With a few months left to complete my 101 tasks in 1001 days challenge, I’m overdue for an update since the last one I posted was in January 2013. I actually got a lot done so far this year, but I realize some areas in my career and my finances still need attention. I’ve had to deal with a lot of unexpected distractions this year that threw me off focus, and I’m getting back into the groove just now. If I don’t get all of my 101 tasks done by the end of the year, I’ll put a new list together of specific items I want accomplished in 2014. When I see how much I’ve accomplished with this challenge, I’m excited to start something similar again when it’s over. Such a list really helps keeping me accountable.
A few cherry tomatoes we managed to eat
5) Grow food plants in the garden (Spring 2013) (1/1)
6) Grow food plants in the garden (Summer / Fall 2013) (1/1)
8) Grow strawberries (1/1)
Alright, so I’m glad I used the word “grow” for these three challenges, and not “eat”. I harvested very little this spring and summer because the many critters (bugs, lizards and squirrels) got to them first. I have tried so many things to secure my garden and still, nothing has worked. So if I’m going to waste water to grow things I won’t eat, I may as well grow flowers! This will be my new focus next year and I’ll ask the boys to help me pick something new every season. I bet we’ll enjoy bringing colorful flowers inside the house. Oh, and I’ll make sure the flowers I grow taste terrible. Believe it or not, I’ve seen the squirrels eat my roses before!
13) Patch the numerous small holes that decorate our walls throughout the house (1/1)
21) Redo the varnish on the bathroom vanity (1/1)
24) Repaint the walls of my dining room and kitchen in a color I like (1/1)
A few months ago, our HOA requested that I repaint all the wooden parts and a few other things on the outside of the house. I couldn’t argue much because they needed some repair and a fresh coat of paint. I took this opportunity to repaint the inside of the house too, since most of the paint was 15 years old and showing its age. Much of the old paint wasn’t washable so I could get the many stains off the walls. The dark and depressing blue paint covering the dining room and kitchen walls is now a light green. At the same time, I had the many holes in the walls and the damaged baseboards replaced, and I got the bathroom vanities painted too, since the fake varnish was very worn off. A much needed improvement!
Career / Finances
I’ve accomplished all of the tasks I had listed under the career category and yet, things are not exactly where I want them to be. So I’ve got a few new things on my personal list to handle before the end of the year and early next year. 2013 has been a year of losing good clients and finding new ones. Working in freelancing means projects fluctuate a lot. Now that my kids are both in school during the day, I hope to have opportunities for more clients. Our house has four bedrooms so I started renting two of them for additional income a few months ago. I have no intention to renew our current roommates’ lease when it expires early next year, so I’m planning to get new people in by then. That will help fund my super expensive health insurance premiums. :-)
My nature photography
35) Participate in the Project 365 – 2013 by posting new photos two to four times a week on my Facebook page and the Project 365 – 2013 Facebook page (108/156)
36) Post new photos on my Pinterest page 3 times a week (40/168)
37) Post three times a week to my new nature photography website (159/168)
39) Create new products for sale on my Zazzle store twice a week (2/112)
I’ve done a good job snapping new photos on a weekly basis, editing them and posting them on my nature photography website. I haven’t done so well posting on Pinterest but I think once a week would be OK. As for adding products to my online store, I haven’t done well at all so I need to dedicate more time to do that. I’m in urgent need of creating a 2014 photo calendar, so that will be a good way to start!
Family & Leisure
68) Take two family vacations (2/2)
We took two one-week vacations in two years. Not as much as I would have liked, but better than nothing. We’re fortunate enough to live in San Diego, where there’s so much to do as a family, even staycations are fun.
70) Make sure my oldest learns how to swim (1/1)
71) Make sure my youngest learns how to swim (1/1)
My kids are not great swimmers yet but they’re definitely on their way. I think they made great improvements this summer and we’ll continue to take swim lessons next summer.
Health & Personal Growth
90) Write three things I’m grateful for every day, for a month (30/30)
I realized that some days, this was an easy exercise, and others, I had to take a step back to uncover the good and ignore the bad. I don’t do this exercise in written form anymore but I often reflect on my day as I go to bed at night. I’ve also made an extra effort to thank people for their help or good deeds. It really goes a long way.
98) Perform 52 intentional / random acts of kindness in 2013 (40/52)
This has been an eye opening activity, especially as I’ve tried to get my kids involved. I am shocked to see so many people blatantly ignore the world around them, walking around with their blinders on and not caring a bit about others. I find it very disturbing, especially in a country that constantly claims how Christian it is… So I’ve returned lost items, picked up trash, let people go in front of me in traffic, given money to a friend in need, donated books, toys and supplies to my kids’ classes, held many doors, and given marketing advice a few times. Paying it forward is a great way to live.
100) Do some volunteer work (1/1)
I volunteered in my oldest son’s classroom all last year and I’m waiting for his new teacher to tell me when she needs me. I’m also volunteering in his brother’s class this year. Helping out a couple of hours a week goes a long way.
The Not So Good…
87) Take a relaxing bath once a week (0/93)
I really wanted to try this but I just can’t find the time for it at night. I could read in the bath but my bed is so much more comfortable, I’d rather read there. I think I’m going to trade this for meditation until the rest of the challenge, since finding time to meditate has been a challenge for me.
88) Stop biting my nails (0/1)
I’m trying but it’s really hard to break a lifelong habit…
94) Go a whole day without saying no (0/1)
I think I can do this, as long as I don’t tell my kids the day I’m doing it!
95) Not swear for a whole week (0/1)
I think I’ll change this from a whole week to a whole day and give myself a few days to accomplish this.
96) Spend a whole weekend without computer or internet access (0/1)
I SO want to do this before the end of the challenge. but it’s hard because I spend part of my Saturday working on my freelance projects, when I don’t have the kids with me. I think I’m going to change it to “spend a whole Sunday” and try it for 2 or 3 of them. Could you do this?
If you have a personal list of projects for this year, how well are you doing?