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The Impossible List

'What the flip-flop is this' I hear you ask? Well, let me explain...


Know what a bucket list is? Great, well throw that out the window because it's the total opposite of that. A bucket list is something you write half-arsed on the back of a piece of paper when you're feeling momentarily inspired, and then fail to look at again or do anything about.


The Impossible List however is full of dynamic, ever-changing challenges that continuously build upon themselves to help you reach your goals and push yourself to the next step. The idea originated with Joel Runyon but I became inspired of the one by Thomas Frank.

I thought it was a really cool idea and wanted to do one myself. It's quite personal but I feel like sharing it will hold myself to account as well as hopefully inspire others (like you!) to start their own.

If you want some tips to create your own list or if you can help me out with any of my goals, please do get in touch!

Most recently achieved
  • Go on a road trip in a Kombi van (April 2024)

  • Surf and stay standing for longer than 5 seconds (March 2024)

  • Get a tattoo (November 2023)

Current focusses​​
  • Implement an ATS for Oceania's largest employer

  • Float up in a hot air balloon

  • Do 100 pushups in a row

Alex Nelson surfs on a surfboard
  • Do 100 pushups in a row

  • Complete the Mt Everest Challenge (November 2020)

  • Do 10 pull-ups unsupported (January 2021)

  • Run a 5km (September 2021)

  • Squat 120kg (August 2020)

  • Bench 90kg (December 2022)

    • Bench 100kg​

  • Do a handstand

  • Play in a football game

  • Play in a netball game (December 2019)

  • Learn archery (November 2022)

  • Learn fencing

  • Swim 1km in under 18 minutes [17:48] (September 2022)

  • Be able to bust a break dance move

  • Learn to surf (January 2015)

    • Stay on the board longer than 5 seconds (March 2024)

  • Play volleyball on Santa Monica beach​

  • Achieve 5 football keepy-ups (March 2020)

    • Achieve 10 football keepy-ups​ [current record: 16] (April 2020)

    • Achieve 20 football keepy-ups

Alex Nelson kicks a football in mid-air
Alex Nelson poses at top of Mount Vernon for Mount Everest Challenge
Alex Nelson does a pull-up
Strava map of 10km run
Alex Nelson holds a bow, aiming at a target
  • Go to Wizarding World of Harry Potter (August 2011)

    • Go to Warner Bros. Studio Tour (July 2013)​

  • Volunteer in an African community

  • Travel to New York

  • Do a Europe trip (May - August 2023)

  • Do a Southeast Asia trip

  • Do a South America trip

  • Climb Mount Kosciuzsko [highest point in Australia] (April 2022)

  • Party it up in Ibiza (July 2023)

  • Drive Route 66 in a convertible

  • Visit all the states of Australia [completed 4/8]

  • Fly in a helicopter

  • Go on a road trip in a Kombi van (April 2024)

  • Participate in the Rickshaw Run across India

  • Float up in a hot air balloon

  • Go to 10 different countries (October 2022) - see interactive map below

    • Go to 20 different countries​ (August 2023)

    • Go to 50 different countries [24/50 complete]

  • ​Travel to Cathy's Corner on Mt Hollywood Drive

  • Move to another country without a plan (August 2021)

Alex Nelson poses in front of Hogwarts castle
Alex Nelson posing at top of Mount Kosciuzsko
Kombi Van.jpg
  • Complete high school with NCEA Level 3 (November 2015)

  • Graduate university with 2 degrees

    • Do it in 4 years (November 2019)

    • Pay off student loan [NZD $53,559.94 remaining... yes really]

  • Start a business

  • Publish an article for a major news site (May 2023)

  • Create a significant positive change in the world

  • Implement an ATS for Oceania's largest employer

  • Model for a photoshoot and get paid for it (November 2016)

  • Ride around on a mobility scooter and get paid for it (January 2017)

  • Type faster than 60 WPM [current: 79 WPM] (July 2022)

  • Make AUD $10k gross in a month (October 2022)

  • Write and publish a book

Graduation ceremony where Alex Nelson holds two degrees
Alex Nelson photoshoots alongside woman for Picton signage
  • Start a limited-series podcast

  • Start a personal website (June 2018)

  • Start a YouTube channel (May 2013)

  • Memorise the exact order of a shuffled deck of cards (November 2018)

  • Name all 50 states of America​​ (August 2018)

  • Name all 197 countries in the world and their locations (July 2018)

    • In under 10 minutes [current record 5:17] (August 2018)

    • Identify their flags [current record 5:14]​ (November 2018)

    • Identify their capital cities [current record 6:49] (May 2019)

  • Become fluent in Spanish

  • Read one book a month for at least a year

  • Memorise 100 digits of Pi in a day [completed 2.5 hours] (May 2020)

  • Start a blog (June 2018)

    • Write 10 film reviews​ for it (4/10)

  • Ride a skateboard (March 2020)

  • Juggle 3 balls (January 2020)

  • Be able to ice-skate confidently

  • Pass and hold a full (manual) drivers licence (August 2015)

  • Achieve a 100-day unbroken streak on Wordle [got to 171] (July 2022)

  • Complete a sexaginta-quattuordle [64 Wordles at once] (July 2022)

Screenshot of 197 countries correctly identified
Alex Nelson juggles three balls in mid-air
Screenshot of Wordle statistics showing 100 streak
Alex Nelson poses with his saxophone
Alex Nelson and friends at Rhythm and Vines Music Festival
  • Music festival [attended 6] (December 2020)​

  • Tomorrowland

  • Glastonbury
  • Sziget (August 2023)
  • Rhythm and Vines (January 2021)
  • Coachella
  • Burning Man
  • Formula 1 race (April 2023)
  • Australian Open (January 2024)
  • Tough Mudder
  • Summer Olympics game
  • Winter Olympics game
  • Major film premiere [Bullet Train] (August 2022)

    • Now with the red carpet and stars

  • 5 concerts [Ed Sheeran, Drax Project, Katy Perry, Anne-Marie, Six60]  (November 2020)

    • 10 concerts [There's a Tuesday, Timmy Trumpet, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia]​ (July 2023)

Bullet Train Premiere.HEIC
  • Run up an escalator in the wrong direction (October 2022)

  • Have a Bublé bath (June 2020)

  • Own a home cocktail bar

  • Attempt a successful Guinness World Record (September 2021)

  • Do a skydive

  • Jump off the Sky Tower (August 2021)

  • Become a tri-citizen

  • Ride a segway scooter (July 2013)

  • Rock up to the high-school ball in an ice-cream van (September 2014)

  • Meet David Tennant (my childhood star)

  • Watch 500 different films (January 2020)

  • Unlock a door with a credit card (March 2017)

  • Become a certified SCUBA diver

Alex Nelson poses on top of the Sky Tower in New Zealand
Alex Nelson rides a Segway scooter
Formula 1.jpg
Aus Open.jpg
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