The older I get, the more I achieve. And the more I achieve, the more I realize that anything truly is possible for the person who commits to their goals. For this reason, I have created my 20-goal bucket list. These are the objectives that I see as worthy of my time, energy, focus, and attention. These are goals that I feel deeply compelled to accomplish.
Moreover, I know every goal on this list will help me become a better and stronger version of myself, which is the whole point of having goals in the first place. Goals are essential not just for the sake of achieving, but for what they make of you in the process.
So here is my…
20-Goal Bucket List
1. Write and Self-Publish My First Book
In May 2019, I began the writing process of my very first book. Two years later — in May of 2021 — it was released. The Disciplined Mind: How to Gain Self-Control and Align Your Habits with Your Desires was one of my proudest accomplishments.
It’s essentially a combination of life lessons on discipline that I had learned up until that point.
I can’t explain the sense of gratification this achievement gave me. It was so validating.
This accomplishment was the catalyst that really bolstered my self-efficacy. Why? Because of the effort, money, and most importantly, time that went into it. When I started writing it, I didn’t think it would take any longer than 6 months — from start to finish — to complete.
It took me two years!
There was even a point when I considered abandoning the goal altogether because of the time it took. It just felt like it would never happen, as the process was much slower than I thought it would be.
But I stayed the course. And I’m so glad I did because, as I mentioned earlier, this book is one of my proudest achievements.
I truly believe that publishing this book was the beginning of my new life as a writer. It solidified my identity, which set the foundation for the amazing career I have the good fortune to enjoy today.
And that’s not all, because now, it’s so rewarding to look back with pride at the work of art I created. And honestly, I can definitely see myself writing another book sometime in the future!
2. Run a Marathon
I set the goal to run my first marathon in 2019. I was already in decent shape at the time: I ate healthily and worked out 3 to 5 days a week. But despite that, I knew this was going to be a challenge. And that’s part of the reason why it was so exciting for me!
However, in 2020, the pandemic hit — which obviously resulted in the run’s cancellation. I was disappointed, to say the least. But I didn’t let this delay hinder my enthusiasm for running the marathon. As a result, I kept training. I knew in 2021, the marathon run would return, and I’d get my shot to cross this goal off my bucket list!
Not long after, a couple of friends of mine jumped on the bandwagon. We trained together sporadically, going for various long-distance, half-marathon runs to prepare.
When the day of reckoning finally arrived, I was ready…
I’ll never forget it. It was a brisk Sunday morning on September.19/2021. My friends and I gathered on the Stampede grounds in Calgary to run the Scotiabank marathon alongside hundreds of other hopeful runners.
The race was filled with smiles, laughs, and of course, during the latter half, pain and agony. But when it was all said and done, I ran the full 26.2 miles (42.2km) in 3 hours, 45 minutes, and 50 seconds! I was ecstatic about that time and even happier about accomplishing this goal!
3. Land My Dream Job As A Remote Content Writer
I’ve always had an affinity for writing. I never considered it a legitimate career path until I reached my late 20s. And so when I got laid off from the construction job that I absolutely despised for like the 5th time — I decided never again!
At that point, I had been writing consistently for over two years: journaling, blogging, and of course, publishing my first book (see goal number one).
This meant that I had developed my skills as a content developer. So once that final layoff came, I decided that — for better or worse — I would be a writer!
As a result, I threw away all of my construction gear when I got home. And shortly after, began sending out resumes and applying for writing jobs — restlessly. Two months later, I was hired as a remote freelance writer for a marketing agency based in Florida.
And two months after that, I landed my first real job as a remote content writer (with a nice bump in salary) for one of the top digital marketing agencies in Canada.
After 8 years of slaving away at a construction job I hated, this was a huge win for me! I landed my dream job as a remote content writer! For this reason, crossing that goal off my bucket list was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
4. Run The Two Oceans Ultra-marathon
I’ve run four half marathons (21km) and two full marathons (42.2km).
Now, I want to up the ante.
