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My 2013 Goals

I’ve noticed two ways of living life, top down or bottom up. I’m 84% certain most of you have heard that phrase.

There’s so much to be said for serendipity and the amazingness of life when you let things happen.

The opposite of creating those experiences can be amazing as well.

A great question is why do we want balance in our lives? Why Yin-Yang?

A longer story I haven’t really explored myself.

I spent an afternoon reviewing the best / worst moments of my 2012. Wow, some surprising ones!

Reviewing this helped me build up what I want to continue and explore more in planning 2013.


Go ahead, do it now for yourself. I’ll wait….






Welcome back.



This helped me recognize what I want to do more and less of in my upcoming year…

A few key things for effective planning:

A) It’s okay to kill something if it’s really not making your life better / happier. Try it out, keep trying but don’t be stubborn to something. Practice this by stopping reading books that suck.

B) “Shoot for the stars and in worst case you end up at the moon.” If you plan something big and don’t succeed, you’ll likely be further than you thought you could be.

C) The more specific you are, the easier it is to accomplish.

D) Pre-commit to things. Declare what you’re going to eat before you go to a restaurant or how much you’re going to drink before you hit the bar. Same thing applies to workouts, work, relationship…and life in general.

E) Success takes suffering. I’ve noticed with Wantrepreneurs they want their first business to make $100,000 in a year. They aren’t willing to suffer and have smaller and more digestible goals.

F) Failing to plan is planning to fail. Duh.


Here’s how I did in 2012:

1. Try 1 new uncomfortable thing a month

Mostly done, 5 rhythm dancing, naked yoga.

2. Grow AppSumo

Did this with our course Monthly1k, reached our 3,333 goal

3. Travel to India

Done, walked around for a month

4. Continue health (Cooking, Yoga 2x/week, More smoothies)

All done but didn’t do all yoga.

5. Start and Finish writing book with Neville

Passed on this

6. 48 hour challenge

Did fasting for 60 hours.

7. Long long bike ride or run

Done, did 50 mile ride to Round Rock

8. Consider Seattle for summer


9. Burning man

Passed. Prioritized staying with team.

10. Hang solo with my parents


11. Go to 2 seminars

Done, Conscious Loving and Awesomenessfest.

12. Do a disc golf road-trip with my brother

Not done but hung with him a considerable amount.

13. A digital detox weekend

Not done.


What do you want to do in 2013?

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48 responses to “My 2013 Goals”

January 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I agree with Nat, BJ Fogg Tiny Habits is worth trying.

BJ Fogg’s behavior model has been used by others such as Leo Babauta (ZenHabits) or more recently Nir Eyal in his best-seller book “Hooked” (I really recommend this book).

January 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm

For developing new habits, I did a week of BJ Fogg’s TinyHabits recently. Really simple. Really works for starting new habits. I use the model consistently now whenever there’s a new behavior I want to start. He has a PhD in adding positive habits. It’s free and low impact to do the gig for a week.

January 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm

DUDE! The fuck! LOL – I went to Awesomeness Fest in Cancun in 2012 too!! We didnt connect, I didnt even know you existed, I find you in 2013, read half your blog, join Wantrepreneur and discover this in 2014!? WTF!?

Noah Kagan
January 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Probably cause I was there in 2013 (:

Better now to connect than never…

Zach Smith
January 10, 2014 at 11:31 am

Cool, looking forward to reading them. I just finished writing my goals for 2014 as well.

Zach Smith
January 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm


I know this is way late, but, if you’re ever in Utah, and, if you want to play disc golf with one of the better players around, hit me up. Utah has some of the best disc golf courses around. I’d love to show you around next time you’re in town. We’ll have tacos in downtown Ogden at one of the great “shops” as well.

Happy New Year!

Noah Kagan
January 10, 2014 at 11:00 am

no doubt. was thinking of doing utah but likely colorado in february. may be too cold but def in the future 🙂

posting 2014 goals shortly.

