Tag Archives: 101 in 1001 challenge

The end of my 101 tasks in 1001 days

101_tasks_in_1001_daysMy 101 tasks in 1001 days challenge is over. I can’t believe how fast 1001 days have flown by. When I look at my final list, I realized that even though I didn’t accomplish everything on it, I still got a lot done. It was a great way to bring attention to some areas of my life and explore them a bit. It’s also helped me identify a few things I want to spend more time on from now on.

All in all, it was a great experience and this isn’t the end. After many weeks of reflection and wish contemplation, I’ve put together a list of goals I want to accomplish in 2014. That list includes sub-goals to guide me along the way, and specific deadlines for each. I’ve even created a giant calendar that lists what I should be working on every day to help me get these goals accomplished. I know it can sound a little extreme, but with the crazy life and schedule that I have, this is the only way for me to have a constant visual reminder to refer to every day. I really hope I make some headway in the months ahead.

29) Organize and clean up my internet browser bookmarks (0/1) – not done
I have to laugh at this goal because when I wrote it, I mostly used Internet Explorer. Today I still use it, along with Google Chrome, and each browser has its own set of bookmarks, as messed up as they can be. One of those days when I feel like a little cleaning would do me good, this will be a good project to tackle on.

30) Edit and save all family / kid photos I took since the birth of my first child (0/1) – not done
Unfortunately I didn’t get this done and I still have photos of my kids on several computers, SD cards, etc. At least I’ve figured out that online storage is probably the best for me and I’ve signed up for a couple of online accounts. Now, if I could only remember what they were…

39) Create new products for sale on my Zazzle store twice a week (7/112)  – not done
40) Identify up to two other websites to post my photos for sale and post new photos once a week (0/56) – not done
As much as I wanted to work on this in 2013, I didn’t. It’s on my list of goals for 2014 and so far I haven’t done it either but now I have a reminder twice a week to give me a chance to focus a few minutes at a time on this project.

42) Write my first book (0/1) – not done
I had 1001 days and I didn’t get to do this. But… when I originally wrote this task, I wasn’t sure what type(s) of book I wanted to write. 1001 days later, I have a much better idea and actually several drafts in various stages of completion. Now that I’ve signed up for Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 challenge, I have further motivation to work on this throughout the year.

44) Read one book a week (152/143) – DONE
That was easier than I thought. While some books took me longer than a week to read, I’ve figured out one book a week is what I average.

45) Read 30 literature “classics” (2/30)  – not done
Hmm, I guess I’m not a classics fan…

46) Re-read all of the Harry Potter books in a row (0/7) – not done
That would have been a lot of fun but it didn’t happen.

48) Post book reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon (0/1) – not done
I post my book reviews on Goodreads every time I finish an adult book but don’t do it for all the children’s books I read with my kids. And I don’t post my reviews on Amazon, even though I’ve wanted to. One of my setbacks what the name to use for those reviews. I think I’ve figured it out now and I’ll be doing a better job this year.

56) Establish 2 French-only days a week with my kids, including storytime (54/246) – not done
I did terrible at this. It sounded so easy and I realized it’s not. Good wake-up call for sure.

59) Try 10 new recipes (14/10) – DONE
This has been a lot of fun. I got a bread maker last year and several of the recipes were to make some kind of loaf, such as brioche or sweet milk bread.

60) Bake Christmas cookies (2/3) – not done
I almost did it! Instead we made Halloween cookies, and then Thanksgiving cookies this year. By the time Christmas came and we got busy playing with our new toys, we’d forgotten all about the cookies!

61) Have 10 family picnics (18/10)
I’m so glad this was on the list and we’re looking forward to more picnics this year. The challenge has been to pack some foods my kids would eat since they don’t like sandwiches. I’ve managed to feed them well and we’ve really enjoyed eating outside in the middle of nature.

62) Try 10 new restaurants (14/10) – DONE
This was an “interesting” experience, as some of these restaurants worked out well and others didn’t (the food or the service was below average). It’s still nice to try something new once in a while.

65) Sing in the rain (0/1) – not done
This probably sounds easy for many of you since you get plenty of rain. We don’t. As in, it almost never rains here. And when it does, it’s in the winter and it feels cold outside. The last thing you want is go out and get drenched just to sing. I hope one day my kids have the opportunity to experience one of those summer storms where the rain coming down feels wonderful and all you want is to stand in it, sing and dance.

67) Go whale watching (0/1) – not done
I just don’t think my kids are old enough to put up with being on a boat for 6 to 8 hours yet. I don’t think I am either, haha!

69) Make birthday cakes from scratch for every family birthday, including mine (4/10) – not done
Making the cake in itself isn’t a lot of work but getting the kids to choose the cake they want is a little different!

75) Pet a horse (0/1) – not done
I want to say we did this because I swear we did, but I can’t remember. Probably at one of those pony rides. I’m leaving it undone as a future reminder to have my kids and myself do it.

76) See a waterfall (0/1) – not done
Our ongoing drought of four years hasn’t helped with that. The only waterfalls I’ve seen were man made.