I believe in consistently challenging myself to improve and become better.
So the next goal on my bucket list when it comes to running is to run the Two Oceans Ultra-marathon (56km!!). This race gets its namesake from the convergence of the South Atlantic and Indian oceans on its route.
I’ve never done an ultra before so this is the perfect challenge.
The Two Oceans Ultra-Marathon takes place in Cape Town South Africa every year on Easter weekend, and is known as the world’s most beautiful marathon. I’m aiming to run it in 2025.
And I can’t wait…
5. Labrador Retriever
I love dogs. I grew up with two of them (a Labrador Golden Retriever and a Pitbull). All they want is your love and affection; they are a representation of what unconditional love looks like, in my opinion. For this reason, I’ve wanted to get another one for some time now.
However, I’m currently not in a place in my life where I have the bandwidth to take on that responsibility. But one day I will be. And when I am, you can bet I’ll revisit this bucket list article once more to cross this one off!
6. Compete In A BJJ Competition
One of the reasons I took up Brazilian jiu-jitsu was the competitive aspect of the sport. I wanted to test my skill against others to see where I stood.
Plus, I’m just a competitive person in general. So this was something that naturally appealed to me.
In the picture to the right, I am standing with my brother at my first tournament outside of my gym.
It took place in Edmonton, Alberta, in March of this year.
And although the outcome wasn’t what I had planned or hoped for, it was still a really cool experience to compete in my very first BJJ competition.
You can learn about what happened in this tournament by reading the reminiscent musings of my one-year training Brazilian jiu-jitsu post.
This was a big goal to cross off my bucket list because it felt like I was becoming a true practitioner of the sport.
Moreover, I developed a level of confidence in myself and my skill as a BJJ practitioner to put it all in the line in a competition. Something really raw about that kind of courage makes you feel alive.
7. Win Gold In A BJJ Competition
Piggybacking off of the last goal, I want to WIN a BJJ competition.
The last couple of tournaments I participated in didn’t exactly pan out in my favour. They were great learning experiences, but I aim to win—not just compete.
Earn My Blue Belt in BJJ
On June. 17 2023, my martial arts academy held its Promotion Day. I was a 3-stripe white belt… As such, I thought I was up for my 4th stripe. But to my surprise, when my name was called, I was awarded my Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt! After two long years of training, I finally did it!
To understand why this achievement is such a big deal to me, you need to understand BJJ. This combat sport is the hardest, most difficult, and most complex martial art in the world. With other martial arts, students can earn their black belts in 3 to 5 years (on average).
However, with BJJ, the average person earns their black belt in 10 to 15 years of consistent effort. They don’t give belts away easily in this sport. For this reason, earning my blue is among my proudest accomplishments.
9. Get in the Best Shape of My Life
This picture was taken shortly after my 30th birthday — September 2021. And there are a couple of reasons why I’m so proud of the fact I got myself into shape at this point in my life.
1. I spent most of my life out of shape:
I was quite overweight as a youngster.
At my heaviest, I was 170lbs as a 12 or 13-year-old. Even in high school, when I finally thinned out, I was still skinny-fat. This is where you look thin with your shirt on, but you are still quite chubby underneath your clothing. I started working out consistently when I was 27 (3 to 5 days a week), then I started working out every day when I was 29.
The above picture was the result.
2. Most people stop caring about their health at this stage in life:
This is an unfortunate reality.
But the truth is by the time most people reach their late 20s/early 30s, they’ve pretty much given up on themselves. They’ve stopped going for their goals, they’ve given up on their dreams, and yes, they’ve let their health and fitness fall by the wayside. They typically resign themselves to an unsatisfying job and a mediocre life.
So the fact that I got myself into shape at a time when most are throwing in the towel means a lot to me. And it’s a goal I’m extremely proud to have accomplished at this stage in my life.
