101 in 1001

“Go everywhere,” he said at last, in a low, kind voice; “do everything; get everything out of life.  Be happy – be triumphant.”
— Osmond, in The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James

Jane and Mo have both done this, as well as plenty of other people on the internets, and I’ve been thinking about this for some time now.  There are lots of things I want to do that I keep putting off for one reason or another, and since I’m feeling better, I thought I might start tackling some of them.  Plus, I love lists, and this is, like, the mother of all lists.

The idea, if you haven’t already figured it out, is to come up with 101 things you want to accomplish in the next 1001 days.  And then do them.  I’m posting this here as a regular post, but I’ll add it as a page tab across the top, so you can follow along with me, if you like.  Here goes nothing:

Start date: August 1, 2009

End date: April 28, 2012


1. Find a way to sing again – in public

2. Work my way through one quarter of  “No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog” (0/25)

3. Start keeping a personal journal again (without the pressure of feeling like I need to “recap” everything that’s happened since I last kept one, which is the reason I haven’t started doing it before now)

4. Make 5 more journals and give them away

5. Draw something suitable for framing

6. Blow up and frame a photo I took

7. Blog at least three times a week for 3 months (0/12) (0/3)


8. Go to 5 states I’ve never been to (0/5)

9. Take a train somewhere far away enough that I have to book a sleeper car

10. Visit a national landmark I’ve never seen before

11. Visit a tourist trap I’ve never seen before (like the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, or something)

