2010 Impossible Review: 2011 Goals



This is the second part of my annual impossible review seriesIn the first part of the series, I wrote about what impossible things became possible in 2010. This post focuses on what impossible things 2011 holds for me and BIT.

“So Joel, what impossible things are you going to do in 2011?”

That been the #1 question I’ve gotten lately from reader and friends around the blog the last 2 weeks. Well, you finally get to find out today what impossible things I’m planning on for 2011, but first I’d like to make a point about goal setting in general.

On Goals

Goals that aren’t specific aren’t very helpful. If you’re vague about where you want to go, you never know if you’ve actually gotten there. Also, goals without a timeline end up being dreams. They’re things to be acted on someday, but not quite yet. Timelines give things immediacy and so for my purposes here, I try to make goals that are both specific and have specific deadlines. Sometimes that means I fall short of achieving what I wanted to do, but at least then I know I fell short and I can regroup, reevaluate and make a second attempt at it. If I’m not specific with the end goal and timeline, it’s very easy to just wander and not every know if you really accomplished what you set out to do.

With that in mind, I try to make all of my goals here for the year specific and measurable. If you see any goals here that aren’t, feel free to call me out in the comments. I can take it!

Now onto the goals. The first ones are very blog specific but I’ve got a whopper at the end, so make sure to read the whole thing.

Blogging Goals

Post Vault

Most bloggers have a vault of backup posts somewhere in case of emergency. If they get stuck on a plane, their computer self destructs or mass chaos ensues, they’ll still have posts galore scheduled while they wait out the havoc. I don’t.

Every post I’ve written here is in real time. While I like it, and it lets me convey the thoughts that I’m thinking right now, I would hate to disrupt my blogging schedule and disappear due to poor planning on my part.

Impossibly Specific Goal: 26 killer posts in my vault by the end of 2011. That’s an extra post every other week, and will be close to 3 months worth of content at hand if my computer decides to decide like it doesn’t feel like turning on one day.

Post Quality

In the last year, I’ve become a much much better writer than I’ve ever been before. That said, I still get the occasional private message or note that I misspelled a word or forgot to finish a thought. I proofread everything, but my mind usually sees what I meant to say rather than what I actually wrote. This means I end up with misspellings much more often than I would like. Everyone is incredibly gracious about this, but the truth is I can do better and I need to.

Impossibly Specific Goal: I want to have less than 1 post a month that contains a spelling error. This is a tall order, but with a little planning, some more attention and reading the posts out loud to myself, I’m pretty confident I can make this happen.


As a marketer, I’m sort of embarrassed that I’ve been so bad about plotting metrics here at the blog. At my job, that would be unthinkable, but I’ve gotten caught up in the numbers game before and it’s killed off my creativity so I’ve stayed away from worrying about them too much here. Things are trending upward, which is the important thing, but there needs to be a good balancing point between getting overwhelmed in statistical information and actually using that information in a way that is helpful & allows you to improve.

Impossibly Specific Goal: In 2011, I have a few key data points [subscribers, followers, likes, page views, unique visitors, etc] to plot out and plan on doing so every 1st & 15th of the month. Keeping stat checking to 2x a month will help keep my semi-addiction at bay, while also giving me enough data points throughout the year to see what worked and what didn’t. This should work as a great visual way for me to gain context and visualize progress from a pure data standpoint this time next year.

I also want to continue posting 2x/week [104 total] here at BIT and guest post 1x/month [12 total]. I have a lot of new types of post features I want to introduce this next year and a manifesto in the works as well. Basically, there’s a lot of stuff on it’s way for the blog. Stay tuned.

Business Goals

I have a lot of ideas. In fact, I have a notebook where I write down all the different ideas I think up. Ninety percent of them suck. That’s completely okay with me because I know that for every 9 terrible ideas I have, I’ll have 1 that is a great idea. I’m looking for that 1 idea. The problem is sometimes you don’t know if an idea sucks before you try it out.

Fast prototyping is something I’ve been terribly interested in as of late and I need to put it to use. I’m not ready to share some of these ideas [they’re still in the incubation phase], but I will go ahead and say I want to at least launch 2 of them by this time next year. They’re a lot different than what most bloggers are doing and are going to take more work than just writing an ebook, but this is also much more interesting to me and will hopefully be something that people can actually use as part of their online presence rather than just another piece of information.

Impossibly Specific Goal: Launch two business ideas and get them shipped and see what happens.

Athletic Goals

Instead of having a bunch of small goals in the athletic realm this year, I just have one big goal in my sights for 2011. It’s sort of a piss-your-pants scary type of goal – so much so that I’m actually a little hesitant to put this out there because that means I have to do it. However, it is something I actually want to do and something on my list, it just happens to be a fairly intimidating. I’m going to run a half-ironman in 2011. There, I said it. I’m going to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles. In a row. That’s a lot of miles (70.3 to be exact)! Chances are, doing this will involved knocking several other things off the impossible list. While training for it, I’m planning on running a marathon and possibly competing in a duathlon. I’m still plotting the actual race days, but no matter what else [barring injury of course] the half-ironman will happen.

Impossibly Specific Goal: Complete a half-ironman by the end of 2011.

