On… Goals, Lessons & Looking Ahead

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On January 2nd 2010 I did something that was completely out of my comfort zone. I made a list of 101 things that I wanted to complete in 1,001 days. When I look back to 2 and a half years ago, I’m not even sure I recognize who I was. I mean, I am still that person to a certain extent- but that list- the very act of finding 101 things that I wanted to complete in 1,001 days- changed the direction my life would take from then on.

Because of that list, I met some amazing bucket list bloggers who have further inspired me. I’ve pushed myself to do little things and big things that I would have otherwise continued to procrastinate or ignore. In 2 and a half years I’ve only completed about 60 goals, but crossing off every single one of those items has changed me in some way.

That being said, the 101 was my very first list and I’ve learned a bajillion things from it. First of all (and maybe most importantly) is that when it’s over I want to make another one. I’m not sure if I’m going to do another in 1,001 days or simply start writing my list of things to accomplish, but there will be another list.

I also realized that I’d like to add more ambitious goals on my list and also less goals that feel more like chores. I don’t regret putting these things down because everything I wrote was something that, at the time, I felt I needed to put time aside for. I just feel like for the future I can do bigger and better things. It was always my goals that were kind of out of the ordinary that made me feel awesome and gave me a story to blog about.

I’ve also finally accepted the fact that the 101 list will not be completed on time. Here’s why:

a) I didn’t budget my time properly
b) There was a small amount of time where I kind of forgot about the list- when I took a blog break last year. That set me behind
c) I went through an un-motivated to complete goals phase

When I realized these three things, mostly a), I decided that I would give it my best shot to cross off as many goals as I possibly could, and whatever didn’t get crossed off I just wouldn’t beat myself up over it. Life is just too short for that and I would rather learn something from the experience than punish myself for it.

Here are some of the goals that I’m officially crossing off the list because I know that I just won’t do them:

51. Find a paid internship

– This goal isn’t GOING anywhere because I would still love to intern somewhere I love. I just don’t see myself truly crossing this one off and being happy about it before my time runs out because I’m not far enough in my school to look for something substantial.

56. Sleep under the stars

– I actually still love the idea behind this goal, but the opportunity just never came up for it. First of all, I live in a country where the bugs attack you at night. Any other country I’ve traveled to has gotten too cold to even attempt this. I may keep this as a long term goal, but I won’t be upset if it doesn’t get crossed off before September 2012.

88. Spend 5 months not buying any food (besides groceries) [0/5]

-Although this is probably doable, I don’t think I WANT to do it. I go to school downtown and when I get off the underground I’m greeted with a Tim Hortons, my favorite coffee shop. I mean, 2 dollars for a french vanilla? I just don’t want to give those little things up for half a year!

97. Go see a movie by myself

-This felt like a really fun and responsible goal when I originally wrote it, but here’s something I realized. I don’t LIKE the idea of going to a movie by myself. It’s not because I’m not independant or whatever because I do lots of things alone- shopping is something that I do better by myself ANY day. But movies are so much better when you can turn to the person next to you and make a joke or talk about it. I just don’t see the purpose in this goal anymore!

There are a few other goals that have been feeling less and less right for me these days, but for now I’m still just going with it and seeing where the next year takes me.

What’s your experience with accomplishing goals? What have you learned from the experience?

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21 responses »

    • I love this mentality Paul. This is one of my favorite comments because it’s so true & sometimes I wonder if I should change anything on my list or if that’s “wrong”… but that’s such a good point. Thank you!

  1. I love making lists of goals, because I think it just makes life a whole lot more interesting. 🙂 I think you’ve done pretty well! Finding a paid internship is TOUGH but I would still keep it and keep looking. You never know what you can find!

    • Thanks, that’s really sweet of you to say 🙂 It took me a while to accept that there are some things I will not be able to do. I really WANT to finish the list, but I feel better just accepting that I won’t and learning from that… Because I want to keep at it.

  2. My 101 ends in 3 weeks, which blows my mind a little bit. I went through a phase where I didn’t think of my list for almost a year, so I won’t be finishing it entirely. For a little while that bothered me, but it is what it is. I like to look back and think that the me who wrote that list over winter break in 2008 thought that I would have so much time to travel, etc. It’s also funny to me how I couldn’t even visualize what September 2011 looked like then. I’m already working on my next 101 🙂

    • I love this comment! When i wrote my list I felt the same way like, what on earth am I going to be doing in 3 years from now anyway, that’s SO far away of course I can finish this! I definitely need to check out your list ASAP, I think I should start brainstorming my list sooner rather than later so that I can have the goals I want on there. Also, travel goals are REALLY tough. I think I had two on mine? And one is still not accomplished. I have hopes though!

  3. Here is your next goal…
    Pick 5 goals (or more), and a day we’re both free, and less cross those off! I’m here to help you get one step closer to crossing some more off 🙂
    Proud of you,girl xo

    • Heyyyy, you commented on my blog hehe 🙂 Alright I’m holding you up to that! Sometime when we’re both free we’re gonna do some fun stuff. Sounds like a good future blog post to me…!

      • You got it, dudette! I’m in for sure 🙂 Fridays will probably work best for me, otherwise sometime on the weekend when I am not working too late into the day!

  4. I have the same feeling about my list sometimes. Sometimes I’m super inspired and it’s all I can think of, then other times the rest of my life takes control. But the key is to not get down on accomplishing or not accomplishing. Good luck working on the rest of your list!

  5. It was a HUGE realization for me the day that I decided to look hard at my list and take off items that had been added b/c I thought they SHOULD be on there or b/c they were on other people’s lists so I thought they should be on mine. My list is always evolving now, things are taken off and added, and I think that’s the best way to go.

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