Joey Chang
July 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm

check out
my friend levi runs it and it is amazing.
they recently ran a summer camp for adults where you had to check all technology in a tech-check.
got covered in NY times and new yorker..

May 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Any idea what your percentage split is between men/women subscribed to AppSumo? I’m guessing that might help with #2. Just a thought. =)

Nick Sudhaus
April 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Great goals Noah.

What book are you writing with Neville? A book on entrepreneurship? Very curious…

April 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm

On your travels, if you happen to follow the Silicon Prairie Internet ’12 route and go through Saint Louis there are 70+ disc golf courses to check out.

Top 3 courses (as curated from disc golf junkies):
1. Sioux Passage
2. Jefferson Barracks
3. Endicott

Pallav Kaushish
January 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm

if you haven’t planned your complete trip to India I can suggest a few places which are must to check out.. from Mumbai travel to Delhi there are a lot of diversified places out there.. then travel to haridwar in uttrakhand state, it’s a brilliant place and probably the place of origin of Yoga. ok not really but this place was instrumental in promoting yoga everywhere and this city also has a lot of history and mythology attached to it and it’s very peaceful.. you can then travel to coorg a city in karnataka state which is mesmerizingly beautiful.. you can also travel to Kashmir, though it’s a place on red alert always it’s called Heaven On Earth.. lemme know if any of it makes it to your itinerary..

also if you land up in Delhi and want to experience something different there is a special place here, you just go there and sit for half an hour and It will make your whole day much more productive.. but you need to ping me for that.. 😉

have a great trip..

Avi Solomon
January 5, 2013 at 8:44 am

Enjoy your trip to Mumbai! Snacking on Pav Bhaji at Juhu beach is de rigueur:)

January 1, 2013 at 6:55 pm

This is Jan. 1, I’ve been feeling uncertain, positive, negative, happy, sad in all the past 24 hours, instead of partying on NYE, I went for a run along the water front to golden gate bridge watching the fireworks in the distance. I want to create, however small, something everyday.

Yael Grauer
December 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I finally finished my list! Word for 2013: Consistency. (2012 was Abundance and 2011 was Nourishing Roots.)

-finish the e-book
-invoice 5K/mo somehow
-launch the new biz
-blog 3X/week every week
-consider marie forleo’s b-school
-make my home office gorgeous
-write for Wired (okay, this may be a stretch)

-finish Kamana 2
-plant the horologium florae
-take an entire week off of work. all at once.
-visit family in Israel or Costa Rica
-plan a practical but gorgeous wedding
-call all those people who wanted to get coffee
-train at least 3X/week in bjj (& hopefully get my next belt) and 1-2X/week in oly
-radical consistency with food

-go to Greg’s Olympic weightlifting seminar in CA
-go to Boston for AHCJ

December 30, 2012 at 1:32 am

I am thinking of India in Feb also my best friend is going there for work. I live in Seattle and it is awesome here in the Summer. Great post I am working on mine also. I am also going to put Hot yoga on my list. I love it!

Ben Widdowson
November 27, 2012 at 8:33 am

No.12 – Do a disc golf road-trip with my brother.

If you’re feeling really adventurous then come over to the UK and check out the disc golf course at my friends place in Scotland. It’s AMAZING.

You can finish up by swimming in the Loch (lake in Scotland).

Jack Peterson
November 27, 2012 at 6:45 am

I reviewed my best and worst moments of 2012 and it helped me realize which relationships/experiences mattered and which ones didn’t. I recorded a video about it:

Ankesh Kothari
November 27, 2012 at 4:09 am

Hi Noah,

Thanks for being inspiring.

So are you planning to visit Mumbai during your India trip? If so I would love to take you and anyone else travelling with you out to dinner.

Also, if you require any kind of help in India, feel free to ping me.

Noah Kagan
November 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

Thank you!

Yes, I land in Mumbai on Feb 2. Trying to organize what I’m going to do.

