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101 Things in 1001 Days

Some of you may or may not know, since I keep track of this on a separate blog site, that I've been participating in something known as 101 Things in 1001 Days or Mission 101 or simply "101/1001." It's New Years Resolutions on crack, kind of. The idea is to come up with a list of 101 things that you want to accomplish in 1001 days.

Because I'm a complete dork, I kind of forced myself to apply the SMART criteria to the goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. I'm already pretty good about defining goals that have clear measures for success (in other words, NOT something like "get better at computers"). The main thing I had to force myself to stick to was not having any continuous goals. An example of a continuous goal would be "go to work by 9am every day." Way too many New Years Resolutions are continuous goals, and the reason why people give up on them is the same reason I don't want them in my list. As soon as you slip up once on a continuous goal, you have technically failed. And that's demoralizing and gives little incentive to continue. So my trick is to put a time limit on the continuity that's long enough to be challenging but short enough so I can try again if I fail. "Go to the gym 3x a week for a month" is an example of this. It's not trivial, and the one month is long enough to cause a lifestyle change if it's a habit I want to keep around.

Of course, I didn't finish all 101 things. But I did a lot of stuff, and I'm happy with the things I did. My main takeaways going into the next 101/1001 (starting January 1st) is 1) have a better way of tracking and 2) be more purposeful with the goals I choose, not just picking things to arbitrarily challenge myself or because they "sound cool." (So as tempting as Project 365 is, I don't think it will end up on the list.)

Some of you started 101/1001 with me and will probably go "oh crap" when you see this and remember that it still exists. I highly encourage you to join me come January 1st! Let's conquer the world. :)

My 101/1001 blog: gck.vox.com The following summary is cross-posted from there.

I came up with 91/101 items to do (90%)
I fully completed 37/91 items (38%)
I completed or partially completed 52/91 items (57%)
I completed 20/37 items in 2007 (54%)
I completed 9/37 items in 2008 (24%)
I completed 5/37 items in 2009 (14%)
Category where I was most successful: "Do more of the things I like"
Category where I was least successful: "Control bad habits"


  • I read a lot more than I was reading before.
  • I was not motivated to complete any of the computer-related tasks.
  • I achieved many of my exercise goals with a great amount of effort, and that has resulted in a noticable change in my lifestyle.
  • I started piano lessons and did Nanowrimo, but other than that, my creative goals were largely untouched.
  • I don't need motivation to do things that I like, but it's nice to record the fact that I actually do things.
  • The website was not an efficient or effective way of tracking goals that involved recurrence. As a result, I'm not sure how far I got on some goals because I lost the motivation to keep track.
  • The "try new things" goals probably should have been left open instead of deciding early on what new things I needed to try.
  • I still suck at keeping up with people. I also suck at volunteering or contributing to society other than monetarily.
  • I don't do well with the "do or don't do something for a week" goals.

  • I read about ~50 books in ~2.5 years.
  • I lost at least 10 pounds.
  • I participated in the Extreme Body Makeover class at the Pro Club (think boot camp) for two consecutive months, going to the gym at least 3 days per week for one of those months. Now I am not afraid of any gym class, except maybe the ones that make you dance.
  • I finally braved my fear of yoga class and went to hot yoga. Now I go somewhat regularly and can touch my toes. This is a big deal for the Person with Tight Hamstrings (tm).
  • I overcame my fear of elevation and did a number of hikes in the 6-8 mile, 1500-2500 ft gain range, a big step up from before.
  • I finished 50,000 words of a novel during National Novel Writing Month 2008. I actually completed the novel with another 50,000 words in 2009, which is a little past the end date for this 101/1001, but I don't care. :)
  • I started taking piano lessons again and am still taking them.
  • During this time period, I took a number of major trips, including: Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore (March 2007), Spain (November 2007), Glacier National Park (July 2008), Taiwan (December 2008), and India (May 2009).
  • I bought a condo (May 2007).

I consider this project a success, even if I didn't finish everything I originally set out to do. There were a lot of lasting positive effects that came out of some of the goals, and it's very satisfying to have kept track of what I've done. I have every intention of beginning a new list for January 2010 (what better way to start a new decade?), and hopefully this time I'll be able to develop a better system for keeping track of recurring items. My priorities will definitely be different from this set, and I'm looking forward to completing a new set of goals!


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 12, 2009 3:07 PM.

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