Category Archives: Goal Stories & Ideas

Love Story Thanks to a Goals List

Happy new year!

Way to get 2011 off to a great start, a SuperViva member shared this story – which is not the first time I’ve heard about couples connecting by sharing their SuperViva lists!

I wanted to let you know that three years ago, when I met my boyfriend, SuperViva is one of the reasons we got together and still are to this day!

We immediately connected when we discovered how goal-oriented we each were as well as how similar many of our goals happened to be.  I shared my Life List with him on SuperViva and he has told me on several occasions since then that when I showed him my list, that’s what told him I was the one!  (So many people don’t have a list of goals and that impressed him.)

After a short time of doing the long-distance relationship thing, I moved from Wisconsin to Arizona to be with him – we’ve been together ever since and I even got to check off two of my goals: going to Arizona and living in a state other than Wisconsin!  :)

I always wanted to have chickens (Not)

I’m having a ball compiling the ideas people provided for 75 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Life and can’t wait to get it online. (I got sidetracked with a list of things to do in winter, just in time for the solstice!)

I had to share a nugget from one response advocating chickens, saying “When I got my first chickens, while I was living in San Jose, California in the 1980s, the heart of Silicon Valley, every woman who came to my house said, “I always wanted to have chickens.” Given that “I always wanted to do that” has been a long-time SuperViva theme – and that I’ve only known one person who wanted to have chickens – I had to put it out there.

Have you always wanted to have chickens?

If so you’re in luck. Christine Heinrichs brings you How to Raise Chickens which focuses on raising traditional breeds in small flocks. Also How to Raise Poultry comes out in April, about ducks, geese, swans, turkeys, guineafowl, game birds, ratites (ostriches, emus and rheas), pigeons and, of course, chickens. More than 200 color pictures in each book.

I will admit though…there’s nothing better than fresh chicken eggs and Foghorn Leghorn.

Write Your Novel in November’s NaNoWriMo !

nanowrimoIt’s been two years since I wrote my NaNoWriMo novel, and while this year I’m sitting it out, it’s a great time to dive into that novel you’ve been meaning to bang out.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is all about quantity, not quality. It’s a contest against time and yourself.

And if you’ve ever used lack of a support system as an excuse not to write, give it up.

On the NaNoWriMo site you’ll not only find lots of great forums for writing advice, but very cool web badges to show progress on your fave social network. Join a Flickr group to post pics of you burning the midnight coffee under a dimly lit lamp.

It’s exciting to see how this simple project, started by a UC Berkeley grad, has matured into a worldwide event with thousands of participants.

If not now, when? Go for it and if you don’t yet have a NaNoWriMo goal on your SuperViva list, add it here with one click! Have fun!!!

Volcanoes, Marshmallows, and Efficiently Achieving Goals

marshmallowsLongtime SuperViva fan and supporter Heathervescent checked her SuperViva life list before a trip to Hawaii…and here’s what she found.

Her planning reminds me of the smart 16 year old who achieved numerous goals on a trip to New York.

Multiple Goals Make a Good Case for a Big Trip!

If you need to rationalize an experience with budget or time considerations, planning all the goals you can achieve with that one experience is the way to go

That’s how I ended up taking surfing lessons (one of my goals!) in Brazil, where I also started a business (one of my goals!). Oh, and I was able to deduct part of the trip as a business expense (one of my BIG goals!)

Get it?

On your SuperViva list you can group goals into topics, then when an opportunity – like a low fare – comes up you can see all the goals you can achieve by jumping on the opportunity.

superviva grouping goals example

Questions? Ideas? I’d love to hear your tales of multiple goals achieved and rationalized!

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Dreaming of Being a Blue Man ?

If you’re watched one too many Arrested Development episodes where Tobias dresses up in Blue Man paint, perhaps you’re wondering how and if you too can become a Blue Man!

blue man groupWell NPR recently featured a story on how to audition for the Blue Man Group.

Be the first to add this goal to your life list and apply on the Blue Man Group Casting website!

According to their site: “The dream of being a Blue Man may be no further than your willingness and desire to take a chance.”

Please send pics. :)

Top 10 Goals List Leads 21 Year Old to Success

Inc. Magazine has a great profile of an entrepreneur who found success by focusing on his goals, after reading The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale:

“Flat broke at the age of 21, Joe Cirulli made a list of 10 things he wanted to accomplish in life. One by one, he pulled them off — and built a health and fitness empire.”

Whether you think positively about Cirulli himself, the story is yet another confirmation of setting goals and sticking to them! Read The Believer

Expand Your Horizons as a Fish Out of Water

People in waterA friend taking an Intercultural Communications class has assignment to experience being a “fish out of water.” Many already do this while traveling. But how often do you do this near home? I loved this idea, both as a growth experience to understand and feel more comfortable among diverse groups, as well as for potentially making new friends.

