My 101 in 1001

I mentioned this challenge back in December, and I finally {FINALLY!} finished creating my 101 in 1001. I’m really excited about this, because I am the type of person who functions very well when I’m following a “to do” list. When I don’t have a list, I don’t know where to begin, no matter how much I want/have to do. Hopefully this list will keep me motivated to keep doing and learning and growing. I’ll continue to update this post as I complete tasks (and I’ll link to it in a sidebar for easy reference, if you’re interested in keeping up with my progress!).

I’m back-tracking a bit on my start date, since I had many items in place weeks ago, and I completed a few tasks while I was working to finish the list. Here’s the lowdown, taken from the lovely Kate at Pretty Damn Fabulous, who first brought my attention to this great idea… you can also learn about the project here.

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.

Start Date: January 1, 2009
End Date: September 28, 2011

Bold/italicized – Completed Item

Strikethrough – Replaced Item (see end of post for replacements)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Get Artsy – 6 completed
1. Take a Sewing Class
2. Sew a pillow
3. Design a Gocco wall print, just for fun (September 18, 2009)
4. Create/buy art for above the bed (January, 2010)
5. Paint mirror frames in the stairway (May 5, 2009)

6. Make a new scarf with the yarn I already have
7. Set up an Etsy store (April 18, 2009)
8. Sell something on Etsy (May 2, 2009)

9. Create rehearsal dinner albums for parents
10. Create wedding albums for parents (December, 2009)
11. Create Blurb album of Weddingbee posts
12. Create a shadowbox of wedding mementos
13. Create a scrapbook of RSVP cards, well wishes, postcards, etc.

Get Cultured – 5 completed
14. Read 5 non-fiction books (5/5)
15. Read 10 books of my own choosing (10/10)

16. Organize or participate in a book group
17. Watch all of AFI’s top 100 movies (2007 list) (31/100)
18. Go to the ballet
19. Go to the orchestra
20. Attend a live music performance of someone I don’t know who is not famous
21. Attend a play in the city (Philadelphia) (The Lion King, April 13, 2010)
22. See a Tony Award winning musical on Broadway (In The Heights, Feb. 19, 2009)

23. Attend a play at the local theatre (Media, PA)
24. Attend a concert of someone famous whom I’ve never seen before (June 12, 2009 – Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood)

Get Deep – 2 completed
25. Go to a movie alone (Eat, Pray, Love, August 2010)
26. Identify 100 things that make me happy (0/100)
27. Identify 25 things I like about myself (0/25)
28. Go to a coffee shop with a book and enjoy the afternoon solo

Get Domestic – 5 completed
29. Take a cooking class (September 9, 2009)
30. Make dinner at least 3 nights a week, two weeks in a row (October 2010)
31. Make pizelles with Nana’s recipe
32. Make home made ice cream
33. Host a party for friends
34. Take a cake decorating class
35. Decorate a cake (or cupcakes) for a loved one’s birthday (October 4, 2009)
36. Take lunch to work everyday for two weeks (Jan. 2009)

37. Try 30 new recipes (15/30)
38. Have fresh flowers at home for 4 weeks (4/4)

Get Geeky – 3 completed
39. Set up personal blog with modified template to my specifications (Jan. 2009)
40. Finish wedding recaps on Weddingbee (September 15, 2009)

41. Take an Illustrator brush-up class/seminar
42. Create a project completely in InDesign (was trained in Quark!) (December, 2009)

Get Healthy – 5 completed
43. Lose 7 pounds (3/7)
44. Take a dance class
45. Try two new classes at the gym
46. Drink 8 glasses of water daily for 3 weeks (0/21)
47. Try three new OnDemand fitness routines (3/3) (November 2010)
48. Wear a bikini on a NJ beach (July 2010)
49. Floss every day for a month (30/30)

50. Eat fruit every day for a week (0/7)
51. Work out three times a week, two weeks in a row (February 2010)

Get Organized – 10 completed
52. Sell wedding items that are no longer needed (Jan. 2009)
53. Clean and vacuum inside of car and get storage systems for items in car
54. Organize family and friend’s birthdays in one place (Google Calendar, September 2010)
55. Buy/make birthday cards and greeting cards to have on-hand and send (October 2010)
56. Organize jewelry with a new storage system (September 27, 2009)
57. Clean tarnished jewelry
58. De-clutter the bedroom (January, 2010)
59. Solve MacMail alias problem (March, 2009)

60. Finish HTAC photo album
61. Legally change my name (June 12, 2009)
62. Change name on credit cards, etc. (June, 2009)

63. Get a new passport
64. Back up all digital images from 2008 and earlier onto disc (Feb. 6, 2009)

Get Covered – 1 completed
65. get AAA membership (Jan. 2009)
66. get life insurance
67. write a will (and make husband write one, too)

Get Rich (or at least get my finances in better order) – 6 completed
68. have checks printed under joint account (October 2010)
69. have portion of direct deposit automatically entered into joint account (October 2010)

70. set up BillPayer under joint account (October 2010)
71. get free credit report — cancel any dormant accounts
72. set up 401K
73. transfer old 401K into new one
74. Create a financial plan with the hubby (October 2010)
75. Set up PayPal to be able to receive payments (April 2, 2009)
76. Put money in savings each month (at least $50) (32/32)
77. Put $5 in savings for each completed task and $10 for every uncompleted one

Get Generous – 2 completed
78. Pay 10 strangers compliments (2/10)
79. Purge and donate old clothes from closets at least three times (3/3)
80. Volunteer for the MAC (Media Arts Council)
81. Pay for the person behind me at a toll or drive thru
82. Serve food at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
83. Send 12 cards or letters for no reason at all (0/12)

Get Social – 4 completed
84. Mail Christmas Cards out before Christmas (December 20, 2010)
85. Make plans with a new friend (March 4, 2009)
86. Call one faraway friend a week for 6 weeks (0/6)
87. Have a girl’s night once every other month (8/16)
88. Plan a surprise birthday party
89. Have a dinner date with my husband once a month (32/32)
90. Have a double-date with friends once every other month (16/16)

Get Stuff – 0 completed
91. Buy a digital SLR camera
92. Buy a home

Get Adventurous – 7 completed
93. go to Chicago (May 12-15, 2009)
94. Go to a taping of Oprah (September 17, 2010)
95. Go to Las Vegas (March 4-7, 2010)
96. Take a vacation outside of the US
97. Stand outside of the Today show on a weekday morning (and meet Matt Lauer) (Feb. 20, 2009)
98. Go to NJ to take glass-blowing class (wedding gift) (September 5, 2009)
99. Take a Mother Daughter Trip (NYC, Feb. 18-21, 2009)

100. Take a girls only trip (Las Vegas, March 4-7, 2010)

101. Take a completely impulsive, spur of the moment road trip with husband

Additions/replacements – 2010 – 2 completed
6. start a business (April 2010)
45. run a 5K race
53. write a manuscript (and submit to publishers)
77. attend Altitude Design Summit
81. attend a Making Things Happen seminar with Lara Casey (January 26, 2010)


  1. this is such a great idea! i always feel so much more organized when i’ve made lists – a huge list like this would be heaven.

  2. I love it! I’ve been thinking about doing this as well (I read about it on The Knot), but actually seeing yours has inspired me to do the same! Good luck!

  3. Great list, what an organized way to get motivated.

    Just curious, as a designer what program to you usually work in? (since you said that you wanted to complete a project all in InDesign) I personally love using InDesign for all my projects and learned it just from trial and error.

  4. Laura B, I should have put a sidenote with that one :-) At my old job, we worked mostly in QuarkXPress for layout work, because the pre-press software we worked with (we had our own presses) did not yet support InDesign. At my current job, we work mostly in Illustrator because we design invitations, logos, stationery, etc. that don’t require a lot of intense page layout. But we do have InDesign here, and I know enough, but I am not a pro at it like I used to be with Quark because I don’t use it often enough. So I want to force myself to get more comfortable with it.

  5. How did I miss this post before!?!

    Haha – I love that this inspired you, but you know I didn’t really invent the concept. ;)

    Love, love, LOVE this one particularly:
    “20. Attend a live music performance of someone I don’t know who is not famous”

    Fabulous idea!!

  6. So if you’re looking for someone to make homemade ice cream with, you know who to call ;) Just sayin’.

  7. I am soooo going to make my list… and I love, love, love the fact that you organized yours! That’s too cute!

  8. Kate – I know you didn’t “invent” the concept, but you were the first person who brought it to my attention amidst all the “new year’s resolution”-ers out there :-) You still get the credit in my book!

    I think I stole #20 from someone else’s list, but I can’t remember who now…. I just thought that would be something nice to do, to open myself up to some new music :-)

    Cat – your phone will be ringing the moment it warms up and I break out the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment!!

  9. This is beyond awesome and I'm going to keep it on my back burner for after I finish my latest project (I got suckered into taking a photo a day for a year – I'm on day 194!). Thanks for the inspiration :)

  10. I'm fascinated by these lists. I especially liked that the items that correspond to habits don't span the entire 1001 days (e.g., do x for 6 weeks or y for 3 weeks). I think the people who have trouble with these lists put too many habits on their list that need to span the duration of the 1001 days (e.g., read 1 bk every 2 weeks for 1001 days) and then end up abandoning it.

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