lives — to take real action on it. I wanted men to become not just spectators but actors — not just readers, but doers.
This year we finally fulfilled that goal and launched a platform to help AoM readers put into action what they’ve been reading on the Art of Manliness for the past ten years. It’s called The Strenuous Life, and it’s like a scouting program for grown men.
In 2017, we had three enrollment periods (July, September, October) for a total of 1,900 members. The July and September cohorts have finished the 12-week challenge, after spending 3 months struggling with weekly Agons (challenges), trying to move their bodies every day, looking for good deeds to perform, working on badges, and generally learning how to grapple with hard things. Now these lifetime members are continuing the lifelong journey of trying to live more strenuously.
The feedback we’ve gotten about the program has been amazing. In-person meet-ups have happened all over the world. New skills and habits have been cultivated. For many members, TSL provided the kick in the rear they needed to get started on all those things they said they would do for years, but kept putting off.
We’re getting ready for a big enrollment here in January. To find out as soon as enrollment opens up, visit strenuouslife.co and put your email on our waiting list. Enrollment fills up very quickly, so you’ll want to sign up as soon as you get the email announcing that enrollment is open.
In May we launched The Illustrated Art of Manliness. It was published by Little, Brown and Company. The book is filled with over 100 skills illustrated by the talented Ted Slampyak. My father-in-law said reading The Illustrated Art of Manliness felt like he was flipping through a 1950s copy of Popular Mechanics or Boy’s Life. That’s exactly the feeling we were trying to evoke with this book. I love mid-century illustrated how-to’s and Ted did a bang-up job capturing that aesthetic in his illustrations. This book feels like something you’d find at the bottom of your grandpa’s old footlocker.
Thanks to everyone who bought a copy and left a review on Amazon. If you haven’t bought a copy, what are you waiting for? You can get it for 33% off at Amazon. (Amazon sold out of our book yesterday, but will have copies back in stock in a few days. Go ahead and order it so it gets shipped to you as soon as it arrives at the warehouse. Or if you need a copy sooner, they’re available at your local Barnes and Noble.) If you’ve already bought a copy, I’d really appreciate it if you could give it a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
In 2017, we took a foray into being a publisher ourselves by publishing The Pocket Guide to Action: 116 Meditations on the Art of Doing by Kyle Eschenroeder. It’s filled with 116 punchy devotionals on the nature and importance of action. This pithy paperback book is small enough fit in your back pocket, but crammed with insightful advice on how to take more action in life so you can become the man you want to be. The design and layout of the book was inspired by vintage military field manuals with the aim of reinforcing the forceful, action-oriented advice contained within its pages. If you spend a lot of time thinking about things, making plans, and examining possibilities, but rarely pull the trigger on any of them, this is the book for you. It’s a great read to get your new year started right.
The Pocket Guide to Action is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. You can also buy it from the Art of Manliness Store. Pick a copy (or two) today! Look for the publication of another book by Kyle, The Pocket Guide to Self-Reliance, in early 2018.
A big thank you to AoM’s loyal readers and listeners for your support in 2017. I hope you’ll stick around to see what we cook up in 2018!
Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and of course, stay manly.