101 Goals in 1001 Days

While I was working on writing the essays for Goals Week, I kept getting excited to define some of my own goals, and so I finally took the initiative and gave the “101 Goals in 1001 Days” meme a shot.

About “101 Goals in 1001 Days”

I first became familiar with the 101 Goals in 1001 Days idea at this posting at Get Rich Slowly, where I found out that this idea first came about on a site called Triplux, which offers these guidelines:

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 organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Goal Setting Tips

1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.
2. Stay focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.
3. Welcome failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.
4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.
5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

There’s not really too much to add to that description, but I do offer up the following tips:

Realize that the list itself is an

intermediate term goal. This means you should pace yourself carefully through this list. Work on things as they seem appropriate, but don’t lose sight of the overall goal of finishing the list.

Realize that such a list will be composed of challenging microgoals, short term goals, and

medium term goals, and use that perspective appropriately. Different goals on your list may have different timeframes, different amounts of effort, and so forth. Don’t let the challenge of one goal make you think that they’re all unachievable.

Keep tabs on it. It’s easy to make a list like this and forget about it. Don’t. Keep it in mind and keep making updates to it marking your progress. It will make you realize that you really do accomplish things.

My 101 Goals in 1001 Days

I decided to create my own 101 Goals in 1001 Days list in order to codify a lot of little things I’d like to be doing in my life. Thus, here’s a list of 101 goals I plan to accomplish by Friday, January 29, 2010. I have printed these out and posted them in a few places around my house so I can keep an eye on them. I also plan on tracking my progress using this post, so if you want to see how I’m doing, check back here on occasion.

1. Actively run for church council
2. Actively run for city council
3. Actively run for school board
4. Attend 10 Toastmasters meetings (0/10)
5. Attend a blogging convention
6. Beat Chess Titans on at least level 8
7. Buy a house
8. Can at least twenty jars worth of homemade salsa (0/20)
9. Can at least twenty jars worth of tomato sauce (0/20)
10. Check the air pressure and appropriate fill the tires with air on all vehicles 20 times (0/20)
11. Collect 1,000 emails from readers describing how I positively impacted their life (0/1000)
12. Commit a random act of kindness that personally costs me more than $100
13. Complete step one of my investment portfolio
14. Complete step two of my investment portfolio
15. Complete step three of my investment portfolio
16. Construct a cookbook of tasty, healthy recipes for family distribution
17. Construct a digital photo album of family images
18. Construct a proper address book
19. Contact an old friend
20. Digitize my parents’ photo archives
21. Digitize our non-digital photo archives
22. Discreetly contact ten separate managers about the good work a specific employee has done (0/10)
23. Do 100 sit-ups without taking a break (best: 0/100)
24. Do 50 push-ups without taking a break (best: 0/50)
25. Do something visually interesting with my old New Yorker covers
26. Donate $10 to charity for each item on this list that I do not complete
27. Draft and get notarized a living will
28. Draft and get notarized a will that includes our daughter
29. Drink only water as a beverage for a year
30. Eat lutefisk five times (0/5)
31. Eliminate my higher interest student loan debt
32. Establish a twelve month emergency fund
33. Fly a kite with my son (and my daughter, if she’s old enough)
34. Fully complete my nonfiction book proposal
35. Get a significant mention of The Simple Dollar in Money Magazine
36. Get an AA rating or better on all 96 non-locked songs on DDR Max 2 (0/96)
37. Give my wife flowers ten times at random when she doesn’t expect it (0/10)
38. Go through my remaining belongings in the spare bedroom at my parents’ house
39. Go to a day game at Wrigley Field with my son
40. Host a beer tasting
41. Host a wine tasting
42. Increase my net worth by 25% in 2007
43. Increase my net worth by 25% in 2008
44. Increase my net worth by 25% in 2009
45. Install programmable thermostats in our house
46. Learn how to play duplicate bridge
47. Learn to play 20 recognizable songs on my D-scale harmonica (0/20)
48. Listen to every CD I own once all the way through (0/283)
49. Lose one pound a week (average) for a year (best: 0/52)
50. Make 25 straight free throws (best: 0/25)
51. Make a bullwhip
52. Make a chocolate raspberry trifle entirely from scratch
53. Make a great family Halloween costume for the first time my son goes trick or treating
54. Make a year’s worth of my own laundry detergent
55. Make fettuccine Bolognese entirely from scratch (including the pasta) that doesn’t make my wife gag
56. Make five birthday or Christmas gifts that the recipient would actually be happy to receive (0/5)
57. Memorize 10 poems (0/10)
58. Play 25 different board games (0/25)
59. Reach 100,000 RSS and email subscribers to The Simple Dollar (best: 8212/100000)
60. Reach 2,000,000 page views in one month at The Simple Dollar (best: 575K/2000K)
61. Read 25 of the National Book Award winners in fiction (0/25)
62. Read 25 of the Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction (0/25)
63. Read 25 of the Modern Library’s 100 Best Nonfiction (0/25)
64. Read 50 biographies (0/50)
65. Read a NIV-translation bible
66. Read aloud 1,000 complete books to my daughter, no overlap with #4 (0/1000)
67. Read aloud 1,000 complete books to my son (0/1000)
68. Read five books at the same time as my wife and discuss them with her (0/5)
69. Read ten books on marketing and try to apply the lessons to my persuasive writing (0/10)
70. Read the King James bible with apocrypha
71. Review a personal finance book each week (0/143)
72. Review a personal productivity / development book each week (0/143)
73. Run a marathon in under four hours
74. Shop each piece to a publisher at least once
75. Shop my book proposal to my agent contact list
76. Spend a day paying 25 people I know serious, heartfelt compliments
77. Spend a weekend preparing at least twenty meals to freeze
78. Spend five complete days just with my daughter (0/5)
79. Spend five complete days just with my son (0/5)
80. Start a 529 for my daughter and have the investments match that for my son
81. Take a self-guided yoga course
82. Take my son to a baseball game at Principal Park
83. Teach myself to speak French (Michel Thomas course)
84. Teach myself to speak Italian (Michel Thomas course)
85. Try absinthe
86. Visit 20 U.S. states with my wife and children (0/20 – excluding home state)
87. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
88. Visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
89. Visit the Smithsonian (any museum or exhibit will do)
90. Volunteer to help manage a local caucus for 2008
91. Vote at least ten times in public elections (0/10)
92. Watch 25 professionally produced documentaries (0/25)
93. Watch no television for one month
94. Watch the sun set, write all night, then watch the sun rise
95. Write a “to be read” letter to my wife, to my son, and to my daughter (0/3)
96. Write a diary for my daughter to have when she’s older describing our days together
97. Write a diary for my son to have when he’s older describing our days together
98. Write a handwritten letter to my ten favorite living authors, telling them how they changed my life (0/10)
99. Write handwritten letters to 15 people telling them how important they are to me (0/15)
100. Write twenty nonfiction pieces (besides The Simple Dollar) (0/20)
101. Write twenty short stories (0/20)

Guess I’d better get busy.

Trent Hamm

Founder of The Simple Dollar

Trent Hamm founded The Simple Dollar in 2006 after developing innovative financial strategies to get out of debt. Since then, he’s written three books (published by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press), contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.