101 in 1001 review

My 101 Things in 1001 Days project is done.  And I hardly noticed.  My enthusiasm for, and awareness of, this project definitely petered out in the end.  I knew it ended sometime in October, but I thought the date was later in October than it was and so my plans to do a few last minute things fell through.

That said, I really enjoyed the project.  It inspired me to stop putting things off.  It kept me from looking at my busy life and saying, “I’ll get to that someday.” It got me out of my comfort zone at times.  It inspired me to look around and ask questions about what it was possible to accomplish and what I wanted from myself.  The snappy way the numbers fit together was something great, too – a silly little mental hook to grab my attention.

On the downside, I’d say two main problems arose: it was too long a period and had too many scattered goals.  All those goals in all sorts of areas of my life – they were hard to remember, and I had no system of checking in with them. As for the first point, 1001 days is a long time.  I changed over that period, and the things that were passionately consuming me at the beginning weren’t always something I was interested in by the middle.  I’m a passions and projects person, and so my enthusiasm tends to move topically from time to time.  While I had left wiggle room by not completing the list before starting, it still left me with goals I wasn’t necessarily still committed to achieving.

In the end, I completed 48 of the 101 – – 47%. 14 are partially completed.  I’m really pleased with that.  I knew from the beginning that I probably wouldn’t get it all done and I wasn’t going to let my perfectionist tendencies get all harsh and judgemental on me.


Treetops in Lace


Some of the highlights:

  • drawing every place in which we slept during our European sabbatical in 2008
  • family downhill ski lessons
  • having an entirely handmade Christmas gifting
  • becoming a Lifetime member at Weight Watchers (50 pounds off!)
  • running my first half-marathon in Budapest
  • taking a watercolour painting class
  • finally eating Thai food in a Thai restaurant
  • planting more trees and bushes in the yard
  • rereading all of Jane Austen
  • doing yoga three times a week for 6 months
  • talking about goal-setting, fear, and perfectionism with my daughter

A few of the failures:

  • phoning my grandparents once a month.  I just don’t like the phone.  I wrote lots of letters, but they still need more from me.
  • learning constellations – I still want to and I still look up often.  Just didn’t get a few of the seasons in.
  • reading certain books – I’ve learned a lot about myself and my reading habits.  First of all, many of the books I wanted to read were unavailable at our small local library, even through interlibrary loan.  I also read for a vacation, and most of the books I choose were ‘good for me’ rather than ‘a wonderful place to visit’.  Lastly, while being a reader used to be a defining element of my personality, it now has plenty of other hobbies and interests vying for my spare time.  And I have less spare time.
  • I can’t believe I didn’t write the letter to the provincial government.  I must have mentally composed it 30 times.  I’ll write it this month.  Stupid.
  • the photo albums – Oi.

What I learned from this was:

  1. I need a shorter time period
  2. I like things grouped topically
  3. I need to pick a few important things
  4. I need a mechanism for checking in and reminding myself

I’ve moved the page for this off of my main tabs, but you can still find it off the About Us page. Here’s a direct link, too.

Stay tuned for my new version of goal setting tomorrow.


9 thoughts on “101 in 1001 review

  1. Sarah says:

    I agree that the time on that is too long for me also. For a person who needs a long mulling period, it would be fine, but even with the list printed out and pinned above my computer desk, I still lose track of it for months on end.

    Another side-effect of having it be such a long time period is one you mentioned – it’s impossible for you not to change in that amount of time. It seems that every second or third time I go through that list I’m crossing off items that don’t appeal to me anymore – some that were highly appealing before and I can’t see how they ever appealed to me now – and adding other in.

    It’s a lovely idea, it lets you place small goals that you would pass over on any other goal list as too small to be of significance (on mine one of those would be making a snowman with my child), but it’s too long and too (as you said) broad of a list.

    I’m thinking of maybe an 8 things in 80 days with 7 small goals and 1 large goal. Short time period, enough goals.

    But I’ve still got time in my 1001 days – I’m reviewing it tonight.

  2. Jane says:

    I congratulate you on your attempt. I could even get my list of 101 things finished. I thought I would start a shorter list for a one year period. Happy New Year!

  3. Rebecca says:

    I’m actually posting my 101 list later today. 🙂

    I have thought of some strategies to help with the problem areas that you’ve indicated.

    Within each broader goal category, I have set myself tangible dates for getting certain things accomplished… I’ve spread these out over the 1001 days in a way I hope is reasonable for both my personality and lifestyle. I will print off both the master goal list and a list for each 6 month period (as there are roughly 5) and put them in a visible place for handy ongoing reference.

    For the most part, each category itself is like a bigger goal. The “subgoals” are my bite-sized pieces that I can step into and accomplish without feeling too overwhelmed by them.

    Most of the goals are things already listed on my internal roster that I want to accomplish and that I feel I can. I simply want to plan them into my life so that time doesn’t evaporate on me (funny how it does that)!

    And I reserve the right, every six months, to review and revise the list as needed. That might be cheating (heh) but I think it will work best for me to make sure that I’m on track and moving forward… as I want to.

    Looking forward to reading about your new goal-setting approach.

  4. Rabia says:

    Your post reminded me to go look at my own list and update it. Turns out that I actually achieved some of the goals on it in the time since I last looked at it.

    The problem with that sort of list is that *I* have changed as a person even in the last year. I have things on the list that I am no longer interested in pursuing–like crochet–and recently-discovered passions–like piano–are not on it. I think it is entirely acceptable to review and update it every once in a while. It’s an interesting exercise to see how I have changed. Or how much more willing I am to take things off the list that I put on only because they were things I felt I should want to do.

  5. Kika says:

    Just want you to know that when I first read your list of goals, sometime in the past year, it inspired me to sit down with my two oldest kids and have each of us compose our own list of personal goals/dreams. For the kids we kept it to “50 things I want to do/see” and included short term goals and long-term dreams. What a great way to get us all dreaming and talking together.

  6. Shawna says:

    This project was inspiring for me. I found inspiration in the simple act of defining my own interests and persuing my own goals. The end seems somewhat irrelevant, though looking back at it to see who you were when you started and knowing who you are when it ended, fascinating, just fascinating! So thanks for the inspiration.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  7. Jo says:

    I don’t know where I’ll be at the end of my 101 things list, but I have to say it has been so good for me to have this list of fun things to do. I am so grateful to you for the idea. When I started my list I was coming out of a bit of a depression and while I can’t say that the list is what cured my depression, it does help me have something to look forward to and it helps with my homeschool burnout.

    So thanks for inspiration. I’ll keep updating my blog sporadically about my own progress.

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