Really want to wing most of it 🙂

November 23, 2012 at 5:21 am

Yes please come to INDIA……:D

Hoo Kang
November 23, 2012 at 12:12 am


It depends on your sites design.

Perhaps this post can be of assistance:

Any chance you can ask Ben Bleikamp for help if switching the settings doesn’t work?

I’d love to help, but you would have to trust a total app-sumoling/ stranger/wantrepreneur admin access to your appearances portion of WordPress.

November 20, 2012 at 3:22 am

India in February! I may very well be there at the same time! I’m thinking about going for the last half of the month (at least). Do you know where you’ll be heading yet? If our trips coincide temporally and geographically I’d love to meet up and buy you a samosa, dosa, curry, …taco 🙂
(changed after reading all of the comments :S)

Hoo Kang
November 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm

You need to enable threaded comments my friend!

Noah Kagan
November 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Help me out and I will 🙂

Jonny Miller
November 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm

All great ideas. In case you’re interested the Seattle TechStars program runs in Summer from August through October. If you have the time I know they’d appreciate an extra mentor!

andrew woo
November 19, 2012 at 7:22 am

I try to do bikram yoga twice a week…great for body and mind

Frederic Kalinke
November 19, 2012 at 2:22 am

Hi Noah,

Great Blog post, as always.

Just wanted to pass on some recos for India. You say you like cooking and yoga. I’d strongly recommend travelling to Kerala as it’s blessed with amazing food, climate, people and sights. I’ve been to India 6 times for work and holidays and Kerala really does tick all the boxes.

I stayed in a beautiful organic community called Philip Kuty’s Farm that sits on an island in the backwaters. You get a gondola out there and they run brilliant cooking classes. If you want some a total retreat (digital detox) then Neeleshwar Hermitage is perfect for three days.

Hope this help!


Yael Grauer
November 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I wish Northern Spark was 48 hours, because then I’d recommend that! Alas, it was only 24.

November 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Honestly, I thought you were talking about THE 48 hour challenge, the 48 Hour Film Project. Would be a good stretch to give something a little different a try.

Also, you might want to rethink how you reply to comments or how nesting is setup for your comments… I have no idea which replies go to who.

Zachary Grove
November 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Best of 2012: writing and winning Treehouse scholarship essay contest…setting the stage to learn to code, finishing a verse for upcoming mix tape project, finally mapping out mix tape project with a time-to-failure (one year) and Beeminder accountability, meditation waking at 6:30 everyday for a week, writing accounting essay and praise, dream recording system, getting baptized, dancing with her, asking dad about my childhood and hiking with him, writing session with Matt, setting up weekly belief A/B test and programming scripts as metaphors idea, Tebow winning playoff game, free writes, nighttime epiphanies

Worst: night at my house feeling left out and unimportant, feeling unstimulated in senior year biz classes, finding out about my ex getting pregnant and engaged and ruminating, Chris dying a few weeks later, trying Occam workout for two months with no results, slow carb with no results, realization of an issue with blood work and foggy memory and not knowing what to do next, not asking her to dance, babysitting drunk Kyle frustrated, getting told I look young

For 2013 until death I am going to get as specific as possible about what I want.

Important caveat: like Ramit Sethi in dream job system, if I don’t know what I want, I will write out some possibilities and actions to test the possibilities. No more trying this thinking my way to clarity.

Also, work on shit I’m interested in. Write the books I conceive. Do what I want to do and feel like I’m allowed to, it’s my turn to, do what I want to do.

Goals for Taiwan: mixtape material (one piece per week) and promote the good ones, learn mandarin to conversational fluency, take several classes in all areas of coding interests, make 55k after validating business ideas, stick with weekly A/B tests for a year.

Alex B
November 18, 2012 at 11:26 am

If you haven’t already played at Flip City in Michigan, you’ll def want to add that to your road-trip. Rated #1 course in the US.


November 18, 2012 at 10:50 am

Where are you coming to in India?

Noah Kagan
November 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm

All of February!

November 18, 2012 at 10:16 am

Where are your love goals? (brother/parents are family, not love..)

