Eighth grade was quite a year for me- both times. The first time around, I discovered my love of running, pursued my interest in music, and saw Moulin Rouge, Titanic, and Rent all for the first time. I came out of this transformative year with the life mantra that I still think about today: no regrets. Ever since one life-changing trip to Six Flags in 8th grade, I have made it my mission never to pass up on any opportunity that will make my life even a little bit fuller.
The second time I did 8th grade was with City Year, and that year was just as life-changing as the first. I came out of it with the confidence and the hunger to truly take charge of my life as a newly branded adult, which added a whole new dimension to the notion of grabbing life by the horns. This year I also embraced my love of goal setting; the rush I get from checking an item off a to do list is unreal, and I have no shame about that.
So when a friend told me about this thing where you make yourself 101 goals and you have to finish them in 1001 days (roughly 2.75 years), I was a little scared, but I knew it would be great for me; here was my opportunity to think about what I really wanted out of life and then just do it. I’m not saying that we can’t have great lives if we don’t list out everything we want first; I just know that, for me, having the list is a huge motivator and also a fantastic catalyst for thinking about what I really want.
Here’s the list; I’ll keep it updated as I go. (A few items are censored for privacy or surprise reasons.)
Dream up a trip and save up just for it.(June/July 2017) Bring my US states traveled to up to 30.(Maine 7/15; Michigan, Vermont- 6/16) Get a credit card that gets me travel miles.(4/16) Explore 20 places in the city where I live(20/20 done- Echo Park, 9/15; Capitol & light rail, 12/15; Ramsey Park, 2/16; DUMBO, 8/16; Riverbank State Park, High Bridge, Yankee Stadium, 9/16; Riverside Park, 10/16; The Cloisters, 10/16; MetLife Stadium, 11/16; Battery Park Esplanade, 12/16; Radio City Music Hall, 12/16; New York Public Library, 12/16; Museum of the Moving Image, 1/17; Italian American Museum & New Museum & Katz’s Deli, 2/17; Apollo Theater & Statue of Liberty, 3/17). Go to another country.(6/18/16 Canada)
- Spend 5 days exploring small towns. (2/5 done- New Hope, NJ, 2/17; Spring Lake, NJ, 8/17)
Take five weekend trips. (5/5 done- NYC, 7/15; Austin, 9/15; Chicago, 10/15; Cincinnati, 1/16; Boston, 9/16)
- Go to Harry Potter Land or do HP in England [FORGIVEN]
New Years in New York City.(2016-2017) Go on a road trip.(LA to Austin, 12/15) Cross Abbey Road.(6/28/17)
Buy a meal for a homeless person and eat with them.(11/12/16- Janell)
- Become a regular at a restaurant or bar.
Pull an all-nighter just talking with a friend.(11/10-11/16)
- Own a pair of heels in every color of the rainbow. (5/6 done; red, orange, green, blue, purple)
- Do five things that legitimately scare me. (4/5 done; 11/15, 12/15, 1/16)
See a performer I really care about in concert.(8/24/17- The Temptations)
- Spend 3 weekends camping with no electronics (1/3 done; 8/17)
Participate in 5 community events (festivals, charity, flash mobs, etc)(5/5 done; SXSW 3/16, Zilker Park musical 7/16, Storytelling Hour 8/16, Flash Mob 12/16, Women’s March 1/21)
- Go on a beach trip with girlfriends like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. [FORGIVEN]
Do balloon paint art like in Princess Diaries.(10/22/16) Go to a Meet Up.(5/10/16 board games) Go horseback riding.(9/15)
- Take five dance classes.
- Be outside for sunset and don’t go back inside until after it rises.
- Take at least one picture every day to document the day. [FORGIVEN]
- Create a playlist each month.
Slow dance in the rain.(9/3/17) Do the 36 questions to fall in love with somebody.(1/14/17)
- see the questions here
- Be in the audience for the taping of a TV show.
Get a tattoo.(8/6/15) Get a record.(12/6/15)
- Create art out of 5 favorite quotes and display in my home.
Finish reading the Harry Potter series with my dad.(9/11/16) Sing at a karaoke bar.(9/8/17) Ride a jet ski.(8/9/16)
- Spend an entire day outside.
