I created these goals between 2003 and today. Completed goals are in red.
A few notes about my goal list:
- I only post big, exciting, and slightly scary goals—not the little stuff.
- I only post goals that I’ve been considering for a while—not spur-of-the-moment stuff.
- I retroactively add goals that I’ve already completed.
- I’ll remove a goal from the list if it becomes boring or irrelevant. In other words: The list isn’t sacrosanct.
- I publicly announce my goals so that I have a better chance of completing them. I consider this a good form of “soft” peer pressure.
- I post failures as well as successes.
- I link to deliverables (concrete pieces of evidence) whenever possible.
- Start a family
- Live long enough to play tricks on my grandkids
- Own a house outright
- Graduate from college – B.A., UC Berkeley 2004
Writing & Speaking Goals
- Publish a book about going to college without high school – College Without High School, 2009
- Publish a book about giving yourself a higher education without college – Better Than College, 2012
- Publish a book about the general theory of self-directed learning
- Publish an article about unschooling and economics in Reason magazine
- Keep a photoblog for a year – working on it failed! Will try again.
- Give a TED talk – TEDxYouth Palo Alto, 2010
- Publish 10 podcast or videocast episodes
- Publish three blog posts per week for six months straight
- Independently publish a professional-quality book – Better Than College, 2012
- Write a fundraising guidebook for young adults – The Unschool Adventures Guide to Online Travel Fundraising, 2012
- Give away 10,000 free copies of one of my books- Working on it…
- Publish an article about Jim Wiltens & Deer Crossing Camp
- Start an international trip leading company – Unschool Adventures, 2008
- Start a leadership program for homeschoolers – Homeschool Leadership Retreats, 2010
- Direct a summer camp – Deer Crossing Camp, Assistant Director 2006-7, Acting Director 2008
- Start a school (i.e. long-term structured learning program)
- Run a “College Without College” program – ZTC Camp, Oct 2011
- Run an Unschool Adventure trip without me on it – UA Writing Retreat, Nov 2011
- Work at Not Back to School Camp – Advisor, 2006-present
- Work as the head cook for a summer camp – Deer Crossing Camp, 2008
- Lead a workshop at a major homeschooling conference – HSC 2009 (and others since)
- Be self-employed for a whole year (not counting summer camp jobs) – 2010
- Work a full season at a ski resort – 2007-8, Heavenly Ski Resort
- Run a conference for college-aged self-directed learners – working on it: Trailblazer 2013
- Explore Western Europe – France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, 5 weeks, 2002
- Explore South America – Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, 3 months, 2007 (blog part 1/2/3)
- Explore the Himalayas – N. India, 1 month, 2011
- Live in Lake Tahoe, CA – Winter 2007-8 (not actually in the lake)
- Live in Portland, OR – 2009
- Live in one place for one year straight (post-college) – Asheville NC, 2012
- Go on an expedition with Jim Wiltens – 2-week tree climbing and ruins expedition in Guatemala, Jan 2011
- See the Aurora Borealis with Matt & Patrick
- Live abroad for a year with a child
- Run a trail marathon (non-competitive)
- Run a trail half-marathon (non-competitive) - 2010, 2011
- Thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail – Failed attempt: 2005
- Fastpack the John Muir Trail
- Windsurf in the Columbia River Gorge
- Day-hike Mount Whitney – Failed attempts: 1998, 2006
- Summit every peak in the Crystal Range in one trip (Desolation Wilderness, CA)
- Summit Pyramid Peak (Desolation Wilderness, CA) – August 2010
- Run the Shut-In Trail (Asheville, NC) – 17 miles, mostly downhill – June 2012
- Run these trails
- Walk a 100′ slackline
- Walk a high-line (elevated slackline)
- Grace Llewellyn – 2006
- Daniel Greenberg (of The Sudbury Valley School) – 2004
- John Taylor Gatto – 2010
- Russell Roberts
- Peter Thiel
- Tina Seelig – 2010
- Paul Graham
- Seth Godin – 2012
- Daniel Pink
The Goal Graveyard
These goals were once on the list, but I removed them due to changing interests and priorities.
- Start a student cooperative house - Attempted & failed in 2011
- Write a 50,000-word novel in one month (the NaNoWriMo challenge) - Failed attempts: 2006, 2009
Photo: Julie McPherson or Cameron Lovejoy, I don’t remember. I’m eating a ziplock bag full of macaroni & cheese in the middle of a river. A glorious end to an epic High Sierra backpacking trip.