Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day Zero Project - Month 7 Update

I want to get back into the habit of doing monthly progress reports on the Project, if for nothing else than it helps me stay motivated. Here's how things have been going so far, seven months into the project. You can see the full list here.

In Progress
#7 Visit a museum (3/10)
While I was in Washington, DC in January I was able to get a private tour of Ford's Theater, where President Lincoln was assassinated. It was amazing!

#11 Read every book on my bookshelves (9)
A friend asked me how many books I actually own, and I didn't know. So, while I was assembling a new bookshelf, I took the opportunity to dust, reorganize, and count my books. Grand total? 260 as of January 2015. Challenge: accepted.

And yes, I did organize my books using the Library of Congress catalog system. I managed to read two books since the holidays: Amy Poehler's Yes, Please and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.

#70 Go to the theater
In January, some coworkers and I took in the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's winter show, Twelfth Night. It was great!

Looking Forward
In the next month or so I'm looking forward to doing some more reading, going to a work conference in Chicago (and seeing college roommates!), and choosing a new goal or two to work on.

I need your help on one thing: Goal #33 was to buy something from SkyMall. Alas, the SkyMall is no more. Any suggestions on a replacement goal?

Stats (as of 2/19/15)
Completed - 3 (2.97%)
In Progress - 15 (14.85%)

Sunday, January 18, 2015


At the beginning of last year, I shared my approach to goal-setting and resolution-making. That is still how I basically go about the process every year. I have chosen to continue choosing one word for the year (more on that later) and I have only two resolutions this year.

First, put myself first. I don't mean be selfish, because that's the last thing I want to become. But I have a tendency to put friends, family, and work needs above my own and not value my own priorities. I can't live in generosity and compassion and "put others first" in a healthy way if I don't value my own needs. This resolution is a little out of character for me because it's not tied to anything specific or measurable. Instead, it's almost a continuation of my word for last year: mindful. I can feel when I'm not putting myself first, and in those moments when I get that intuition I need to stop and reevaluate. There's probably a way to approach the situation that better honors me AND whatever I'm being asked to do.

Second, I'm going to be really intentional with my Day Zero Project. I finally updated the page so that it reflects this newest challenge. I really want to complete at least one more goal this time than I ever have before, which means I can't ignore it until the last minute.

I'm off to a strong start though - I crossed one off the list this week! Some friends and I went to see the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's winter performance of Twelfth Night.

It was performed at Belmont University in a beautiful theater. That's always been one of my favorite of his plays, but I haven't seen it staged in over ten years. I went with a few coworkers and we stopped for happy hour at Blvd before the show (conveniently across the street). It was my first time eating there but definitely not my last. It was a lovely time with friends, and also helped me make progress toward a second goal. Fun AND efficient!

Goals Completed: #70 go to the theater
Goals In Progress: #61 visit 40 local restaurants

Do you have any resolutions or goals for the new year?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry (Day After) Christmas

I am spending the holiday week in Alabama with a friend and her parents, which is the next best thing to being with my own family. Thank God for blessing us with cell phones and FaceTime so I got to talk to them anyway.

My goal is to read a whole book before I leave my little vacation (I've been here since Tuesday night and will leave tomorrow) and I've chosen Amy Poehler's "Yes Please." I wasn't expecting to fall in love with it as much as I have, but I do. I love it.

Don't call me sweetheart unless you're my grandmother.

I feel like the page turns today to start thinking about the new year. Since that's also my birthday, I get a double portion of reflection. So, I'll be doing that quietly in the next week.

I hope each of you had a lovely holiday!

Monday, December 15, 2014

She lives!

Well, hello friends.

Long time no see.

I certainly didn't expect for three months of total silence to follow my last post. All I can say is that life got busy, and I still don't have a functioning home computer.

But here I am, thanks to a combination of the Blogpress app and my (not so) new iPhone 6, whose larger screen is much more blog friendly.

As the year winds down, I'm heading into my reflective season. What went well this year, what didn't, and what are my goals for 2015? One of my goals is to start writing again, in some capacity, since it's an outlet I truly miss.

What's on your mind with two weeks left in the year?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

virtual coffee date

Friends, I miss you.

Hello? Is anyone alive out there?

It's been a long time since I've posted, with my sad excuse being the fact that my computer is on life support and I really don't find posting from my phone to be user friendly enough. And yet, here I go. Because I miss you!

I'm hopeful I'll be able to buy a new computer soon and that posting will resume. I've got some ideas for a fresh start for this space I want to implement this fall.

Until then, pull up a chair and tell me about your life. What's something you're proud of from the last month? What's something you're excited for this fall?

Monday, July 7, 2014

a walk in the woods

Given my confession that the category I failed most spectacularly on my last 101 in 1,001 was the reading category, I'm thrilled that the first goal I've made progress on in my Unfinished Business challenge is book-related!
My secondary habitat - mossy Pacific Northwest!

A couple of weeks ago I was up in Pittsburgh for work and then took some vacation time to hang out with family. In addition to time in Pittsburgh, we trekked out to central PA to see our mom, grandma, and extended family.

