My life goal list, started at age 20. Completed goals are in red.

A few notes about my method:

  • I only post big, exciting, and slightly intimidating goals—not the little stuff.
  • I don’t focus on these goals to the detriment of other great opportunities that come my way.
  • I will retroactively add goals that I’ve already completed (even if I didn’t know they were “goals” at the start).
  • I remove goals that become irrelevant to my life (i.e., the list isn’t sacrosanct.)
  • I post my goals publicly because I believe the “public peer pressure” gives me better chance of completing them (even if there are drawbacks to this approach).
  • I post failures as well as successes (thanks for the idea, Tina Seelig).
  • I link to digital evidence of completing my goals whenever possible.
Traditional Goals
  • Start a family
  • Live long enough to play tricks on my grandkids
  • Own a house
  • Get a dog
  • Graduate from collegeB.A., UC Berkeley 2004
Writing & Speaking Goals
Work Goals
  • Start a school (i.e. long-term structured learning program)
  • Run an online course – failed in 2015
  • Earn $2000+ in one month from a location-independent business – skeptical but still interested
  • Start an international trip leading companyUnschool Adventures, 2008
  • Start a leadership program for homeschoolersHomeschool Leadership Retreats, 2010 (eventually merged with U.A.)
  • 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 a summer camp cookDeer Crossing Camp, 2008
  • Lead a workshop at a major homeschooling conferenceHSC 2009 (and many more since)
  • Be self-employed for a whole year (not counting summer camp jobs)2010 (and ever since)
  • Work a full season at a ski resortHeavenly Ski Resort, 2007
  • Organize a conference – Trailblazer 2013
Travel Goals
  • See the Aurora Borealis with Matt & Patrick
  • Travel the world with a girlfriend for 6+ months
  • Live abroad with my child(ren) for 12+ months
  • 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 + many summers
  • 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
  • Dance with a stranger in a Buenos Aires tango milonga – 2014, 2016, 2017
Outdoor Goals
  • Thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail – Failed attempt: 2005
  • Day-hike Mount Whitney2017Failed attempts: 1998, 2006, 2016
  • Summit every peak in the Crystal Range (Desolation Wilderness, CA) in one trip – started exploring with 2016 Seven Summits trip
  • Walk a 100′ slackline and a high-line (elevated slackline)
  • Hike the Kings Canyon High Basin Route – partial completion in 2016
  • Hike the Sierra High Route – partial completion in 2015 (Mammoth to Yosemite)
  • Hike the Southern Sierra High Route
  • Spend a week on a solo John Muir-style ramble in the High Sierra
  • Run 30+ miles on trail – 2015 (on the John Muir Trail)
  • Run 26.2 miles on trail2014 (North Face Endurance Challenge / photos)
  • Run 13.1 miles on trail – 2010
  • Windsurf in the Columbia River Gorge2014
  • Summit Pyramid Peak (Desolation Wilderness, CA)2010
  • Backpack the Lost Coast2015
Meet-in-Person Goals
  • Grace Llewellyn2006
  • Daniel Greenberg – 2004
  • John Taylor Gatto2010
  • Russell Roberts2014
  • Tina Seelig2010
  • Seth Godin2012
  • Daniel Pink2014
  • William Deresiewicz2014


Last update: May 2017