Friday, August 5, 2011

The Unattainable Goal of Goal-Setting

I first saw the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge on my cousin's blog. I was intrigued. What a brilliant and fun idea; a way to set goals bigger than a weekly to-do list but smaller than an outrageous lifelong bucket list. 1001 days is 2.75 years -- perfect.

But coming up with 101 realistic goals is hard work.

I've been chipping away at it for almost a week and a half and I still only have 46 items on the list. Several times I've resisted the temptation to jot down "do laundry," "bake bread," "go to the post office," and the like. On the other end of the spectrum, I've had to avoid things like "build a house," "start a micro dairy," and "publish a book." We're talking less than 3 years, here.

Here's what I've got so far:

1. Generate a small monthly supplemental income
2. Start and use a sourdough starter
3. Renew my consecration to the Blessed Mother
4. Finish a 9 day novena without missing any days
5. Go to Mass every day for three months
6. Help set up irrigation on our property
7. Exercise 4 times a week for three months
8. Lose 60 pounds
9. Make sauerkraut (the Nourishing Traditions way)
10. Grow enough basil to freeze pesto
11. Go fishing, catch something, and eat it the same night
12. Finish knitting a scarf
13. Go swing dancing
14. Make sushi
15. Spend a night in a cabin at Mt. Rainier
16. Pray the Rosary every day for three months
17. Start an orchard on our property
18. Hang a real curtain over the sliding glass door
19. Paint the chicken coop
20. Render lard
21. Render tallow
22. Take a painting class
23. Win a ribbon in the county fair
24. Get paid to write an article
25. Finish reading 5 great classics
26. Go to the symphony with my husband
27. Go miniature golfing
28. Eat a duck egg
29. Donate my hair to Locks of Love
30. Shoot a round of billiards
31. Make and use cloth napkins
32. Get more than 1000 page hits in one day
33. Go swimming
34. Make kimchi
35. Go to a state I've never been to (Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Deleware, Maine, Alaska, or Hawaii)
36. Sleep in a tent
37. Drive through a Redwood tree in CA
38. Make a surprise dessert for a friend
39. Sell something in an Etsy shop
40. Be able to identify 10 new constellations
41. Identify all of the countries of Europe and their capitals
42. Study Algebra 2
43. Successfully grow 5 new crops in the garden
44. Pay off one student loan
45. Brew Kombucha and Water Kefir
46. Go on a silent retreat.
47. ..........?

What sorts of things would you add to your 101 in 1001 list?


Mrs. N said...

Don't forget to add tricky things that you'd like to succeed at cooking!  Creme Brulee, Chocolate SoufflĂ©, or maybe I just need to go have dessert. . .

Farmer's City Wife said...

Aha! I forgot about those :). I'd really like to master the classic apple pie... and I've heard that a Chicken Kiev made perfectly shots a perfectly arched stream of butter out of it when stabbed... I think that takes talent I'm not sure I've got :).

Mary said...

Make your own yogurt?
Paint a wall in your house a really out of character colour (Red?  Grey? Orange?)?
Refinish a piece of furniture?
Write a baker's dozen anonymous notes of encouragement to people who need them?
Learn how to make balloon animals?
Throw a party that involves a pinata?
Cook a dish from each country in 41?
Cook a dish beginning with every letter in the alphabet in 1 month?
Bake a gross of cookies and give them all away?
Start a worm compost?
I could go on forever... :)

karlab71 said...

Well, even if you don't actually get your house BUILT, you could put come up with perfect, buildable floorplan! haha...

the Squirrel said...

Wow, this is really an interesting challenge! It really got me thinking.  You did a great job so far, and not just because great minds think alike! 

I think for my own I would add:
memorizing Scripture - let's say at least 30 passages - with my son
making 9 First Fridays in a row
organizing my paperwork in such a way that there is not a SINGLE strays piece of paper in the house (excuse me while I weep openly at the beauty of that last thought)
laughing uncontrollably
go camping (preferably in search of huckleberries)
sewing and using cloth wipes
sewing an article of clothing for one of my children
making at least one "oh, wow!" gift for a dear one
canning a salsa that is neither deadly nor repulsive
living the liturgical year through fun activities and foods
spending Christmas with my family once
growing artichokes
giving a catechetical talk
writing a children's book (it doesn't have to be published)

Farmer's City Wife said...

Worm compost... pinata? Genius! :-D

Farmer's City Wife said...

Not a bad idea, Karla! Actually I've been meaning to get back to you about that floorplan; it's incredible!

Farmer's City Wife said...

*happy sigh* -- may I copy part of your list?? Shortly after I published this blog post, I thought to add "finish the 9 First Fridays and 5 First Saturdays." It's so much harder than it seems!

If we go camping together (for huckleberries), we might laugh uncontrollably :)... we should chip away at that non-lethal non-repulsive salsa soon, and how about having a sewing party at some point? Better to make the sewing mess at one person's house than both.

-The Masked Marble _☺

Jenn said...

Great list!! Your list is much more ambitious than mine. I'm like, "I want to eat this, that, everything." And then, "I also want to lose 30lbs." HA!

I love all of Mary's ideas. They sound so fun! Can't wait to read about your experiences as you strike through items on your list! :)

The squirrel said...

A resounding yes . . . to everything.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Thanks for igniting the spark, Jenn :-D. Are you kidding? I love your list! :)

karlab71 said...

Cool! I was wondering if you and Mr Wonderful had liked the floorplan. Email me whenever you get a chance. Working on the design was SOOOO fun. I have some ideas about tweaking it depending on your preferences.

Karen said...

I remember a slightly different 101 list.  It was intended to dispel the idea that you 'never' get what you want and the associated sense of dissatisfaction.  There was no time limit, and you were to put anything, material, spiritual, educational, whatever,  that you truly wanted on the list.  You could also be as specific as you wanted, as in strappy red sandals with gold buckles and stacked heels, or just red shoes, as long as your specifications accurately indicated what you wanted.  Then, everytime you 'got what you wanted'  you were to indicate that on your list - check mark/date/crossed off. 

There were two lessons involved.  One was that you really do eventually get what you want.  The other was that it is really hard to think of 101 things that you want, but do not already have.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Will do :)... we've got company right now but sometime before school starts I want to start thinking about these things again.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Very interesting, Karen! :)

Becky said...

#4...ha ha, too funny.  I thought it was only me.  I get sooooo close to the end of ANY novena and drop the ball.  Do you find yourself negotiating with God, "well, Lord, there is no TIME in heaven, so does it matter if it is 12:10 a.m.? Can we call it close enough?"

Farmer's City Wife said...

That's hilarious! I know! It's always on day EIGHT that I suddenly forget and miss a day! And yes, most definitely I've fudged the whole "well, I'm still awake so it's still the same day, right?" business.

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