New Year’s resolution + bucket list = Choose your own adventure with 101 in 1001 lists

Guest post by stealmystapler
Skinny Dip

So what is a 101 in 1001 list? Simply put, a list of 101 things that you’d like to do in 1001 days. It fits somewhere between a New Year’s resolution (1001 days is about 2.75 years) and a bucket list.

There’s something about that timeframe that feels just perfect. It allows and encourages you to think more broadly about what you’d like to accomplish. One year may not be enough time and, depending on your stage in life, five years can be just as difficult to imagine as a lifetime.

I’ve spent the last eight years of my life in lists. Or really, 3003 days focusing on 303 things. It feels both easy and impossible to think of 101 things you want to do in life, and a colorful list hanging on the wall is a perfect reminder of the next adventure to jump into. Through these lists, I’ve sought out new experiences, tried to create healthy habits, visited new places, and dreamt about what future “me” could be like.

Each of my lists bears a strong imprint of who and where I was when I created them…

My first list, created during my third year of college, is full of yearning for travel, experiences, and culture. Go skinny dipping; kiss someone in the rain; shout my awesomeness from the rooftop; go skiing on real snow; read The Iliad; wear a dandelion crown all day; buy art from an artist; play in a waterfall; see two operas; write a message on a bathroom stall.

My second list, created soon after graduating college, blended adventure with self-improvement. Make a skirt; go backpacking for a weekend; participate in Earth Hour each year; buy a bouquet of flowers for myself; volunteer with a local Girl Scout council; take vitamins every day for three months; spend 24 hours outside of a building; buy a nice suit; play hooky.

My third list, created right after completing my Master’s degree and six months before my wedding, is rather domestic and aspirational. Do yoga every day for four months; buy a real Christmas tree; try canning; have sex every day for two weeks; visit five wineries; record 5-10 things I am grateful for each week; make 10 Kiva loans; save $10,000 for a house down payment; watch a sunrise and sunset in the same day.

I’ll admit it — I’ve never finished every single thing on my lists. I’ve even had some things carry over from list to list. It is amazing how different life can be only 2.75 years after you first imagined it. My life has been full of new directions since the start of my third list in January 2012.

Though I didn’t do about a third of the things on my last list, I did so much that I hadn’t anticipated. I sat on a stone wall in the woods for weeks; discovered the joy of saunas and woodstoves; reglazed windows from 1865; led a group of young girls on their first hike up a mountain; moved north and learned to cross country ski; and so many other things large and small.

And now, I find myself considering what schemes, adventures, goals, and experiences I’ll fill my next list with. It’s time to start mulling, jotting, and imagining what the next 1001 days could hold.

Anyone want to join in? What’s on your bucket list or 101 in 1001?

Comments on New Year’s resolution + bucket list = Choose your own adventure with 101 in 1001 lists

  1. This is awesome! I think this would be a great activity for my partner and I – especially since we dream big, nebulous dreams and then never seem to accomplish them. This is really cool, thank you for sharing!

  2. I did ones for undergrad, during law school, and one for the first 3 years of after law school. The most recent one ended in June and I didn’t re-make one, now I’m thinknig that it would be a good idea to do again.

  3. I like it. Your list can have anything on it. It does not matter if it is big or small, if it is important to you then it is important!
    I just have three goals. 1. Learn to walk again. 2. Follow my rehabilitation plan religiously. 3. Look after myself, it’s time to be selfish, you can only keep giving without receiving for so long.

  4. I really like this idea! Thank you for including some of your past goals, makes this a really neat way to gauge where you are at in life along the way.

  5. “There’s something about that timeframe that feels just perfect”…true…when you start your 1001 days. I recently completed a list and by the time I was done, I was so sick of it. I did challenge myself to do a lot of things I might not have otherwise because of my 101 in 1001 list, but I also felt like I had this to do list following me around for 3 years. I wrote the final tally of my list and my feelings on it on my blog:
    On a positive note, I found reading other people’s lists to be really inspiring for creating my own. So borrow away!

    • While I think it is helpful to look at other lists for inspiration, I do find it can really help to put down the list and let it sit for a few days. I inevitably hear something new or fresh ideas bubble up to the surface in my brain. Best to let those ideas settle if you’re going to be living with them for almost three years!

  6. I was just thinking that I needed to do another one. The last one I made was with my (now ex) husband about 5 years ago. It’s time for some ME goals!

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