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.

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re-evaluate my use of 43T


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Tarrador 3 years ago

TarradorTime To Let Go

Two days remain in 2011. New Year’s Day is only really a marker of time if you choose for it to be so. In reality it is just another day, not imbued with anymore power or energy to transmute the lead of last year into the gold of next year than is any other day of the week or year.

But I have always chosen January 1st as a segregation point seperating where I am going from where I have been. So as I contemplate this year past and draw intentions for this year coming, I do so with a mixture of gladness and regret.

I’m glad to be working again full-time, even over-time. I’m glad I experienced no severe health crisises during the year. I’m glad no hardships befell me or my family, and that everyone ends the year safe and healthy and prosperous. I’m glad my wife’s goals and desires manifested in her going back to school and getting braces. I’m glad her illness has not progressed and remains well-managed. I’m glad we have held together and remained a couple and that she loves me. I’m glad we remain committed to wanting the same things, and enjoying the same things. I’m glad I still have a faraway friend who continues to be a rock of support and encouragement no matter what.

I regret the hurt and worry I’ve caused various people this year. I regret some actions I have taken and some actions I have not taken. I regret the discovery that some friends were not as friendly as they seemed, that some people are great talkers but poor doers, and that more people seem to want things from me rather than want things for me. I regret that someone who has in many, many ways been a true and loyal friend can’t be my friend anymore, and it is as much my fault as it is theirs.

I’m glad for the goals I reached and I regret the ones I did not reach. But maybe the ones I did not reach were not meant for me. Maybe 2011 was not meant for me. I said somewhere that 2011 was, for me, the “year that wasn’t”. A friend suggested that it might be “the year it all began”. I don’t think that’s how I see it. I could see 2012 being the “year it all began” and let 2011 be the “year it all ended”. There is a lot I’d like to put behind me. One thing is the way I deal with things. Things have happened; things will continue to happen. I’m tired of holding up a mirror of self-inspection and seeing some one else’s reflection, the image of what other people expect. I have two visions of myself at times: the one everybody wants me to be, and the one I truely am(whom I often despise). They cannot coexist. One must become truth and one must fade into illusion. I will be glad if, in 2012, I can go all year without any regret for being whatever version of me I truely am.

What does this mean for my use of 43Things? Can’t say for sure, but I do feel I will be changing the way I use this site and my lists of goals. I certainly want to keep following the many wonderful people here and cheer and support their strides to reach their goals, and to be there for support when things are not so great in their lives and they are struggling. And I think 2012 and things that I have envisioned are going to call for me to be, if not more self-forgiving, at least less self-condemning. So I plan to let go of a lot. Time to let go of remorse and guilt and regret. To let go of other’s expectations and requirements and measurements. Let go of those dreams and thoughts and things that do not serve me and what I want. Time to let go of all those precious, vital, slippery, worthless things I’ve been clutching at for so long.

As the year that wasn’t ends and the year it all begins commences, it is time to let go. It will be okay. 2 years ago

Solena D. 3 years ago

Solena D.A goal that accomplished itself

With all the unfortunate changes so far, I am still here, adding new goals, writing entries and posting photos, getting inspired and strengthening my friendships, and it is still my favourite site.
So it looks like I’ve re-evaluated without really re-evaluating and, granted there are no sudden and extra bad changes implemented, I’ve decided to stay and share.
Fingers crossed!

P.S. I’ve just realized my 3 years anniversary on 43T was on September 22nd, a week ago, and I missed it. Oh well.3 years ago

TarradorVoices of Choices

In a re-evaluation of my re-evaluation I have to concede that it is not fair to compare my current use of 43T to the way I used it when I first came here. It is sort of like that pickup truck you bought when you wanted to haul hay and lumber and that is what you did for a couple of years and then your needs changed and you ended up putting a camper on the back and actually living out of the truck when you got divorced and the only thing you got away with were your clothes, your dog and that beat-up old pickup. As we evolve, the way we use things evolves as well. I would never cook a steak today the same way I did when I first tried to cook a steak. Too much about the way I do things and what I have learned has changed. It is kind of like that for this site, too. The more I use it, the more my use of it evolves.

