Wednesday, June 17, 2009

101 Goals in 1001 Days

This is a list of the 101 goals that will complete within a time period of 1001 days. My proposed start date for this is June 20th, which means that I have until March 17, 2012 to complete my list. My list of goals is complete, although I may refine the goals as time passes in an effort to make them more concrete (for example, adding specific dates or locations).

I'm going to be keeping track of the goals I complete right here so you can check back to see how my progress is. I would love your feedback and support as I work through my list. If you ever have any ideas or advice that could help me accomplish any of the things on this list, please let me know in the comments box!

By the way, I admit the project was not my idea. I got it from my friend Vanessa, who recently posted a similar list on her own blog. The original idea actually came from another blogger a few years ago, and there are people all over the world trying to complete their own lists. If you decide to start your own, come back and leave me the link so that I can check it out and support you too!

Here are the basic details of the challenge:

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).

Progress Tracking:
Items in bold: Completed
Items in italics: In progress

My 101 Goals for 1001 Days (June 20, 2009 - March 17, 2012)

1. Complete proposal for food-related nonfiction book.
2. Publish at least 25 articles.
3. Make a successful batch of French macarons.
4. Set up an attractive shelf with file boxes solely for the organization and display of magazines.
5. Send one handwritten letter or charming note a month to someone I admire
6. Complete my professional website with a design that I love and updated content--completed April 2011

7. Buy a new queen-sized (or larger) bed that is comfortable for both Eugene and me--completed February 2011

8. Replace all four pillows on our bed with new fresh ones that are slightly more ergonomic.
9. Bring all my broken (expensive!) shoes to a cobbler and get the heel tips replaced and other repairs made.--completed 6/29
10. Learn how to take full advantage of my Nikon D60 SLR
11. Grow my own tomatoes
12. Figure out how to keep hydroponic herbs alive after I bring them home from the store
13. Transition into buying only organic apples, spinach, and strawberries
14. Make homemade mozzarella--completed 6/2011

15. Go on a volunteering trip to somewhere in South America or Africa
16. Find a local church home and attend at least once a month
17. Pay off all my debt including student loan (approx $6000)
18. Raise credit score (+30 points as of 12/2009)
19. Buy a house with Eugene
20. Get a dog
21. Take at least one writing or otherwise enriching course every 6 months (1. Mediabistro Food Writing Bootcamp in May 2009, 2. Mediabistro Nonfiction Book Proposal November 2009, 3. Social Media course at Columbia April 2010, Cookbook proposal course September 2010, )
22. Visit at least three (3) places in the US where I have never been before (1. Ocean Grove, NJ, 2. San Francisco/Sonoma/Napa, 3. Buffalo, 4. Vieques, 5. Baltimore, 6. Chicago, 7. Vermont)
23. Visit at least three (3) countries where I have never been before--1. Aruba 2. Canada 3. Scotland
24. [Private]
25. Buy nice welcome mats for all the neighbors on our floor that have old, dirty, or no mats
26. Donate 2 boxes of books to the prison library or other worthy cause--12/2009 (to Housing Works)
27. Arrange for the shell lamp from West Elm to be hung up--I hung it up myself!

28. Get my signed Audrey Kawasaki print framed
29. Hire someone to hang the ceiling fan
30. Use the gym at work at least twice a week for one month (Completed 10/2010 NYSC instead of work gym, but same idea.)

