101 in 1001 is a list of 101 things you want to accomplish in the next 1,001 days, or roughly 2.75 years. It’s longer than a new year’s resolution and shorter than a bucket list.
I started my first one back in 2015, and I’ve been creating a new list every time the previous one ends.
Over the years, I’ve gotten a few questions about how to make your own 101 in 1001 list. After all, 101 is a lot! And 1,001 days is quite a time commitment!
Don’t worry, friend. I’ve got you.
Pick a spot to write down ideas
Before you can start cataloging ideas, it’s important to have a single place to jot them all down. Otherwise you’ll have the thought “ooh, that would be great for my 101 in 1001 list” and totally forget it by the time you go to write down the list. Or you’ll have a bunch of post-it notes around your house and inevitably miss one or two.
I started out my most recent list with a note on my phone so it was easily accessible. Then, once I got closer to my lists’ launch date, I migrated it to a spreadsheet so I could add categories (more on that in a bit) and start editing the list down to 101. Because yes, I ended up with waaaaay more than 101 ideas.
Gather up other long-term to do lists
If you’re like me, you’ve got quite a few long-term to do lists already. Start there!
Do you have a bucket list, either written down or in your head? Are there items you could complete in the next 2.75 years? Or could you make progress on any of the larger, longer-term goals?
Or maybe you have a 5-year plan for your career. What items could you complete now? After all, 1,001 days is more than halfway through that plan!
Or do you have a list of house projects you want to complete? What could you realistically get done and afford to do in the next 2.75 years?
Look at other 101 in 1001 lists
Next, I recommend looking at other 101 in 1001 lists for inspiration! A lot of the items on my first 101 in 1001 list came from Mackenzie at Design Darling. You could take a look at mine, or go to Mackenzie’s, where she lists out a bunch of people who are also doing 101 in 1001 lists. Check out a couple and see what you come up with!
Getting inspiration from a bunch of different places helps you come up with things you never would have thought to include on your list, which makes it really fun!
Plus, you don’t have to copy exactly what’s on the list; they might give you just the nugget you need to come up with another idea that’s specific to you. Maybe you’re not interested in finishing Ring Fit like I am, but you do want to finish another video game you’ve been working on for a while. You never know what you’ll come up with!
Create categories that fit your life
After going category-less for my first 101 in 1001 list, I recommend adding in categories. There are so many benefits!
First, it helps you create consistency on your list. Is your list suuuuper heavy on home projects, but light on food? See if you can balance that out a bit. When I’m first coming up with items on my list, I shoot for an even distribution between categories, even though I know it won’t end up that way.
Second, on a very related note, categories help you come up with ideas for your list. When I realized I wanted an Animal Crossing category on my third 101 in 1001 list, I suddenly had way more ideas of what to include! It’s much easier to ask yourself “how can I make the house more organized in the next 1,001 days” than it is to ask yourself “what do I want to do with my life in the next 1,001 days.”
And third, having categories makes managing your list easier throughout the 1,001 days! It helps you remember what’s on your list when you’re not looking at it daily, and it helps you set little benchmarks throughout the 2.75 years. You can hit milestones by aiming to achieve all of your financial goals by a certain point, or seeing which category you’ll complete first.
You can add categories before you start coming up with items or after you’ve already started. Either one works fine, but try not to get too rigid with your categories. As you develop your list, your categories might shift around to fit the goals you come up with.
For example, I combined a couple categories this time around into Creative. I knew I wanted to buy an iPad, but that felt weird to put under Financial, and calligraphy didn’t really fit into my Crafts category. After a few other ideas, I decided to combine those items into one category, and my list made sense again!
This is one of the most important pieces to making a 101 in 1001 list—don’t expect to sit down at your desk and stand up an hour later with a complete list! If you want your list to truly reflect your goals for the next 2.75 years, it should take you a while to develop it.
I started jotting down ideas for my third 101 in 1001 several months before it started. You don’t have to take months to develop your list, but give it at least a week or two! Just the act of living life will help you come up with goals that you’ll be really excited to cross off your list.
Create a way to log and track your progress.
Finally, create a system for logging and tracking your progress! I find my blog is the best way to do this, because I have a webpage that I update any time I cross something off or make big progress on an item, and I do check-in posts every 100 days, which is 10% of the time allotted for the list.
If you don’t have a blog, that’s alright! Maybe it’s a spreadsheet or a note on your phone. There are also websites that have been built solely for tracking 101 in 1001 lists. Do some research and see what the best solution is for you.
Good luck creating your 101 in 1001 list! Drop a link in the comments to your final list, I’d love to see it.