by Tony Gjokaj July 04, 2020 5 min read

2020 has been one chaotic year for many of us. A lot of emotions, change, and uncertainty. It's mentally tough for every one of us out there: to keep a strong focus on our purpose in life. What will make us stronger is the ability to persist through adversities and the challenges we encounter this year.

In this post, I wanted to dive into the things that have helped me stay the course (and even improve my mindset) in 2020. Let's dive in!

Strengthening Your 2020

In this section, we are going to explain each way, along with providing scientific and personal evidence for each.

While we typically recommend being around people who will elevate your life (socialization), we can't do that with the Coronavirus being around.

The following ways we recommend revolve around being independent.


According to various studies, exercise has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety. The study we cited showed that a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise had a great impact on improving energy and mood.

Personally, I have found 45-60 minutes of exercise about five days a week has had a positive impact on my mood and personality. It has become ritualistic in that I need exercise, and I go to exercise whenever I am stressed or a little down. Exercise is euphoric to me.

Even if it's as simple as an outside walk, walks have been shown to help physically, mentally... and in others, spiritually. There's something calming about being "in nature" that helps us with a stillness aspect of life.


There are various benefits as you journal such as creativity, organization, goal setting, and more. According to the APA, expressive writing allows you to cope with your challenges and manage your emotions more effectively.

Personally, writing my thoughts, actions, and activities on both a personal journal and planner has significantly improved my productivity. Writing simply helps you discover more about yourself.


In the past, I used to isolate myself from others due to the feeling that I was more of a burden than anything else. Reading books was my escape. Fiction books helped me enhance my creativity, while non-fiction books helped me improve myself mentally.

If you're an individual who has read some incredible books, I say to always look back at books you've previously read. You can find more about yourself or acquire new insights by reading them again.

Documenting Your Journey

This is one of the more unconventional things that may make you hesitate. Here's the thing: since we can't necessarily socialize in person, documenting your journey will invite you to the online community.

Think about it: being able to share some of your progress invites discussion. While you may receive some negativity, it will be small compared to the people who actually love what you stand for.

When I personally started creating content that revolved around my journey towards growth, here's what happened:

  • People were interested, and they journeyed along with me.
  • I was given more opportunities, whether it was a career, partnerships, and more.
  • The accountability is everything.
  • You have something to look back at, and realize how much progress you've made.
  • Others can see where you started to where you're at now. Many typically look for this.
  • Helped my mood drastically, as I felt I was a part of something greater - a community

These only scratch the surface.

The hate is NOTHING compared to the love and support you will receive.

Sleep Well

Sleeping well is of utmost importance today. The majority of the United States is sleep-deprived, and sleep deprivation has a large impact on mood.

Personally, my encounters with depression were a result of anxiety and poor sleep. In these times, I would sleep around 4 hours per day. Friends that I know who have encountered depression have had the same issues.

Reforging Your Mindset (Implementation)

Now that we have discussed our recommendations, here are a few guidelines to improve your mindset in 2020.


We recommend exercising for about 45-60 minutes a day, five times per week. In those days, we recommend the following:

  • Weight Training for about 3-5 days a week.
  • Cardiovascular exercise 1-2 days a week.
  • A combination of the two will benefit mental health being that they both provide you various benefits.

While exercise does suck at the beginning, remember how you feel every time you finish it. That's what you should constantly strive towards achieving.

Meals are also always better after intense exercise.


When it comes to journaling, we would recommend doing so at least 1-2 times per day. Either first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening would work best.

In journaling, it's best to write about what your first thoughts are. Talk about an important event that happened in the day, and even reflect on it. This will help you learn more about yourself, build self-awareness, and more.


With reading, we recommend reading at least 10 pages of personal development books per day. Being able to learn more, or even escape briefly is very therapeutic.

I personally also like to read a fiction book in the evening to unwind. It also allows me to come up with very creative ideas in the evening that I jot down before bed!

