Life Checklist

The life goals checklist has been pioneered by many. This is a great way to get to know somebody. I invite you along, although the list may be changing from time to time. I wholeheartedly encourage you to build your own as well.

What do you hope to do in your lifetime?

(For those of you who don’t know me, I like to write my goals and paste them up on walls so I can see them visually – I have a map of post-it’s on my wall at home filled with things I think I want to do. I call a post-it “trying on an idea.” Sometimes (many times, actually), I change my mind and take some things down, add other things. What’s not reflected in the list below is how much it can change …)

… last updated June 2012. 

An Unfinished List of Some of My Life Goals.


  • A simpler, less chaotic life. (Not less busy, per se, just more ability to be relaxed and present during the whirlwind)
  • More focus – understanding why I’m doing what I’m doing.
  • More purpose.
  • More fun.
  • Change, slowly, quickly, often, as much as necessary. 

MOVEMENT (Physical + Athletic Goals)

  • Olympic Distance Triathlon (2009: San Jose International)
  • WildFlower Olympic and Long-Distance Triathlon
  • 1/2 Ironman
  • Ironman (?)
  • Escape from Alcatraz (6/2008, 6/2010, 4/2011, 5/2011, 7/2011, 8/2011, 10/2011)
  • Tiburon Mile (2010)
  • SF-Berkeley Bay Swim (9 miles) – Relay (Sept 2010)
  • Bay Bridge to Golden Gate Bridge 6 mile Swim (May 2011)
  • P2P 10 Mile Swim (San Quentin to Alcatraz) (June 2011)
  • SF-Berkeley Bay Swim (9 miles): solo
  • Sausalito to San Francisco swim (6 miles)
  • Run a marathon.
  • Run 10 half marathons. (7/2010, 6/2011, 4/2012 …)
  • Yoga: Teacher Training.
  • Modern Dance.
  • Hip-Hop Dance.
  • Adult Acrobatics + Tumbling: Handstands (for 30 seconds or more), full splits, walkovers
  • Break Dancing
  • 100 pushups in a day; 50 pushups in a row


  • China (Beijing, Shanghai, Great Wall, Yangtze River, Silk Road)
  • Taiwan (Taipei)
  • South America (Brazil, Chile)
  • Central America (Mexico, Mexico City, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Honduras)
  • Patagonia: backpack
  • Horseshoe Bend, Colorado; also Boulder, Colorado
  • Thailand
  • Russia
  • Africa (South Africa, Central, learn more!)
  • Europe (France [Paris]Germany, Amsterdam, [Heidelberg, Carlsruhe], England [London], Italy, Spain [Barcelona], Switzerland, Greece)
  • South Korea (Seoul)
  • All 50 States (15 left: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont)


  • Writing: become published author of critical thought pieces in Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Landscape Urbanism. See “writing” section, below
  • Coaching Certification.
  • Yoga Teacher Training.
  • Become a mentor.
  • Become location independent.
  • Design my own career. (In progress!)
  • Teach.
  • Lecture + Present: give a presentation or lecture to 100+ people.
  • Speaking
  • Fellowships
  • Installation: publish artwork + design work in a studio or gallery.


  • Write my first, second, third … books.
  • Write a collection of short stories.
  • Author a book on cities, roads + streets (for landscape+urbanism)
  • Design and build a website on landscape+urbanism
  • Design and build a website about three life lessons (in the works…)
  • Write an e-book on writing.
  • Finish set of e-books (in the works…)


  • Live in 10 major cities. (Philadelphia, San Francisco, Columbus).
  • Volunteer abroad (for at least 2 months 2013, for at least a year post-30).
  • Live in Spain.
  • Try out for Survivor.
  • Hike part of the Pacific Trail.
  • Hike all or part of the Appalachian Trail.


  • Take singing lessons and learn how to sing … well.
  • Teach myself the Classics (at least an overview);
  • Read a book a week (indefinitely);
  • Take boxing classes.
  • Speech, Debate & Presentations: learn the art of public speaking, and give presentations. Inspire people. Share knowledge well.
    • Take Acting Classes (Studio ACT Fall 2010)
    • Sign up for Toast Masters
    • Give at least 10 Presentations: UVA 4/2012 (100 people), Berkeley 3/2012 (50 people) KA Connect 4/2012 (200 people), WDS, Portland 7/2012, Bold Academy 7/2012
  • Learn how to Surf. (Surfing trip to Santa Cruz, 6/18/2012)
  • Take Salsa dancing lessons. Become an intermediate-level salsa dancer.
  • Learn German (again).
  • Learn Spanish (again).
  • Learn French.
  • Learn how to play the guitar decently well: (at least 5 campfire songs!)
  • Get a piano and re-learn classical songs.


  • Buy a car. Pay off dumbass car loans ($16K) by January 2013
  • Pay off student loans by age 40. (UPDATED: Pay off 1/2 of student loans by age 30.)
  • Save as much in retirement as in student loans. (YES! January 2012)
  • Save $100,000 in retirement+savings accounts by age 30.
  • Build an Emergency Fund of at least $2500 (June 2010)
  • Set up a Freedom Fund (6 months of expenses in a high-interest account) .
  • Save for retirement based on “The Millionaire Next Door” equation.
  • Be at least a millionaire by age 40.
  • Worry less about money.
  • Make enough money to do everything I want, and invest/inspire/create amazing work with and within other people.
  • Travel Fund: Save enough money to take 6 months off work and travel.
  • Sponsor at least one entrepreneur through Kiva every year (began 2010)
  • Sponsor a child in Honduras every year.(1991 – 2001).