- Go on a meditation retreat. [FORGIVEN]
Do something normally social (seeing a movie, going to dinner…) on my own.(7/18/16 went to see Finding Dory) Meet a celebrity I admire.(Cobie Smulders, 4/16/17) See a Broadway show.(Hedwig and the Angry Inch & A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, 7/15)
Go 21 days without desserts, 3 separate times.(3/3 done 3-4/16, 4-5/16, 5-6/16) Do the Couch to 5k.(8/6/17)
- Publish at least 50 blogs. (30 done) [FORGIVEN]
Start my retirement fund.(3/6/16) Finish my college scrapbooks.(7/13/16)
- Write a letter to myself twice a year. [FORGIVEN]
Eat raw for a week.(6/16) Do a weight-training program (1 month minimum) from start to finish.(8-9/17)
- Journal at least once a week. [FORGIVEN]
Try 15 foods I say I don’t like or don’t eat.(15/15 done- lobster bisque in Maine, peach and plum at camp 8/15; mochi 9/15; boba 9/15; deviled eggs 10/15; pumpkin seeds AZ 12/15; sunflower seeds 12/15; ramen, pork, seaweed, shrimp, cole slaw NY 1/16; jalapeño, sushi, lox OH 1/16) Go to bed at the same time every day for one month.(7-8/17) Go through one week in which I COOK/PREPARE everything I eat. (no frozen foods or snacks as meals!)(1/24-20/17) Read at least one news item each day for a month.(7-8/15) Free write 10 minutes a day for a month.(12/15-1/16) Do brain exercises every day for a month.(11/15)
- Finish or throw away all needlepoint projects.
- Make a list of things I want in life, keep it visible, and update as needed.
Write down what I’m thankful for every day for a month.(11/15) Do the 7 minute workout every day for a month.(1/16-2/16) Censored Censored
- Learn to play piano well enough to accompany myself. [FORGIVEN]
Take a voice lesson.(2/8/16) Take a glass blowing lesson.(2/20/16)
- Learn how to moonwalk.
Learn to French braid.(11/15)
- Learn how to create mashups on Garage Band or something like it.
- Learn how money works (budgeting, saving, loans, interest, etc)
Learn how to build a fire.(8/11/16) Learn how to drive a stick shift.(5/4/16)
- Give blood ten times. [FORGIVEN]
Make a tangible difference in one person’s life.(crossed off 6/19/16) Volunteer as a consistent tutor/mentor.(crossed off 2/4/18) Donate 101 items/hours.(donated to Goodwill, 8/15 & 12/15) Volunteer at a nursing home or hospice.(7/16)
- Reach out to 20 past acquaintances. (8/20 done) [FORGIVEN]
- Record Story Corps interviews with both parents. [FORGIVEN]
Have one interaction with a stranger every day for a month.(1/16) Cook my mom a real dinner.(5/8/16)
- Write my dad a song. Play it for him on the guitar. [FORGIVEN]
- Write a letter to every past teacher I can remember/find.
- Spend one day writing a note to everyone important in my life thanking them and send it to them.
- Spend a day taking my younger cousins to do whatever they want to do.
- See all 13 cousins. (12/13 done)
- Create some sort of family tree.
Take a plane trip to visit a friend.(7-8/17)
- Watch every movie on the AFI top 100. (64 to go)
- see the list here
- Become an expert on pop culture and social issues of the ‘60s.
- Be able to identify every part of my car’s engine.
Learn how to make a t-shirt quilt (and make one).(12/15)
- Take a beginner’s course in graphic design.
- Watch every movie on AFI’s top 100 love stories. (57 to go)
- see the list here
Read 10 classic books(10/10 done- The Princess Bride, 9/15; Fahrenheit 451, 11/15; Wuthering Heights, 1/16; To Kill A Mockingbird, 2/16; Pride and Prejudice, 7/16; Catcher in the Rye, 7/16; The Little Prince, 8/16; The Old Man and the Sea, 11/16; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 2/17; Slaughterhouse Five, 4/17).
- Read one book about/set in each continent. (5/7 done- The Last Promise, 8/15; Will Grayson Will Grayson, 9/15; I Am Malala, 4/16; The English Patient, 5/16; The Thorn Birds, 6/16)
- Learn the backstory of every hero/villain that has been portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Put $20 into savings for each item completed on this list, and make a public announcement for every 10.
Here’s to challenges, making the most out of life, and public accountability! Feel free to ask me how it’s going!
Until next time!