beautiful new england landscape with trees, 101 in 1001

How to Build Your 101 in 1001

how to build your 101 in 1001, picture of the ocean

First: What Is It?
The 101 in 1001 is a cross between a to-do list and a bucket list. It gives you flexibility to put long term items on there but also short term goals. 1,001 days is about 2.75 years, so it’s a good time frame to get harder things accomplished. See the originators here!

I made my first list while I was finishing grad school so it looks different than now, when I’m in the middle of my career.

Why Complete One?
This list gives you the opportunity to get outside of your comfort zone. On my first 101 in 1001 list, I put SKYDIVING on there. (and I knew that would be the hardest one to complete, by far) If you’ve read my post about that, you know that was no easy feat for me and not something I wanted to EVER do initially.

Why complete a #101in1001 list? It gives you the opportunity to get outside of your comfort zone! Learn how to build your own. Click To Tweet

Like I wrote earlier, this isn’t just a to do list… and you can look at it as a short term bucket list with a timer (to complete those far-off things). If you’ve always wanted to visit Iceland but just haven’t made it happen, use this as an excuse! Make a plan to cross it off. Do some research and make a budget of what you think it would cost. Then, start saving some money and book a flight! (okay, maybe not *right now*)

If you’re a blogger and want to be public with your list, it helps generate posts/content ideas! I wouldn’t plan a list with that as a sole reason. Build your list first and then think about which ones would be good content for a post.

Okay so… How Do We Build One?
This pandemic has been in my forefront while making this list. I don’t think it’ll be completely over in less than 3 years (thinking about the waves that are coming and what type of situation we’re in now), but I didn’t want to leave off traveling all-together. I kept my travel goals minimal and broader. Instead of saying “visit Canada” I said, “visit a new country.” While that still may not happen, I’m leaving it open and not getting disappointed in not accomplishing one specific plan.

I would recommend doing more local things you haven’t gotten to do. I put archery, axe-throwing, geocaching, batting cages, plus a few things I’ve done before but want to do again: backpacking, and spending a day on a boat.

Look at other blogger’s lists to get ideas. I looked at about 5 pages on google and it took me a few days to come up with 101 things. Plan for it taking longer than you would think! Check out mine here to get some initial ideas!

After you have a few points written, break them up into sections. It makes it easier to read and plan for. Here are my sections: entertainment, fitness, home, finance, sustenance, professional, adventure, creativity, relationships, health, education, give back, and personal (more for things that didn’t have another spot). You can see what you’re focusing on and what sections you may want to add more to.

Ultimately, do whatever makes you happy, but my suggestion is to put one or a handful of things that purposefully make you feel uncomfortable. (like skydiving for me) This will help you grow if you are interested in doing a little more than what you typically do in your everyday life. On my list this year is ‘riding in a hot air balloon’ (again: heights).

Choose a few things that are difficult to accomplish (but not impossible!). Since there is a 2.75 year timeframe, you want to push yourself but not to the point that there’s no hope. If you are starting at ground zero for a youtube channel and your goal is to have a million subscribers in that amount of time, it may be pretty unrealistic. (not to say that it couldn’t happen, but even something like 500,000 is more doable but still difficult to accomplish)

You also want some ‘give me’ items. (did anyone else’s teachers say that for tests- “there are some give me test questions”) That doesn’t mean something like “take a shower.” (unless that is a challenge for you, depending on your circumstances- no judgement here, ever) It means more like ‘purchase a piece of art I love.’ That might be something you already wanted to do, and you could accomplish in a few hours.

Do a little research. I know this sounds heavy, but hear me out: if you put ‘go axe-throwing’ on your list, but the nearest place that does this is 3 hours away from you- is that something that you’re likely to do? Maybe it is! But maybe it’s not feasible. Or, maybe you couple it with another goal and make a fun day or weekend outing. Just think about what is doable for you.

After It’s Written
When you have your list written, think about seasons. While this definitely impacts Northern folks more than Southern, we still have to think about what Summer means. (aka I am NOT backpacking in July! So fall, spring, or even winter would be in the plans)

Comb through your 101 in 1001 and think about which ones you want to start working on. Make a daily to do list. Here’s mine as an example:

Mine don’t have times attached to them but you could easily add that if that’s something you’re interested in. (or it ties to your goal- like reading 30 mins/day for a month) Also, some I don’t have to complete daily- I just strive for it or have it there as a reminder. (like Ring Fit- your body typically needs at least one or two days of rest a week, so I strive to do it 4 or 5 days a week and then take a day break when I’m more sore than usual or have a lot going on that day)

Go through your list every few weeks to make sure you’re making some progress. Use that time to add to your daily to do list or take some things off if it’s not the right time. I like that you have enough time to back-burner goals that aren’t working for the present and you can come back to it in a few months, or even the next year.

Important note: I am all about to do lists, crossing things off, and getting things done. Do what works for you, especially in this abnormal time. If you’re more about focusing on one goal at a time OR looking at your list once every so often to get a gist of what you’d like to do soon, then that’s awesome.



Do you have any other suggestions for building or completing a 101 in 1001 list? Have you made one before? What was your most challenging task on there?

Don’t forget to check out my 101 in 1001 list here!

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