The ten steps of UP are split into four design and execution phases and usually spread over 100 days or one year. Then a primarily research phase spread out over 100 years follows. Each phase and activity can be modified based off of your needs and preferences. Don’t worry if it seems overwhelming at first–so does climbing Mount Everest, inventing heavier-than-air flight or building a billion dollar startup.


Phase 1: Life Design

  1. Conduct Orientation: an open conversation around what you want out of UP, UP’s theory and operations, a few starting frameworks, and expectations and norms
  2. Begin Epistemic Housekeeping: a socratic dialectic to help you “know thyself” and examine your core worldview, key beliefs, and system for updating what you “know”
  3. Build Life Self-Model: a qualitative view of who you are, what your purpose is, and how you conceptualize life
  4. Build Life Calculator: a quantitative view of (almost) everything you value, estimates for the resources you would need to allocate to projects dedicated to achieving those values, and the corresponding estimated benefit to cost ratios and return on investment for each project
  5. Set Life Goals: a first pass at clarifying what you most want to accomplish in your life
  6. Factor Life Goals: a deeper dive into your goals attempting to identify the most optimal ways to achieve the values underlying your goals
  7. Create Life Plan: a tool that succinctly integrates your Life Purpose, Life Strategy, Life Goals, Life Dashboard, Life Taxonomy, Life Self-Model, and Life Calculator into a coherent plan for living your optimal life
  8. Create Life Dashboard: a tool that tracks all the measures for the things you value
  9. Set Annual Goals: a clear, measurable set of ranked goals with milestones and resource allocations drawn from your Life Goals
  10. Set Quarterly Goals: your annual goals broken down by quarter (or month or six-month period, depending on your desired timeframes)
  11. Create Exocortex: a process to organize or secure all of your cognitive-support tools (computers, online drives, phones, tablets, desks, physical inboxes, whiteboards, etc.) so the extended “you” is optimally ready to be used to achieve your goals
  12. Design UP Team: a process to design and eventually recruit, train, and support the ideal team to help you to achieve your goals
  13. Create UP Team Guidelines: a set of guidelines, frameworks, and norms for your UP Team to operate under
  14. Create Financial Budget: a comprehensive budget forecasting all of your annual financial expenses to help you achieve your goals
  15. Create Time Budget: a comprehensive budget forecasting all of your annual time expenditures to help you achieve your goals
  16. Take Baseline Assessments: a customized set of baseline measures for the things you value
  17. Set Week 1 Goals: a clear set of your plausibly highest expected value goals drawn from your entire space of possible upgrades
  18. Schedule Week 1 Activities: calendaring in the specific days and times you and/or your UP Team will tackle your first week’s goals