Outrageous Goal Setting

Goal Setting – The Real-Life Indiana Jones?

Way back in 1939, a 15 year old boy called John Goddard sat down at his kitchen table in California and wrote a list of goals that he wanted to achieve during his life. It’s an unbelievable goal-setting list – truly outrageous!

His “My Life List” ran to 127 goals – some completely mundane (such as becoming an Eagle Scout) and others literally out of this world (travel to the moon).

During the next 74 years he managed to achieve 108 of those; a pretty amazing achievement by any one’s standards.

Here are just some of the goals he set and achieved:

  • Travel the length of the Nile (covered over 4,000 miles in 9 months in a kayak)
  • Travel the length of the Congo river in Africa
  • Climb the Matterhorn (in a blizzard!)
  • Study primitive cultures (visited over 200 tribes across the globe)
  • Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Learn to fly a plane
  • Ride a horse in the Rose Parade
  • Photograph the Victoria Falls
  • Dive to the great Barrier Reef
  • Visit the North & South Poles
  • Travel through the Suez and Panama canals
  • Visit the Taj Mahal
  • Dive in a submarine
  • Ride an elephant, camel, ostrich and bronco.
  • Catch a 10 pound lobster
  • Play the flute and violin
  • Type 50 words per minute
  • Parachute jump
  • Learn to ski (& water-ski)
  • Play Clair de Lune on the piano
  • Teach a college course
  • Write a book
  • Speak French, Spanish & Arabic
  • Visit the birth places of both his grandfather’s (in Denmark & England)
  • Read the Bible from cover to cover
  • Milk a poisonous snake (he was bitten in the process!)
  • Live to see the 21st century

Hardly suprising that  the LA Times called him the “real-life Indiana Jones”.

As an Antropologist and explorer, he travelled over one million miles in his lifetime, the equivalent of 45 times around the world.

Of the 10 goals that were outstanding he would have visited the Komodo Islands to study the dragons but his boat broke down 20 miles short of the destination and he was 30 short his goal of visiting every country in the world.

John Goddard died in 2013, aged 88.

Now, not all his goals would appeal to each of us, but  exactly how often do you do a goal setting exercise and commit to paper? Research shows that less than 5% of American adults ever commit their goals to paper.

And therein lies the problem. If you don’t bother writing your goal down then it is easy to forget about it or not hold yourself to account. It was just an idea.

Through goal-setting and writing them down we not only create some personal responsibility but we also start to focus on achieving it. In fact, even when you are not consciously striving to achieve it, your sub-conscious mind is beavering away trying to find solutions to achieve your goal. This is why visioning and vision boards are so powerful.

Your Assignment

So here’s your challenge, sit down with a coffee or glass of wine and write 127 goals that you want to achieve in your life.

They don’t have to be earth shattering or the stuff of movies. This is all about your life, what are you going to do with it? Good luck!


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