78) Make a snowman (0/1) – not done
Same reason as above. A longtime drought and not enough snow.

79) Stargaze and look for shooting stars (1/1) – DON
I did this by myself this summer but didn’t see any shooting stars. I did give my kids the opportunity to stargaze early this winter, since the night comes so much earlier. They were amazed at how many stars and planets were visible to the naked eye.

81) Go to Disneyland California (0/1) – not done
I don’t feel bad about this one because my kids haven’t asked to go. We did go to Legoland California though (#82).

83) Rollover the 401K from my most recent job into my personal IRA (0/1) – not done
84) Set up college savings accounts for my two kids (0/1) – not done
85) Write a will and get life insurance (0/1) – not done
Guess what’s on my list for 2014?

86) Go to sleep by 11pm every night (786/1001) – not done
I’ve made a conscientious effort to get to bed earlier in the past few months. I know it’s a new habit I have to establish and I’m working on it. I’m a lot more productive on the days when I’ve gone to bed early enough the night before.

87) Take a relaxing bath once a week (0/93) – not done
I’m sure it would be nice but I just can’t justify the extra water and the extra time spent in the bathtub right now.

88) Stop biting my nails (0/1) – not done
If you have tips for this one, I’m all ears.

94) Go a whole day without saying no (0/1) – not done
Do you know how hard this is? But I really want to try it one day because I like the challenge!

95) Not swear for a whole week (0/1) – not done
Same as above!

96) Spend a whole weekend without computer or internet access (1/1) – DONE
I didn’t do a whole weekend but I did it from a Saturday night to a Monday morning twice last year. It was difficult and liberating at the same time. This year, I’m planning to do one unplugged Sunday a month.

97) Complete 5 Sudoku puzzles (0/5) – not done
I didn’t do this and it’s OK. I’m just not a Sudoku person. :-)

98) Perform 52 intentional / random acts of kindness in 2013 (52/52) – DONE
I stopped counting after 52 but I’m really glad I did it, and many times it involved my kids too. Definitely on my list for this year again!

If you didn’t participate in the 101 in 1001 challenge, did you set goals for yourself last year? How did you do? Are you setting goals for yourself this year? What tips do you have to share to help someone reach their goals?

101 in 1001 challenge – September 2013 update

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.

The garden

cherry tomatoes

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!

Home improvements
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?

Making changes to my 101 in 1001 list – my new goals for 2013

Last week, I updated my list of 101 tasks in 1001 days and shared a few of my accomplishments. This week, I’ve decided to make changes to my list so it aligns better with my goals for 2013, since my 101 in 1001 challenge happens to end in January 2014. Several times last year I found myself in limbo and suffered from inertia, as I was waiting for things here and there to happen before making my move. This year, I have a clearer idea of where I want my life to head. Will I get there? I have no clue but I won’t know until I work at it.

I realized that among all the negative, I have a hard time remembering all the good things that happened to us in 2012. So this year, we’re trying something new. I’m not putting this on my 101 in 1001 list but I’m still doing with my boys. We’re using a jar to keep track of the “good things that happened in 2013”. Look, there are already a few things in there!

Jar of good things that happened in 2013

Jar of good things that happened in 2013

I believe this will be a great way to focus on the positive and help us recall at the end of the year all the good things that happened to us but we may have forgotten along the way.

Here are the big changes to my 101 in 1001 list…

98) Get one or more massages
I’m deleting this because I don’t care about getting massages and honestly, I don’t want someone to touch my ultra sensitive back and mess something up. So I’m replacing it with something I’ve been thinking of doing for a long time. I want 2013 to be the year of happy and nice and so I’m choosing this BIG challenge:
98) Perform 52 intentional / random acts of kindness (3/52)
I added “intentional” because I might need a little reinforcement and reminder. These can be very simple acts of kindness, or more elaborate. I’ll figure it out as the opportunity arises and I’ll keep tract of them and share my list at the end of the year. Believe it or not, I already have 3 acts of kindness completed. Who knew? By the way, if you’d like to join me on this challenge but you’re not sure what you could do, there are a lot of ideas on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website.

52 random acts of kindness

52 random acts of kindness

86) Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night
I’m changing this to:
86) Go to sleep by 11pm every night.
It doesn’t seem like a drastic change but I need to force myself to be in bed by a specific time rather than focus on the hours of sleep I may be getting.

48) Learn 3 to 5 new words every week and keep a log of them (20/143)
I’ve been working on this goal but not keeping track of it, and I need a task number for something else so I’m deleting it and replacing it with:
48) Post book reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon (0/1)
I’m not sure how to measure this but I’ll mark it complete once it has become a habit for me, at least for the Amazon part since I write review on Goodreads more regularly.

