My Impossible List

I think I’ve had a plain old bucket list in the form of a Facebook Note ever since I was in high school. However, I never got around to anything on the list – all those things were events I figured would happen in the future – meaning some undefined time that didn’t implore me to take action now.

To fix that, I’ve created my impossible list. I got the idea from Joel Runyon, who created the world’s first impossible list and defined the difference between it and a regular ‘ole bucket list. Put simply, the impossible list is an ever-evolving list of experiences that build upon each other, help others as well as yourself, and implore you to take action. This is mine, which is, of course, ever-evolving.

Here’s a video with more detail on the concept:

This page is very personal, but I keep it here on CIG as an ever-present reminder to all who would take heed of it:

Think about what your true life goals are, and constantly evaluate your progress towards them. In other words, be mindful of your path.

Current Focuses:

Right now my main focus is on work projects, since a new semester is coming up.

The rest of my current priorities are declared at this page: What I’m Doing Now

Last 5 Completed Goals

  • Speak at VidCon (June 2017)
  • Climb a 14er (June 2017)
  • Move to Denver, CO (March 2017)
  • Walk into a bookstore and take a picture of a book I wrote that’s for sale there (August 2016)
  • Read 25 pages of non-fiction a day for 3 months in a row (June 2016)

Fitness/Health Goals

  • Run a 5K (March 18, 2011)
    • Do it in less than 25 minutes
  • Run a 10K (March 29, 2011)
  • Run a mile in less than 6 minutes (July 11, 2012)
  • Complete a Warrior Dash (July 14, 2012 – time: 29 minutes)
  • Complete a Tough Mudder
  • Complete a Spartan Race
  • Complete a GORUCK Challenge
  • Learn Parkour (proof)
    • Do 10 trampoline backflips with no rest bounces (currently at 3 or 4 – it gets pretty dizzying and hard to remember)
    • Learn standing backflips
    • Learn wall flips
  • Climb a 15-foot rope using hands only
  • Walk 40 feet on a slackline (currently can do about 20)
  • Achieve a powerlifting total (squat/bench/deadlift) of 1,000 lbs. (Current: 750/Best: 920)
  • Bench 250 (225×6 video)
    • Bench 305
  • Squat 250
  • Deadlift 300
  • Military Press 170
  • Do a triathalon (Sprint Distance – workout log)
    • Now do a real, organized one
    • Do an Olympic Distance triathlon
  • Do 100 push-ups in a single set
  • Do 15 pull-ups in a single set (November 11, 2014)
    • Do 20 pull-ups in a single set
  • Do 15 chin-ups in a single set (April 30, 2014)
    • Do 20 chin-ups in a single set
  • Do a muscle-up
  • Completely clear up my complexion (for me, this basically means drink more than a gallon of water a day and eat no sugar)

Professional Goals

  • Get 100,000 blog visits, all time(October 30, 2011)
    • Get 1,000,000 blog visits, all time (July 29, 2013)
    • Get 75,000 blog visits in a month (August 26, 2014)
    • Get 150,000 blog visits in a month (January 15, 2015)
    • Get 500,000 blog visits in a month
  • Grow the CIG newsletter to 5,000 subscribers (January 10, 2015)
    • Grow to 10,000 subscribers (February 21, 2015)
    • Grow to 250,000 subscribers
  • Write 25,000 words in a month
  • Start a podcast (January 31, 2013)
    • Get 10,000 listens in a month (January 2015)
    • Get 50 reviews on iTunes (August 26, 2015)
  • Self-publish a book (>10,000 words) (January 5, 2015)
    • Create print and audiobook editions of the book
  • Launch a regular YouTube show and release 10 videos
    • Release 50 videos (December 3, 2015)
  • Gain 250 YouTube subscribers (October 20, 2014)
    • Gain 500 subscribers (November 11, 2014)
    • Gain 1,000 subscribers (November 11, 2014)
    • Gain 2,500 subscribers (December 15, 2014)
    • Gain 5,000 subscribers (January 31, 2015)
    • Gain 10,000 subscribers (March 1, 2015)
    • Gain 50,000 subscribers (August 10, 2015)
    • Gain 100,000 subscribers and earn the silver Play Button (October 20, 2015)
    • Gain 1 million subscribers and earn the gold Play Button
  • Do a collab video with another dedicated YouTuber (December 11, 2015)
  • Form an LLC and actually be a professional company that does business things and whatnot (December 18, 2015)
  • Create an iPhone app for College Info Geek
  • Walk into a bookstore and take a picture of a book I wrote that’s for sale there (August 17, 2016)
  • Create an online course
  • Launch a product that creates over $15,000 in revenue within one month
  • Speak at a university for more than 500 students
  • Give an Ignite Talk (April 19, 2012 – watch the video) (and another!)
  • Give a TEDx Talk
  • Speak at VidCon (June 22, 2017)
  • Host a series on Crash Course
  • Give a talk about video creation to an audience of content creators (September 19, 2015)
  • Make $10,000 (gross) in a month (June 2015)
    • Make $25,000 (gross) in a month (June 2017)
  • Pay off all $14,431.72 of my student loans by May 2013 (when I graduate) (March 13, 2013)

loanbalance

Habit Goals

  • Do a morning workout 100 days in a row – Skill: Fitness
  • Meditate for at least 3 minutes 100 days in a row – Skill: Mental Focus
  • Read 25 pages a day for three months in a row – Skill: Intelligence (June 30, 2016) (Progress page)
  • Write 500 words 100 days in a row – Skill: Writing/Body of Work

