30 Before 30 – Results

A year ago, I created 30 goals to complete before I turned 30. Last year, I completed 16 of 29 goals, and decided to make them more difficult this year.

All the completed goals have hyperlinks to full blog posts.


#5 One Ultra Endurance Event
I participated in the Washington Island Ultra in July, completing 4.25 miles of swimming, 170 miles of cycling, and 34 miles of running in 24 hours. Apparently I’ve quickly forgotten how painful and physically draining this race was because I’ve signed up for it again.


#9 Build Buff Dudes DIY Power Rack
I completed this goal early on, but rarely used the power rack after building it. I really needed an accompanying lifting goal, as the purpose was to gain muscle mass, not just workout equipment.

#11 Join Milwaukee Makerspace
Another completed goal that missed the purpose. I joined, went twice to learn two pieces of equipment, but then stopped going. I wanted to meet new makers and utilize new tools, and the goal should have been more reflective of that purpose.

#19 Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Thanks again to my friends Mike and Sarah for planning and inviting me along on this adventure. I felt like the final push to the summit was equivalent to running a marathon and provided that same exhilarating feeling of success. That said, I have no desire to do any more of the seven summits. One and done.


#20 Build > 1,000 Piece LEGO Set
This was more enjoyable than anticipated. It was very relaxing to follow the set of instructions for a couple of hours and end up with such an intricate model.


#23 Go To Packer’s Game at Lambeau Field
I went to two games this year, one with my Little Brother and one with Alexis. It’s such a cool stadium, especially at night. Great history and architecture.



#25 Donate $5,000 to Charity
I didn’t get that warm fuzzy feeling that you usually associate with helping others, I just felt $5k poorer. It felt like eating vegetables. I know I should be doing this, but I don’t want to do it.

#27 Wake Up Before 4:30 A.M. For a Month Straight
This was a struggle. I implemented a one hour midday nap to ensure I was getting an adequate amount of sleep. Getting required tasks done early in the day felt great. A consistent sleep schedule would be a good goal for next year.


#29 No News/Social Media/YouTube/Netflix For A Month
It was strange being disconnected for a month, as if the mute button had been pressed. The world seemed far less frantic. This goal was really good for focus.

#30 Track Time by the Minute and Happiness Every Couple of Hours for a Month
By tracking my time, I realized exactly how much of it I waste in a day — an amount I’m embarrassed to even post. I’ve continued to track my time by the minute and use it as a measure of productivity. By tracking happiness, I realized that exercise, being productive, and spending time with friends and family all bring me joy.


Partial Completion

#1 200 Days No Added Sugar: 26/200 = 13%
#2 500 Home Cooked Meals: 320/500 = 64%
#3 No Fast Food for 200 Days: 46/200 = 23%
#4 Eat Four Servings of Vegetable for 200 Days: 84/200 = 42%

I regressed on the healthy eating goals from the previous year. Eating junk food is a tough habit for me to break. This is an area where I really need penalties in order to force compliance.

#12 20 Lethal Engineering Videos: 7/20 = 35%
#13 10 Lethal Tri Videos (about my goals): 2/10 = 20%
#14 25 Blog Posts: 18/25 = 72%

My YouTube channel is now officially monetized again, after crossing the 240,000 watch minutes barrier (within the past year). The 18 blog posts is the most I’ve ever posted in a year. The proposal video on my Lethal Tri channel made my wife very happy.


#16 Daily Planning for 200 Days: 147/200 = 74%
#18 Increase Net Worth to $250k: $127k (from $121k)/$250k) = 5%

I really shit the bed on the savings goal. We spent A LOT of money on travel and didn’t increase income to balance it out.

#26 Volunteer 100 Hours: 94/100 = 94%
#28 Clean House (Vacuum/Organize/Wipe Surfaces 50 Times): 30/50 = 60%

All of my volunteering was through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Fortunately, my Little Brother has similar interests to me. First picture below is from a WWE event. Second is hiking in the woods.



I’m not sure where my exercise totals should be, but I like tracking it year over year:

Bike: 948 Miles (29B29: 5,000 Miles, 28B28: 1941 Miles, 27B27: 1935 Miles, 26B26: 2042 Miles)
Run: 595 Miles (29B29: 437 Miles 28B28: 732.71 Miles, 27B27: 589.57 Miles, 26B26: 654.60 Miles)
Swim: 210,930 Yards (29B29: 209,663 Yards, 28B28: 162,913 Yards, 27B27: 69,311 Yards, 26B26: 154,868 yards

Zero Completion

#6 Qualify for Ironman World Championships (70.3 or 140.6)
#7 Wabash Trace Fastest Known Time
#8 Qualify for Boston Marathon
#10 Build Ultimate Trainer Setup
#15 Obtain Direct Contract With A Class I Railroad
#17 Setup Simple IRA For Business
#21 See Falcon Heavy Launch
#22 Bike Katy Trail
#24 SCUBA (PADI) Certified

The incompletion is not due to lack of interest, but rather lack of discipline. I’m still interested in most of these goals, and will probably role them over to next year.

I almost accomplished #21 minutes before turning 30, but the launch got pushed back three hours. It’ll just have to be put on the 31 Before 31 list, and be the quickest I’ve ever accomplished a goal.


What About Alexis?

She recently completed her third year of surgery residency. It really is an all consuming career. 80-100 hours a week, almost every week, combined with the stress of keeping people alive, doesn’t leave much time for anything else.

Alexis recently got accepted as a fellow for the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change. It’s the same group she worked with when she spent a year in Haiti. She will be doing two years of research with them in Boston, MA (we move next week!). Alexis will also be coming back to Milwaukee one week every month to take call in the Pediatric Surgery Department at the Children’s Hospital. Oh, she’s also going back to school for a Master’s in Public Health through Harvard University. Yeah, I know, buh-nan-uhs.


Alexis visited Ecuador for a conference, went to Haiti for research, and did a month long away rotation in Nepal. We accomplished one of her life long dreams of going to the Women’s World Cup on our vacation to France.





10 full goals completed this year plus 5.02 partial goals equals 15.02 for the year. It’s a strange scoring system, but I knew it would help develop good habits on large goals that I no longer could complete mid-year.

The purpose of these lists is growth, but not a whole lot of growth happened this year. It’s frustrating because I know with a year-round consistent effort I could have accomplished all of these goals. Do I need better discipline? Or should I accept my lack of consistency and just have less goals to focus on?

Three takeaways as I prepare next year’s list:
-Goals should line up with my motivation and true desire
-I need a long term plan, broken up into shorter weekly and daily goals
-Need a weekly commitment contract with penalties for non-compliance.

31 Before 31 List coming next week.

2 thoughts on “30 Before 30 – Results

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