Maggie Mason Shares Her Life List and Encourages You to Make One, Too


San Franciscan Maggie Mason is the founder of Mighty Girl, a popular lifestyle blog with hundreds of thousands of readers and a consistent ranking among’s top blogs. She’s also a social media whiz and a hearty supporter of setting out to do the things you’ve always wanted to do — hence, the annual weekend retreat that she co-founded three years ago called Camp Mighty.

Every year at Camp Mighty, participants each bring a list of approximately 100 life goals and are given three days of support around making plans to accomplish them. There’s also a lineup of notable speakers to inspire greatness (past speakers have included Ben Silbermann, co-founder of Pinterest; Jennifer Lawson, the powerhouse blogger behind The Bloggess; and SF artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon) and workshops to provide guidance. Oh yeah, and it all happens at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. Sunshine and a swimming pool, anyone?

It goes without saying that Mason has been cultivating her own Mighty Life List and crossing things off, one big or small thing at a time, for years. As a nod to our local entrepreneur and dream-cultivator, we’ve compiled a few of our favorites of Mason’s goals — and some of the stories behind the ones she’s accomplished.

Now go make your life list.

GOAL: Night dive with manta rays.

“The day before this dive I was bitten by a Humuhumunukunuku’puaa, which is Hawaii’s national fish. It super-bit me and made me bleed, presumably because I was hanging out over its turf. Sorry Humuhumunukunuku’puaa, my bad. And thank you for the reminder that sometimes animals bite you precisely because they don’t recognize you. Thank you for that reminder mere hours before I got in the water with fish the size of houses.”

GOAL: Hold a teeny finger monkey! On my finger.

“Gah! Get onto my finger! Here’s a brief selection of other animals you should consider holding on your finger.”

GOAL: Make 1,000 lovely things.

“Ugh. You guys, I haven’t had nearly enough time with my glue gun lately. There’s so much stuff to encrust, and I’m just sitting here, not covering a single thing with sea glass.”

GOAL: Have a portrait done of myself in the style of a portrait of my grandmother.

Photo by Leslie Fandrich

GOAL: Form a workplace with people I love.

“Today I work on Go Mighty with five industrious women based all over the country. I imagine them in fedoras with press passes tucked in the bands, banging away on typewriters, and pencils clutched in their teeth… I remember cubicles, and HR-mandated meetings, and the guy one desk over who sent angry emails that said I reminded him of his estranged mom. And now! I get to wake up and decide what to do with my day! What I want to make next, and with whom.”

GOAL: Write thank you notes to my favorite authors as part of the #thankawriter project.

“Dear Ms. Didion, I wanted to say thank you. I only discovered your work in the last few years, but it has changed how I think and write. I’ve found kinship in your voice, which is such a rare and happy circumstance for a reader. So thank you again for your work — for all it has taught me, and for making me feel less alone.”

GOAL: Photograph all the public libraries in San Francisco.

GOAL: Make my bedroom the perfect place to be a girl.

“It’s been nearly two years since ‘our apartment’ became ‘my apartment,’ but it still looks mostly the same. And if you’ve ever been through a breakup or divorce, you know that living in an echo is pretty sexy. No wait. Depressing? I mean depressing. I get those confused. But today Olay is giving me a kick in the bum, and some much-needed help reclaiming my bedroom. They’ve hired my friend Victoria Smith from SF Girl by Bay to help me choose paint swatches, and light fixtures, and organizational whatsits. We’re revamping my room as a gift to myself for Valentine’s Day, which is apropos, because the walls are going to be pink enough to make Cupid question my taste levels.”

GOAL: Squeeze all the juice out of the holiday season.

“I sometimes delay Fun until it magically becomes Not Fun — particularly around the holidays. For example, I love choosing presents, but I wait until the twelfth hour and abracadabra. I’m at the Container Store on Christmas Eve beating someone senseless with a Keepsake Shadowbox.”

GOAL: Make 100 cocktails.

“You know how Mexican Hot Chocolate has a little kick? This is like that, but with coffee. And frozen. So nothing like that, except for how the cinnamon schnapps gives it some punch, and how it is delicious. And now you finally have a use for all those frozen bananas you’re never going to use to make banana bread. Cheers.”