Monday, August 25, 2008

Cleaning house in real life...

... I recently discovered a meme called 101 in 1001, which is a pretty simple concept. To quote the day zero website:

The Mission:
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 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 organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

I found this traipsing through a blog, and am a little fascinated by this project. At first, I wasn't sure that I was interested in this, many of the lists all had a similar feel to them. But then I sat down and wrote my own list, just for kicks and grins. And having written the list and stewed about it for a few days, I see a list of achievable goals and maybe a way to help me quantify and achieve them. I've revised them a bit, but I think most of them are pretty sound. And so, we'll be looking at a new sidebar feature here. I'm posting my list today, but I'm going to keep in on the sidebar as a way to mark my progress. Today is my start date, and Monday, May 23, 2011 will be my end date. All of these things may not be completed by then, but I hope to be able to say that I gave everything on here a decent shot.

You'll notice that there aren't quite 101 things on the list. Some of these goals are private, and I'm not entirely comfortable sharing all of them. I firmly believe in a little mystery in life, and that there is such a thing as too much information, so I'm sparing you the more personal bits. Some folks have organized their lists into groups, and it occurs to me that this may not be a bad idea. So here we go! Without further ado, here is my 101 things in 1001 days challenge to myself:

The Schooling:
1. Go back to school at least part time in fall of 2009
2. bring all my student loans current and pay my accounts down as much as possible

The House:
3. Clean the library, determining what is trash and what should stay
4. Organize the books in the library so that they are displayed and accessible and so that you can actually sit somewhere in the room to read.
5. Paint the library and find a suitable rug and chair/small sofa for the room.
6. Paint the living room and front room
7. Paint the office
8. Determine which plants in the yard should be pulled, pruned, or saved and do so
9. Plant something that flowers and is pretty in the yard
10. Find or buy attractive, comfortable furniture for the yard and the porch
11. Rescue the tree growing next to the house, plant it somewhere safe
12. Clean/organize the basement so that things can be stored and accessed easily.
13. Re-finish the kitchen table and chairs
14. Re-finish all the woodwork the crazy woman painted white
15. Find/buy chairs/sofa/seating for front room
16. Create and maintain a fair chore rotation
17. Buy new mattress, box spring, and bed frame.

The Me, Practically:
18. Create a budget, possibly with Jim's input, to be followed strictly and reviewed and updated every three months
19. For six months, cook at least on real, balanced meal per week (0/24)
20. Find a job that is compatible with my goals and skills and has a normal schedule
21. Write a will
22. Designate power of attorney
23. Write a living will
24. Make peace with myself, my life, my failures, and my successes.
25. Have an educated, well-argued opinion on current events/issues
26. Find/rent/buy software and improve my Spanish to conversational level
27. Find/rent/buy software and learn a little French
28. Read the Sunday Inquirer every week for a year (0/52)
29. Spend at least half an hour twice a week exercising, doing yoga
30. Research fair trade products and, where possible, gradually switch over
31. Purchase more re-usable shopping bags and recycle the plastic ones in the kitchen
32. Buy tires for the Jeep
33. Buy shocks for the Jeep
34. Switch my registration to PA by September 30, 2008
35. Switch my license to PA by September 30, 2008
36. Open a savings account as an emergency fund and build it to at least $500
37. Celebrate Earth Hour each year
38. Blog at least once a week for three months straight (0/12)
39. Write one entry in my journal a week for six months straight (0/24)
40. Meditate on my beliefs and design a system of worship/praise
41. Initiate myself into my faith
42. Practice my beliefs actively
43. Donate blood

The Me, Whimsically:
44. Learn to ride a bike
45. Using money I've budgeted, buy myself some great new clothes to wear when I'm not at work
46. Play my flute at least once a month for six months (0/6)
47. Buy/send myself flowers at least three times (0/3)
48. Plan and spend a day at a spa, being pampered
49. Read six fiction classics I've never read (o/6)
50. Read five non-fiction books (0/5)
51. Stock the bar and learn to make fun cocktails with coll
52. Spend at least half an hour outside once per week for twelve months (0/48)
53. Plan one birthday party for myself
54. Try a vegetarian diet for a week
55. Bake something entirely from scratch
56. Buy at least two cookbooks, one of them to be written by Nigella (0/2)
57. Take myself on a date to dinner or a movie, and enjoy the time out alone
58. Develop the cameras/film I have sitting around
59. Put the pictures in the office into albums
60. Share any good pictures with those interested
61. Buy an MP3 player

Friends & Family
62. Plan a black-tie themed tea party for my girl friends
63. Take Jim to a fancy restaurant to celebrate us
64. Travel to a different country with Jim
65. Go to a makeup counter with Coll and get makeovers
66. E-mail Ashley at least once per month every month for a year (0/12)
67. Call a friend once a week to talk, every week for a year (0/52)
68. Give ten gifts just because (0/10)
69. Plan one surprise birthday party
70. Go camping for a weekend or longer with Jim or other friends
71. Do something competitive (pool, mini golf, bowling) with Jim 5 times (0/5)
72. Have at least six girl dates/girls' nights with friends from home (0/6)
73. Have a sleepover with Amy, Kely, and Melissa
74. Have my family (or at least my parents) over for lunch/dinner 10 times (0/10)
75. Have Plum family over for dinner
76. Plan an awesome week-long vacation for me and Jim
77. Watch fireworks with Jim

Crafty, crafty
78. Find or design a pattern for Melissa's wedding shawl
79. Buy yarn, needles, etc. for shawl
80. Knit shawl in a timely manner
81. Buy needles and knit the sweater that's living in the bag on my floor
82. Buy fabric and make curtains for the bedroom, front rooms, and library
83. Knit a pair of socks in less than a month
84. Knit at least six items for the charity/charities of my choice (0/6)
85. Buy, trade for or find a spinning wheel
86. Learn to spin
87. Learn about plant dyes and try them on yarn/fleece
88. Find a knitting group, join, and attend at least one meeting per month



And there we have it! Welcome to the launch!


Bells said...

Wow. Fabulous list. I like the grouping. It works well. Makes it somehow easier to digest and monitor, I imagine. I wish you all the best with it! Go Em!

Georgie said...

I love this idea, wish I had the guts to sign up!! Great list and lots of interesting items. I'll join the cheers quad too: Go Em!!

Galad said...

Third cheer GOOOOOOOO Em!

If you chip away at it, seems reasonable and a lot can be accomplished. I'll look forward to hearing how it works for you.

Rose Red said...

Great list and agree with Bells (of course!!) that grouping it into themes is a great idea. I think you've come up with a really achieveable list of goals that will also stretch you, and that's fantastic. GO EM!

Kate said...

Now that you've put your mind to it, em, I don't doubt that you can do it. In fact, I'll be a little disappointed if you can't. Best of luck, honey!

Donna Lee said...

That's an impressive list you've got there and all achievable with some work. Good luck sweetie. I'm firmly in your corner!
Shall I cheer? "slaughter them, slaughter them....."no wait, wrong cheer. How about "give me and E; give me and M. Yaaaaaay EM! You know I'm inordinately proud of you.