What I am most dissatisfied about is my choice to make goals and fumble around with them and not fulfill them the way I expected. When I start a goal I generally start with a vision of how it will look and feel to achieve that goal in the end. You’d think I’d be grown-up enough to realize that, as Mr. Spock says, “having is not so sweet a thing as wishing” (or something like that). It is frustrating to set a goal, achieve it, or more often than not, fail to achieve it, and feel no different about myself.

Recently I went through a phase where I felt very low about this very thing, just in a different context. I could look back on my life and some choices and actions and had a hard time seeing that I had changed even one little bit. Maybe a new coat of paint over an old car, but eventually those rusted parts blister through the pretty and shiny, and what lies beneath is revealed in all it’s ugliness and corruption. I wrote and talked and envisioned how different I was and how many changes I had made but really they were just superficial adjustments, just paint and polish. The person I always was was still underneath, blistering through.

Guilt and self-recrimination is a wierd thing. It is like being at the bottom of a lake, struggling to reach the surface but there is a stone block tied to your feet and the harder you fight to drag that weight up, the more exhausted you feel, and the sooner you just fucking drown. The only way to break the surface is to cut the cord that ties that stone to you, let it sink while you rise. But if that stone is the expectations you have for a better you, and the person who comes gasping to the surface is the old you, then what have you accomplished? I actually found that the greatest relief I got from the pain I was feeling was to drop some of those expectations, accept that I did/do bad things, and just sort of shrug and say: “That’s who I am, get over it”. It was like shooting to the surface and sucking in clean, sweet air.

But, clearly, this is not the answer I am looking for.

I’m not trying to change the good things about myself, after all. I’m trying to change the things that have brought me pain and woe. And not just to me, in some cases. But I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes and they just don’t fit and nothing feels right. A clean and lovey suit with a tie and combed hair and I would rather strip naked and pull back on my wrinkled, torn, stained and rank clothes. How comfortable and relaxed I then become. Until I look in the mirror, of course.

I don’t expect to be perfect… ever. I won’t ever be a paragon of virtue, but that doesn’t mean I want to be a parody of virtue either. It’s just so goddamned hard to be a certain way because so many people expect that of me and it leads me to expect it of myself, when I feel so much better actually being the person I’d most want to change. There should be a dozen arguments in favor of being one way, and only one in favor of being a better person, and the one argument ought to trump all the others. But I have a dozen arguments on each side and all of them sound reasonable and good to me, so the debate still reels inside my consciousness, the voices of choices shout over each other to be heard.

Ironically I would never suggest to anyone they change themselves to meet others’ expectations. I would not suggest they change themselves to meet their own artificial expectations. But it is nearly impossible for me to be at rest with this view. I’ve never believed I was such a good person that I could not change for the better. As much trouble as my sins have brought me, I never felt I was punished enough for them. But I’ve never wanted to be “owned” by a set of expectations, either. Even when they are for my own good.

What does this have to do with 43T? What does it have to do with how I use this place? Maybe if I keep making small changes, reaching little victories, meeting innocuous challenges, I can actually train myself to strive for big achievements with lasting results. Maybe instead of beating my face and fists against a brick wall I should build a ladder, rung by rung, and see about climbing over that wall. Maybe my goals and my vision should evolve, along with my expectations of who I will be if I ever come out the other side of all this. And maybe my use of this site will also evolve into something more substantial than just layering on new coats of paint or ill-fitting clothes. 3 years ago

TarradorThe Grade So Far

In spite of how last year ended I started this year hopeful and optimistic. I thought I had opportunities to make important and lasting changes, be rid of past misfortunes, reach new goals, and accomplish a lot of things. About 32 weeks into this year and I feel like I’m earning an “F”: the “one word motto” for the year has been failure. Failure on the job front, failure on health goals, failure in financial goals, failure in personal relationships, failure to let go of the past and move on. I’ve probably “given up” more goals than I’ve accomplished this year.

This site has always been a source of inspiration and support for me. I felt it was part of my growth and improvement. Like a lot of other people I also feel like this site has suffered unrecoverable damages and isn’t the place it was when I found it. When I found it, it wasn’t really the place I watched it become, but now it feels like less than that.