November 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

I love the simplicity of your list I will use it as reference when doing mine. I think I’ve gotten too big and general in the past which is a great combination for creating overwhelm and confusion before you even get started tackling it. Haha

I also love some of the things you have on your list…I may have to borrow a few. 1 uncomfortable thing a month, a digital detox weekend and traveling to a far away land are all speaking to me. 🙂

Others I may add to my list:
+ Practice making the vulnerable choice for an entire month (this will be rough for me)
+ Make all decisions based on my intuition for an entire month
+ Get enough sleep for a month, meaning I shut it down and head to bed when I feel my body wanting to stop…this is usually around 10pm and wake up naturally (no alarm clock) unless absolutely necessary.
+ Grow the CHICK audience (define what growth looks like)
+ Fix the relationship with my younger brother
+ Something to do with romantic love but that has me stumped and disillusioned at the moment. Must breathe and meditate around this.
+ Continue working on more self-love. My life rocks when I do this, I tend to sacrifice me for everything else.
– regular exercise
– less sugar in my diet
– regular pampering (spa, massage, long baths)
– regular meditation
– more things in my life that make me laugh

Addressing a couple of your goals…

Tried laughter yoga…yes it is uncomfortable. It’s important to do it with a well established group or, in my opinion, it sucks and leaves you going “well that just killed my love of laughing.”

Just completed a 30 day yoga challenge. #awesome. I pulled back to two or three time a week now and it is in no way as good. :(. I loved how powerful and strong I felt.

I’m curious what a 48 hour challenge is. Have you addressed it elsewhere on your blog? Please post a link if you have.

I’ve just discovered you, and love the blog.

Thank you, this was very therapeutic. <3

Good luck with your goals. 🙂

November 18, 2012 at 9:37 am

What is the 48 hour challenge?

Noah Kagan
November 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I want to stay awake and do something for 48 hours. Kinda like startup weekend, not sure which activity… Any ideas?

Emerald City Girl
November 18, 2012 at 9:32 am

In Seattle, summer doesn’t start until after July 4th. I recommend your “summer in Seattle” start mid-July and run to mid Sept. I tell all my non-Northwester friends to come in early Sept if they have only a week or so to be here. Weather is still impeccable and the crowds are gone. Happy 2013!

Noah Kagan
November 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Good looking out. Adding those dates to my calendar.

Dawn Casey-Rowe
November 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

This is my 20th anniversary of failing to run the Marine Corps marathon. Some of this is due to my having a car, and some is incomplete dedication and planning, but still, if this is shooting for the stars, then what I currently do is closer to the moon:)

It’s great to really think consciously about goals that don’t make sense anymore, and release them–Loved the analogy of “stop reading bad books.”

November 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

Great Post. My biggest issue is having clearly defined intermediate milestones to support a clear “Future State” for my family, life, and business.

Noah Kagan
November 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Make it more digestible. What do you want to accomplish by Dec 31 2012? That’s < 45 days. Then do it for the next 45 days...

November 18, 2012 at 8:51 am

Thanks Noah! This is a great reminder to think about what went wrong or what I didn’t like about 2012 and how I’m going to improve for 2013. Always good to plan ahead (instead of January 1 during a hangover…).

I’m really loving “The Charge” by Brendon Burchard, maybe you guys should team up, do a AppSumo deal, or maybe one of his seminar’s would be a good choice.

Noah Kagan
November 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Read the book already. Not super meaty but definitely some solid nuggets in there. What was your big takeaway?

Yael Grauer
November 18, 2012 at 8:47 am

Okay, so I’m dying to know what the 48-hour challenge is.

November 18, 2012 at 6:33 am

Have you tried Brian Tracy’s Phoneix seminar? It’s amazingly effective in goalsetting, you would love it Noah!

Noah Kagan
November 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Will check it out. Likely:

a) have to be open minded to seminars
b) may need specific things I want to work on and look for a seminar that serves that

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