10. Black Acura TLX Type S (My Dream Car)
My very first car was a 2009 Acura TSX. It was an incredible vehicle that I still, to this day, have fond memories of. Acura will always be my go-to luxury automotive brand. The automaker offers vehicles with sleek profiles combined with affordability, reliability, and an overall impeccable design.
And no this is not a sponsored post. I am in no way benefiting from writing about Acura; I am simply stating how I truly feel about the brand. My bucket list dream is a black Acura TLX Type S.
11. Earn the Accredited Speaker Designation
The Accredited Speaker Designation is a program created by Toastmasters International. This prestigious award is granted to professional speakers who demonstrate proficiency in presentation skills and mastery of their subject. The designation has only been awarded to 89 people worldwide since it was launched back in 1989.
It’s among the biggest goals I’ve ever cast my eyes on, and it will be many years before I achieve it. However, once I do, it will be among my proudest accomplishments.
Side note: This isn’t an arbitrary goal; I actually have a history of public speaking.
In fact, before I became a professional writer, I had my sights set on a speaking career and even set the intention to earn the Accredited Speaker Designation. However, the dream was shattered when covid hit and everything went into lockdown. I honestly didn’t think things would return to normal (at least not for a very long time), given the degree of insanity that the pandemic created in people.
So I abandoned this goal and focused on my writing career—which has been both fruitful and rewarding.
However, on a recent trip to Singapore, I visited a local Toastmasters Club and competed in an impromptu speaking contest; it was my first speech in 3 years. And I ended up taking first place.
This experience reignited my passion and love for the spoken word. As a result, I decided to resurrect this goal of earning the Accredited Speaker Designation. Life operates in strange ways.
12. Publish My 2nd Book
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I published my first book in 2021. Since then, I have learned a tremendous amount. As a result, I’ve been dying to share that knowledge. I actually started penning the first chapters of my second book while I was training martial arts in Asia in early 2023.
I thought it would have been released before the end of 2023. However, that wasn’t the case as these types of things (as I’ve learned) usually take longer than you think they will. But it IS in the works. And it WILL be published before the end of 2024—mark my words.
13. Complete A Spartan Race
As an athlete, I’m always looking to push the envelope.
I enjoy testing myself to see what I’m capable of. That was one of the main reasons why I took up Brazilian jiu-jitsu. As such, a big goal I’ve wanted to accomplish is to complete a spartan race!
But I’ve been having trouble with this goal.
I was originally supposed to run a spartan race in 2021. However, I ended up having a falling out with the friend I was going to run it with. So, needless to say, that fell through.
Then I was going to accomplish the goal in the summer 2022. But the weekend before the race, I re-injured a shoulder injury while training in BJJ. I was out of commission for two whole weeks! As a result, I missed the race. Again.
But in December 2023, I finally accomplished this elusive goal! I flew out to the Middle East (Abu Dhabi UEA) where I ran my first spartan race in the Al Watbah desert! It feels incredible to finally cross this long sought-after goal off of my bucket list.
14. Earn The Spartan Race Trifecta
You see this medal I’m holding in my hand?
I earned this accolade by completing my very first spartan race (see the previous goal) in Abu Dhabi.
However, this accomplishment —as awesome as it is—was only a warm up…
As you can see in the picture, there is only one widget on my medal.
I need another two widgets to fully complete the trifecta. So my next goal is—you guessed it—to complete the Spartan Race Trifecta!
The trifecta is the Spartan’s ultimate challenge of grit, determination, and perseverance. It is a true testament to one’s power of will and level of character in becoming “unbreakable.” And guess what? It is on (and will stay on) my bucket list until it is accomplished.
The aim of the spartan trifecta?
To complete 3 spartan races within one calendar year. But here’s where it gets interesting… You can’t just complete any 3 random races. There is a specific standard for the 3 challenges. And they are as follows:
1. Sprint: 5k race with 20 obstacles
2. Super: 10k race with 25 obstacles
3. Beast: 21k race with 30 obstacles
15. Get A Two-Week Intensive Of NSA
NSA (Network Spinal Analysis) is a novel development in chiropractic treatment.