But mostly I feel like I am less than I was at the beginning of the year. If the purpose of this site is to set goals and make honest strides toward achieving them and sharing those results with others who share similar interests, then it is time for me to reevaluate how I am using 43Things. Not because of some spiteful suggestion from the site’s handlers, but because what I am doing now isn’t working. I look at a list of goals that once got me excited. Now all I feel is hemmed in and hampered, frustrated by circumstances that stall and delay my progress. And there are other things I can’t write about and get to the bottom of because I’m afraid they will shock or upset or disgust people here who I’ve come to care about, and to care about what they think. Realistically I don’t know why it should concern me, it’s not like I’m ever going to actually meet any of these people. Why should I care what anyone thinks of me when I’m not any more of a real person in their actual lives than digital type on a website? But I do. I always do and I probably always will. So part of this reevaluation is deciding how to be honest enough with myself to do myself any damned good. If I cannot do it here I will have to do it somewhere, or else I will have to swing the prison door shut and lock those thoughts and feelings away in the bowels of my soul, festering and rotting and never seeing the light of day.

Maybe it is time for a long break; a hiatus. Maybe it would be better to leave and come back with some accomplishments to start from, rather than hopes and desires. I’ve watched other people “reevaluate” their use and decide to shut their accounts down, delete and disappear or come back under another guise. I don’t think that is the best choice for me, to come back as someone else. The greatest millstone around my neck is that I seem to be unable to escape who I am. If that turns out to be true, what is the point of having 43 goals, or 43,000 goals?

I’ve already trimmed my list, giving up on some goals. I may yet cut back on more. I don’t plan to add any more goals right now except one, some version of a “43 Day Challenge”. If I cannot accomplish that within a mere 43 days, it will give me a large part of the answer I’m looking for. The first half of this year has been very disappointing on many levels. The last ten weeks have been spent spinning in circles and trying to get pointed in the “right” direction. I don’t want the last four months to be just as useless. If that happens I worry that I might be reevaluating something more serious than how I use, or fail to use, this website. 3 years ago

metafora77 3 years ago

Solena D.The writing on the wall

After ButtonGate, SubsGate and feeds being all messed up, I’m scared to think what improvements the Monday update might bring along. I’m disliking this site more and more…the thrill is gone kind of feeling.
I love my 43T friends dearly, and being here has helped me in numerous ways, but it looks like it’s time to think about this goal seriously. 3 years ago

_vexJust for the record

After ButtonGate, we had the SubsGate (changing the subscriptions and revealing who’s subscribed to whom).

One of the latest (unannounced) changes seems to be that comments now appear mixed with entries on the main page for any goal. I don’t see how this would improve the site except of course to assure that all goal pages have fresh content, thus getting a better position in Google and other search engines.

I hate to say it, but this place seems to suck more and more. :( I’m glad I got through the drama of ButtonGate, because now I’m pretty detached and unaffected by these “improvements”. Just like I said before: “Ultimately, I don’t want to use a site which is going to be changed in ways which bring more money and not in ways which would be of benefit to its users.” 3 years ago

Silvie 3 years ago

LGS 3 years ago

LGSTime to put this to bed...

x 3 years ago

CreativeHeart 3 years ago

flowergirlresumed 3 years ago

SurlyDo you wanna buy some death sticks?

These are not the share buttons you are looking for. Oh wait! That was Episode IV :)

It may be a Jedi mind trick that has lulled me back into complacency. Truth is, I like the 43T community I would miss it if I were to leave. I hope over-sharing doesn’t force me out.

Attack of the Clones

Obi-Wan Kenobi: You don’t want to sell me death sticks.

Junkie: I don’t want to sell you death sticks.

Obi-wan Kenobi: You want to go home and rethink your life.

Junkie: I want to go home and rethink my life. 3 years ago

Surly 3 years ago

Rene W. 3 years ago

Rene W.Time to get back to goal setting

I miss 43 Things! I used this before the whole Facebook craze and it helped me to start 2 businesses and figure out my life. WOW – I’ve come a long way since 2007 when I joined it! Now I want to delete my old goals and start fresh. I think I’ll start with my business and work out toward the most important thing – my life! 3 years ago

heaveemetalI don't know...

how I would have done without it.
Of course I probably don’t use it just for goals.
Probably I use it for therapy.
And to have a small squeaky voice in this big, bad, mean world.
I’m still here.
Much to a few members disappointment. 3 years ago

heaveemetal 3 years ago

Simon - 3 years ago

Tartsy 3 years ago

Zanna Campanula 3 years ago

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