Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

Export My Content

Buster Benson

I need more goals.

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Have a baby
Only 24 days to go

I’ve learned a lot about how exactly I want to introduce a new son into the world through the process of watching my wife go through pregnancy. We were all ready to do the hospital birth with drugs and had even picked out a hospital and a doctor until two things sort of lead us down a rabbit hole that changed all of our thinking about how birth should be done (for us). Those two things were:

  • Pushed, the book
  • The Business of Being Born, the documentary

That lead us to research more about midwives and doulas. Even in the hospital midwives and doulas are very useful. The main barrier for us was that we didn’t know how to find a midwife, and the doctor/hospital route never really assumes that you’ll want one. It’s difficult to learn about so much in such a short period of time (especially since we had insurance issues and house-selling goals to deal with at the same time, not to mention money strapping), and often times I was hoping that someone would just lead me in the right direction. As first-time parents we expect a lot of guidance from the professionals. The hospital situation is pretty stark on that front… charging a lot of unexplained bills for each visit, and only getting a few minutes with the doctor.

We brute forced our way into an interview with a midwife even though we didn’t know what we were doing, and that saved us. The midwives were really communicative about our options, and gave us a ton of time to ask all kinds of silly, “stupid” questions about how things are done. They were just much more available. And cheaper!

Luckily we live in a state that allows midwives to be covered under insurance, and they led us to choose a doula that came with a ton of good reviews. And also helped us find a good birth class outside of a hospital for people having babies at home or in a birth center.

From there it all just came together. We found a Naturopathic Doctor for our newborn care, we have a doula and a home birth, we decided not to move, or get a car, or worry about all the crazy scary things that people try to scare you with. We decided to be open, confident and excited about everything that’s going to change in our lives. We’re going to try to breastfeed, co-sleep, do our version of attachment parenting, avoid circumcision, and also make sure we don’t exhaust ourselves out of guilt or do anything simply because a book tells us to do it. We will make mistakes and adjust, and take in as much information as we can in the process so that we can make balanced decisions. No dogmas, no taking everything too personally, etc.

Easier said that done, you might say. Well, we say it so that it can be easier done. And if it goes completely differently, that’s fine too. We’re adaptable creatures, and have good intentions, and everything will be okay in the end.

do my morning pages every morning
750 pages

Created a little site to help me do this every day:

Anyone else who likes this idea is also welcome to use it. It uses Facebook Connect and is a private journal. Let me know what you think!

start playing the guitar again
Got my guitar from storage

My fingers are going to need to be toughened up a bit again. But, this being the first time I’ve played the guitar since the iPhone came out, I just realized that one of my least favorite parts of playing the guitar (tuning the damn thing) is now a lot easier with these guitar tuning apps. Awesome.

And, also, I’ve decided to just learn a bunch of songs that I like rather than writing my own songs (for now) and found a great site with a bunch of current artists:


start a fruit and vegetable garden (read all 5 entries…)
A few weeks later...

And everything’s sprouting!

write a facebook app (read all 2 entries…)
I think I'm getting pretty close

Just need to do a bit more testing. Wouldn’t want to accidentally break the site again!

write a facebook app (read all 2 entries…)
Still working on it!

Doesn’t help that Facebook changes their API every other day.

start a fruit and vegetable garden (read all 5 entries…)
Things are starting to grow!

2 weeks after planting

start a fruit and vegetable garden (read all 5 entries…)
Weeded, and first seeds planted!

This last weekend I dug out a big fennel plant that had taken root in our rock wall:

Then, we planted our first batch of seeds: arugula, swiss chard, beets, and snap peas.

Then, the sun came out hardcore for a few days and I’m hoping they’ve all been inspired to germinate.

start a fruit and vegetable garden (read all 5 entries…)
Weeded our plot

Cleared the plot

Took a day to get rid of all the weeds. We also bought a bunch of vegetables to plant, which we’ll do right after I dig up one last giant fennel plant in the wall.

run a half-marathon for charity

Ran 5 miles this weekend, on a randomly sunny day. I think I’ll be able to run 13.1 by June no problem, although I’ve started trash-talking my teammates so who knows what level of training this will spurn on. Maybe I’ll want to run the whole 26.2!

find out my blood type
I gave blood last month...

They sent me an email a few weeks later saying my blood type is O+. Universal donor, y’all.

start a fruit and vegetable garden (read all 5 entries…)
Borrowing space at a local pea patch

Russell and Lia have a 10’ x 10’ plot at the Belltown pea patch and they’ve generously volunteered to share it with us as we learn how to grow fruits and vegetables for ourselves. I’m super excited.

