Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I knew I’d have to do this sooner or later. After all, on a sudden impulse I set up my blog a year ago; but I had only an incoherent idea of what I wanted to write, so it’s been blank all this time.

After considering various self-improvement projects and sort of kind of deciding I’d just gas away instead (and getting totally sidetracked for several months by breaking my right hand), I happened up on a Project Idea in The Simple Dollar: to wit, “101 Goals in 1001 Days.” It is a winner. You can read about it here: 101 goals in 1001 days

I’m not really a terrible procrastinator any more (though I used to be), but I do have trouble NOT thinking along the “one of these days” line when I look at a pile of stuff to be dealt with, or a sudden urge to do something interesting that I don’t have time for. What days do I think I’m talking about exactly? The really, really neat thing about the 1001 days idea is that you can get the answer to that question! It is: “One of THESE days!”

I think I’m up to 50+ goals now, and I thought of several more on the subway today, so maybe I’ll have my whole list by the end of the week.

Here is a short explanation of the project, excerpted from its origin on the site triplux. There are some good tips for choosing goals and for pursuing them as well. It is apparently okay to fail at reaching a goal, because you might learn something.

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e. 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.

I am whaling away at my 101 goals list right now—it takes a considerable amount of effort, actually. It is, however, extremely energizing! I’ve thought of a number of things that aren’t so obvious, like: “On a clear night drive out into the country where it’s dark and look at the stars.” (I live in the NYC area, so I never get to see them, and I suddenly realized that it’s important.) Then there’s stuff like: “Clean out the coat closet.” “Take a language class.” “Take a yoga class.” I even put in “Acquire a virtuous habit, TBD”—I realize that’s kind of ambiguous, but I’d like to leave it up to my aspiring self later on, when I might have a sudden motivation. (My definition of “habit” is: something you do way more often than not.)

I really am going to post my entire list, even though it’s rather personal. And I really am going to post updates about how it goes. (“Write a blog” is one of the goals—I’m getting a head start on it.)

Cheers, and wish me luck!

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