My Impossible List

I’ve kept some form of a goals list for only a short while now, considering I only recently graduated college. Before that point, these goals were largely academic in nature, i.e. grades, competitions, and so on. Recently, however, I’ve expanded this set of goals, motivated by a variety of sources that I’ll explain in a separate blog.

In any case, I began to follow a collection of entrepreneurs to see their advice on productivity, accomplishing goals, and retaining habits when I happened upon Thomas Frank’s discussion about The Impossible List. I’ll explain it briefly myself, but he does a much better and more thorough job on his site: https://collegeinfogeek.com/about/meet-the-author/my-impossible-list/. The idea of an Impossible List is to be a dynamic list of goals to be achieved, which, unlike a bucket list, mark temporary goals that will be updated upon their achievement. For instance, a goal of achieving a certain number, say 15, of pullups will be replaced by a similar goal of 20 pullups upon its accomplishment. This makes the list more of a live to-do list that will be actively worked upon rather than some stagnant “bucket list” that looms over one’s head as being something you wish to accomplish “sometime before dying.”

In line with that, there arises the opposite question of “How is this different from an ordinary goals list, i.e. one for the year”? I do have an “ordinary” goals list, which I certainly put as much, if not more, thought into accomplishing. My objectives list is saved on Todoist, although I strongly believe what platform you choose for this is really not important. Asana, Todoist, Notepad: whatever works for you is what you should use. The main difference between that list and this one is that those goals are more short term and therefore may not carry the same weight as some of the goals listed below. There is quite a bit of overlap though, as many of my “objective list” items constitute subgoals of the goals listed below.

Also, I’ve taken Thomas Frank’s suggestion of having a “Current Focuses” and “Last Accomplished Goals” sections, which will likely be blank for a little bit, since I’m starting this on Jan 3rd, 2019. Anyway, here it is:

Current Focuses

Note: Any points marked with a * below are goals that don’t have a clear metric of achievement. They’re, therefore, poorly defined goals that will be revised shortly.

  • Fitness
    • Bench 185 (set of 5)
    • Squat 225 (set of 5)
    • Deadlift 315 (set of 5)
    • Do 15 dead-hang pull-ups
  • Professional
    • Read 100 papers (post-2012) on ML/CV
    • Get a blog following (at the end of 26 weeks) of at least 100
    • Create a side project used by at least 500 people
    • Learn CV (@work) through VR projects/research*
    • See an AR/VR project (@work) through to widespread adoption
    • Work as a computer vision engineer at a self-driving car company
  • Creative
    • Learn calligraphy such that I can write a letter/invitation
  • Skill
    • Ski a double black diamond
    • Climb a V5 bouldering route
    • Climb a V5.12b top roping route
    • Memorize a string of 100 random digits
    • Be able to cook 25 unique dishes from scratch

Last Completed Goals

Fitness Goals

  • Bench 185 (set of 5)
  • Squat 225 (set of 5)
  • Deadlift 315 (set of 5)
  • Do 75 push-ups (single set)
  • Do 15 dead-hang pull-ups
  • Do a muscle-up
  • Do a one-arm pull-up

Academic/Professional Goals

  • Read 100 papers (post-2012) on ML/CV
  • Create a weekly CV blog (for at least 26 weeks, with one allowance)
  • Get a blog following (at the end of 26 weeks) of at least 100
  • Get a blog post with 1,000 likes
  • Create a side project used by at least 500 people
  • Get a side project featured on HackerNews and/or ArsTechnica
  • Learn CV (@work) through VR projects/research
  • Found a company/organization or work in a project critical in the development of:
    • AR glasses (CV engineer)
    • Self-driving cars (CV engineer)
    • Personalized education
    • Dissemination of scientific knowledge (i.e. extension of Distill)
    • ML bias/understanding
    • Environmental protection (i.e. carbon removal or biodiversity)

Creative Goals

Language Goals

  • Learn to speak Gujurati
  • Learn to read/write Gujurati
  • Learn to speak Japanese

Skill Goals

  • Ski a double black diamond
  • Climb a V5 bouldering route
  • Climb a V5.12b top roping route
  • Get lead climbing certified
  • Go outdoor climbing in Yosemite
  • Get scuba diving certified and go dive
  • Memorize a string of 100 random digits
  • Memorize a deck of cards
  • Be able to cook 25 unique dishes from scratch
  • Reach brown belt in some martial art
  • Improve public speaking skills*
  • Listen to 200 of the Top 500 Rolling Stones: https://www.discogs.com/lists/500Greatest-Albums-Rolling-Stone/140759

Random/Crazy Goals

  • Bike across the US
  • Go skydiving
  • Go to space

Events Goals

  • CVPR or SIGGRAPH
  • Def Con

Hiking Goals

  • Climb a mountain of 3,000 ft elevation gain
  • Hike rim-to-rim trail in the Grand Canyon
  • Hike one trail in each of the following national parks:
    • Arches
    • Banff
    • Canyonlands
    • Crater Lake
    • Pinnacles
    • Smoky Mountains
    • Yellowstone
    • Yosemite
    • Zion

Travel Goals

  • Visit Japan (again)
  • Visit Switzerland (again)
  • Visit Norway and see the Northern Lights
  • Visit Iceland
  • Visit Singapore
  • Visit China (mainland)