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 intimidating goals—not the little stuff.
  • I retroactively add goals that I’ve already completed.
  • I remove goals that become irrelevant to my life. (The list isn’t sacrosanct.)
  • I post my goals publicly because I believe it gives me a better chance of completing them. (Sometimes there are drawbacks to this approach.)
  • I post failures as well as successes (thank you, Tina Seelig).
  • I link to digital deliverables (online pieces of evidence) whenever possible.
Traditional Goals
  • Start a family
  • Live long enough to play tricks on my grandkids
  • Own a house outright
  • Get a dog
  • Graduate from collegeB.A., UC Berkeley 2004
Writing & Speaking Goals
Work Goals
  • Start an international trip leading companyUnschool Adventures, 2008
  • Start a leadership program for homeschoolersHomeschool Leadership Retreats, 2010
  • Direct a summer campDeer Crossing Camp, Assistant Director 2006-7, Acting Director 2008
  • Run a “College Without College” programZTC Camp, Oct 2011
  • Run an Unschool Adventure trip without me on itUA Writing Retreat 2013
  • Work at Not Back to School CampAdvisor, 2006-present
  • Work as the head cook for a summer campDeer Crossing Camp, 2008
  • Lead a workshop at a major homeschooling conferenceHSC 2009 (and others since)
  • Be self-employed for a whole year (not counting summer camp jobs)2010
  • Work a full season at a ski resort2007-8, Heavenly Ski Resort
  • Run a conference for college-aged self-directed learnersTrailblazer 2013
  • Start a school (i.e. long-term structured learning program) – working on it
  • Run an online course – failed in 2015
  • Earn $2000 in one month from a location-independent online business – having second thoughts
Travel Goals
  • Explore Western EuropeFrance, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, 5 weeks, 2002
  • Explore South AmericaEcuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, 3 months, 2007 (blog part 1/2/3) and much more since then
  • Explore the HimalayasNorthern India, 2011, and Nepal, 2014
  • Live in Lake Tahoe, California – Winter 2007-8 (not actually in the lake), 2011, 2015
  • Live in Portland, Oregon – 2009
  • Live in one place for one year straight (post-college)Asheville NC, 2012
  • Go on an expedition with Jim Wiltens2-week tree climbing and ruins expedition in Guatemala, Jan 2011
  • See the Aurora Borealis with Matt & Patrick
  • Live abroad with a child for a year
  • Dance with a stranger in a Buenos Aires tango milonga – 2014
Outdoor Goals
Meet-in-Person Goals
  • Grace Llewellyn2006
  • Daniel Greenberg – 2004
  • John Taylor Gatto2010
  • Russell Roberts2014
  • Tina Seelig2010
  • Ben Casnocha
  • Seth Godin2012
  • Daniel Pink2014
  • William Deresiewicz2014

The Goal Graveyard

Here’s where I leave goals that I genuinely wanted to complete but abandoned for one reason or another.

  • Start a student cooperative house – Attempted & failed in 2011; Rolled into “start a school” goal
  • Write a 50,000-word novel in one month (the NaNoWriMo challenge) – Failed attempts: 2006, 2009I admit total defeat here. Writing a novel is super difficult!
  • Publish an article about unschooling and economics in Reason magazine – Lost interest
  • Fastpack the John Muir Trail – Too crowded! I’ll just run sections of it instead.
  • Dance tango, blues, and salsa in 5 different big cities – More interested in just tango.


Last updated: April 2016