My list of 101 things to do in 1001 days is never very far from my mind.
I explained my project to a workmate last week, and she told me that she loved the idea but could never sign up for that kind of thing herself. It’s a conversation I’ve had a hundred times. Mostly people tell me that they could never come up with 101 things that they wanted to do (really? That’s terrible!) or that they would wind up resenting the burden of another “To Do” list.
And what if they got halfway through, and then realised that they didn’t care about those goals anymore?
And I get it, I do. It doesn’t make any sense to take on a commitment like this just for the sake of it, and it probably wouldn’t work out anyway. The only way to succeed at this thing is to have some sort of an end goal in mind.
To do this well, you have to be able to speak confidently for the person that you will be in thirty-three months time. You have to know yourself well – the good, the bad and the downright ugly – and be ready to grow.
My list is a really interesting snapshot of the person I am right now. It reveals a lot about the qualities that I value, and which areas of myself and my life need work. Even the fun, meaningless tasks on my list have some sort of basis in improving my life, my thoughts, my happiness or my relationships.
Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been worried about whether I’ll be able to finish my project. When I think of my list, I’m not daunted by the number of days I have left to complete it. There are no chores on my list, nothing to dread.
My list is invigorating because it was written for me, because I took the time to get it right.
Earlier today I sat down and wrote a new kind of list. It’s a list of things that I can do right now, or the next time I have a spare afternoon. Each of the things below will help me to cross an item off my list and get me close to my goal of 101 Things.
- Make an appointment to donate blood (#2)
- Get out the car manual, and find the instructions for changing a tyre (#6)
- Investigate short courses at university/tafe/community groups (#8)
- Pick a famous landmark to visit in the USA in September (#14)
- Pick a new town to visit this weekend (#15)
- Choose a 5km fun run, and register! (#23)
- Go to a yoga or cardio class (#24 and #25)
- Find a hiking trail nearby, and set a date to do it (#36)
- Find daisies, make a daisy chain (#39)
- Start a jigsaw puzzle (#40)
- Wake up early and watch the sun rise from the beach (#41)
- Buy tickets to the drive in cinema or the Astor, or see a movie by myself (#48, #49 and #50)
- Watch a Scorcese film, an old classic or a silent film (#51, #52 and #53)
- Find a YouTube video and learn to juggle (#58)
- Write a note to hide in a library book (#62)
- Start reading an old classic, or one of Tim’s graphic novels (#63 and #64)
- Pick a cookbook from the shelf, and choose a recipe to cook (#71)
- Take a sketchbook to a park and draw (#72)
- Take some photos with black & white film, or on my Instax mini (#77 and #78)
- Photograph myself (#100)
- Sew something by hand or machine (#82 and #83)
- Learn to crochet, or find a pattern for a soft toy (#84 and #85)
- Spend some time art journaling in my altered book (#87 and #97)
- Draw or paint a figure, face, hand, tree or still life, or something from my imagination (#89 – #94)
- Make a video of a drawing or painting (#98)
- Make a mix CD, or make some cover art (#99)
It’s hard to feel overwhelmed when you break things down this way. Best of all, it looks more like a list of My Favourite Things to Do than a boring old To Do list!
You know what would be great? If you can see something on my list that you can help me to accomplish, drop me a note. Teach me to juggle, send me your book and movie suggestions or tell me where to find the best frozen custard in New England. Whatever you can share that will get the creative juices flowing and keep me inspired.
This project can feel like a solitary journey sometimes, so I would really love to hear from you!