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10 July 2009 — Ad Astra Per Aspera

I was digging through some old e-mail when I came across a request to update my gigantic list of goals.

On my 38th birthday, I wrote about the 101 things in 1001 days project (which I learned about from dienu.com). I drafted my list of 101 goals on 25 March 2007, and then provided a single update on 01 January 2008. It’s now been 839 days since I made the list. How am I doing today?

Here’s the current state of my list:

Financial
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve done well with my financial goals. I’ve met them all. In fact, I’ve exceeded my goals by a wide margin.
1. Pay off all non-mortgage debt
2. Fully fund Roth IRA (2006)
3. Fully fund Roth IRA (2007)
4. Fully fund Roth IRA (2008)
5. Fully fund Roth IRA (2009)
6. Establish a $5000 personal emergency fund
7. Open a high-yield online savings account
8. Automate bill payments
9. Automate IRA contributions
10. Get a safety deposit box

Health and Fitness
I haven’t done as well here. In fact, I haven’t done well at all. I think the contrast between this list and the first list demonstrates that what gets measured gets managed. The things we focus on are the things we excel at.
1. Give up sugar for a week
2. Eat only home-prepared food for one month
3. Eat vegetarian for one month
4. Get cholesterol to healthy levels borderline now
5. Have a colonoscopy
6. Complete a marathon keep getting injured during training!
7. Complete a 100-mile bike ride
8. Play a team sport
9. Do 100 push-ups got up to 50+ before giving up
10. Bench-press my body weight
11. Complete a one-mile swim
12. Maintain a weight of 170 or below for six months
13. Drink only water for one month
14. Give up alcohol for three months

Home and Garden
I did a little better with this list, though I still have many goals left to accomplish. I actually think I could finish some of these in the four months that remain of my 1001 days.
1. Get the birds out of the workshop ceiling
2. Repair ceiling upstairs in house
3. Clean all gutters and install gutter guards
4. Finish modernizing the electrical system
5. Build a patio
6. Prune the holly trees
7. Learn how to use the chainsaw properly
8. Finish building the horseshoe pit
9. Hire somebody to paint the house
10. Open all windows that are painted shut
11. Park my car in the garage (this entails a lot of sub-steps)
12. Remove debris file from beneath the cedar
13. Add new spigots outside
14. Get a rug or carpet for the library getting close!
15. Acquire some nice office furniture
16. Create home maintenance checklist
17. Erect a hammock keep trying to find a used one
18. Acquire a chipper
19. Set up workshop for woodworking no longer a priority

Personal
I made great start on this list, but haven’t done much on it recently. I really do need to purge my record collection, for example. And though I no longer want to sell all of my comics, I do need to organize my collection.
1. Purge wardrobe of anything I haven’t worn in the past two years
2. Get a massage uh, this is sort of an addiction now
3. Learn to shave with a safety razor
4. Update my address book
5. Sell record collection
6. Get rid of computer books
7. Sell CDs, keeping only hard-to-find favorites
8. Sell comic books
9. Sell board games
10. Hold a gourmet potluck
11. Create the Indispensable Comic Strip Reprint Library in progress

Self-Improvement
Wow. I haven’t even tried to do anything on this list other than the two interview items — and that’s because those come up in the course of my GRS activities. I need to do more here.
1. Take a speech-com class (Dale Carnegie?)
2. Take a drawing class
3. Take a Spanish class I’m more inclined to take French now
4. Take a yoga class
5. Take a cooking class
6. Give a good radio interview I can do this on a regular basis now!
7. Give a good television interview This is a little more difficult for me, but I’ve done it

Adventure
Again, I haven’t done enough here. One of the things I crave is adventure, but I only talk about it. I never put my words into action.
1. Get tickets for World Cup South Africa Not going to happen
2. Skydive hahaha
3. Go on a trip by myself I should do this
4. Go white-water rafting
5. Ride in a hot-air balloon
6. Learn to shoot a gun Kris beat me to this and taunts me about it

Entertainment
The Wii bowling is no longer a priority, though I’m still making slow progress on the movies. Yay for Netflix!
1. See all Oscar-winners for Best Picture 59/81
2. See all Oscar-winners for Best Documentary 6/66
3. Bowl 300 on Wii Sports 264/300

Photography
Before I started Get Rich Slowly, I was actually interested in making money from photography. I was making good progress, too. This list of goals reflects the fact I hadn’t yet abandoned those dreams. Now I have.
1. Sell/publish a second photo
2. Digitize all photos
3. Sell $100 of images at iStockPhoto

Reading
Not bad progress here, but not as much as I’d hoped. I spend most of my time reading personal finance books!

