Awesome Bucket 2017

Key priorities for my annual quest for success

For the fifth consecutive year I’m publishing my list of goals for the year.

Laying them out like this holds me accountable, keeps me organized and hopefully helps others do the same.

Over the past four years I’ve completed 28 out of 39 goals, including: becoming an Ironman (2013), doing a handstand (2014), getting my MBA and almost straight A’s (2015), and traveling to China (2016).

After scoring my lowest accomplishment rate last year – 44%, but still a good year – I’m ready to bounce back and go after some big, elusive and fun goals in 2017.

1. Finish Ironman Arizona faster than 13:30:18

Four years ago I got my first taste of Ironman endurance euphoria when I crossed the IMAZ finish line in 13:30:18. Since then I’ve had the itch to do another race and try to beat that time. Now that I’m done with school, it’s time to chase the dragon and become a two-time Ironman.

I learned a ton from that first race and feel like I’m in a great position to grow from 2013 and set an Ironman PR in November.

I’ll follow a Crossfit Endurance (CFE) training plan, similar to the Ironman CFE program I followed in 2013, and will document the journey again on my triathlon blog, Tri for Les.

2. Complete a 50-mile ultramarathon

This goal got pushed back from 2016. I was all set to complete a 50-miler in December, but I backed out of the race due to a Posterior Tibialis flare up in my left foot. I’ve grown to love trail running over the past year, and want to keep at it and incorporate it into my Ironman training. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to be in great shape after IMAZ in November, and ride the wave to complete the McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50-miler a month later in December.

3. Learn Mandarin – enough to get by

The language learning side of my brain has been relaxing for far too long. I gave Mandarin a weak attempt and failed in 2016 – now I’m ready to give it another shot. I’ll mostly use free online resources – like these from Tim Ferris – to become conversationally proficient in Mandarin by the end of the year.

4. Land a standing backflip

The standing backflip has been eluding me for the past three years. For the first few months of this year I’m focusing primarily on mobility, tumbling, gymnastics and parkour to cross this off the list before Ironman training kicks into high gear.

5. Become great at remembering people’s names

It means a lot when people remember your name and I want to be one of those people who recalls names even after only one brief meeting. I’ll follow some good tips from the Dale Carnegie classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and Josh Foer’s excellent memory book, “Moonwalking with Einstein.”

6. Blog at least once a month

Writing remains the underlying current to my story of success. Therefore, I must fabricate deadlines and force myself to keep writing.

There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you.
— Bruce Lee