37) Post once a week to my new freelance writing website’s blog (0/143)
I didn’t create this writing site and instead created my photography website, so I’m changing my challenge to dedicate room for it on my weekly schedule:
37) Post three times a week to my new nature photography website (3/168)

35) Send 100 article queries to magazines and publications (0/100)
At this point, I’m more interested in promoting my photos than my writing (I still plan to write this year), so I’m changing this goal to something that will increase exposure to my photos:
35) Participate in the Project 365 – 2013 by posting new photos two to four times a week on my photography Facebook page and the Project 365 – 2013 Facebook page (2/156)

36) Post once a week to my Perfecting Motherhood blog (73/143)
I originally created this task because I wasn’t writing on a regular basis. I found my new groove about a year ago so I’ve decided to replace this task with something else I’m not doing but should be:
36) Post new photos on my Pinterest page 3 times a week (0/168)

39) Post photographs and other art for sale on Zazzle.com and a few other similar websites (0/1)
I’ve realized this goal is too vague and not getting done (I’ve got a lot of those!). I’m replacing it with these 2 goals:
39) Create new products for sale on my Zazzle store twice a week (0/112)

40) Attend a writers’ meeting several times a year (0/10)
For the same reason, I’m replacing it with:
40) Identify up to two other websites to post my photos for sale and post new photos once a week (0/56)

This should be it. Wish me luck! To view my list as it stands now and how much I’ve accomplished so far, go to my 101 in 1001 page. Remember, it’s never too late to join!

101 in 1001 challenge update – January 2013

101_tasks_in_1001_daysWith a little bit more than one year left in my 101 in 1001 challenge, January is a good time for a checkpoint. I haven’t updated my online list since last April, even though I’ve completed several challenges. I apologize for what looks like a laundry list but it actually feels very good to cross so many challenges off the list.

4) Grow food plants in the garden (Summer / Fall 2012) (1/1)
Here’s the thing: I did manage to grow food in my garden this past summer and fall. The problem is, we didn’t get to enjoy it as much as we planned because the critters ate most of it. Before I plant more this spring, I need to find yet another way to protect our crops, mostly from the darn squirrels.

7) Plant flowers/flowering plants in the backyard (1/1)
Water is extremely expensive in California and I’d rather use it to grow something I will eat rather than flowers. But… I love clipping flowers from the garden and bringing them into the house, so this past summer I bought a couple of rose trees. I enjoyed fragnant roses in front of my kitchen window for months. Completely worth it!

20) Clean out and organize the kitchen cabinets and pantry (1/1)
This was a big project but I got it done. I ended up with a couple of empty cabinets now that I’ve reorganized and emptied out unnecessary items, or moved things around. I see the result of well-organized kitchen cabinets every day.

22) Clean out our bedroom closet (1/1)
I’ve actually done a lot more than that in our house, since I’ve moved our bedrooms around. My bedroom closet now only contains what’s necessary and I’ve put together bags of items to donate. The only problem is, I’ve moved the clutter to the garage and it’s been piling up there. I do have it on my list to clean up the garage, so technically, I have a year to do it, right?

26) Store the kids’ artwork in storage boxes (1/1)
I took me a while to gather my various piles of kid artwork, go through all the papers and keep the best, sort them in some kind of chronological order and file them. But I’ve done it and now I have room for more artwork in those boxes. I bet it will be fun for the kids to look back at what they did when they’re grown up.

51) Create a new website for my nature photography business (1/1)
I added on this challenge about a year after I originally created my list. This is definitely my proudest accomplishment so far on my 101 in 1001 list. If you haven’t visited my nature photography website, go take a look and let me know what you think. I still have a lot more to do regarding this business, but the website is where it all starts from.

63) Go apple picking (1/1)
We went apple picking this fall with my friend and her two kids near the town of Julian, California, which is famous for its apples. It was quite an adventure to guide four young kids to pick specific apples and not just pull every single one from each tree. It cost us a good amount of money to do this, but considering how many apples everybody snacked on during our outing, it was probably worth it. I made delicious apple sauce with some of the apples and we ate the best ones raw. A great idea!

101) Develop 3 new friendships (3/3)
2012 was the year of new friendships, as well as reinforced friendships, for me. As a part of my world seemed to fall apart, I found myself surrounded with wonderful friends, offering their support, help, shoulders to lean on, and anything I asked for or seemed to need. In 2012 I made many new friends not just in my town but also in the blogosphere. I realize this is a wonderful world we live in, where we can connect with people who live half a world apart (or a few states away). I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends and I’m looking forward to spending more time with them and getting to know then better in 2013.

As I reviewed my 101 in 1001 list and crossed off the items above, I realized that, with a year to go, I want to make some changes to my list. I’d like to remove some items that don’t seem relevant two years after I started this project, and add some items I recently thought about. With a new year starting and some upcoming changes in my life granting me a fresh start, I feel the inspiration to make my list an inspiration for the last year of this challenge. I hope to update my list over the weekend and share it with you early next week. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it!

If you’re doing the 101 in 1001 challenge, how are you doing with your list? Are you finding yourself making changes to the list as the months go by? What about new year’s resolutions? Are you taking any specific steps this year that are different from all the years before? Are you feeling inspired or jaded with new year’s resolutions?