Over the last three years, I’ve focused a lot on goal setting and developing the necessary skills and discipline to actually cross those goals off of my list. Things have changed for the better in my life since I consistently put more of a focus on developing myself, and paying attention to the details of progress.
By thinking about, and writing out all of the goals you want to achieve in your life, you give your brain an important job to do. Our minds are complex, but they’re also easy to condition if we are clear about what we want, and we work toward achieving those things every day.
The following is a list of what I want to accomplish in the next 26 1/2 months.
My health is the most important thing to me. Without it, nothing else matters. So, I have a few health and fitness goals that I will work on improving and completing in the next two years. These are all things that encourage me to develop speed, strength, and mental toughness. They are also goals that challenge me to develop different areas of my fitness:
- Hold a 60 sec. unassisted headstand by Nov. 30th 2016.
- 12 consecutive dead hang pull-ups by Dec. 31st 2016.
- Run a sub 7:30 min. mile by January 31st 2017.
- Run the Lost Lake race in 2 hours and 30 minutes or less (August 2017).
- Bodyweight to 150 LBS by August 20th, 2017.
- Run Crow Pass (2018).
- Continue to improve mobility, and live pain free.
A happy, thriving marriage is very important to me, and building an amazing relationship with Lela is a major priority. Continuing to grow together, and to inspire one another to be our best has always been our vision. As time goes on, it can be easy to settle in and get comfortable- and that complacency in a marriage can lead to the deterioration of a relationship. The grass is greener where you water it, so next to my health/fitness goals, my marriage gets most of my attention.
- Buy Lela flowers at least twice a month.
- Sporadic love notes around the house every week.
- Make a big deal out of our anniversaries, and celebrate big.
- Card at least twice a month.
- Movie/Restaurant date night once a month.
- Pedicure date once a month.
- Practice patience daily, and continue to be honest and open.
Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I haven’t prioritized it much in 2016, but that’s going to change for the next two years. I have a lot of catching up to do. While it’s certainly not as pressing as taking good care of my health, and nurturing my relationship with my wife, seeing the world is very important to me. I consider it a part of my ongoing education. My travel goals for the next two years are not completely set, but this is what I’m focused on right now:
- China: Walk at least 10 miles on the Great Wall of China (Nov. 2016).
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been absolutely in awe of the Great Wall. The Chinese culture has always seemed very different from life in the United States, and that’s what attracts me. The history, and eastern philosophy is what fascinates me most.
- Paris, France: Climb the stairs to the highest point in the Eiffel Tower (Dec. 2016).
I haven’t had much of an interest to travel Europe until recently. The food, the history, and the fact that I’ll get to visit a new continent are all appealing to me. The Eiffel tower is just as intriguing to me as the Empire State building in NYC. Plus, my wife really wants to go, and as I always say “happy wife, happy life.”
- Kona, Hawaii: Get Rescue Diver certified (undecided deadline).
I became a certified SCUBA diver in January 2009 while on a trip to southern Thailand. Diving allows you to experience the world in a completely different way, and it’s magical. I have since become Advanced Open water certified, and Nitrox certified. The next level is Rescue Diver certification which will make me a more competent diver and will enable me to handle every potential disaster I may encounter under the water. I’ve never been to Kona, so it’s time to cross that one off my list.
- Luang Prabang, Laos: Visit the Kuang Si Falls (Jan. 2018).
I have a deep fascination with southeast Asian countries. Laos is a place that seems so different from anywhere I’ve ever been, and the Kuang Si Falls look incredible. Of course I’m drawn to this country for other reasons too; the history, the culture, and the people. Southeast Asian people are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met, and I find myself missing that human connection when I travel elsewhere.
- Bagan, Myanmar: Sunrise Hot air balloon ride over Bagan temples (Feb. 2018).
Bagan was founded in the second century A.D. I can’t think of a more interesting place to ride in a hot air balloon. Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in the world with the average annual income coming in around $1,500.00. There is something about this place that makes me want to put my philanthropic focus on it for future endeavors. I look forward to the day I get to visit, and in some way help to make a positive impact in the lives of those who live there.
- Nepal: Everest base camp trek (from Kathmandu to the base of Everest: Oct. 2017 or April 2018).
The Everest base camp trek appeals to this side of me that longs for mystery, and adventure. Uncertainty, and hard work. I love the mountains, and I can’t think of a better place to go to experience the most awe-inspiring mountains in the world.
- Dubai: Skydive with Lela over the Palm Islands (undecided deadline).
Part of the fun of skydiving is enjoying the scenery below you after you jump from the plane. My first time skydiving was over a desert in southern California, and while I enjoyed the experience, I imagine it would be so much more exciting to free fall over the Palm islands in Dubai. I think Lela would appreciate the gorgeous view as well, so I have suggested we make that a goal for our first skydive together. Skydiving isn’t nearly as terrifying as it looks. But it requires you to come out of your comfort zone for many obvious reasons.
- 10 new U.S. States: Do something memorable in each one; this could be attending a major league baseball game, a fitness conference, or snowboarding in Utah.
As of right now, I have 26 more states to travel to. In the next 26 months, I’d like to knock off at least 10 new ones. In no particular order they are; Colorado, Utah, Tennessee, Connecticut, Alabama, Arkansas, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi.
- Read a book a week, apply what I learn immediately.
- Journal at least one page every morning; include 3 things I’m grateful for every day.
- Meditate for 20 minutes at least 4x a week.
- Learn to play at least one new song on the drums every month.
- Attend a photography workshop.
- Attend at least two fitness conferences a year.
- Raise at least $20,000 for the FF Lost Lake team in 2017.
- Adopt a family for Christmas for every year.
- Raise at least $300 per month through our Boot Camp for a Cause program.
- Volunteer my time, and continue to look for new ways to contribute.
- Sunday group hikes during the warmer months.
- FF fitness/adventure retreat (2017).
- New gym equipment each month.
Some other fun “bucket list” goals I have are: Start a ‘Figarelle’s Fitness’ Foundation where we can give back, and change the world on a larger scale. Meet Oprah. Write, and self-publish several best selling books. Become a helicopter pilot. Fly first class on an Emirates flight. Snowboard in the French Alps. Celebrate my 73rd wedding anniversary with my wife (this would mean I’d live to see 100 years old). Fly to outer space on Virgin Galactic (fulfill my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut). Bungee jump in New Zealand. Dive with humpback whales in Hawaii. Become fluent in Spanish.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of every one of my life goals, and I haven’t included deadlines for every goal just yet. These are all things that are floating around in my head at the moment.
Making a list of everything you want to do before you die is important, it’s a start in the right direction. Take it a step further by including a deadline for each goal, and include why each goal is so important to you.
The process of goal achievement has lots of moving parts. Depending on the complexity of the goal, you may be able to check things off your list left and right without a lot of effort or investment.
Ask yourself: Do these goals stretch me? Do they take me out of my comfort zone, physically and maybe financially? If so, what can I do to rise up to the challenge, and acquire the skills and knowledge required to achieve each one? Who do I have to become to achieve this particular goal? What books do I have to read? What actions do I have to take TODAY?
Personally, I set goals that make me uncomfortable. Life is too precious to grow complacent in your relationship, your career, and in your daily life.
Life is too short to avoid taking risks. As soon as you begin to feel all warm and cozy for too long, it’s time to shake things up and start setting some big fucking goals.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller