101 in 1001 Update

Well, I’m a little late wrapping up my 101, which probably shows how dedicated I was to it. The 101 in 1001 challenge asks you to complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days. The idea is that by giving yourself clearly-defined goals with measurable outcomes, plus a longer timeframe in which to accomplish them, you’ll be more likely to get everything done.

Theoretically. I began mine on August 24, 2011, about a month after we got married. My deadline was May 21st. My full list is below, but to sum up, I only got 52 of my 101 done. I failed abysmally at going to plays and museums, but I was really good at the food-related stuff:

1. Try 15 new restaurants (15/15)
2. Try 3 new cuisines OR dishes I’ve never tried from cuisines I have tried (4/3) (bulgogi; teppanyaki; pho; Peruvian)
3. Bake red velvet cupcakes from scratch
4. Bake Mom’s inside-out German chocolate cake
5. Bake a cheesecake
6. Make afternoon tea/have a tea party
7. Try Portland’s food carts
8. Have a wine & cheese party
9. Pick berries
10. Host a dinner party for friends and/or family
11. Cook (or help cook) a holiday meal for family
12. Use only what’s on hand for dinner for a week for one week each month
13. Organize my loose recipes
14. Put together a bar
15. Try more wines and come up with a list of 10 affordable go-tos (10/10)

16. Visit 15 museums (0/15)
17. Do the National Geographic crossword puzzles each month (revised since they’re no longer doing monthly crosswords – now doing two USA Today crosswords each month)
18. Read 30 National Geographic articles (30/30)
19. Take an art, writing, or dance class
20. See 3 documentaries (4/3) (Waiting for Superman, Life in a Day, Inside North Korea, A State of Mind)

Film & Books
21. See 8 classic films (9/8) (Blade Runner, Notorious, Dirty Dancing, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, Metropolis, Chinatown, The African Queen)
22. See the Best Picture winners from 5 years (1/5: The Artist)
23. Read 5 classic books (5/5: Age of Innocence, East of Eden, Ender’s Game, The Hobbit, Northanger Abbey)
24. At least attempt to read the year’s Pulitzer and Booker winners
25. Read 50 books (65/50)
26. Re-read LOTR (will not count towards the 5 classic books)
27. Read 6 of the books I’ve bought and never read (6/6) (“Red Gold” by Alan Furst, “Spies of Warsaw” by Furst, “The Red Scarf” by Kate Furnivall, “The Second Duchess” by Elizabeth Loupas, “Spies of the Balkans” bu Furst, “Eye in the Sky” by Phillip K Dick)
28. Get a library card
29. Host a book-swap party

30. Enter/submit to 15 writing contests/publications (12/15)
31. Volunteer with the Willamette Writers and go to at least 2 monthly meetings (0/2)
32. Flesh out/finish 12 of the story ideas on my computer (3/12)
33. Do 50 creative writing prompts/challenges (2/50)
34. Finish a complete draft of my book
35. Assemble a poetry chapbook
36. Attend and/or volunteer at Wordstock
37. Set and meet goals for NaNoWriMo

Crafting & Creativity
38. Make our wedding scrapbook
39. Finish my college scrapbooks
40. Make Christmas cards
41. Finish that collage
42. Sketch 2x per week for one month
43. Finish my long-ignored scarf and donate it
44. Make gifts for 2 birthdays and/or Christmas

Culture & Travel
45. Go to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
46. Go wine tasting in the Willamette Valley
47. Go to Mount St. Helens
48. Go to Mount Rainier
49. Go to Vancouver BC
50. Go to Victoria
51. Visit the Smithsonian
52. Go to a local major sporting event
53. Visit 3 national parks (2/3) (Volcanoes National Park, HI; Moran State Park, San Juans, WA)
54. Go to a shooting range
55. Have afternoon tea at a tea shop or hotel
56. See an opera
57. Visit 2 new states (1/2) (Texas)
58. See 2 plays or musicals (1/2, R3)
59. Go to a Carbon Leaf concert
60. Go to a Mumford & Sons or Ani Difranco concert (if feasible)
61. Go to a live local band concert (PDX Pop Now compilation CD launch)
62. Take friends tea-tasting at the Jasmine Pearl
63. Take a ferry to Bainbridge
64. Be a Seattle tourist for a day
65. Be a Portland tourist for a day
66. See the Blue Angels at Seafair (2013 Blue Angels performances canceled)
67. Explore a new town on the Oregon coast
68. Go to Hood River
69. Go to Bite of Seattle

70. Make 2 blog posts per month full-length written entries, not just photos or links
71. Do 30 Days No Repeats (done)
72. Do the 30 For 30 challenge
73. Attend a PDX blogger meet-up
74. Do 4 photo shoots for Average Fantastic (1/4) (N/A, blog closed)
75. Do Sh1ft’s Day In The Life project
76. Do Sh1ft’s 26 Things challenge (done)
77. Do an Everybody Everywear (done)
78. Do hourly comic day
79. Back up my blog

Health & Exercise
80. Go on a day-long hike
81. Ride my bicycle on 2 different trails (0/2)
82. Learn 5 new healthy recipes (5/5: fish with veggies & balsamic vinaigrette; pork fajitas with corn salsa; oven-fried fish; gemelli with shrimp and arugula; tortellini soup with some adjustments)
83. Take a bellydance class OR practice/learn new moves from YouTube each week
84. Increase current weightlifting amounts by 50%
85. Work out 3 days a week

Practical Things
86. Do not buy anything personal for 2 months
87. Develop and stick to a household budget
88. Get a job
89. Vote thoughtfully in the major primaries & elections
90. Start a retirement account
91. Plan meals so trips to the grocery store happen once a week or less

General Good Things
92. Send 5 people flowers for no reason (0/5)
93. Visit Katherine at Linfield
94. Take Kevin on 4 surprise dates (2/4)
95. Take 2 weekend getaways with Kevin (1/2)
96. Go on our honeymoon to Disney World
97. Find a church
98. Attend a church young-couples event
99. Volunteer at a charity event
100. Make some kind of charitable donation 4 times per year (seasonally)
101. Donate $5 for each goal not met

But I don’t feel too terrible about failing this challenge, because I accomplished or experienced a lot of other things that I couldn’t have planned for when I made this list:

1. getting a dog

2. going to Hood River twice

3. learning to can the pears we got on one of those Hood River trips

4. buying a house!

5. starting a proper garden

6. getting a second job (at our church) and quitting my first


8. completing and submitting a short story for publication. I’d never finished a short story outside of college, so just completing one is a big deal.

9. churning out a complete first draft of a brand-new story (2900 words) in one day.

10. going to PAX

11. cosplaying!

12. going to Hawaii

13. learning tabletop and RP games

14. trying acupuncture

15. hosting a raclette party

16. throwing a friend’s baby shower

So, all in all, it’s been a pretty great 2.75 years. I probably won’t do this challenge again, but I will make an effort to journal more so I remember all the neat stuff that comes my way – whether I planned for it or not.


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