Awesome Bucket III: Challenge 2015

In this, my third annual Awesome Bucket Challenge, I break down the primary goals I’ve set for myself in 2015. As per usual, they’re broken down into four categories, followed by a few notes on how I plan to make them happen.

While I may be posting late this year, rest assured, I’ve been cranking away on the Awesome Bucket for these first few months of 2015 and have already made some great headway.

And even though House of Cards Season 3 tanked, and Suns management has returned to their mind-boggling, downward-spiraling old ways, this year is off to a blazing start: work has been crazy with cool projects, big changes and opportunities to stretch myself; and the W.P. Carey MBA program keeps challenging me to my core and surprising me with unforeseen benefits. I’m busier than I can ever remember, but it’s a good-busy and I’m excited to keep it going.

Thanks for following along. Here are my goals for 2015:

Awesome Bucket III: Challenge 2015

My one thing: Straight A’s in the ASU W.P. Carey MBA program

This is my top priority for 2015. I’ve never been a consistent straight-A student, and I want to become one (just like I became an Ironman). After committing to pursuing an MBA last year, I hit the ground running and established some solid momentum in the first semester. However, now the challenge has grown to sustaining that level of drive – and never letting up – over the next year. While this goal may not seem all that exotic or adventurous, it’s an intimidating challenge, and I decided to post it here as another way to add more fuel to the fire.


  1. Write one page by hand every day. (Writers gotta write.)
  2. Practice at least five minutes of breathing exercises every day. (Mindfulness, bruh.)


  1. Land a standing backflip. (Just for the cool factor.)
  2. Perform three parkour moves. (One step closer to becoming a ninja. I’ll use this Nerd Fitness beginner’s guide.)
  3. Exercise at least three times a week. (A major challenge with work and school filling up the plate, but exercise feeds success in multiple areas, and I need to find a way to incorporate it regularly into my schedule.)

Travel: Explore three great American cities

  1. Boston (Ragnar Trail, New England, MA)
  2. Portland (Ragnar NWP)
  3. New Orleans, perhaps. Still need to figure this last one out.


  1. Volunteer with Achilles International. (Two guided runs already completed with this friendly, fearless and inspiring group. I wish time allowed me to participate more often.)
  2. Complete an orienteering race. (Just in case I ever find myself 4 Days Out.)
  3. Solve a rubik’s cube in under five minutes (Just to elevate the nerd status. I’ll use these tutorials.)

How I’ll get there

  • Create a working 2015 timeline that outlines the big-picture tasks for each month
  • Use a “don’t break the chain” calendar for habitual goals (Writing, Breathing, Exercise)
  • Dedicate time every week to maintaining the timeline, outlining the little things required to make the big things happen and plotting out the week ahead.


Photo: astrid westvang