Documenting Your Journey

In documenting your journey, it may first seem pretty intimidating. Fear of judgment and failure holds you back.

Start small, by posting one piece of content per day: A personal journal, some fitness progress, in your Instagram stories, and more. Talk about your progress frequently. The constant vlogging or social media posts will help you build accountability in working towards bettering you.

I personally regret not documenting my journey until recently. The reason being is that I would've had a social media friends who would hold me accountable, and even help me better myself.

You can't do this alone, and documenting allows you to invite others on your journey.

Sleep Well

When it comes to sleep, it is imperative you should get around 6-8 hours of quality sleep per day. In the evenings, you should avoid television, computer or phones as much as you can. If you cannot, be sure to wear blue light glasses, or even use an app like night shift or f.lux on your phone and laptop, respectively. Alternatives to technology can be reading, journaling, and meditation before bed.

Be sure to have a consistent sleep routine or schedule. Whatever it is, consistency builds habits and makes it easier to manage.

Sleep Pressure

According to recent studies, scientists have hypothesized a concept known as Sleep Pressure. Sleep Pressure is defined as the brain's need for sleep - which is developed as a result of how long you've been awake and how much energy you've used.

Sleep Pressure can be acquired through the activities we do throughout the day (including physical and mental activity). This is where personal development, reading, and exercise will help encourage sleep: you are expending more energy that way.

You can read more about Sleep Pressure, Melatonin, and Serotonin here.

Reforge Your Mindset

Just by adding one of these strategies and doing them consistently can impact you in a more positive way.

If you are implementing most of them already, add another one like journaling or documenting your journey. They have made a huge difference in my personal growth.

Each of us has an opportunity to grow and reach a greater potential. You don't have to do this alone. Feel free to follow us on social media @thereforged. We are a legion of like-minded warriors looking to reach a greater potential. 

Thank you for reading Reforged Legion! If you liked this post, feel free to stick around as we have plenty more to come!

Tony Gjokaj
Tony Gjokaj

Tony is the Owner of Reforged. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help millions exercise their way out of depression and anxiety.

Also in LIFT Your Mood

5 Ways To Make Exercise Meaningful To You
5 Ways To Make Exercise Meaningful To You

by Tony Gjokaj April 25, 2023 3 min read

Exercise can feel like a chore, and even if you know it’s good for your health, the motivation to get moving sometimes just isn’t there.

But it doesn’t have to be a burden - by making exercise meaningful to you, it can become something fun and rewarding!

Here are five ways to make exercise more meaningful!

Read More
5 Best Weight Loss Tips For Overweight Men: Why You Should Lose Weight
5 Best Weight Loss Tips For Overweight Men: Why You Should Lose Weight

by Tony Gjokaj October 07, 2022 4 min read

Men, I know what it is like to be overweight and depressed.

Not having the energy to do anything but relax and sleep.

While relaxation and sleep are incredibly important, they can make us feel like we are not making progress in our lives.

And when depression hits, it’s very difficult to push through with exercise and weight loss.

But did you know that even though it takes time and some effort, you don’t need to get obsessively crazy over it?

In fact, with just a few small adjustments, you can lose weight, fight back against depression, and take your life back.

If you're serious about shedding pounds and pushing away those depression demons, here are five tips that can help get you started. 

Read More
5 Fast Food Hacks For Healthier Eating In 2022
5 Fast Food Hacks For Healthier Eating In 2022

by Tony Gjokaj September 05, 2022 4 min read

A few weeks ago, my buddy Grant and I talked about nutrition.

We talked about how he's lost over 120 pounds so far with the weight loss progress he's been making.

This is all because he has been making healthier decisions over time.

One of the newest challenges he's facing right now is he's got a new job. He's working 10 to 12 hour days with physical demanding labor.

And what's been happening for him is that he's been super exhausted, he's not motivated to meal prep, he's having trouble trying to sit down and cook foods doesn't have the energy doesn't have the time.

So what I propose is five tips that you can use to live a more on the go fast food healthy eating lifestyle.

Read More