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).