101 Things I Want To Do Before I Die


[Last UPDATED: March 19, 2016]

In 2011, after watching the MTV show, “The Buried Life” my wife asked me a question, “What do you want to do before you die?”

I had no answer.

The day after my wife asked that haunting question I opened up a blank Word doc and started my list. Every now and again over the last year, I’d think, “Oh, Yeah- add that to the list.” And sometimes I did add it to the list and sometimes I forgot.

It was a slow process for me and although there are 101 items on the list, I’d still consider it a work in progess.

Tomorrow, March 16th, 2013, I am running my first marathon (you’ll find that one on the list somewhere around the middle or so). It was around the time I started training for this race that I realized I needed to finish my list- so, today- 1 day before the longest I will ever run in a single day- I have completed it.

Tomorrow, I scratch the first one off the list.

Inspired by my wife’s question, my own curiosity, my friends, my family as well as Ted Leonsis and Geoff Livingston’s lists – I have now an answer of my own.

To be sure, some of things are crazy, outlandish, sterotypical or seemingly impossible. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to do them any more or any less. I know that over the course of my life things will change- I will change- life will throw a curve ball and my dreams and desires will change. That’s part of the  journey.

I also realize that maybe I won’t accomplish all of these things in my lifetime, but why not try? This is my list.

In no particular order:

Go to Paris with my wife
[Completed- February 2014]

Michael & Ashleigh in Paris- February 2014

Celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in Hawaii

Walk along the Great Wall of China

Visit the Great Pyramid in Egypt

Skydive in the Alps

Climb Mt. Everest- (base camp counts)

Snowboard in Canada

Fly my Grandma to Italy

Visit Ireland

Visit Rome

Play in a poker tournament in Las Vegas

Take a mission to Africa

Swim in the Nile river

Celebrate New Years in Australia

Wine taste in Napa Valley

Hike a leg of the Appalachian Trail

Take my family on an International Trip

Visit all seven continents

Travel into outer space

Walk on the moon


Drive across the country with friends

Start a company and sell it

Have zero debt

Cook Christmas dinner for family at my house
[Completed- Christmas 2013]

Own a really nice suit

Go back to school and get my MBA
[Graduated March 2016]

Volunteer as a mentor in a local school

Make an anonymous donation to a charity

Help create an education program for children

Start a family charity

Have dinner with Warren Buffet


Have dinner with Dave Matthews

Dinner with Ted Leonsis

Meet the President

Be a guest on a late night talk show

Meet Bill Clinton

Own a home.
[Completed November 2013]


Have a kegerator in my  house
[Christmas present 2015]

Swim with dolphins

Ride an elephant

Run a marathon
Completed March 16th, 2013: See the detailed run here.


Bench press my body weight

Complete p90x

Have a child
[Mason Thomas Toner- Born March 18th, 2015]

Live to be a grandpa

Own a bar called O’Malley’s

Be a waiter

Own a boat


Own a Ferarri

Own a beach house

Own a famous painting
[Completed March 2015]
Almond blossoms

Go to the Super Bowl

Go to the Summer Olympics

Go to the Winter Olympics

See the running of the bulls

Write a book

Make a movie


Restore a car with my father-in-law’s help

Paint a self portrait

Get a tattoo

Hold an elected office

Get my pilots license

Get my motorcycle license

Go to a music festival in a tour bus


Play drums in a band

Record a studio album

Perform in a community theatre stage play

See my children walk

Drive a NASCAR

See my children graduate college

Read the Bible

Read Shakespeare’s plays

Complete a 365 photo project

Patent something

Enter a Chili cook-off

Solve a rubiks cube

Pay off College debts

Be on the cover of a magazine


Go to the Oscars

Go to the Grammys

Swim with sharks

Brew beer on a large scale

Speak at

Go to an opening day baseball game

Speak at a major conference
[The Financial Brand Forum- May 2015]
Toner at Financial Brand Forum

Learn a second language

Learn to scuba dive

Host a television show

Write my will

Learn sign language

Take guitar lessons

Take dance lessons

Take cooking lessons with my wife

Write a song

See SNL live

Take a cruise
Completed October, 2013


Ride a horse on the beach

Write handwritten letters to all of my best friends

Build something that will outlast me

Leave behind a million dollars


Tell my wife I love her everyday

Renew our wedding vows

Grow old together


2 thoughts on “101 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  1. You’re right Phil, I have completed a few of these already! I plan on updating the list come the New Year. Give me a few weeks and I’ll start crossing some off..

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