Guest Post: Why I’m Doing 101 Things in 1,001 Days

Happy June!

If you have been around the last few weeks you will know I have been doing a mini series leading up to my 25th Birthday.

Today’s post is one of the last ones in this series as on Tuesday it is officially my Birthday.

I am super excited to share with you today’s post which is a guest post from the incredible Lauren Busser who I am super grateful to for her effort in making this post happen and then genuinely amazing advice she has past on to me. This post is incredibly inspirational and I am so excited to have you guest post.

Why I’m Doing 101 Things in 1,001 Days:

I have a history of not doing things I actually like doing. 

I spent most of my 20s prioritizing work and income. According to every “advice for 20-somethings” article I read at the time, that was what I was supposed to be doing. 

The problem was when I was about to turn 30 and made work my life, I realized I was missing out on the passion many people were saying I needed for a long-sustained career. More importantly, I didn’t have a social circle that I felt I could rely on. I started valuing experiences over stuff and wondered if that would have been a better use of my resources.

As luck would have it, shortly after I realized this I happened upon an old list that I found on LiveJournal in a community called 101 Things in 1,001 Days around 2007. The idea was to pick the start of the year and make a list of 101 Things you wanted to achieve. ‘

This initial list wasn’t necessarily the type of thing that I had the means to achieve at 18, but 10 years later, I found that I had accomplished a lot on this list.

So I decided that I would do it again, and prioritize experiences over things. I picked a start date of August 1st, 2021, and I am closing in on a final year trying to do things that bring me joy and some things I just never prioritized.

Some of the Reasons Why I Am Doing This

As I said before, I have a hard time prioritizing myself. So the big goal here was to give myself time to focus on myself and take time for myself. So, a part of this list was for me to set myself up for future success, but it was also for me to continue to grow over time and make time for things I always wanted to do. 

So there’s a fine line between me wanting to say generate passive income or set up something that can be monetized, and giving myself the creative space to make something that is just for me. 

Because, unlike what I was taught in my 20s, it all has value, but the deadline gives it some impetus. 

Keeping Some Perspective

The important thing 101 Things in 1,001 Days is that this isn’t a bucket list. If you’re looking at your life for the next 2 and a half years, you need to think about what you want the most and what will help you achieve the goals you want out of life.

On my list: I had education, career, fun, personal growth, finance, food and drink, and travel goals and specifically looked at the next two and a half years.

I was already in a graduate program, so I should be finishing my degree. I was applying for a job so applying for a job with a target salary made sense to put on my list, but I also knew that I would push more things to the side in pursuit of those two goals.

So I looked at some bigger goals and added smaller chunks.

For example, there was no way that I would actually get a Ph.D. in the next couple of years, but I could apply for programs. 

It also wasn’t feasible to expect to own a home by April 2024, but I could make a savings plan and start putting money into that account with a target date. 

The key here is to realize that the end of this 1,001-day journey isn’t about compressing all your life goals, it just gives you a deadline to take action on some of these items. 

Making Fun a Priority

For me, this project had a few goals in mind, but among them was fun.

First, I wanted to make sure I prioritized having fun. I wanted to do things like go to a music festival, go to concerts, attend museum exhibitions, and have fun. 

The reason for this was because I always struggled with giving myself a reason to go somewhere and making time for it. I was taught that if there wasn’t an immediate benefit or it couldn’t benefit my career it wasn’t worth it, but in the last decade, I never regretted anything I have done for fun or enjoyment. 

So, I made it a point to list things like attending a convention, watching 26 movies, and attending Taylor Swift’s next tour (yes, this wasn’t announced when I made the initial list, but I address that).

Reward Yourself

As I said before with this article, I’ve struggled to make myself do things just because. So, if what you want to accomplish doesn’t have a deadline, tie your tasks to another goal. 

To accomplish this, I decided that I would set up an investment account and pay myself $25 for every goal I complete. 

Given that one of my larger goals over the next few years was to get myself into a more solid financial position, this meant that I could both have fun and do what I love while rewarding myself at the same time. 

I did the math too and if I completed all 101 Things that would leave me with $2,525 in that particular account. That’s in addition to anything I added or set aside. That’s a pretty good incentive to prioritize my own goals. 

But 101 Things is a Lot

When I started looking into doing this idea again, I found out that LiveJournal had evolved into the Day Zero Project. This was a great place to get inspiration and start building my list, but I also struggled to fill 101 items from the start. 

Then I remembered that the world is constantly evolving. Companies and programs shut down. New events are announced. Pandemics change how we live for over a year. New companies and platforms open up. 

This is okay, and it’s part of the process. If you only have a list of 50 things you want to do, leave that space to grow. Give yourself time to discover new ideas and meet new people. 

By the end of this journey, you will be a different person and those goals may shift slightly depending on who you want to become. 

Write It Down, Track Your Progress

If you’re working towards your goals, it helps to keep track of how far you’ve come.

For myself, I keep track of my goals in Notion. 

Notion is dynamic enough that I can create pages for each goal and add photos, notes, and anything else I want to track into the template. This also gives me some perspective as to how I am progressing toward my goals. 

For example, I have one goal of reading 100 books by April 2024 and I have a reading tracker in the same app. Having ways to filter that database allows to see and check how I am progressing toward that goal and allows me to see that even when I may not be actively thinking about the end of this goal: I am still accomplishing something. 

Remember the world is constantly evolving and your needs change. It’s easy to see completion as an overall picture, but sometimes even a small step is still a win. 

If you set a goal to travel to one of your bucket list destinations and you don’t quite make it before your deadline, but you saved up $10,000 to buy your tickets and accommodations and you’re ready to book: that’s still a win. 

If this happens, give yourself permission to celebrate anyway. You are closer to the goal, and that’s what this 1,001 Day Project is all about. 

You can always take a break and set a new list once your goals are done. 

Places to Get More Inspiration

It would be easy enough for me to write this article and make it sound like this was as easy as creating a list, but the fact is that there were so many factors that guided me to this path. If 1,001 days too long, there are other ways you can apply the same energy to your life. 

Here are a few places where I’ve found inspiration in the last few years. 

Day Zero Project

Day Zero Project is the next iteration of the community that I joined years ago. While the site isn’t necessarily intuitive, it does give you a solid place to start thinking about some things you might like to do and can get you started thinking about a larger path. 

The Idea Battle page is also great to help you realize some things you’ve already done. 

Passion Planner

One of the big reasons that I have successfully accomplished so many of the goals I’ve set out for myself is because a friend gifted me a Passion Planner in 2018. Their motto is: it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to start, and that’s something I’ve taken into my 101 Things in 1,001 Days.  

I have loved using the roadmaps, spaces of infinite possibility, and brainstorming and it’s simple enough that you can be as minimalist or creative as you’d like with your daily spreads. They also have a selection of printables from full spreads to challenges and inserts that you can use to help get you started.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

A big inspiration for me was listening to this audiobook. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes details a year where she forced herself to say yes to things that scared her. One of the chapters is about saying yes to play and she talks about spending some time with her daughter. It really put into perspective taking those moments to say yes because you genuinely want to do something with someone you love.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

As a creative, this book is also great for anyone looking for some inspiration on seizing that creative energy and it isn’t too prescriptive so you can return to it over and over again. 

Would you take part in 101 things?

Once again I would like to thank the wonderful Lauren for sharing with us this incredible and inspiring plan/activity. If you get the chance to check out the incredible Jewellery she is currently making.

Love Always,

Gee xoxo

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