29 Before 29 – The Rules

The Commitment Contract

I mentioned in my 28 Before 28 Results post how using a commitment contract forced me to develop consistency in achieving my goals. The threat of losing money was motivating enough for me to swim, bike, and run everyday for several weeks in a row. This year, for my 29 list, I will begin implementing the commitment contract right away. Below is a list of every goal along with either a starting date or deadline as well as a penalty for failure.


  1. Eat Four Servings Vegetables for 200 Days | Everyday Starting  9/11/17
  2. Drink 10 Cups of Water for 200 Days | Everyday Starting 10/2/17
  3. Eat Four Servings Fruit for 200 Days | Everyday Starting 9/25/17
  4. Meditate for 200 Days | Everyday Starting 10/16/17

I will complete goals 1 through 4 everyday after their respective starting dates. Each missed day will be a $50 fine


  1. Bike 5,000 Miles | Starting 7/17/2017
  2. Run 1,000 Miles | Starting 7/31/2017
  3. Swim 500,000 Yards \ Starting 8/14/2017
  4. Weight Training 50 times | Starting 11/4/17
  5. Flexibility: Be Able To Touch Toes | Deadline: 5/1/2018
  6. Learn To Do All Bike Maintenance | Deadline: 6/1/2018

For goals 5 through 8, I will have to complete the average number of remaining yards, mile, or workouts everyday (or week in the case of #8). The penalty will be $50 for each day missed after the starting date. Days can be skipped if I am ahead of goal pace.  The penalty for missing the deadline for goals 9 and 10 will be $100

Lethal Engineering / Lethal Tri

  1. Ultimate Computer Setup Video | Deadline 9/1/17
  2. Solar Death Ray Video | Deadline 10/1/17
  3. Halloween Video | Deadline 11/1/17
  4. Quadcopter Build Video | Deadline 5/1/18
  5. 20 Blog Posts | Deadline: 10 By 1/1/18, 20 by 6/25/18
  6. One LethalTri Video | Deadline: 4/1/18
  7. Finish Workshop | Deadline: 8/1/17

Any missed deadline in this category will be a one-time $250 fine


  1. Produce 250 ‘Units’ of Work. | Starting 7/24/16
  2. Pursue Two Railroads For Additional Business \ Deadline: 1st Railroad by 1/1/18, 2nd by 6/25/18
  3. 30 Hours of Studying To Increase Railroad Knowledge | Deadline: 15 hours by 1/1/18, 30 by 6/25/18
  4. Train One Other Person for Checking Responsibilities | Deadline 6/25/18

Any missed deadline for goals 19-21 will carry a one-time $250 fine.  Goal number 18 will be on the same everyday penalty system as my triathlon goals, where I will be required to complete the average amount of work daily unless I’m ahead of schedule


  1. Bike The Entire Cowboy Trail or Wabash Trace | Deadline: 11/1/17
  2. Learn Song On Piano and Play In Public | Deadline 6/1/18
  3. See a Rocket Launch in Person | Deadline 6/25/18

$200 fine for any missed deadline in this category.


  1. One MIT Open Courseware Course | Deadline: 2/1/18
  2. Read 20 Books | Deadline: 10 by 1/1/18, 20 by 6/25/18
  3. Net Worth > $100,000 | Deadline 6/25/18
  4. Track Goals Daily for 200 Days | Everyday Starting  12/11/17
  5. Review Goals Daily for 200 Days | Everyday Starting 12/4/17

$100 fine for missing the deadlines for goals 25 to 27 and a $25 per day fine for missing a day tracking or review goals after the start date.

The Reward

I’m not a fancy dresser by any means, but have an affinity for flashy shoes. If I accomplish at least 20 of the 29 goals, then I will purchase myself these:


They are called Jeremy Scott Wings 3.0 Gold, but that’s only because J.K. Rowling would claim copyright violations if they were called ‘Golden Snitch’ shoes. They have no utilitarian value but have an astronomical price tag. I can’t find a pair in my size online and the other sizes carry a price tag equivalent to our mortgage payment.

That’s why they are the reward if I accomplish 20 of these tasks. I’ve got some inexplicable yearning for these shoes, but would never purchase them otherwise. Since I’ve started making these lists, I’ve never accomplished more than seven goals in a single year. This ostentatious footwear will serve as the proverbial carrot.

The Taskmaster

This is my friend Matt:

The One and Only Matt Brand.jpg

I’ve recruited Matt to hold me accountable to my commitment contract. He will be responsible for verifying my progress, settling any grey areas, and will also be the beneficiary of all the monetary fines. He has a good ratio of supportive and dickish qualities to provide not only encouragement but enforcement.  He also does a great dragon pose.

Two Options

This will either be an extremely successful or extremely expensive year. Creating the goals and contract is the easy part, obtaining them will be far more difficult but worthwhile.


4 thoughts on “29 Before 29 – The Rules

    1. Pretty good! Much better progress than previous years due to to threat of paying Matt Brand for non-compliance. I’m going to write up a progress report before the end of the year.

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