1. Read all of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past 1/7
2. Read all of Shakespeare’s plays 13/38
3. Read all of Dickens 6/17
4. Read all Hugo & Nebula winners 23/82
5. Read all Pulitzer winners (for fiction) 10/56

Writing
Although I haven’t diversified my writing activities, I can’t say I’m disappointed here. I write a ton, and nearly every day. I haven’t sold a magazine article or published a book, but a book is in the future, I think, and I’ve contributed to three other personal finance books, so that’s a start.
1. Compile and print a Friends Cookbook
2. Sell a short story
3. Sell a poem
4. Sell a magazine article
5. Write a book well, no book written, but…
6. Publish a book …I’m getting close to this
7. Participate in National Novel Writing Month no longer a priority
8. Digitize all of my creative writing

Work
15 goals
1. Implement GRS forums
2. Implement GRS book section
3. Implement GRS tools and calculators section
4. Start a GRS podcast
5. Complete GRS redesign
6. Complete Animal Intelligence redesign done, but I haven’t written at this site in a long time
7. Move all old foldedspace entries to the new database messed this up
8. Launch Success Daily unlikely to happen, though jdroth.com may play that role
9. Launch Vintage Pop on hold, but in the works
10. Launch Too Much Cat abandoned this plan
11. Interview Robert Kiyosaki (or host guest post) not going to happen
12. Interview Dave Ramsey (or host guest post) still a good goal
13. Achieve $10,000 web income in one month
14. 1,000,000 visitors in one month to GRS oh so close on a couple of occasions
15. 100,000 RSS subscribers at GRS not going to happen

I now know that some of these will never be accomplished. Setting up other web sites? Not going to happen. I don’t consider this a failure — it’s just a shifting of priorities. And I’d now rather beat “Super Samurai” on Dance Dance Revolution than bowl 300 at Wii Sports.

I may not achieve everything I set out to do, but I’ve done a hell of a lot over the past couple of years.

Tags: Introspection · Personal History  

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5 responses so far ↓
On 10 July 2009 (6:57 pm), Mike P said:

Wow. Not bad!

One quick comment: Taking that yoga class may help you complete your fitness related goals. Extra flexibility (even a little) means less injuries.

Sorry couldn’t help it…I’m a yoga addict now after my wife dragged me to a class 6 months ago. :)


On 11 July 2009 (7:26 am), Courtney said:

Your last sentence says it all! Be proud (VERY proud) of what you’ve accomplished. I doubt I could even come up with such a list to begin with. ;-)


On 11 July 2009 (4:22 pm), Karawynn said:

I laughed out loud at the annotation after ‘get a massage’. I am so with you on that.

Sometimes Jak and I joke about our (nonexistent) personal staff, things like “Looks like the maid forgot to come today” and “Would you send the masseuse up to my room please?” Seriously, if I had the money to hire just one person to do one thing for me, it would be daily massages. It would even beat out the personal chef, because as much as I love food, I *can* cook. I can’t rub my own back. :P


On 13 July 2009 (9:43 am), Nick said:

Good job, JD! To me, this is sort of like our discussion of wants. You don’t need to accomplish them all, they are just nice to have. Making a list of what you want to accomplish certainly makes it more likely that you will do them.

Now, about that skydiving… Just do it. I did it because I am scared of heights and the thought of jumping out of an airplane scared the heck out of me. It was actually fun. I probably will never go again but I am glad I did it.


On 25 March 2011 (11:19 pm), 42 Goals in 42 Months said:

[...] yes. My h-u-g-e list of h-u-g-e goals. I remember that. My last progress update to this list of goals was on 10 July 2009, 839 days into the project. At that time, I’d completed 37 of my 101 goals, including all of [...]