31. Schedule some regular bonding time with Mama
32. Schedule some regular bonding time with Papa
33. Try to build better relationship with Gabriel
34. Find 3 new couples to socialize with
35. Throw a sit-down dinner party--completed 10/2009
36. Deep clean and organize the kitchen cabinets/pantry--completed 6/20
37. Bring lunch in to work at least 2x a week for 6 months straight
38. Go on a double date with Gabriel and Caroline
39. Visit Titi Gladys and ask her to teach me how to make pasteles
40. Learn Abu’s recipes for red beans
41. Go berry picking in the summer and/or apple picking in the fall
42. Visit Roosevelt Island
43. Bake a batch of delicious, flaky, buttery croissants
44. Visit Moe in Philadelphia--completed May 2010
45. Visit Sara and Lindsay in Washington, DC--completed August 2009
46. Find a local volunteer opportunity that has to do with food/cooking
47. Save at least $300 from each paycheck
48. Buy fresh produce, eggs, and dairy products from the farmer’s market at least once a month
49. Introduce myself to and build a relationship with the farmers at the market.
50. Walk all the way from our apartment down to the West Village (preferably with Eugene)
51. Plant shrubs, flowers, and trees that attract butterflies in the garden when we buy a house
52. Visit the eye doctor and get new contacts and glasses--completed 7/31/2009
53. Start and complete a Mederma treatment on the scar on my right leg
54. Get my driver’s license
55. Register to vote in NYC and then in NJ if/when we move there
56. Successfully complete NaBloPoMo (blogging every day in the month of November) in 2009--completed 11/30/2009, 2010, and 2011.
57. Start collecting a list of contacts for future book publicity purposes
58. Buy a juicer to make my own green juices--completed 6/24/2009
59. Visit each of the new NY baseball stadiums (new Yankee & Citi Field) at least once
60. Back-up my hard drive
61. Have a picnic in Central Park--completed 7/25/2009
62. Sing in public
63. Get out of bed at 7AM when Eugene wakes up, and use extra hour to write. Do this at least 3x each week for one month.
64. Buy feathers and tulle and make myself a fascinator
65. At least 1x a week during the pleasant weather months, walk up Central Park West or Columbus to 96th Street before getting on train (2 miles).
66. Buy a pair of good headphones and update songs on iPod so that I can start using it again.--completed 6/24
67. Start every morning for the course of one month with a glass of water with lemon juice
68. Maintain my routine of getting a manicure and pedicure at least every two weeks to keep my nails neat. Remember to go early in the week to get the $25 deals.
69. Get a real professional (as opposed to chair or Eugene) massage once every 3 months.
70. Clear all the “clutter corners” in our apartment (clear bins in bedroom, laundry basket, boxes)--completed 6/28/2009
71. Go to Bra Smyth or other specialized lingerie store in NY and get a proper bra fitting.--completed 12/2009 (Orchard Corset Shop--best store ever!)
72. Go to at least one outdoor summer concert.--completed 7/16/2010 Dave Matthews Band at Citi Field
73. Go to at least one play (Broadway or otherwise, per year)--Come Fly Away on Broadway
74. Give my requested recipes to the people who have requested them (Marion, Brandy, Carmen)
75. Get married-completed 1/8/2011

76. Bake my own wedding cake--completed 1/8/2011
77. Take one photo a day of something that interests me for one month
78. Subscribe to The New York Times Sunday Edition
79. Have dinner by myself at a nice restaurant (meal must include appetizer, entree, and dessert).
80. Have dinner by myself at a nice restaurant WITHOUT reading material or playing on BlackBerry
81. Go to a taping of a show with a live studio audience--completed 1/2010 (Martha Stewart show)

82. Meet and talk to Opera Lady (the opera singer who lives below us) (canceled because she moved out of the building soon after I wrote this.)

83. Eliminate all refined flours and sugars from my diet for at least 1 month
84. Bring my lunch into work every day for one month
85. Order new personal business cards with my web/blog/twitter info--completed 8/7/2009
86. Get my white Bulgari sunglasses repaired
87. Become proficient in Photoshop
88. Order personalized stationary
89. Go on a walking tour of Harlem
90. Take a course at Columbia University--completed 4/2010

91. Take a dance class at Alvin Ailey
92. Lose 20 lbs
93. Apply and be accepted into the Morningside Writers Memoir & Essay Group
94. Go to bed by 11pm every single day for one week (7 days)
95. Get into work before 9AM every single day for one week (5 days)
96. Develop habit of taking Concerta every morning at same time
97. Eat breakfast every day for one month straight
98. Complete one entire month of not buying anything that is not absolutely essential. (no fun purchases, no clothing, no food that is not groceries, etc.)
99. No eating after 8PM for one entire month
100. Talk to 5 people I normally would not talk to
101. Read over this 101 Goals list every day


Hungry Jenny said...

Wow, what a feat! Good luck! You've inspired me to try this too, though the thought of it scares me a little...

Hungry Jenny x

debonairdebacles said...

One of the best posts I've read in a while. Developing goals for myself has always been a challenge for me since I'm so easily discouraged. Maybe I should start with 10 on my blog and report on the progress.

(PS mind updating my link to :)

K. said...

Good luck! Some of these things look like TORTURE...sorry, no offense! I wrote a 101 things to do before I die list that is equally ambitious and which I suspect I'll never get done...
Found you through have a nice blog!

Michelle said...

Hi... I've thought of a way that you can complete one (or work towards completing one) of the items on your list... Would you and Eugene like to meet me and my boyfriend for a drink sometime?... Please refer to item # 34 on your list if you're confused... Hope this wasn't weird! Best of luck with your list... I've also started my own (it's on a piece of paper and way less formal than yours)... Maybe I should make it more concrete? You've inspired... Thank you :)

Alejandra said...

HI Michelle,

I love this idea! We'd love to meet up with you and your boyfriend at some point. Send me an email at and we'll set something up!