Awesome Bucket v2013: Results

Analysis of my goals and accomplishments of 2013

This has been one of the most exciting, educational and beneficial years of my life.

And the main reason I was able to accomplish so much, is because I took the time to write down my Awesome Bucket goals at the beginning of 2013, and committed to following through in the 12 months that followed.

Setting the course early and posting them online not only set me on the right course, but it also helped me stay organized and accountable.

And for the most part, I was able to keep my eyes on the prize throughout the year. In June, I checked in with a mid-year report card, and now I’m following up with a final recap.

Read on to see my goals, the results and how much of my Awesome Bucket v2013 was accomplished this year.


Goal: Finish the 2013 Ironman Arizona triathlon, strong.
Status: Accomplished – Crossed the finish line flexing on Nov. 17, 2013 – boom!

This was the year of the race: my biggest goal – to complete my first Ironman triathlon – consumed nearly all of my mornings, evenings, weekends and free time. I made sacrifices, eliminated distractions and remained focused on doing everything necessary to conquer this mountain.

Originally, I aimed to complete the race in 12 hours or less. However, since this was my first Ironman – I had no point of reference for that 12-hour mark. I realized late in the year that it’d be silly to shoot for that random time given my inexperience with these distances. In addition, thanks to some nagging foot injuries, I couldn’t predict what my run time would be. Instead, I adjusted this goal and went into the race looking to finish, and finish strong.

I’m proud to report that I did finish strong, with a time of 13:30:18. Read my race recap for all the gory, glorious details from that day.

Not only did this goal make me a stronger, smarter, faster and healthier athlete, but it trained me to manage my mind, organize my schedule, reduce stress and think strategically about my habits, lifestyle and goals.

Back burner goal: Take a Krav Maga class
Status: Accomplished – Attended a class on July 11, 2013

I only attended one class, but Krav Maga never materialized into a regular activity. It had to take a back seat to my Ironman training and priorities. The class was OK, but I’d probably go to a different gym if I decided to make this a regular activity. I can see the skills being beneficial, but only after practicing for at least a few months.


Goal: Blog once a week on or Fuller Creative
Status: Accomplished – 62 articles posted in 2013

I knew this one would be a tough one to stay on top of. I crammed this goal into my already packed schedule because I wanted to keep my writing skills as active and sharp as possible. And the only way to do that is to set deadlines and carve out time to close off and write every week.

To date I’ve posted 62 articles this year – both here on Fuller Creative and on Tri for Les – which surpasses my goal of posting a new article every week. I kept the content focused on providing value to the reader and kept a running list of potential blog topics in my calendar to stay organized, and always looking ahead.

Here are some of my best articles from 2013:

Back burner: Research long-term writing projects
Status: Accomplished

This was a fluid goal, but it still counts. I mapped out a plan for new writing and creative projects I’d like to explore sometime down the line and will incorporate them in my long term plan as they fall into place.


Goal: Hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim
Status: Failed

I’ll carry this one over to next year, when I’ll have more time and flexibility without an Ironman race lurking over me. Originally, I penciled this in for late September of this year, but had to scrap it because the Lifetime Olympic Triathlon was that same weekend.

Back burner: Research long-term travel opportunities; save up for an international trip
Status: Accomplished

My automatic monthly savings plan is cranking away and I’ve got a list of great cities I’d like to explore over the next couple of years: Seattle, Copenhagen, Boston, Portland, Nashville, New Orleans, Thailand, Melbourne, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. Austin and New York were on there too, but I visited both cities this year; both cities were…awesome.


Goal: Play guitar 30 minutes a day, every day
Status: Failed

I wasn’t able to find a way to squeeze the guitar into my daily routine. I should have more time to play in the coming year, and will find ways to force myself to pick up the six-string more often. I love the guitar, I know it’s good for me and I always feel better after playing. The trick is to get over that first hurdle and pick up the guitar instead of watching TV on the couch. I’m looking forward to getting back into music as a creative outlet, hobby and form of relaxation.

Back burner: Obtain CPR certification
Status: Accomplished – CPR course completed on July 27, 2013

I completed a CPR/AED certification class on July 27. The most interesting takeaway from the class was that it’s more about compression these days than mouth-to-mouth. The exception is for drowning victims, who would require both compression and mouth-to-mouth. We also learned about AED devices, how to determine if someone is suffering a stroke and how to help a baby who’s gone into cardiac arrest. Good skills to have, and I plan on renewing my certification every two years.

Back burner: Fundraising event for the Arizona Humane Society
Status: Accomplished – $416.33 donated on Nov. 18, 2013

Halfway through the year I was having trouble cramming in a fundraising campaign into my schedule. However, this was a really important component of the Tri for Les journey and I wanted to do everything possible to make a donation to a charity in celebration of my aunt Leslie. So I designed an Ironman Arizona edition Tri for Les t-shirt and sold it to some very generous friends, family and supporters. The proceeds – over $400 – were donated to the Arizona Humane Society, and I’m glad we were able to check this important goal off the list.

In summary, 2013 was a great year and I shot 7 for 9 on my Awesome Bucket v2013 goals. I’m proud of these accomplishments and can’t wait to get started on Awesome Bucket v2014. Stay tuned.