If this interests you, here are some loose guidelines:

The Goal: Be culture shocked by attending an event and participating in a face-to-face interaction with a culture significantly different from your own. This could include those who are hearing impaired, of another religion, sexual orientation, language, socio-economic status, political views, etc.

What to Do:

  • Visit a place or event with a gathering of whatever group you wish to interact with. It could be a ceremony, parade, or other gathering. Go alone so that you truly experience the sensation of being the “other.”
  • Observe patterns of verbal and non-verbal behavior and context. And participate in discussion or a ritual during a gathering or meeting.
  • Reflect on insight you’ve gained about the process of communication in and between cultures.

Share with us! I’d love to hear what you did and how it turned out. And you can record your experience on your life list!

I love meeting people different from me and will start thinking about my activity too.

Life Ideas – Public Summer Brainstorm Experiment

The PitchThis week we enjoyed “Spare the Air day” in the San Francisco Bay Area, with free transportation until noon. On a rare very warm summer day, this means jam-packed transportation. Which made for a perfect day for my Free Ideas Brainstorm experiment.

My goal: To see if perfect strangers would engage in brainstorms on whatever topic interested them. This would fulfill my love of generating ideas and help whoever took me up on the offer. And of course to promote the joy of a SuperViva life list.

It was scary going alone with a quickly designed sign, wondering if people would think (I mean find out) that I’m crazy. But based on encouragement from good friends – Melea, my life coach Susan, and others – I left the house at 7am, hopped on the BART subway to the bus to the ferry in Oakland.

There the experiment began. It was a blessing in disguise that I’d just missed the ferry, which runs only hourly. That meant a bunch of bored people at my “disposal.”

Who I Met

Mike, professional photographer and designer

Ideas for MikeMike grew up in the area and was out to take photos on this beautiful day. His main need was to get more business.
What he learned from me: I suggested posting his services on Yelp (the most popular services review site in the Bay Area) and Craigslist, where I’d seen photographers advertise.
What I learned from him: It’s good to be able to pitch yourself. I asked a bunch of questions about the type of photography he does, and he was able to answer them all. The answer was: everything!

Richie, future security guard / expert janitor

Ideas for RichieRichie is a happy, hardworking fellow who grew up locally and dreams of world travel—despite the fact that he’s never left California.

He avoids frivolous expenses so he can save up for his future travels, especially around Asia. He’s enjoyed a career in janitorial work and is working to become a security guard to earn more.

What he learned from me:
First, I told him what his t-shirt meant: that Orixas are spirits from the Yoruba religion in Brazil. Then I gave all kinds of travel tips to help him embark:

  1. I explained how to get a passport.
  2. For traveling cheaply, a multi-country ticket from a company like AirTreks might make sense.
  3. MegaBus has very cheap trips between the Bay area and Los Angeles.

What I learned from him: How inspiring and delightful it is to meet someone who has big ideas about his life and is working toward them step by step. It was really great talking to him.

Andy, trumpeter and more

Ideas for AndyI’m guessing my exuberant response shocked Andy, after he revealed he’s a trumpeter with a funky “alternative” marching band I love: The Xtra Action Marching Band. This band does private parties and shows and, in fact, played at an old work party I went to!

What he learned from me: He learned about a fun July 11 music fest at the Oakland Museum.
What I learned from him: He’s playing at a voodoo music fest in New Orleans in October, which sounds like a blast (and a perfect life list item). I also learned that many brass instrument companies have gone out of business over the years as they’ve declined in popularity.

Billy Jam, long time DJ, producer etc.

Ideas with Billy Jam - SuperViva Brainstorm DayBilly started by telling me that he blogs for Amoeba Records. Bells went off when he I heard his name and I reacted as if I’d met a rock star. He was a major DJ in Bay Area commercial and college radio for years.

Turns out he lives in New York now and is very into street performance art experiments, much like mine, and we had a great lively conversation.

What he learned from me: I told him about the Gel Conference for which he might be a good participant.
What I learned from him: He told me about some women who instantly converted part of a moving New York subway car into a living room, along with curtains, lamp, rugs etc. How fun.

John, student / traveler / student / traveler

ideas for JohnJohn had recently moved to California from Florida and soon will embark on a several month trip abroad. College age and disenchanted with his major, the one thing he knows is he likes traveling.

His one big goal, which made him really smile animatedly, is to own houses in 2 places and live part of the year in each.

What he learned from me: I told him about careers in Ethnography, which companies like Apple rely upon to study their customers’ actual product usage. He vehemently rejected that career path.
What I learned from him: 1) Yes, it might be nice to be able to do some things over again if I knew then what I know now! 2) It’s nice to know what you want. Or don’t want.

