Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Big Project Made Up Of (Mostly) Bite-Sized Pieces

Through clicking hyperlink after hyperlink via one of the blogs I'm subscribed to (don't remember which one, though), I found this project, and I decided to do it.

I think it will give me some things to work on, some things to look forward to, and a sense of achievement (though some of them are really very small achievements, I realize). I'm not feeling all that challenged by my French courses, plus they don't really give tests in the middle of the semester. So to feel like I'm doing something beneficial and making progress, I basically have to wait until the final tests and just see how things go. (How is that for me being a product of the education system? I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything in school unless someone gives me a grade. Hm, that's kind of sad.)

I like to feel like I'm accomplishing something--I like to be able to measure my progress in some way. I like to be able to see a project through from beginning to end but be able to see throughout the process that I'm "getting there" (which is hard to do with random grammar and phonetics concepts because they're so nebulous at times) (let's not talk about how this will be ridiculously challenging for me as a parent). Plus I love to learn new skills and information, and you'll see "Learn to do X" over and over in my list.

Here are the "instructions" for the project, taken directly from their website.

The Mission:Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.
2. Stay Focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.
3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.
4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.
5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.Once you have created your site, you can add it to the master list here at Day Zero.

Calculating the End Date
You can easily find out when your project will end by using
this handy tool at

I'll be posting my list in just a few minutes, and I'm going to add it to my sidebar so I'll always have a visual reminder of how much progress I have(n't?) made to date.

Very few of them are life-changing goals; a lot of them are things about which I've always thought, "Hm, I'd like to do (be able to do) that. But later. Right now I'm busy working/going to school/traveling to my dream city/to poor/too tired/[insert generic excuses here]."

If you'd like to joing along in the challenge, there's a place you can link your list back to the "master list" on the project site. There are hundreds of lists there, some of which had a direct influence on items that made it to my list.

Enough of me blabbering about it. Moving on.


Megan said...

What a great idea! I will keep that on my to-do list--to make a great BIG to-do list! :-)

Sorry I'm not commenting much--sounds like you are having a great time.

As this is the first post I have read in a while, you may have said something about this somewhere else, but did you take the picture headlining your blog--That is beautiful!

Sarah said...

Hi, Megan!!
Yeah, this really inspired me. Kind of like a bucket list, but with something more cheerful than death as the deadline. :)
Yes, I did take the picture. I'm glad you like it--I was surprised it turned out at all, blurry or not, because I was hand-holding my camera at the top of the Arc de Triomphe with a bunch of other tourists bustling about. ;)