Tuesday, January 1, 2013

101 Things

Happy New Year! 

I hope your parties all went well and that you had a lovely evening. We went down an visited my parents and we were all asleep by 11 and slept in until 9, so we had an awesome New Years Eve. Best sleep ever. Except when the neighbors started their fireworks and the dogs panicked and tried to dig through the front door (goofy dogs). Other than that, best sleep ever.  

So...today's topic? A Pinstrosity waiting to happen: New Year's Resolutions. Now, don't exit out yet. I used to try the whole New Years Resolution thing, but who actually finishes them? I'm sure there are success stories of accomplishing your resolution, but I haven't heard them yet. 
Why don't we hear many "I did it!" stories? A few reasons. 
  • We pick things that are too broad. "I want to lose weight." Great. Make that your N.Y.R. around 3 p.m. one day, and then the next day after you have gotten up and out of bed and visited your john you've accomplished your goal. But that wasn't really the real goal there. "I want to live healthier." "I want to spend less." Those are all admirable goals...but all too often I think we leave them at that one broad statement. 
  • This one kinda goes along with the previous one...but we don't give ourselves a finish mark. "I want to lose 20 pounds" is a little better than "I want to lose weight" because it gives you a specific goal to work towards. But then often we give ourselves an outlandish finish mark and we want to finish it by March. 
  • We make a N.Y.R. that requires a regular schedule. "I want to exercise 3 times every week." So as soon as you don't fulfill one week you feel like you've blown your entire resolution and why keep trying.
  • We pick something outlandish. "I want to sing on stage with the remaining members of Queen while wearing THE Michael Jackson glove." Probably not going to happen. 
  • Then of course nature works against us, the minions plot to ruin our lives, Karma has a few good kicks we may or may not deserve, and we just don't get done what we want to. 

I had quit doing New Years Resolutions because they just didn't get done and/or they got forgotten about by March (at the latest). But then I happened on an idea, and this year will mark my 4th year doing it and it's revolutionized my New Years Resolution making. One of my friends put together a list for herself of 101 things she wanted to do in 1001 days. I thought that was an awesome idea, but I knew that 1001 days (which is over 2.5 years) was a little large of a scope for me. So I decided that I was going to make me a list of 101 things I wanted to do that year. It took me a month to come up with 101 things that first time, but I finally got my list made. This year will be my 4th list and I'm excited to get working on it.

Now, I know what you're thinking because this is what I thought at first: "101 things?! Are you kidding? No way I could do that." Don't exit yet either. 

This "101 Things in [insert year here]" list ends up being like my bucket list for the year. I put anything on there, big or small. I'm not quite done making this year's list, but a few things I have on there are "Get my hair layered," "paint a picture", "type of 3 of my old journals", and "learn 10 new recipes". They are simple things, but they are things I want to do this year. I find doing this list also helps me to work towards some of the larger goals I have. I want to write a book someday, so I have some small goals on my list to help me work towards that. I won't have a book written by the end of the year, but I will have some progress made. 

So what does this "101 Things" list do for me that a New Year's Resolution doesn't? 
  • It gives me narrow goals. I know what I mean by "get my hair layered."  Yes, that is still up to interpretation, but it's definitely better than "do something different with my hair." 
  • I have finish marks. As I complete items on the list, I can cross them off. I see progress being done. I keep track of my progress on my blog so that I can put links to finished projects, articles that helped, and then it's like show-and-tell. It may be that no-one ever actually looks at that page, but some might and so it helps me want to check things off the list and it's fun to show what I've been able to accomplish. 
  • I have all year to work on the items. I can have individual items on a schedule (one of mine this past year was to go on a walk or hike with Cameron at least once a month), but the whole list is not on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. 
  • If one item is outlandish...it's only 1 in 101. The whole list isn't blown if that one item doesn't get done. 
  • I know that as I go through the year I will find new hobbies and interests and that I will change and grow, so by August I may actually not be interested in doing some of the things I was interested in doing back in January. So I view this list not as a list of "must dos or your year was a piece of poop", but more as a "you might try this and just see how many you can get done". Don't expect to finish everything on the list. 
  • Some days when I'm bored I go through my list and get ideas of what to do.
It can be hard to come up with 101 things...the first time I did this it took me 2 months to get to 101 items. But it made me sit down and think about what I wanted. It made me make goals. It made me evaluate what I wanted out of life that year. Coming up with 101 things sounds intimidating...but give it a try. If you can only get to 50...start with that and then add to your list as you go throughout the year. Sometimes I break down items into two in order to reach the 101 mark. For example, I had "turn the hammock area into a picnic area", but I needed more items on the list so I also put, "start gathering rocks for the picnic area". So I ended up working on two different items on the list by doing one thing. I don't count it as cheating, I see it as breaking up your goals into bite sized chunks. Remember, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step." I know that phrase is almost cliche now...but it's taken on new meaning in my life lately so today it seems less cliche than normal. You have to start somewhere.

