Monday, January 10, 2011

The Best Laid Plans...

I thought I had it all figured out, I really did. I thought I could outsmart the internet.

No, not even something as silly as that*. I was merely trying to predict the internet.

*The internet has Wikipedia, the source for 95% of my knowledge, so auto-win there.

You see, on January 5th, I was standing upon not one, but two precipes. Precipi. Two things. Fuck you.

Anyway, I had two milestones in my sights: I was four people away from 50 followers, and the next day would be my one-year blog anniversary. And by damn, if I was going to reach one, I was going to reach the other, and have a glorious blog post about it as well. First, to push my readership up a notch, I not only dusted off a winning blog post that I had been semi-working on for more than six months, but also did the whorey POST ON EVERY SINGLE GROUP EVER ON TWENTY SOMETHING BLOGGERS thing (which, I'll be real, I've done a couple times). Then I brainstormed all sorts of different and momentous posts for my one year, and came up with some decent enough stuff.

Then I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I, being in Hawaii, didn't have tons of time to write a bunch, in part because I finally bought a ukulele and was jamming on it until the wee hours of the morning, so I was kind of putting off writing it until I got magical number 50. And, though I did in fact reach it (and am at 51 at last check), it didn't happen until super early on the 7th.

I got greedy, and I paid the price.

So, to mark all of these things, I decided to take a couple days to work on a little something that I'm sure many of you bloggers have no doubt come upon before:

100 Goals in 1001 Days

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. 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 organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

My first ever post was one about New Year's Resolutions, nearly all of which failed miserably. So this year I wanted to do something a little different. By giving myself a list of things that I wanted to do, a long time frame to accomplish it, and a blog with which I can record what I do, when I do it, I can take small steps improve myself without tons of pressure and a small degree of accountability. I maintain the right to change any of these, mainly because I'm in college and 20 and shit can change quickly and unpredictably. I will not, however, change any of them to be easier to accomplish.

Today is Monday, January 10, 2011, giving me until October 7, 2013 to accomplish the following 101 things:


1. Go abroad again
2. Go to Mardi Gras
3. Go on a road trip
4. Go to a place in the U.S. that I had never visited before
5. Plan a dream trip somewhere, complete with research and logistics


6. Go to Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo
7. See all the major museums in Chicago (0/5)
8. Shedd, Science and Industry, Art Institute, Contemporary Art, Adler, Chicago History, Field
9. Be in Chinatown for the Chinese New Year
10. See a show at the Chicago Theater
11. Go to the Skydeck at the Sears (NOT WILLIS) Tower
12. Go to the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival
13. Ride the CTA holiday train


14. Learn to play 10 songs on the ukulele (0/10)
15. Learn to play 10 songs on the bass (0/10)
16. Learn to play 10 songs on the piano (0/10)
17. Set aside half an hour every day to play/practice music
18. See an orchestra perform
19. Reach 18,000 songs on my iTunes library (9,887/18,000)


20. Establish a workout plan, and stick to it for 3 months straight (0/3)
21. Take a martial arts class
22. Floss every day for a month
23. Brush 3x a day for two weeks
24. Go to bed before 11pm for one week


25. See a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show
26. Take a photography class/make an effort to learn the basics
27. Watch all of the Best Picture nominated films each year
2011 – (0/10)
2012 – (0/10)
2013 – (0/10)
28. Attend 2 live improv performances (0/2)
29. Attend 3 plays (0/3)
30. Sneak into a movie
31. Go to 10 concerts (0/10)
32. Watch every Pixar movie in the span of one month (0/11 – as of Sat, Jan. 8)


33. Finish writing about my time abroad
34. Update layout of my blog twice (0/2)
35. Blog every day for a week 3 times (0/3)
36. Have someone guest post
37. Reach 100 followers (50/100)


38. Take a cooking class
39. Make a pie from scratch
40. Finally try Kansas City’s own Boulevard Beer
41. Be able to make my dad’s chili sans recipe
42. Invent 3 recipes (0/3)
43. Go out to a nice restaurant by myself
44. Eat only homemade meals for an entire week
45. Make a pitcher of sangria
46. Make sushi
47. Be a vegetarian for one week
48. Make gnocchi from scratch
49. Eat the following types of food: Italian, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Ethiopian, French, Vietnamese, Greek, Mexican, Cajun, Barbecue


50. Graduate college
51. Attend grad school OR be in a job within my preferred profession OR partake in a youthful “search for self”
52. Get a library card
53. Read at least one book a month
54. Write at least 6 articles for another newspaper section (0/6)
55. Write 5 (real, snail mail) letters to 5 people who have changed my life (0/5)
56. Plan an outing/trip (day or otherwise) with each sibling (0/2)
57. Send 5 “just because” gifts (0/5)
58. Volunteer 6 times (0/6)
59. Stand up for myself in a meaningful way
60. Finish a New York Times crossword puzzle without cheating
61. Re-read 5 books that were childhood favorites (0/5)
62. Be able to name every U.S. President in order
63. Build something (like with tools and whatnot)
64. Keep the sink dish-free for 1 week
65. Plan and/or throw a party
66. Learn how to change a tire
67. Attend a service in a Lutheran church in Chicago
68. Make out in/otherwise defile somewhere random/scandalous/unusual
69. Meditate/reflect for 15 minutes per day for a week
70. See a Blackhawks, Bulls, Bears, White Sox, Cubs, Royals, Chiefs, and Nebraska game
71. Be known by name at my local comic book store