Creative Goals

  • Publish a sci-fi/fantasy novella (at least 17,500 words)
  • Record a full solo guitar song
  • Record a rap song (November 26, 2012 – it’s real dumb)
    • Release a full rap album (can be collaborative)
  • Design a WordPress theme from scratch (March 2014 – you’re looking at it!)
  • Hand-draw something I’d be proud to sell on RedBubble
  • Learn how to make electronic music
  • Learn how to play the piano (and play Love-Colored Master Spark)
  • Learn to draw to the point where I can create art like this

Skill Goals

  • Become fluent in Japanese
    • November 13, 2013 update: All hiragana, all katakana, 130 kanji, 245 vocab terms. Sentence structure skill lacking a bit.
  • Become fluent in Spanish
  • Obtain 30 badges on Codecademy
  • Obtain 30 badges on Khan Academy
  • Remove an engine from a car and completely disassemble it, then reassemble it, put it back, and turn it on
  • Learn archery
  • Learn knife throwing
  • Learn swing dance
  • Learn ballroom dance
  • Become a competent skater
    • Tricks to learn or re-learn: Ollie, FS 180, Pop-shuvit, Frontside pop shuvit, Kickflip, Rock-to-fakie, Rock-n-roll, Airing out, Learn to skate switch, Switch ollie, Nollie, 50-50, Axle stall
  • Pass the pre-bronze Moves in the Field test in figure skating (April 23, 2016)
    • Pass the bronze Moves in the Field test
  • Learn to snowboard
  • Ski a double black diamond run (March 11, 2016)

Fun and/or “Insane” Goals

Events to Attend

  • SXSW (March 2012)
  • BlogWorld (June 2012)
  • World Domination Summit (July 2014)
  • RAGBRAI (July 2013)
    • Complete the Karas Loop
  • Podcast Movement (August 2014)
  • Camp Nerd Fitness (September 2014)
  • FinCon (September 17, 2015)
  • VidCon (July 23, 2015)
  • Summer in the City
  • ComicCon
  • Chinese New Year celebration

Video Game Goals

  • Beat all levels in TowerFall: Ascension on Hardcore
  • 100% Super Meat Boy
  • Complete all single 10-footers in DDR Extreme (Done: Sakura, Bag, Max 300, Maxx Unlimited, Legend of Max, Paranoia Survivor)
  • Complete all double 9/10-footers in DDR Extreme, no bar (Progress)

Travel Goals

  • Visit Japan (May 2012)
    • twice (May 2013)
    • Visit with Anna (May 2015)
  • Visit Rome
  • Visit Ireland
  • Visit England
  • Visit Singapore
  • Visit China
  • Visit Spain
  • Visit Italy
  • Visit Turkey
  • Visit 5 countries other than the U.S. for more than a week each
  • Visit every state in the U.S.

Where I’ve been so far (finally, pins in another country!):

Life Goals

  • Graduate from college
    • Final GPA: 3.46 – close enough
  • Help 100 people around the world go to college through Kiva loans (16 out of 100) – Want to help? Join the CIG team!
  • “Retire” Mr. Money Mustache-style by age 40 (save $900k in 2014 dollars, live off of less than 4% – $36,000/yr – from interest)
  • Maintain a loving, inspiring, happy relationship with my amazing girlfriend Anna (4 years and counting)
  • Move to Denver, CO (March 27, 2017)
  • Leave a $100 tip at a restaurant
  • Be self-sufficient and location-independent
    • June 2013: I’m now graduated from college. Running CIG is my full-time job (which I can do from anywhere there’s internet). I’m writing this from a hostel in Tokyo. Criteria all met!
  • Meet Jay Walker and visit his stupendously amazing library
  • Help other students kick ass in college and realize their dreams (always in progress)

Read 1000 Books

This goal is quite broad. Really, it just means read a lot and constantly be learning. I believe education is life-long, and the best of it is often self-driven.

To that end, I want to make sure I go through lots and lots of books! Initially, one of my 2013 resolutions was to simply read one book a month. That would come to 12 books a year, which is more than I imagine most people read. However, I’ve decided to try and outdo myself, and am currently trying to read one a week (at least).

Still, the goal of one per month will stand, though I think I’ll have to up that significantly if I’m to reach 1000 before I die. Since I want to list every book I read, I’ve moved this goal over to the My Reading Adventures page. You can also check out the list of books I recommend for all students.

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” – Robert Heinlein

If you found this list inspiring, I’d challenge you to create your own!

If you’d like to put it online and make it public as I’ve done, you can check out my guide on how to build a website to get started. Alternatively, you could keep it simple and just use a text document on your computer, or even a piece of paper (but remember to leave space for sub-goals!).

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120 Comments on "My Impossible List"

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Anthony

Just a question! Do you count books you listen to through audiobook towards your 1000 books list?

ludens

it is kinda weird to read this because you did a youtube video (and a blog) on not announcing goals. either way, i should organize my life’s goals like you do

Sino

I like the structure of how you set your goals, I think it’s going to work best for me as well. I’m inspired thanks

Dubs

After a long time found someone who loves to live life to the fullest. AND happy to know that I’m not the only person who has a head full of crazy dreams…your list got me all smiling. It was a real delight to go through your page…cheers dear!!! 😀

Love, from India

ctclockwise

how do you balance the time between work and the time for your relationship?
I’m quite struggle on this as it somehow affects my study even though I am naturally I person with high productivity 🙁

Jess

Why isn’t Scotland on your list!? 😉

Anzar

Come to INDIA and i think you’ll probably find here alot of things to do, in fact you’ll make a different blog naming – CIG (mark-II “India”)

Earl

“Learn to draw to the point where I can create art like this”

Just wanted to let you know that the link here’s broken

Landon

Tom,
Great post! One note: could you update the links to Joel’s blog at the beginning of the post? It would be helpful to not have to Google his name to get to the site and then find the page:)

Just thought I’d mention it needed updating!

Leslie

I’m inspired to write my own list.

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