We had some homework before we got to Camp.
We all had to write a Life List, with up to 100 things we'd like to do, see, and experience. It's a living document — meaning you can add things, delete things, and borrow ideas — and I, personally, found it incredibly useful at pinpointing exactly what I want to accomplish, and which take priority. When you write these kinds of goals down somewhere — in a notebook? your blog? the fridge? — you almost feel obligated to do it when the opportunity arises. Or you feel obligated to make that opportunity arise. And it's sort of like the ultimate to-do list, right? I can't be the only one with an itching need to cross things off a list.
Camp Mighty went one step further, in that we all shared 5 of our most immediate goals and then looked to the group for help and resources. Someone wants to jump off a cliff in Hawaii, someone else has a house in Hawaii that they can stay in. Someone needs their garage and closets organized, someone else wants to become a professional organizer.
Read on for my evolving Life List, as well as a big reason you should make a list of your own:
The Life List...
1. Start a scholarship for young, ambitious moms with big ideas and big goals.
2. Grow Early Mama to the point where it's my main professional focus.
3. Be a surrogate for a family unable to have children. (Preferably before I turn 30.)
4. Stick to a regular exercise routine for longer than one year.
5. Write a handwritten book of advice + notes to Noah.
6. Hold a baby panda.
7. Go on vacation alone with my husband.
8. Go on vacation with just my husband and son.
9. Join a creative writing workshop.
10. Take more creative writing classes.
11. Write a novel.
12. Have a book — of any kind — published.
13. See the tulips in the Netherlands.
14. Visit Anne Frank’s attic.
15. See the Great Pyramids.
16. Read all of the “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.”
17. Join a book club.
18. Join a local food co-op and commit to natural, organic foods.
19. Regularly practice yoga and meditation.
20. Train and compete in a marathon of any size.
21. Visit Saltzburg, where The Sound of Music was filmed.
22. Cook vegetarian meals 3x a week for at least a year.
23. Vacation in Fiji, in those huts on the water.
24. Have a dinner party 1x a month for 1 year.
25. Attend a TED talk.
26. Give a TED talk.
27. Be featured in Forbes Magazine.
28. Start + grow a financial portfolio.
29. Eliminate money as a concern.
30. Buy or build “the” house.
31. Have a book I wrote made into a movie.
32. Organize our baby photos/baby albums/scrapbook/baby book.
33. Learn how to sew.
34. Learn how to knit.
35. Visit Pompeii.
36. Vacation in Santorini.
37. Take Noah to see the Northern Lights.
38. Take a hot air balloon ride.
39. See my byline in a national magazine, in the BOH.
40. Take a European (and Asian) food tour: 1. fish and chips in London, 2. café con leche in Spain, 3. spaghetti + gelato in Italy, 4. croissants + crepes in France, 5. Irish stew (+ whiskey) in Ireland; 6. peking duck in China; 7. moussaka in Greece; 8. masala dosa in India; 9. pad tai in Thailand; 10. Mousles-Frites (with beer) in Belgium; 10. Napoléon pastry in Paris; 11. hungarian goulash in Hungary
41. Eat a macaron, anywhere.
42. Visit the village in Ireland where my ancestors are from.
43. Research my family tree as far back as I can.
44. Visit all 50 states: 1. Alabama; 2. Alaska; 3. Arizona; 4. Arkansas;
5. California; 6. Colorado; 7. Connecticut; 8. Delaware; 9. Florida; 10. Georgia; 11. Hawaii; 12. Idaho; 13. Illinois; 14. Indiana; 15. Iowa; 16. Kansas; 17. Kentucky; 18. Louisiana; 19. Maine; 20. Maryland; 21. Massachusetts; 22. Michigan; 23. Minnesota; 24. Mississippi; 25. Missouri; 26. Montana; 27. Nebraska; 28. Nevada; 29. New Hampshire; 30. New Jersey; 31. New Mexico; 32. New York; 33. North Carolina; 34. North Dakota; 35. Ohio; 36. Oklahoma; 37. Oregon; 38. Pennsylvania; 39. Rhode Island; 40. South Carolina; 41. South Dakota; 42. Tennessee; 43. Texas; 44. Utah; 45. Vermont; 46. Virginia; 47. Washington; 48. West Virginia; 49. Wisconsin; 50. Wyoming
45. Sleep for 6 to 8 hours a night, every night, for at least 1 year.
46. Bring Noah to Disney World.
47. Make the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
48. Find the perfect way to cook tofu.
49. Throw a surprise party.
50. Take an African safari.
51. Perform a grand gesture of love.
52. Take my mom to Bermuda.
53. Visit a Redwood forest.
54. Create a peaceful, happy living space.
55. Take Justin to the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco.
56. Go to a Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan or Thailand.
57. Bike through the South of France.
58. Go to San Francisco and see the Full House houses.
59. Vacation in Bali.
60. Renew our vows.
61. Go to a taping of The Daily Show.
62. Help someone achieve a professional goal.
63. Use my work to help people/change policies/change the world.
64. Get a reading from The Long Island Medium.
65. Grow a vegetable garden.
66. Give Christmas presents to an at-need family.
67. Make Thanksgiving dinner for an at-need family.
68. Find the perfect red lipstick.
69. Stick to a budget for at least 1 year.
70. Eat the iconic foods of the U.S.:
1. pizza in NY; 2. deep-dish pizza in Chicago; 3. lobster in Maine; 4. wine in Napa; 5. "real" southern fried chicken; 6. "real" southern grits; 7. peaches in Georgia; 8. oranges in Florida; 9. cheesesteak in Philadelphia; 10. king crab legs in Alaska; 11. New England clam chowder in Massachusetts; 12. In-and-Out burger in California; 13. omaha steaks in Nebraska; 14. maple syrup in Vermont; 15. chili in Texas; 16. chicken fried steak in Texas; 17. BBQ ribs in Memphis, Tennessee
71. Live debt free.
72. Grow fresh herbs.
73. Swim with bioluminescent plankton.
74. Help Justin achieve his professional dream.
75. Fill our walls with peaceful, happy art.
76. See someone reading my book in public.
77. Attend Mighty Summit.
78. Attend Mom 2.0.
79. Write for The New York Times.
80. Bring Noah to a Broadway show.
81. Buy beautiful bedding.
82. Put my feet in the Pacific Ocean.
The coolest part of this Life List phenomenon (started by the brilliant Maggie Mason), is that the team behind Camp Mighty also started a new venture called Go Mighty — where giant, well-funded brands take a peek at your Life List and then possibly sponsor you to get something done. Bing and Olay have already started gifting Life List wishes (no genie lamps or shooting stars required), so sign up at Go Mighty today.