Tatiana, marketing maven and sustainable food expert

Tatiana of BoccaloneTatiana is head of marketing for Boccalone [vegetarians may not want to go there] whose artisan pork salumi shop had just opened in the San Francisco Ferry Building. This business is one of those kismet stories where just as they were looking for a facility, they found a retiring Portuguese sausage maker who wanted to sell his Oakland factory. There, they cold cure the pork salumi, proscuitto, and other meats using old world techniques. (Oakland and nearby towns are sausage central, with a strong Portuguese heritage, including Gallo salami and Aidells sausage.)

What she learned from me: Her mind was fully on the shop. So: nothing!
What I learned from her: I’m the one who benefited from this brainstorm attempt.

  1. My world is small and tightknit. It thrilled me to learn I know one of Boccalone’s co-founders, the infectiously happy Mark Pastore, who also runs the popular Incanto Italian restaurant in San Francisco’s Noe Valley area. His persistence and dedication to realizing his vision for the restaurant (after a former career in software) has always impressed me.
  2. I also learned that “boccalone” means “big mouth” in Italian. It refers to her husband, Chris Cosentino, who also is part of Incanto and was on the Next Iron Chef.
  3. And most importantly I learned that maybe it’s time I finally get involved with the farmer’s market and again with Slow Food.

Pam, Future chef

Pam is studying cookingNew to the area from Illinois, Pam had already started culinary school when she moved to the bay area to complete her schooling.

What she learned from me: I told her about Tante Marie cooking school, as an alternative to the “big” very expensive ones. And also told her to go to the Saturday farmer’s market at the San Francisco Ferry Building, where she would have culinary sensory overload, in a good way.
What I learned from her: She filled me in that San Francisco has a Cordon Bleu school which I had not realized.

Unnamed Woman in hospitality sales

Ideas on the busDuring a short bus ride I learned that “Jane Doe” works in hospitality sales and is hating her 2-3 hour daily commute. She wants to get a job close to home…with very little flexibility. I was surprised that after enduring such a long commute, even changing to a 15 minute commute would be too far for her.
What she learned from me: I suggested she should probably go into telesales if she wants to work within a mile of her home, which is on an island. I think she knew that though.
What I learned from her: When you have your priorities, you have your priorities.

Krista (career unknown)

Ideas for KristaI only had 2 minutes to talk to Krista. For some reason I didn’t want to ask her what she’s doing now with her life, although she wants to have more time for projects—but didn’t have any in mind.
What she learned from me: Of course I told her to get thee to SuperViva for ideas!
What I learned from her: It’s hard to brainstorm in a 2 block stretch.

What I Learned

Free Ideas from SuperViva

  • It’s not so bad acting weird in public by yourself. Some of the most famous weirdos on the streets are solo performers, right? While, yes, the world loves couples and groups, acting alone will impress you and it will impress others. Be fearless!
  • Signs are good. Having a sign gives people a heads up about what you’re doing. Then you don’t have to “pitch” them from scratch verbally.
  • People who work or have interests similar to mine have the luxury of being out and about in the morning. Namely musicians, people who travel, and those into food.
  • Taking improv classes and learning how to speak spontaneously through Toastmasters continues to help me.
  • I want to do this again! It was so much fun.

If you enjoyed this experiment and story, please “Digg” it and/or link to it to spread the word! Thanks :)

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Make sure to add ideas to your life list you may have gotten from this article? Do it now!

Add comments and ideas here of other experiments or things you want to brainstorm!

Update: Billy Jam who writes The Amoeblog, the blog for Amoeba Music, has a lovely follow up interview about me, Superviva, and this interesting day.

Breast Cancer Survivor Living Large With Her Life List

I’m so excited to meet Shelly77, a new SuperViva member, who has a great story to tell about why you should start living TODAY and not wait until after an illness diagnosis:

I had breast cancer that was dignosed a few days before my 29th birthday. The good news is that I’m cancer free and about to turn 31.

In a strange way I’m very thankful for the experience because without it I would probably still be “on the hamster wheel” in a job that I hated, watching life passing me by. If I took anything away from my cancer experience (besides a intense fear of needles, lol!) it is to live in the moment and enjoy each day.

I love the concept of Superviva because before I got sick, there were so many things I assumed I would do “some day”. There was so much traveling that I thought maybe I would be able to do when I retired. Now I realize that instead of sitting around waiting for those things to happen “some
day”, I can make them happen now! Thank you for turning your experience into an inspiration for others :-)

I love Shelly’s “theme for this year” which is: Where do you run when you jump off the hamster wheel?

Making a life list will help direct her!

alaska marathon

Here’s me a few years ago celebrating my recovery with a LLS half-marathon—which I highly recommend over doing a full marathon for knee preservation purposes! Better yet, do something different and daring that’s on your life list to raise money. As another cancer survivor friend once said “Screw marathons!”

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