November 2008


After yesterday’s post, I got thinking more on how I could get others to help me with my goal list. Right now, it’s the holiday season and more then any other time of year people want to do nice things for their loved ones. People are willing to do everything from buying the latest shiny widget to whipping up a huge holiday meal to show others that they care about them. So what does this have to do with the list?

It’s a chance to give others the opportunity to help you achieve your goals. For example, I want to own all the books that Donald Miller has. So when family members ask what kinds of books they could get for me (they know I’m a bit of a bookworm), I can suggest one of his books to them. That way, they feel good because they are showing they care about me, and I’m one step closer to my goal.

This could work in many ways, whether it’s someone buying you frequent flyer miles so you can take a dream trip to Paris; giving up some of their free time to tutor you in Mandarin; or volunteering with your favorite charity. I admit I haven’t been terribly creative this season in suggesting ways to help me to my family and friends. Part of me doesn’t want to come off as a beggar, and I also don’t want to make things too complicated. So I’m taking small steps, like requesting a particular book.

On the flipside, I would love to help other people with their life goals. To me, that is a much more meaningful and long lasting gift then buying the latest and greatest shiny widget. But I don’t know what my friends’ life goals are. Perhaps that will be my gift to them this season- helping them to figure out what they want to do for the rest of the seasons in their lives.

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After yesterday’s post, I got thinking more on how I could get others to help me with my goal list. Right now, it’s the holiday season and more then any other time of year people want to do nice things for their loved ones. People are willing to do everything from buying the latest shiny widget to whipping up a huge holiday meal to show others that they care about them. So what does this have to do with the list?

It’s a chance to give others the opportunity to help you achieve your goals. For example, I want to own all the books that Donald Miller has. So when family members ask what kinds of books they could get for me (they know I’m a bit of a bookworm), I can suggest one of his books to them. That way, they feel good because they are showing they care about me, and I’m one step closer to my goal.

This could work in many ways, whether it’s someone buying you frequent flyer miles so you can take a dream trip to Paris; giving up some of their free time to tutor you in Mandarin; or volunteering with your favorite charity. I admit I haven’t been terribly creative this season in suggesting ways to help me to my family and friends. Part of me doesn’t want to come off as a beggar, and I also don’t want to make things too complicated. So I’m taking small steps, like requesting a particular book.

On the flipside, I would love to help other people with their life goals. To me, that is a much more meaningful and long lasting gift then buying the latest and greatest shiny widget. But I don’t know what my friends’ life goals are. Perhaps that will be my gift to them this season- helping them to figure out what they want to do for the rest of the seasons in their lives.

Before starting my list, I had not seen “The Bucket List”. However the premise of the movie, where two men with only a few months to live writing a list of what they wanted to accomplish before they “kicked the bucket”, partly inspired me to write my list.

I finally saw the movie last week and noticed many differences between my list and theirs. For starters, mine is much longer. They had 17 items on their list, while I’m at 100. They also included some “soft” goals like “kiss the most beautiful girl in the world”. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s obviously up to the person writing the list to decide who the most beautiful girl is. I set up my goals to be quantitative- that is, it’ll be very clear and non-debatable as to when I achieve my goals.

Some similarities exist between my list and theirs. In one scene in the movie, Cole argues that the purpose of the list is to have fun while Carter says it’s suppose to be more challenging and philosophical. Their list has elements of both. I also tried to include some challenging goals in mine that will push me as a human being, such as running a marathon. The guys also wanted to finish their list before they were dead. I also hope to do the same thing.

The most important lesson though that I got out of the movie was the fact that these two guys worked together to get the list done. They pushed each other and encouraged each other to do what neither could do alone. I don’t have anyone right now cheering me on. I haven’t even shared this list with anyone I know. Sure, I’m all gung-ho about my list right now, but down the road I’m going to need to rally some supporters around me to cheer me on when things get tough. Maybe that should be goal 101 for me- share this list with those I know who will help and support me.

After all, it’s no fun to run across a finish line with no one around to celebrate with.

Before starting my list, I had not seen “The Bucket List”. However the premise of the movie, where two men with only a few months to live writing a list of what they wanted to accomplish before they “kicked the bucket”, partly inspired me to write my list.