It uses gentle and precise touches that reconnect to the nervous system, allowing for proper spinal alignment and the release of tension from the body. Consequently, this treatment then results in greater well-being and happiness, better lifestyle choices, overall increased quality of life, and much more.
As a self-improvement devotee, I’ve wanted to try NSA for a while. And that’s why it is on my list of goals. The many benefits of Network Chiropractic Care make this an appealing practice I’d like to try.
16. Increase My Income To $10k/Month
As of this writing, I’ve been writing professionally for a year. I’m incredibly blessed to be able to do what I love for a living. And there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t feel grateful for the opportunity. But one area where I want to do better is in my compensation.
I started my career as a content writer. First in my blog, then freelancing for clients, followed by the digital marketing agency I currently work for.
As a newbie writer, I’ve been practicing and developing my skills for the better part of a year now. And although I still have a long way to go — I feel as if I’m on the right path to achieving this coveted goal!
17. Train At Evolve MMA In Singapore
Singapore — the Lion City.
A few things probably come to mind when you think of this bustling metropolis: world-class food, a dramatic skyline, an international hub for trade and commerce, etc. But would you ever associate one of the world’s best martial art facilities with Singapore?
If you’re like most people, probably not.
However, Singapore is home to the top martial arts academy in Asia and one of the best in the world—Evolve MMA. I’ve wanted to train here since I started my Brazilian jiu-jitsu journey nearly two years ago. And finally, I accomplished this goal!
I sold my possessions, found someone to take over my apartment lease, and hopped on a one-way flight to Singapore. There, I spent an entire month training with World Champions in BJJ and boxing.
This goal is among my proudest accomplishments so far!
18. Give A Tedx Talk
This is a new goal that I recently added to my bucket list. The inspiration came as a result of a conversation I had with a veteran speaker coach I met via a mutual acquaintance at my Toastmasters club. As a speaker, I am constantly striving to improve my craft and refine my presentations. Moreover, I want to always be reaching for that next level.
For this reason, I believe giving a TEDx talk is a great goal that would be tremendously beneficial to accomplish. Now to be clear: There is a difference between a TED talk and a TEDx talk. TED talks are geared toward global audiences whereas TEDx talks are aimed more locally.
19. Luxury Home On The Beach
I hate the Canadian winters.
Honestly… I don’t think I can stress this enough. And despite being born and raised in Canada, I still haven’t gotten used to the cold, ice, snow, etc. As a result, I do plan on moving. I am not going to stay here for the rest of my life.
I’ve always had an affinity for warmer weather. Whenever I travel to tropical destinations, I always feel more at home. The humidity, the palm trees, the year-round warmth, it all resonates with me.
For this reason, one of the biggest goals on my bucket list is to own my own beach home. Currently, I have Sarasota, Florida in mind. However, that is subject to change as this is a goal that’s probably 5 to 10 years off in the future.
20. Set Up A Family Reunion
In 2022, my little sister passed away.
And even though we rarely spoke, her passing still hit close to home. After attending her funeral, I got reconnected and reacquainted with the rest of my family. My little sister’s funeral was the first time we saw each other in years. And it was such a shame that we came together under these conditions.
But at the funeral, I vowed we’d spend more time together.
A couple of months later, I reached out to my family, and we began coordinating a big family reunion for the summer! It was amazing! We all gathered at a large park surrounded by trees and open fields. The day was perfect, the weather was incredible, and the reunion was a success!
Everyone had a great time and it was so much fun reconnecting with my family again.
Are You Ready to Start Your Bucket List?
Goals give our lives direction and focus.
For this reason, we all need a bucket list. My challenge to you is to start your own. What do you really want to accomplish, experience, or do in your life? Write it all down. And don’t worry too much about achieving everything on your list.
If, after some time has passed, you feel certain goals no longer excite you, feel free to replace them with something else. Remember, this is your bucket list. The whole point is to fill it up with aims that fill you with enthusiasm and excitement.