Miscellaneous Items

There’s a plan in the works to cross off a few more adventuresome things on my list at the WDS in Portland in June with a few other people. If you’re going and are interested in some adventurous activities, comment or email me and I’ll let you in on the details as I put them together…

Last year I opened up  a text document and wrote down a bunch of goals I wanted to do in 2010. This was before I actually had started BIT. I forgot about the document and found it sometime in November. As I read through it, it was almost funny how much of the stuff I had accomplished. Some of the stuff ended up on my impossible list and some of the stuff I had forgotten about, BUT because I had written it down, I was unconsciously doing things in line to achieve the goals I wrote down 12 months ago and finished them without really even thinking about it! Depending on your take on things, you can easily write that off as an anomaly, and maybe it is, but there really is something powerful in writing down your goals.

What are your impossible plans for 2011? Do you have any goals that are almost too scary to say out loud? Tell me in the comments. Sometimes writing down your goals or saying them out loud is the best way to make them a reality.

I’m getting asked a lot about the 100 pushups challenge I announced back in August. I finished the 200 squat challenge, but long story short – the 100 pushups are kicking my butt! Still, I’m close (60-70) and I’m gonna give it a shot in the next two days before the New Year and see if I can’t knock it out due to sheer necessity of avoiding public humiliation :). Either way, I’ll let you know next week sometime on whether or not I succeeded. Happy New Year! What impossible things will you accomplish in 2011?

[Photo Credit]

Grow Stronger, Do The Impossible

Get weekly emails on how to build a stronger mind, a stronger body and stronger life and do the impossible.

No Spam. Ever.


  1. says

    my impossible goals for 2011 include {but are not limited to}:

    * knitting 150 items for charity

    * selling 10 items a month in my Etsy shop

    * clearing out all the other crafting supplies i have on-hand, so i can focus on knitting

    * building our core group of minimalist knitters on the blog to 500 strong {this will happen mostly through the newsletter, hopefully}

    * knitting only from my Essential Patterns binder the entire year

  2. says

    Seriously? The half-ironman is your doozy? You’re gonna f’n kill it. Can’t believe that was your doozy. And here I thought you inspired Superman.

    On the up and up, Joel, freakin awesome. I bet you will have no problems achieving your goals and then knock some things off your impossible list.

    Keep up the blogging, keep on killin it, and as always, another great post.

  3. says

    What is the “WDS” and do you mean Portland, Oregon? I would like to know more since I am from Portland!

    I am really inspired by how you have laid out your format and have adapted it to my own blog. I even plan on participating in my own race…yikes!

  4. Rob in Milwaukee says

    Excellent mindset, inspirational attitude. Thanks for taking the time to write up such worthwhile content and may you hit all your goals in 2011.

  5. says

    Wow dude…a half ironman!!! Let me tell you something, if you just show up and attempt it….you’ve accomplished more than most.

    I think I told you my brother is running an ultra-marathon (that’s 100 freaking miles!!) next year. He is a personal trainer, and has never even run a regular marathon. Remember I mentioned the book, “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall? Check it out….if nothing else for a whole lot of inspiration.

    Okay so I already posted my 2011 goals in the sidebar on my blog. But I really like your goal for writing the 26 extra posts. Do you mind if I “borrow” that one? I’ve been meaning to get ahead myself…and that would be a great way to accomplish it.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Kurt Swann says


    Sounds like you have a good mix of goals and a half Ironman sounds perfect! Looking forward to hearing more . . .

    One item on my list is to learn to fly a DC-3. In fact after reading your blog (and getting inspired!), I sent an email to a place that does the training so I’ll learn more shortly.


  7. says

    I’m with you on the Post Vault goal. Tervooren suggested that, rather than writing only my current one-post-a-week, I actually write one and a half. With my travels and crazy gigging schedule, I really need to have that buffer once in a while. How’s about we stay on each other about this? Happy New Year, dude!

  8. says

    Hey Joel,

    I’m a new follower of yours and I’m really enjoying your writing thus far. Your goal relating spelling errors made me laugh because I’m terrible for that as well – thanks for the reading out loud tip, hopefully it helps me out!

    Good luck with your half Iron in 2011. In 2010 I completed Ironman Canada which was a five year goal of mine in 2006. I’m at Day 4 of your week long emails for new subscribers and “Embracing the Suck” couldn’t be more true then when training for long distance triathlons. It’s so true and eventually, you not only embrace the suck… you learn to love it.

    Good luck in 2011. I look forward to following along.


    • says

      Hey Sarah! Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you’re enjoying the emails :). You’re an Ironman? (or is it IronWoman?). That’s so cool. I might have to ask you for some tips! Thanks for checking out BIT, I hope you stick around :).

  9. says

    I like your goals for this year. Still finishing up exactly how I will measure the progress on my goal categories for the year.

    I’ll be at WDS too. Would love to hear about what you have planned for that weekend.

  10. says

    Amazing how it’s now nearly the end of 2011. Can’t wait to read about your awesome achievements;) I set out target for myself every month and write down achievements monthly on my blog. Just small stuff like getting so and so fb likes, climb the Alexa rank etc, but these goals epicly keep me on track. Come say hi on my blog sometimes. Btw, I just liked you fb page. Awesome work


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *