Wednesday, July 23, 2014

101 things in 1001 days

 Self-motivation is hard. Like, super hard. Just in case you were wondering. It's right up there with doing real pullups or finding a unicorn.

In the past 18 months I've tried many approaches - daily to do lists, laying out weekly schedules, weekly to do lists, project breakdowns, monthly to do lists, joining groups. Some of them work well, some worked for a time, some of them simply served to make me feel incompetent. B pointed out that I seem to do better with setting goals to work towards rather than simply saying "I will work on this thing every day" (doesn't everyone?).

Then in the midst of twitter meandering, I found this woman's blog and saw her list of goals to accomplish - 101 things in 1001 days. Apparently this meme has been going around the blogosphere for quite some time and I am several years behind. But I am a total sucker for a 'to do' list, so I made one. And I like the timeline of it - 2.74 years is a nice time frame to work in; short enough to feel motivated, long enough that even some of the bigger goals seem doable.

Of course, it's taken me 3 weeks to come up with 101 things, and during this time I've already started - even finished - a few. Perhaps it's cheating, but I think I'll need the head start.

Disclaimer: In no way do I think I will actually accomplish all of these - some of them are realistic, some of them are pipe dreams. But it's been a fun exercise simply to make the list - I encourage you to give it a try, see what comes up for you (then let me know if any of yours overlap and we can do them together!)

Part of the ongoing #73 - simple photo manipulations for the win!
Start date: 1 July 2014
End date: 28 March 2017

My 101 goals:

Italics indicate a goal in progress
Bold goals have been completed

1.     Visit six new (to me) European countries (3/6: July 2014: the Netherlands, August 2014: Austria, October 2014: Hungary)
2.     Set foot in Asia
3.     Visit Peru
4.     Take a girls’ only vacation
5.     Hike a Swiss Alp (August 8 2014, Mt. Rigi)
6.     Visit 5 new (to me) Swiss towns or cities
7.     Go on a trip with B – minimum 1 week
8.     See a show in London
9.     Go snorkeling
10. Go boating on Lake Zurich
11. Go to a professional sporting event
12. Visit the Basel Zoo (October 2014)
13. Take a solo day trip in Switzerland
14. Watch a sunrise
15. Watch a sunset
16. Visit a chocolate factory
17. Take a chocolate-making class
18. Go ziplining
19. Go to a Zurich museum (Kunsthaus, August 2014)
20. Go berry picking (
21. Eat at a Michelin star restaurant
22.  Visit a farmers market 5 times (3/5)
23.  Try 5 new coffee shops in Zurich (4/5 –My Place, Conditerei Schober, Schwarzenbach, Käfi fur Dich)

24. Host a Thanksgiving in Switzerland
25.  Send five care packages to friends/family in the US (3/5)
26.  Have a 5 minute conversation in German
27. Go to 5 German conversation group meetings
28. Have a picnic
29. Host 5 friends from abroad at our apartment (2/5)
30. Email/write 10 different friends in the US (2/10)
31.  Go to 5 Meetup gatherings (4/5)
32.  Host friends for dinner 5 times (2/5)

33. Learn to sew (on a sewing machine) – complete one piece
34. Learn to embroider
35. Finish a cross-stitch piece
36. Attempt 5 crafts off Pinterest (1/5: December 2014, homemade cards)
37. Get yarn stash up to date (7 July 2014)
38.  Crochet a major project that should ‘fit’ – e.g., jacket, sweater, etc.
39. Learn to knit – finish one piece
40. Attend course at London College of Fashion
41. Beat a computer game (Tomb Raider, 15 July 2014)
42. Crochet a full-size afghan
43. Join a Zurich library (13 August 2014)
44. Complete a >2000 piece puzzle
45. Go to paint your own pottery (13 July 2014)
46.  Read 100 books (20/100 - goodreads list here)
47. Do 30 day photography challenge
48. Make 10 homemade cards (4/10)
49. Make wedding scrapbook
50. Watch 10 movies off my Netflix queue

In the kitchen:
51. Bake a 2-layer cake, decorate using fondant
52. Make macarons
53. Create my own cookie recipe (2 attempts so far)
54. Try recipes out of 5 different cookbooks (1/5: bread)
55. Follow a German recipe (no translating!)
56. Find 5 new one-pot meals
57. Make homemade jam again - or pickles
58. Try 5 new bread recipes (3/5: biovette, brioche, cheese rolls)
60. Make crème brulée (August 2014)
61. Make a 3 course Peruvian meal
62.  Make 5 homemade mixes (1/5: 13 July 2014 - chai masala mix)

Professional/personal development:
63. Finish writing/take pictures for Zurich expat guide book (15/20 chapters complete)
64. Collect 6 interviews for guide book
65. Hit my goal for a NaNoWriMo (or Camp) (November 2014)
66. Learn photography editing software
67. Read a book in German
68. Get a 40 day streak on DuoLingo
69. Finish the draft of a (fiction) book
70. Get professional (quality) photos done (September 2014)
71. Send inquiry letters to publishers/agents
72. Update Managing Editor info for Round Robin magazine (August 2014)
73. Design and plan ESL course curricula (2/4)
74. Take a course on Coursera for certification
75.  Learn how to manipulate pictures for blog (
76. Do a guest blog post
77. Have a guest blogger post
78.  Finish expat blog interview and get it published (You can read it here)
79. Write a blog post 2x/week for one month.

80. Run a 10k
81.  Work out 4x/week for 2 months minimum (8/8 weeks complete)
82. Unplug (no tv/internet/phone) for a weekend
83. Watch no television/movies for a week
84. Go swimming in the lake
85. Get annual swimming pool/Bad pass for Zurich
86. Go to a spa (December 2014)
87. Laugh until it hurts
88. Hang diplomas, pictures, etc. on walls
89. Go paragliding
90. Have a child
91. Learn a new hairdo (13 August 2014: French roll)
92. Get a hair cut in Switzerland
93. Wear a stylin' hat (not because it’s cold)

94. Organize photos on computer and hard copy
95.  Organize spare room and kellar area
96. Put up wall map, note places I’ve been
97. Donate to a Brockihaus (30 July 2014)
98. Get totally gussied up for a date night
99. Repair jackets and coats (2/6)
100.  Perform 5 small acts of kindness (2/5)
101. Volunteer at Tischlein Deck Dich with the Women’s Club


  1. Boo. I wrote a long comment that disappeared. The general ideas were 1) this list makes me want to blog again and 2) I want to crash your girls party. That is all :)

  2. This story has a inner theme of encouragement. Brave.

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