I am so excited to have Jennie here to share her 101 in 1001 journey. She is actually the one that told me about her list and inspired me to start my own! Here’s what she learned by completing the 101 things in 1001 days challenge:
101 in 1,001: What I learned
Make your goals specific. I modified my 101 list once each year to meet my changing needs, and the first version of my list had some goals that I knew I wanted to meet, but there weren’t any metrics in which to measure them by. “Lose weight” is a very different goal than “Lose 20 pounds”.
Make your 101 in 1,001 work for you. For me, that meant having a yearly refresher. I don’t know if I was a goal-oriented person when I started this challenge, but I certainly am now, and if I’m not utilizing the goals I’ve created for myself because I no longer have any interest in accomplishing them, then what’s the point? By replacing all of the goals I had already accomplished with new goals, and by switching out some of the goals I was no longer interested in working towards with new and more relevant goals, the challenge was never stagnant. I was always working toward something new.
28 days is the magic number. A lot of my goals are “do X every day for a week” or “abstain for Y from a month”. 28 days is the generally-accepted number for how many days it takes to create a habit. Doing things for one month doesn’t always work for me– meaning just because I do something every day for one month doesn’t mean I will have a set habit or anything– but it’s a good rule of thumb. If I do something for a month it’s a habit I’d like to form eventually. If I choose to do something for 1 week, it’s just because it’s something I want to try. For instance, I wanted to try going to bed at 10 p.m. every night for a week, and it made such a drastic change that I immediately incorporated it into a part of my daily routine. But other goals like “make my bed every day for a week” didn’t stick. Week-long goals are basically hats that I want to try on and month-long goals are habits I want to form.
Find your magic mix between easy and hard. For me, this was a hard balance to strike. On one hand, you want your list to be full of goals that challenge you and motivate you to become a better, more capable hand. However, on the other hand, I very heavily rely on the upswing of the smaller, easier goals to help me feel motivation to finish the big ones.
Think about the kind of person you want to be in 1,001 days, and center your goals around that. To be perfectly honest, creating my second list was somewhat difficult, because my abilities have radically changed in the last 1,001 days. When I started my first one, I was poor, in debt, anxious/nervous, not going to school, feeling completely stagnant, and in a whatever job that paid pennies. Now I am months away from graduating college as an honor students, making more than twice as much money as I was at my previous job, and a much better-rounded person overall. Of course I still have all of these goals that I want to reach, but the goals are more specific and less random. I have become the person I wanted to be 1,001 days ago. That’s a pretty incredible feat, and I’m insanely proud of it, but where do I want to be in my next 1,001 days? There are very few drastic changes that I feel I need to make– instead, I will be focusing on the smaller, more minute changes, and those are harder to think of.
How I picked my goals. What have you always wanted to buy, but you couldn’t allot money toward in good conscience? What have you always wanted to do, but when the opportunity arose, you decided to pass and do it next time? What kind of lifestyle do you admire and want to emulate? What are some habits you know you need to break, but always think that you’ll do it later? Where do you want to travel? What financial milestones do you want to hit? What hobbies do you have that you want to do more of? What new hobbies do you want to explore? What skills would you like to create or improve? What wild thing do you want to do just for the sake of being able to say that you’ve done it? It’s so much easier to reconcile spending the money or doing the spontaneous thing or going on the adventure if it’s part of your long-term goal list.
Big THANKS to Jennie and be sure to check out more of Jennie and her 101 in 1001 challenge at Oh, This is awkward.