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Goal Setting, Christmas History, & Social “Science”

By: Michael Blankenship |

Greetings from LA and Oahu!

This week we’re talking about why it’s important to start setting new year’s goals now (and how to do that), why the social sciences have been corrupted, and how modern-day Christmas came to be. 


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New Year’s Goal Setting

Ever forget to set goals for the new year? 

You get lost in the holiday celebrations, then mid-January or February rolls around and you realize you haven’t taken time to reflect and set new goals. 

It’s easy to forget. 

Which is why we want to encourage you to set goals for 2022 now (that’s the challenge for the week!) — if you wait until after the holidays, you will end up falling behind. 

Here’s our process. 

Start by outlining 3-5 things that you want to accomplish in 2022. For example…

  • Lose 60 Pounds
  • Save $30,000
  • Travel To Japan, Italy, and France

Next, break those goals down by quarter — be realistic!

  • Goals For Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4
    • Lose 15 Pounds
    • Save $7,500
    • Travel To Japan in Q1, Italy in Q2, and France in Q3

At this point, consider that each quarter is three months — are your goals realistic? If not, what do you need to adjust to make them more realistic? 

Once you’ve nailed down your quarterly goals, dive into more detail about Q1 — because that’s the most important chunk right now. 

What actions do you need to take right away? What actions do you need to take weekly? What do you need to buy to help you to be successful? Who do you need to hire? 

So on and so forth. 

Here’s an example…

  • Q1 Goals
    • Lose 15 Pounds
      • Immediately – Hire a Physical Fitness Trainer, Purchase a Weekly Meal Plan, Find Accountability Partner
      • Weekly – Stick to Fitness Plan & Meal Plan, Track Fitness Metrics Every Monday, Celebrate Wins
    • Save $7,500 
      • Immediately — Examine & Rework Budget, Get App For Tracking Finances
      • Weekly — Track Finances Every Friday
      • Monthly — Put Savings In Account & Don’t Think About It
    • Travel to Japan
      • Immediately — Do Research On Where To Stay & When To Travel, Ask For Time Off Work
      • By January 15th, Book Flight & Lodging

Your goal here is to make your goals as realistic as possible. By the time you’re finished, you should be able to say, “I know I’m able to do that.”

Put these goals somewhere that you’ll see them every day. 

Then you’re off to the races!

Christmas History

With Christmas fast approaching, we thought it’d be fun to share a bit of history about the holiday. 

Today, Christians know it as a holiday for celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus. The rest of us know it as a holiday for celebrating gifts and family. 

But mid-winter celebrations started well before the birth of Jesus. As History.com explains, “Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.”

In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule starting on December 21st. In Germany, they honored the pagan god Oden in the middle of winter. In Rome, Saturnalia was celebrated in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. 

Then during the middle ages, “Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the ‘lord of misrule’ and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined ‘debt’ to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.”

Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26th, 1870 — in fact, from 1659 to 1681, Christmas was outlawed in Boston (law-breakers were fined five shillings) — and it wasn’t truly embraced by Americans until the 19th century. 

And then Americans created a new holiday…

“As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards and gift-giving.

Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.”

What about Santa Claus?

“The iconic version of Santa Claus as a jolly man in red with a white beard and a sack of toys was immortalized in 1881, when political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew on Moore’s poem to create the image of Old Saint Nick we know today.”

As you’re eating ham, giving gifts, and spending time with loved ones, remember that this is a special time of year because we’ve made it a special time of year

And as always, it’ll be what you make it. 

Social “Science”

In an article (and podcast) titled, Making Something Social Destroys the Truth of It, Naval Publication argues that the social sciences “are this virus that crept into academia and have taken over.”


“Making something social destroys the truth of it because social groups need consensus to survive—otherwise they fight and can’t get along—and consensus is all about compromise, not truth-seeking.”

At its inception, science (the natural sciences) “was this unique discipline where you could have an individual truth-seeking on behalf of the rest of society. Other individuals verify that they did, indeed, have the best current model of how reality works, and then that could be spread out through inventions to the rest of society.”

Their discoveries weren’t necessarily exciting or popular — “science’s biggest breakthroughs came from unpopular people” — sometimes they were downright frustrating (climate change, for instance). 

But emotion or opinion doesn’t change scientific discovery. 

Unless we’re talking about the social “sciences”. 

The article explains… 

“Social sciences are completely corrupted.

First, they need to appeal to society for funding, so they are politically motivated. Then, they themselves are influenced in society because the studies and models are used to drive policy. So, of course, that ends up corrupted as well. Now even the natural sciences are under attack from the social sciences, and they’re becoming more and more socialized.

The more groupthink you see involved, the farther from the truth you actually are. You can have an harmonious society while still allowing truth seekers within the society to find truth and to find the means to alter and improve reality for the entire group…

A lot of these academic theories don’t actually stand up either to replication—if you look at what’s going on in psychology—or even to reality.”

Humans are emotional. But emotion mixes with science like water mixes with oil — it doesn’t work.

And it’s important to remember that whether we’re testing a hypothesis or reading about someone else’s high-falutin results.

Support Local Bookstores

We know. 

We recommend a lot of books here at The Tonic — and if you ever want to purchase from somewhere other than Amazon, try BookShop. They give away over 75% of their profits to authors, publications, and local bookstores. 

That way, you’re supporting local business while also shopping online.

We’d never heard of BookShop until last week when one of our readers reached out and recommended it. We thought we’d pass that recommendation on to all of you. 🙂

This Week’s Photo

Jack Taylor / AFP / Getty

“Macaques climb onto a news photographer at the Phra Prang Sam Yod temple during the annual Monkey Buffet Festival in Lopburi province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, on November 28, 2021.” via The Atlantic

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

At night, they come without being fetched. By day they are lost without being stolen. What are they?

This Week’s Question

Answer this question — either privately or by replying to this email. If your answer inspires us, then we’ll ask for permission to include it in a future email!

What’s a goal that you’re setting for 2022? 

This Week’s Challenge

Set your goals for 2022. Waiting until the end of December or the beginning of January will make you feel like you’ve fallen behind.

Until next week, 

Mike & Alec

Riddle Answer: The stars.

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