Monday, January 9, 2012

Personal Goals to

Just over a year ago, I wrote a post about a list of 101 things I wanted to accomplish in the following 365 days (this original list can be found here). The website for this was originally called, but has since been renamed I actually quite like the new name! In any case, I did not complete all 101 items, but did knock out exactly 51 of them. A number were also in progress and partially completed, but others were not at all.

Before continuing, I'd like to give you a little bit of insight into this project. Before the name change, the tagline for the site was, "Avoiding mediocrity one to-do list at a time", which I found brilliant. Jenn, the creator, has brought it into a slightly different realm. Instead of limiting users to lists of 101 exclusively, she allows you to set the length of your list and lock it at whatever size you desire. In Jenn's words, " harnesses the power of the social web to support personal growth. Its mission is to create a place where you can develop, track and share your goals over the course of the next 365 days and beyond by providing the tools, network and support you need to accomplish great things!" I loved the concept of 101 to-do items, so when I built my new list, I made sure to come up with that number once more.

In creating a new list, I had to take a hard look at my original list and think about why the items that were not completed were left in that state. Some of them were very simple and I should have been able to accomplish them in no time, for example, "98. Post reviews of books I've read on Goodreads". This maybe would have taken me an hour. I could have taken more time and posted even more than a few or reviews of the books already in my Goodreads account. But it would have taken little time. Unfortunately for me, I was lazy. And that sucks. Because I know I could have done this easily.

Among the other items I did not complete were things like, "26. Get a new bed". This is something I still want, but it was not financially viable. In getting a new bed, I don't want to skimp and get another sub-par bed. I want a queen sized bed, I need a new basic frame (I don't care for headboards, so just a regular metal frame hidden by the bedskirt, and a larger bed would necessitate new sheets. So the expenditure isn't just the $400ish for the mattress, box spring, and frame. It's another $150 or so for decent sheets. The same issue came up with list items 34-36, which were about bringing my credit card debt down to $0. Due to my finances during the year, this unfortunately did not become possible.

Finally, I was unable to accomplish some goals because they were too lofty or filled with idealism. For example, "52. Get my #WrockWednesdays posted on time every week". This is a great goal to have, but as soon as I miss just 1 week, I am unable to list this as completed. EVER. That's no fun. I had a few goals like this that just failed to happen because I missed 1 week, or 1 time, etc.

I definitely had every intention of trying again, so this time around I made one of my goals, "64. Create this list with more realistic goals, having learned from the unrealistic things I put on my first list. And yes, this includes being careful with my wording." (View the full new list here.)

This was the first goal that I marked off when I locked this list. I reviewed the list and felt like I had created goals that were more realistic than the previous year. I did bring back some of my goals from the previous year that were left incomplete, but I generally kept these to the ones I had been too lazy to accomplish.

One of the ways I have determined to keep my goals from being over-idealistic is to put a quantity on an accomplishment. For example, "20. Try 10 new teas that I have never tried before" or "47. Attend at least 2 community events in Chico" or even "69. Wash (and wax) my car 10 times".  Each of these goals can be easily measured and the only time constraint on them is the year in which I provided myself to accomplish them.

I also included some financial goals, but I kept them more realistic. Instead of bringing my credit cards to $0, I want to take them to half of what they are now and keep them there (list items 4-7). I also have some goals related to savings, "8. Start adding money to my savings account" and "9. Keep my savings at at least $100 unless there is a legitimate emergency".

One thing I'm a little upset by is that I totally zoned out and accidentally duplicated a couple of goals. I hope, however, to be able to work around them or figure out alternative ways to accomplish them, as one of each is more specific than the other. So we'll see!

Amendment: After Jenn saw this, she graciously offered to assist with the duplicate issue! My duplicates have now been replaced with legitimate goals I later berated myself for missing out. Success!


  1. Awesome post, dinah! glad you like the new name and that you decided to go for the 101 goals this year! I did the same thing! I'm a sucker for tradition ;)

    As for your comments about what you were able to complete, etc - I end up the with SAME comments at the end of every one of my lists (and this is my 4th or 5th year doing it!) Learning what types of goals work and don't work definitely makes creating a new list of 101 goals more and more difficult every year, but at the same time you also get a much better list each time you try!

    I'm super impressed that you completed 51 goals! I usually complete about half of my list too (I think 2011 was my best year yet!)

    When it comes to those "crap I missed doing this once so this whole goal is lost" goals... I've set some rules for myself. Obviously when you set a goal that completely dies if you miss a single day/week, the likelihood of failing that goal is pretty high. I usually end up rewriting these as the total times if i were to do it every week. So instead of "post on my blog every week" I'll make the goal into something like "post to my blog at least 52 times"

    Anyway - Hope that helps! Your new list looks awesome and I'm glad you got to cross off so many of your 2011 goals! Can't wait to see how you do at the end of 2012! Good luck!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed reading, Jenn! I did exactly that kind of thing. With my car washing and waxing, I almost put 12 times (instead of once a month), but then realized that there are usually a couple months each year that are too rainy to wash the car. Ha! But I definitely had the same thought process!

      I look forward to gaining more list-making wisdom as I continue to create lists with you on the site!

  2. That's an awesome list. Let me know when you get the tea blog up and running. A few of my local friends are tea aficionados; I'll be sure to send them your way. :)

    1. Thanks, Bobby! I totally will! I'll likely be posting all about it all over the interwebs when it's live, but will make certain you have the word. :)

  3. &0 is the most important one :) I like 79 aswell.

  4. A 50% completion rate is not bad.