Order the 43Things book (and tell the world while I'm at it)
Test out our new personality quiz...

I’m a Self-Knowing Healthy Tree Hugger, according to this test.

It’s not linked from anywhere else on the website yet.

do 100 pushups (read all 2 entries…)
Stuck on week 3

I did 100 pushups, but not consecutively. 20+25+15+15+20+10=105. That last 10 was not part of the challenge though, so it’s sort of cheating. If I could’ve done 25 on that 5th set that would be better.

Well, after doing 100 pushups in 5 sets, it’ll be a long road to doing 100 pushups in 1 set. How do people do it?

care about health for a year (read all 2 entries…)
Another stab at being healthy

I’ve managed to get myself in a bit of a health pickle recently. My original goal of gaining 10 lbs of muscle sort of failed due to my slow weights routine not really ever making much of a difference. I did get stronger, but I didn’t gain weight. And, considering my fluctuating diet (ie. Health Month), a few stressful months that led to not eating/sleeping enough, and a break when I got married and honeymooned, I’m now weighing more than I did at the beginning but suspect it’s fat rather than muscle.

In the meantime, I’ve found myself spoiled by slow weights and unable to go to the gym (it seems so futile to mess with those weights without a personal trainer), uninterested in running, and weighed down by honeymoon and holiday eating.

So, I’m gonna try to start a yoga habit. I’ve been reading meditation books and getting into the mindfulness stuff again, and trying to be more aware of the constant buzz in my head and body and how it influences my behavior, thoughts, posture, and mood.

It helps that there’s a yoga studio (and a good one) literally right under where I work. The only problem is that I rarely feel motivated to go in the morning, and have plans after work. But now that life is calming down, I think I’m going to try to start going to the 6pm classes. And maybe one on the weekend. They also have meditation classes, which I’m very interested in as well.

Just to be clear, I’m not much into the Eastern religion aspect of it all, and I’m not going to become a vegetarian or stop killing bugs that annoy me. But I have begun to think of health as something that is as connected to mental state as it is to physical state. And given my extra-stress levels recently, a little calming meditation and mindfulness is about the only thing that seems to work for me. Acupuncture helps too. And so does cutting back on the drinking. It all works together.

I guess that’s what health is, in the end: everything working together. Or something deep like that.

partake in a media diet (read all 2 entries…)
Week two

Okay, the 10 minutes an hour thing worked for a week, but didn’t really feel worthwhile enough to continue this week.

I think the real issue with media consumption is the tendency for it to turn us into compulsive multi-taskers. Speeding through tasks, switching tasks during lulls, intolerant of a thought that lasts longer than a moment, etc.

So, this week, I’m trying a new thing. One thing at a time. If I’m working on something, work on it without multi-tasking. If I’m surfing the web, surf it until the wave ends, then stop. No need to hop waves and live in a crazy chaotic whirlwind of snippets of information.

One thing at a time. I’ll try that this week and see if it’s any better.

partake in a media diet (read all 2 entries…)
Starting today

I’m only going to surf my favorite update-heavy websites in the first 10 minutes of every hour. These sites include, but aren’t limited to: Twitter, Live Journal, Flickr, Facebook, Google Reader, and Tumblr.

I’m also turning off all email notifications, and any Twitter desktop notification apps I have.

The point of the media diet is to reclaim my brain. Especially my daytime working brain. The overload of update-heavy input has me switching sites every 5 minutes in order to see if anything new is posted. It’s like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, and will never end.

Much better to reclaim my brain and miss a few updates or links here and there.

I’ll try this out this week and see how well it works.

do 100 pushups (read all 2 entries…)
Currently looping endlessly in week 3

The 6-week program is at I’m currently on week 3, and have been here for a while. I took time to get married and honeymoon in between, and now I’m hoping to get back on the pushup wagon.

I like pushups. They’re simple, over quick, free, and can be done almost anywhere. No equipment required, and the workout is as much arms as it is back and stomach.

100 is a lofty goal though. But it’s concrete, and I’ll definitely know if I’m going towards it or away from it if I continue the program.

Elect Barack Obama president (read all 2 entries…)

Here’s what I did on election night:

buy a bespoke suit (read all 7 entries…)
Picked it up yesterday.

I tried on the suit for the final time yesterday, with the shoes, and I’m totally in love with it, so much as someone can be in love with an inanimate object.

The bespokeness continues, though, because Scott Kuhlman is also making my shirt and bowtie, and they too are going to be totally awesome.

The whole process has been truly delightful, and I recommend Kuhlman for anyone in Seattle who needs a perfectly tailored suit.

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