Here are just a few things that I accomplished from my list in 2012:

Made a homemade bouquet for a friend:
Got rocks gathered for our future patio/picnic area:

And we even got to try some fun new food:

So if you're like me and you've given up on New Year's Resolutions, give this a try. I love it and it is so much more doable and fun. I wasn't hugely into Pinterest yet when I wrote last years, but as soon as I've got this year's list done I have a Pinterest board waiting to pin things on it to help me accomplish the things on my list. I'm sure there will be a few Pinstrosities along the way, but that's part of the fun of it. 

To see my current list click here


  1. Sadly, even 101 things overwhelms me. I think I'm going to make a list of 52 things. Then I only have to average 1 each week.

  2. I love this! This is a wonderful and able-to-be-accomplished refocus of the New Year’s Resolution! Recently I spent 3 years in Florida; while we were there I had a “bucket list” of things that I wanted to do. The list included places that I wanted to hike or have a picnic, beaches that I wanted to visit, events that I wanted to attend… Now that we have moved, I enjoy knowing that I took full advantage of the area while I was there! Your post inspires me to begin again and do this where I am now; so at the end of this year when I look back, I won’t have any regrets of things that I wish I had done.

  3. i totally love this idea, and i am going to challenge my husband to make his own list. that way we can be sure to have a year full of "adventures"! =)

  4. Maybe if I made everyday things part of it I could accomplish 101 things. Like
    1. Get up at 5:09 am.
    2. Take a shower
    3. Apply makeup
    etc, etc...lol

    I did set a goal of reading 30 books in 2013. I set the same goal in 2012 but only make it to 26 :(

  5. I did something similar a few years back on my 30th birthday. I made a list of 30 things I'd like to accomplish by my next birthday (volunteer for somethign with the PTA at the kids school, pay out a loan on KIVA, sew myself a new piece of clothing, etc). I posted updates each month on the 6th (my birthday is the 6th of the month). To keep on top of my updates I would copy/paste the list into a new post and schedule the post to publish on the proper day. During the month I'd update the list with progress or completion of goals. A time of two I forgot until I saw my post auto-published! Then I just went in and edited any updates in. I didn't finish 100% of my list, but I did do a lot of things I wanted to try or had been putting off! And doing it for my birthday made it a gift to myself. :)

  6. I have about 150 "bigger" things on my "life list", and each year I set myself six "bigger" goals to achieve, and then each quarter set myself smaller ones.
    Basically because the Life List took 6 months to pull together!

    But I like this 100 (or even 20 or 30) things to do in a year. Could be a goer for me in 2014. Or even between birthdays. 31 things to do now I'm 31 etc. :)

  7. Yeah... Never would have that much time free. I have made myself 2 goals for the year. Read 1 book and start & finish 1 knitting or crocheting project by next year. My New Years resolution was to make my New Years resolutions more reasonable ;)

  8. I love this idea! I made my own list (and put in on Pinterest). It was a little intimidating until I realized that they can be anything; it's not these are the only things I can do this year. And even if I don't do them all, I'll probably do a lot more than I would have otherwise. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    My board is here: http://pinterest.com/leah_joy/101-things-in-2013/


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