I finally saw the movie last week and noticed many differences between my list and theirs. For starters, mine is much longer. They had 17 items on their list, while I’m at 100. They also included some “soft” goals like “kiss the most beautiful girl in the world”. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s obviously up to the person writing the list to decide who the most beautiful girl is. I set up my goals to be quantitative- that is, it’ll be very clear and non-debatable as to when I achieve my goals.

Some similarities exist between my list and theirs. In one scene in the movie, Cole argues that the purpose of the list is to have fun while Carter says it’s suppose to be more challenging and philosophical. Their list has elements of both. I also tried to include some challenging goals in mine that will push me as a human being, such as running a marathon. The guys also wanted to finish their list before they were dead. I also hope to do the same thing.

The most important lesson though that I got out of the movie was the fact that these two guys worked together to get the list done. They pushed each other and encouraged each other to do what neither could do alone. I don’t have anyone right now cheering me on. I haven’t even shared this list with anyone I know. Sure, I’m all gung-ho about my list right now, but down the road I’m going to need to rally some supporters around me to cheer me on when things get tough. Maybe that should be goal 101 for me- share this list with those I know who will help and support me.

After all, it’s no fun to run across a finish line with no one around to celebrate with.

I’ve been thinking more about the obstacles that will make it tricky to achieve my goals. The first two popped up in my head right away- time and money. If I had those in infinite supply, I would easily clear off most of this list without breaking a sweat. Alas, I don’t live in such a world so I’m going to have to find the best ways to utilize the time and money I do have.

But all the time and Bill Gate’s bank account won’t knock down all the obstacles I face. Some involve developing skills I just don’t have, like learning how to knit or to play piano. Others like living in a foreign country will require me to move away from people and places that I love and immerse myself in a strange culture.

There’s also the challenge of creating habits such as running on a regular basis that will be needed to accomplish some goals. Pursuing my goals has to become a lifestyle, not an aberration.

But even with all these obstacles I’m still determine to try. Even if I don’t succeed, I will have learned in the process and make my life and others just a little bit richer. And that reward is worth knocking down any wall in my way.

When I first came up with all these goals, I figured that problems like having enough time or money to achieve all of them would be my biggest obstacles. But what I’m discovering is having the motivation to get my butt off the couch and go do what I need to do is becoming my biggest challenge so far. I haven’t embraced a goal-chasing mindset yet.

The goal-chasing mindset is one where I wake up every morning thinking of what I can do that day to get closer to one of my goals that day. And then refusing to go back to bed at the end of the day until I’ve done whatever it takes to do that one thing. Whether it’s going for a 3-mile run; playing a challenging song on Guitar Hero; or cutting my cable so I can save that money for a round-the-world trip; I have to convert my thoughts into actions.

I’m not sure how I will go about embracing such a mindset. But I’m going to take the first step by getting off my bum and playing some Guitar Hero.

At the beginning of each month, I will post an update summarizing my goal progress in the previous month. October is the first full month of my project and I’ve already had some success. Because of the list, I was motivated to go out and knock off goal 84.

That goal was to go out to the Give Kids the World Village and help the staff there with serving families with children that have very serious or terminal medical problems. Those children wished to come to Orlando to visit Disney World and the other parks. So Give Kids the World build a village for those families to stay in for a week while they visit the parks. I have a friend who works for Disney and frequently volunteers at GKTW. He had been encouraging myself and other people to step up and help out. Until last month, I just wasn’t making the time to go and help out for a few hours. But because of the list and my friend’s persistance, I did and I really enjoyed it. When I got there, I was assigned dinner duty and helped served food to the families as they returned to the village for the evening. It was so nice to get out, meet some new people, and do something nice for those families. I hope to get back out there again soon.

I’ve also made some progress on some other goals. I’ve knocked off another state on my list of states left to visit, which brings my total to 17 of 50 states visited for goal 1. I’m also continuing to do some running to prep for races later this year.

This month, I’m going to focus on goal 63- finishing Guitar Hero 2 on Hard. A lot of new video games have come out recently that I would enjoy playing. So I want to tackle this goal first before I get distracted by those other games. I’m also looking at the local race schedule and trying to figure out when I’ll be ready to run my first 5K.

My biggest concern right now is that I might get so distracted by all the holiday celebrations around the corner that I forget to keep working on stuff on the list. I need to develop momentum and not get sidetrack if I want to finish everything before I die.

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