The Ultimate To Do List: 101 Things in 1001 Days

Give the New Year's resolution a rest this year and consider ringing in New Year with some long term goals with the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge.


Photography by Anders Ruff Custom Designs

If you could finally tackle one thing that you’ve always wanted to do this year, what would it be? Not necessarily a resolution or a “bucket list,” but something simple—think learning to knit or riding a roller coaster. We all have that mental list of things we’ve always wanted to try, or learn, or do—a list that reveals our heart’s deepest aspirations and desires. And that’s how the 101 in 1001 Project was born.

If you’re not familiar with the 101 in 1001 Project, here’s what you need to know: basically, you make a list of 101 things that you want to accomplish in 1001 days (roughly 2.75 years). Your list can include all kinds of goals, organized in any way that you’d like—long-term tasks or one-time events, it’s entirely up to you. The only rule is that your tasks must be specific, so that your result can be clearly measured (i.e. completed or not). So, for example, “give up coffee for one month” would be a good list item, whereas “be more healthy” is a little too vague.

The great thing about putting your goals on paper (or online, if you want to share!), is that your goals suddenly seem much more concrete, more manageable and more attainable. And really, who doesn’t love the feeling of satisfaction that comes with crossing something off a to-do list?

And here’s the best part: even if you don’t cross every single item off your list in 1001 days, it’s okay. The list isn’t about competing with anyone, or feeling guilty if you can’t get everything done. It’s about acknowledging your goals, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, trying new things. At the end, you can look back at the things you’ve crossed off your list and know that you have done something positive for yourself.

We think it’s a great project for the whole family, too! While 101 things might be a bit overwhelming for your little ones, the exercise can easily be tailored for kids. Why not try a list of 12 challenges, with one thing that your child would like to do every month. Whether it’s learning to ride a bike or tie their shoes, having their own list is a great way to teach them about setting goals for themselves and managing tasks—two valuable life skills.

Interested in starting a list of your own? Day Zero has some great tips to help you get started. There is even a list of lists that you can peruse for a little inspiration.

Tell us: What would you put on your list?

One response to “The Ultimate To Do List: 101 Things in 1001 Days”

  1. […] I like how Leslee Mason, Canadian Family senior editor and mom of four, is approaching resolutions at her house in 2014. Her family has pledged to go screen-free one day a week. “We’re going to start small with a weekday but then work up to a Saturday or Sunday spent playing boardgames,” she says. It’s a goal that emphasizes quality family time, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes! You can learn more about what Leslee and other families are pledging to do in 2014 in our special New Year’s resolutions package in the Winter issue of Canadian Family, which is on newsstands now, and find more inspiration in this great list of 101 goals to accomplish over 1001 days […]