72. Perform something in front of a live audience (stand-up, reading, music, etc)
73. Carry a thoughts journal with me to write down ideas
74. Keep a list/book of inspirational, funny, or otherwise meaningful quotes
75. Write 4 works of fiction that I am proud of (0/4)


76. Go fishing
77. Go camping
78. Drive to the middle of nowhere to look at stars
79. Watch the sun rise and set in the same day
80. Go scuba diving
81. Hike up a mountain


82. Wear a moustache for a full day
83. Make a wish at 11:11 on 11/11/11
84. Flesh out a full and comprehensive Zombie Apocalypse plan for Chicago residence
85. Make a mix CD and leave it somewhere for someone random to find
86. Play laser tag
87. Leave a huge tip for a waiter/waitress (at least 60% of the bill)
88. Sing at a karaoke bar
89. Pay for a stranger’s meal or drink


90. Do not watch TV for 24 (pre-decided) hours 5 times (0/5)
91. Do not go online for 24 (pre-decided) hours 5 times (0/5)
92. Add information to 5 Wikipedia articles (0/5)
93. Turn off cell phone for an entire 24-hour period

94. Get through 50% of this list
95. Get through 75% of this list
96. Donate $3 per every goal not met
97. Set aside $5 per every goal met for a future trip
98. Re-read the list every day
99. Blog about each goal reached, with progress reports
100.Write myself a letter to be opened at the end of the 1001 days
101.Make another 101 in 1001 list

I will tack little updates onto random posts here and there, and will use this original post as my "official list" until I do a full progress report in a month or three. If there is now a countdown timer thing somewhere on the right hand side of this page, then I've finally figured out how to imbed said bit of code on my page.

If anyone has any suggestions or want to help (like, say, paying for a trip somewhere...) or want to start one of your own, the comments box is always open. For now, I need to pack up to leave for Chicago/continue learning the chords of today's Nostalgia Music Monday song on my ukulele...


Pat Tillett said...

Holy Crap! Just making that list was a major accomplishment! Good luck!

The Shanner of Attention said...

this is fantastic! if i had the motivation, i would totally try to do something similar.

and not gonna lie- i was expecting something completely different with the word "laid" in the post title.

Amber said...

It is incredibly difficult to start flossing. I always resolve to do this but just can't make it happen.

The library card gotta do it. I just got my library card a couple of months ago and it's one of the most awesome things in the world.

I like that "sneak into a movie" is listed under "culture". You're great, man.

Thanks for the MMMbop!

Eleni said...

Yay for the ukulele! I'm still terrible at it. I need to practice enough to develop reliable technique, and maybe learn more than three songs.

Not to brag or anything, but I've been able to do #62 since second grade. I can list all the last names in one breath--a great party trick, especially when I was a kid. My whole class learned to recite them in order (though I doubt the whole class remembers it years later). We started with the first five, then added one on to the end of the list each day.

Great list! It would be cool to do one myself, but that seems like way too much time and effort. Happy blogoversary!

dominique said...

awesome list!

suggestion on the nyt crossword from a recent crossword junkie - do a monday puzzle. i don't know how advanced you are in crossword world, but they are the only ones i would have any shot of finishing.

also - here is a recipe for homemade gnocchi that does not involve a ricer (i don't own one, so it was helpful). i couldn't get it to come out quite right, but that may have been due to too much flour/overkneading -

good luck!

Penny Lane said...

Wow, you are my hero. This list is quite impressive. Even if you don't get ot any of it.

soft nonsense said...

Pat - Believe me, pain in the ass. But hopefully it'll be worth it.

SofA - I think that just means that you've been reading my blog for long enough to understand how I tick.

Amber - Ditto on the flossing. I bleed once, then its kinda sore for like three days, then I don't do it again because I know damn well that if I do, the vicious cycle will only start again. And the only reason I don't yet is because I really, really enjoy owning books and being able to pick them up and read them at any time. Then again, I'm poor, so sacrifices must be made.

Eleni - My "enrichment" class in 4th grade had to as well, though - like most lessons in life - I only memorized it long enough to get the grade. And I'm going back to Maui in roughly a year's time, so I shall improve enough by then to warrant a duet.

dominique - I'm pretty rusty after that whole Rome ordeal, but I'm solid at them. Need to work my way up to the NYT ones though...the Chicago Red Eye just can't compare. And excellent, I'm glad you gave me this, or I would have had a much, much harder time finding my way to a recipe that my tiny, college apartment kitchen could handle.

Penny - I'm glad that the promise of future participation was enough to impress you ;)

Tabs A. Geek said...

I started a list in the summer sometime. I still don't have 101 things on it, but I think I will get there eventually.

Missed Periods said...

I may steal a few of yours. I like the snail mail letters and "just because' gifts. Actually, I buy myself "just because" gifts all the time. Does that count?

Tudor Rose said...

#48. I tried making gnocchi from scratch once. It did not end well.

Out of Sync said...

Awesome list indeed! It has inspired me to finally get my own list complete, and you will excuse me if
I burrow a few of your ideas =)

Keep us updated!

Post a Comment