In 2012 my husband and I stumbled upon the concept of a 101 Things List. At this point I don’t know the origin, but these are the instructions I have at the top of our original list.
The Mission:Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
The Criteria:Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).
Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.
The first list for me, made in 2012, was a joint project with my fiance, now my husband. Out of the 101 tasks we set for ourselves we accomplished 15 of the 101 items. A few of the ones we accomplished were getting married, making our own pasta sauce, going to an opera, and beginning the child percolation process (totally my husbands wording). Some we failed on were going wine tasting, hosting Christmas dinner, and taking an art class together. Overall an enjoyable if not totally successful experience.
To my knowledge my husband never made another list. I made my next list on May 17, 2016. That means my 1001 days are over as of February 12th. I completed 26 of the 101 items.
Some of my successes are:
- Finishing my daughter’s crochet blanket that I started while I was pregnant with her. She received it this past Christmas.
- Post a video to Youtube. I posted exactly one and it’s not for me.
- Teaching Pepper to read. She started reading entirely on her own just before her third birthday.
- Taking a mommy and me class with Pepper.
- Visiting a new museum.
- Building a snowman.
- Starting and keeping up with a blog
- Completing a read-a-thon
- Identifying 100 things that make me happy.
- Creating a self care list with 25 or more entries
- Purchasing my first fountain pen.
Some things I didn’t accomplish are:
- Knitting a pair of socks
- Winning 3 NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMos (I did win two)
- Seeing Les Miserables performed
- Reading The Lord of the Rings
- Buying a house
- Learning to play a song on the piano with both hands
- Learn how to french braid my daughter’s hair
- Going horseback riding
- Going on a cruise
- Getting a tattoo
- Riding a bicycle
- Completing 10 Geocaches. (I have yet to complete one)
- Learn to identify all 50 states by shape
- Learn to speak French
Not entirely successful, but I did accomplish some things. I can see from my list that my daughter is the most important part of my life. The section pertaining to doing things with or for her is the most fully completed. I can also see that most of the things that were not accomplished remain unfinished due to lack of money. And other things were accomplished creatively.
I think it’s less about checking off every box and more about focusing on things that are important and that make life fun and worth living.
These days it feels hard to make a list like this. I can’t imagine what my life will be like in nearly three years. My daughter will be closing in on her seventh birthday. My husband and I will have been together for eleven and half years. I don’t know what either of us will be doing for work. Where we will be living. After my husband’s job loss last April it’s hard to feel secure or to guess what will remain a constant in our lives. I’m so focused on what we need to do on this one particular day to survive the next day or week that it’s impossible to know what our priorities will be in three years.
And for that reason I can’t imagine making another list right now. Even though, I fully planned to draft a new list after finishing writing this post. I don’t know what our life will be like next week let alone next year or the year after. Daily goals, weekly goals, some quarterly goals. That’s what I can handle right now. The concept of the 101 things in 1001 days will be available when I feel secure enough to make such long reaching goals again.
Have you made a 101 things to do in 1001 days list before? What are some things you would add to yours?
ETA Not doing this list feels like even more of a right choice after my husband’s diagnosis last week.