That's a tree! College-Amanda
 had been in the flat midwest too long.
While browsing antique stores one day, I snagged A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson because I thought it'd be a good book for the plane.

I'd never read anything by Bryson, but I had definitely heard great things and A Walk in the Woods didn't disappoint. I loved his sarcastic tone, especially since he balanced his wit with keen observations about both the Appalachian Trail and human nature. 

Oregon, you're gorgeous!

It felt very appropriate that the first book I read during this challenge was one about accomplishing an audacious goal!

I've never been hiking in the east. I grew up with the Sierras and the Cascades, but I've had it on my life list to hike at least a tiny portion of the AT.
This book made me itch to get into the mountains, and did inspire me to see parts of the trail. Definitely not going to try and do a long stretch, but I have a new respect for people who do.

One of the many places I call "home"
Highly recommended!

Progress Report
10. Read 50 new-to-me books :: 1/50

What are you currently reading? Are you into The Great Outdoors?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1, 2014 - March 28, 2017

Let's kick this third (and final) Day Zero Project off! 

After lots of tweaking, here is the list of 101 goals that I will attempt to complete in full by March 28, 2017. Instead of organizing my goals by category like I have in the past, this round has only 3 sections: unfinished business, old favorites, and new challenges. The numbers in parentheses equal the number of times I will repeat that goal (bi-weekly, weekly, monthly, quarterly, random amounts, etc.).

Unfinished Business
These are goals that previously appeared on my first two projects but went unfinished.
1. Complete a bi-weekly menu plan (x70)
2. Keep plants alive: one decorative, one food
3. Hang one of my own photos
4. Watch a foreign film (x15)
5. Begin studying a third language
6. Study/refresh my French skills
7. Visit a museum (x10)
8. Document and complete #100happydays
9. Read a book off my ever growing "to read" list (x50)
10. Read a new (to me) book (x50)
11. Read every book on my bookshelves
12. Take a solo vacation
13. Go camping
14. Be debt-free (excluding student loans)
15. Fully fund my Day Zero Savings goals including for this challenge: 
$5 for completed goals (owe $555) and $10 for incomplete goals (owe $910)
16. Visit a National Park (x5)
17. Print out my blog
18. Organize photos into albums
19. Back-up music and photo libraries
20. Organize/file/shred paperwork
21. Work on family history project each week (x143)
22. Complete a craft project
23. Swim with dolphins
24. See an opera
25. Watch the ballet (not the Nutcracker)
26. Attend a comedy show
27. Ride in a hot air balloon
28. Watch the Oscar Best Picture nominees 
29. Read the entire Bible
30. Read the Collected Works of William Shakespeare
31. Go on a cruise
32. Get another stamp in/renew my passport
33. Order something from the SkyMall
34. Participate in quarterly professional development initiatives (x12)
35. Read a book for work each month (x33)
36. Complete Couch to 5K
37. Run a 5K
38. Do a yoga class
39. Learn a new sport
40. Catch up on appointments
41. Buy a car
42. Buy a new computer
43. Go horseback riding

Old Favorites
These are goals that previously made an appearance on the challenge and I enjoyed so much I wanted to repeat
44. Donate clothes every 3 months (x11)
45. Visit a vineyard
46. Watch a musical
47. Attend a concert (x20)
48. Attend the Nutcracker 
49. Donate to my alma mater
50. Give up caffeine for a month
51. Renew my library card
52. For a month, drink recommended amount of water
53. Complete all of the exercise DVDs I own
54. Go on a road trip
55. Visit a new U.S. state (x5)
56. Go to the beach
57. Track all spending for a month
58. Save my spare change
59. Go to the drive-in movie theater
60. Go hiking
61. Visit a local restaurant (x40)
62. Attend a community event each month (x33)
63. Journal every day for a month
64. Give a gift for no reason
65. Complete a 5 year plan
66. Regularly blog about the challenge 
67. Create a new cleaning schedule and stick to it
68. Have a twice-a-month coffee date with myself (x66)
69. Listen to the symphony
70. Go to the theater
71. Attend a conference out of state
72. Attend a professional sporting event
73. Play mini golf
74. Discover new music (x30)
75. Do something spontaneous
76. Do something brave
77. Complete a goal I didn't know I have

New Challenges
Just to freshen things up, I'm including a few new items to this round!
78. Work my way through a tourist guidebook of my city
79. Visit my college for homecoming
80. Join a professional association
81. Watch all of the DVDs in my collection (and get rid of those I don’t like)
82. Don’t eat out at all for a month
83. Run 100 miles over the course of the challenge
84. Ship the last of my books from California
85. Watch a Civil War reenactment
86. Complete my collection of presidential biographies
87. Complete my collection of Supreme Court biographies
88. Go through a corn maze
89. Go to the movies alone
90. Go to a midnight movie showing
91. Frame my diplomas
92. Cook my way through a cookbook
93. Buy flowers every month (x33)
94. Go to the rodeo
95. Ride Megabus
96. Get fitted for running shoes
97. Go stargazing
98. Visit an amusement park
99. Put an entire paycheck into savings
100. Plan for Antarctica trip
101. Write about goal setting/the Day Zero Project

and we're off!! 

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