I’ve been getting a lot of questions on my list of 101 Things. Questions like: “I only have 56 things, how do I get to 101?” and “How do I remember to do all of this stuff?” so I thought it might be helpful to create some tips. Here is the wisdom I’ve gained from doing 101 Things four times:
1. It’s supposed to be a stretch. If you get to 22 or 56 or 87 things and think “I really don’t have anything else I want to do this year,” then you’re doing it right. The point is to dream BIG and not limit yourself. Everyone has at least twenty things they want to do, right? When you get stuck, that’s when you get creative and expand. And that’s the point.
2. Look in unexpected places for inspiration. When I make my list, I go through everything: my Pinterest page, past blog posts, things I’ve emailed myself as reminders, recipes/websites/songs I’ve bookmarked, etc. to find ideas. I think this is fun. I love stumbling upon something from the year (or five) before that I forgot to do or see or make. Another way to find good inspiration is to borrow from other people’s lists – just Google “bucket list ideas” or “things to do in your twenties” or “101 in 1001” (This is another version of 101 things that people do…in 1001 days. It’s less hardcore. Don’t go that route, be hardcore!).
3. Cultivate your list throughout the year. I keep a Word document on my desktop and when I see cool things that I want to remember to do that aren’t until next year (concerts, magazine submission deadlines, really big things that I need to save for), I put them there. I usually start really working on my list the week before the New Year. By that time, I have at least 40 things saved from throughout the year, which makes getting to 101 much easier.
4. Create a system for remembering. There are a lot of things on my list this year that I need to do daily, weekly, or monthly. Or within a specific month. I don’t want to miss any of them, so I put reminders on my calendar like this:
Go through your list of 101 Things and put everything that has a tight deadline on your calendar or in your planner (or both, if you’re crazy like me).
Another way to remind yourself of the 101 Things you have to accomplish this year is to print your list and post it where you’ll see it every day. I love crossing items off and reviewing what I have left.
Or, you can blog about it or share it on your favorite social media channel to keep yourself accountable and inspired.
5. Be brave. Put things on your list that terrify you. If you’re making your list and you think “I could do that, but it’d be really hard” PUT IT ON YOUR LIST. It’s the things that are hard that make us grow the most, and that’s really what 101 Things is all about. Growth, progress, being brave.
Here are just a few things on my list that terrify me: printing a collection of poems; getting a professional head shot taken; having business cards printed; re-designing this site; buying a new laptop; finishing a hard hike; running once a week; participating in an athletic game; starting freelancing for writing and communications; starting to believe in myself vehemently.
What I’ve found, for me, is that most of the things that are really hard to do are things that are things that require me to believe in myself wholeheartedly. Secret: I have a hard time believing in myself and believing I’m good at things. I’m not sure what that is, but I’m excited to cut that shit out in 2015.
Here’s to the best year ever. I hope these tips help!