12. Spend a weekend in Amish country at a Bed & Breakfast

13. Visit my friend who lives in LA

14. Spend a night at the Wigwam Village Motel in Holbrook, Arizona

15. Ice skate at Rockefeller Center

16. Finally Yelp! Fat Matt’s Rib Shack from our trip to Atlanta (short version: go there)

17. Go back to the Excellent Dumpling House in Chinatown in New York (where they really do serve excellent dumplings)

18. Go to Coney Island (when it’s open this time)

Tourism at Home

19. Take a Duck Boat tour of D.C.

20. Visit the September 11 Pentagon Memorial

21. Take a tour of Old Town with one of the colonial guides

22. Take a Segway tour of D.C. with my mom

23. Go see the dolphin show at the Baltimore Aquarium

24. Go to the National Zoo

25. Go to 5 new museums in D.C. (0/5)

26. Go to Arlington Cemetery


27. Finally finish unpacking the books

28. Try 2 new recipes a month for 6 months (0/12)

29. Put loose recipes into binder

30. Go through boxes of high school and college memorabilia and toss everything that no longer holds meaning (0/2)

31. Host a dinner party

32. Bake something that requires yeast (which scares me)

33. Enter a baked good in a contest

34. Hang curtains in bedroom

35. Bake a cheesecake from scratch

36. Cook meals for lunches at work two weekends a month for 3 months (0/3)

37. Find out what, exactly, chipotle en adobo is, get some, and then make something with it

38. Find dulce de leche and re-attempt Death by Caramel Bars

39. Grow mint so I can learn to make my own mojitos

40. Get caught up on putting photos in albums and printing photos from my camera

41. Buy a scanner

42. Upload old photos

43. Go through photo files and name all photos

44. Buy an apron, maybe from Etsy

45. Find a recipe for beef burgundy and try it out; see if it compares to this

Health & Fitness

46. Lose 40 pounds, 5 pounds at a time (0/40)

47. Journal food intake (i.e., get back on track with Weight Watchers) for 30 days (0/30)

48. Run another 5k

49. Take a kickboxing class

50. Take a dance class

51. Get off my medication

52. Floss every day for 30 days (0/30)

53. Take Pico to the vet three times (more as medically necessary) (0/3)

54. Take my vitamins every day for 30 days (0/30)

55. Work out 5 days a week for one month (0/20)

56. Finally upgrade my processor or get my back-up processor fixed


57. Establish a savings account and deposit money from every paycheck

58. Create and implement plan to pay off credit card 1

59. Create and implement plan to pay off credit card 2

60. Create and implement plan to pay off car

61. Figure out whether and how to roll over old 401(k)


62. Attend an NFL game

63. Go ice skating

64. See games at 3 Major League ballparks I’ve never been to (0/3)

65. Go horseback riding

66. Fly a kite

67. Go to the drive-in

68. Join a bowling league

69. Go to a monster truck show

70. Drag David into a photo booth get a photo strip of pictures of us

71. Bowl a perfect game on Wii Bowling


72. Read Anna Karenina

73. Learn to play Euchre, so I can play with David’s family

74. Learn all the state capitals by heart

75. Take a class at the community college

76. See half of the movies on AFI’s  list of the Top 100 Films of the Last 100 Years that I haven’t seen (0/23)

77. Finish Heart of Darkness, even if it kills me

78. Learn to use 3 new features on my digital camera (0/3)

79. Watch the third Godfather film (I’ve seen the other two, and I need to know if this one’s really as bad as they say)

80. Re-read all 7 Harry Potter books


81. Volunteer with the Girl Scouts

82. Do 10 nice things for strangers and don’t tell anyone about them (0/10)

83. Leave a secret in a Post Secret book at the library or bookstore

84. Write three letters to companies whose products I enjoy (0/3)

85. Write three letters to companies when I have a problem with a product or service (0/3)

86. Send a care package through AnySoldier.com


87. Ask my grandmother to write down five memories of her own mother for me

88. Have the Princess and Conductor spend an overnight with me in D.C. and take them to do fun stuff

89. Write actual letters to 10 people telling them how much they mean to me (0/10)

90. Go one weekend (from 6pm Friday to 7am Monday) without using the internet (including from my cell phone)

91. Do something special with Aimee in 2011 to celebrate 20 years of friendship

92. Take David on a picnic

93. Continue the Christmas cookie weekend tradition with Karen (0/3)

94. Get a haircut and maintain it with regular (every 6 months) trims (I haven’t had a hair cut in more than a year)

95. Write myself a letter at FutureMe.org to be delivered on the end date of this challenge

96. Find a new job

97. Finally get my diploma and bar certificates framed

98. Send someone flowers for no reason

99. Buy new running shoes

100. Buy new iPod

101. Marry David


So there you go.  What do you think?  Too ambitious?  Not ambitious enough?  I can’t decide.  A few notes:

  • The things that are for 30 days at a time or the like are meant to get me into the habit of doing those things.  I don’t intend to stop flossing at the end of 30 days, or quit taking my vitamins, I just wanted to challenge myself to get back into good habits.
  • At the end of the challenge, I will donate $2 to a charity (TBD, probably hearing-loss related) for every goal on this list that I did not complete.  (If I complete them all, I’ll donate $202  to the charity.)

5 thoughts on “101 in 1001

  1. Very impressive! I don’t know if I could come up with 101 things that fast! Have you been working on the list for awhile? So many of them made me say “I’d like to do that too!” and then there were a few that I could say “Done that!” You will have so much FUN with so many of these, and you will be so organized and healthy with the rest!

    I need to think about this. I love lists too. MAYBE I could actually put something together that would get me off the sofa and out there accomplishing things!

    You don’t have to do these in order…right? I especially love the one about getting your grandmother to write down things about her mother. That’s priceless.

    (Oh. I like the marry David part too!)

  2. #44 – or maybe get Lydia to make me one in 2010.

    #57 – I love INGDirect. Seriously. Easy. High interest rates.

    #77 – It will kill you. It’s awful. Seriously.

    These are great. One day when there isn’t so much on my plate, I’ll work on one of these.

  3. @ Dawn: I’ve been thinking about the list for quite some time, and I was actively working on compiling it for all of July. I could never come up with that many that fast, either. I also readily admit to googling “101 in 1001” and reading other people’s lists for inspiration, but many of these I came up with entirely on my own (like the one about my grandmother). And no, you don’t have to do them in any sort of order. I hope you do it; I’d love to see what you come up with!

    @ Lydia: Would you really make me an apron? That would be awesome! We’ll have to get in touch about that – in 2010, of course! And as for Heart of Darkness, I have a friend who just loves it, and I promised him years ago I’d try again, but every time I get started I can’t seem to get through it. I go farther this most recent time (January-ish) than ever before, but I still didn’t get halfway through. I’m determined though.

    @ Kari: Wisconsin is a state I’ve never been to, so maybe I could knock out more than one thing on the list (part of the 5 states and one ballpark I’ve never been to) – and I could visit you! How fun!

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