Have you ever though about starting a 101 Things in 1001 Days list?
There’s a ton of these lists floating around the internet. A quick Google or Pinterest search will give you hundreds of results that will keep you occupied for hours. And there are some really interesting and inspiring lists out there. Personally, I’m about to finish up my second round of 101 in 1001 (although it’s my third list – more about that later). Even though I started the 101 challenge for the first time in 2011 (!) I haven’t lost my interest or enthusiasm for it. If anything, I’m more passionate about it now that I was when I first began.
I’ve definitely learned a few things over the last seven years of doing this challenge. Not only has my life and perspective changed drastically in that time, but I’ve had a lot of time for trial and error and learning what does and doesn’t work.
The original idea for the 101 in 1001 challenge comes from the Day Zero Project and this is where I first learned about it in 2011.
If you’re just looking for a quick introduction, try reading 101 Things in 1001 Days: What Exactly Is It?
Here’s a brief description from their website:
The Challenge: 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 your part).
Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. 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 organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.
So by now you’ve aquainted yourself with what the 101 in 1001 challenge is, and you are (hopefully!) thinking about creating your own list. Slightly daunted by the task? Stumped on where to start?
I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks from everything I’ve learned over the last seven years of doing the #101in1001 challenge. Hopefully, this helps to get you started!
1. Mix It Up. Choose big and little goals. Too many big goals and your list will become overambitious. Be realistic – most of us aren’t going to be able to travel to 3 different continents while also hitting up every province, and then going skydiving and taking a cruise in our 1001 days. Also think about cost. Balance these things and your list will be much more attainable. Mix it up with some larger goals and then smaller goals that are still meaningful to you.
2. Be Specific. Make sure your goals are clear cut. Saying your going to try and do something every other day (for almost 3 years) is just setting yourself up for failure. Things like “Start maintaining a healthy diet” or “Get into shape” are so vague. A better choice would be “Sign up for a session of yoga”. Make it something solid that you can pin down.
3. Take Your Time. There’s no rush to get to the starting line. Don’t just write a list and hit publish. Make a rough draft. Heck, make five rough drafts, then put your list away for a week before revising it. This list is going to take almost three years of your life. You’ll appreciate down the road that you took the time to really be thoughtful with your goals.
4. Think About the Future. This kind of ties in with taking your time. 1001 days is a long time. Your life will change. Your situation, your interests, the people you surround yourself will change. Take the time to think about where you will be in 3 years, especially if it’s going to involve some big life changes, like graduating school, changing jobs, getting married or having children. This is the number one reason I retired my first list before the 1001 days were up. We had our second child, and it changed so much. Half of my goals specifically involved my first child, and nothing involved my second child. While it’s hard to anticipate something like that while making your goals, it’s definitely something to keep in mind. That said, if you life does significantly change and make a lot of your goals obsolete, it is not failure to adjust and start again, or even revise several of your goals! It’s just new opportunity!
5. Make It Personal. Will your goals still matter to you at the end? Does it matter if you successfully don’t log into Facebook for two weeks or if you completed that random 30 day challenge? Make it about you and what is going to help you grow as a person over the 1001 days. I think that in considering what to put on my next list, it’s probably going to be more personal now than it was in the beginning, simply because I’ve learned that the personal and family experiences are the things that end up mattering more in the long run to me. Things like “See a professional ballet company”, “Go for a bike ride” and “Have family photos done” definitely rate higher on my list these days and is more fulfilling to me than things like “Go two weeks without chocolate”.
6. It’s About You! Make sure that your goals aren’t dependent on others or on anything else that is out of your control. You are so much more likely to complete them if they are based on your actions alone.
7. Share It. You are more likely to hold yourself accountable to your goals if you share them with others. And I find other people’s lists so interesting to read! If you have a list, please share it with me!
8. Be Inspired and Fly! There is so much you can do with 101 Things in 1001 Days! Get creative and have fun with it. I really love the process of creating and then trying to attain all of my goals. It’s an extremely enjoyable process and great way to give some intention to your goals that otherwise tend to fall by the wayside. There’s no “right” way to do it, and there’s no way to fail. Even if you only cross 40 things off your list during your 1001 days – well that’s 40 things you may not have done otherwise right?
If you’re considering starting a 101 in 1001 list, you’ll get nothing but encouragement from me. I absolutely love the whole process of it from beginning to end. I’m almost at the end of my current 101 in 1001 list, and I’m already starting to consider ideas for my next list, which will probably start in January 2018.
If anyone out there wants to begin a #101in1001 challenge with me in January of 2018, I’d love a few friends to share the journey with!
Good luck with your lists!