Sunday, September 22, 2013

on being goal oriented

I have been setting goals for myself for as long as I can remember. Whether it was how many boxes of Girl Scout cookies to sell or how many books to read in an elementary school read-a-thon, I've always loved having a measurable goal to reach.

I made my first bucket list (not a term I use - I prefer "life list") when I was in 9th grade. It was a class assignment and I came across it again last year for the first time in over a decade. What a trip to see exactly what 15 year old Amanda hoped and dreamed she would achieve. Some items on there are still dear to my heart, some are completely irrelevant, and a few have been achieved.

In 2008, I came across the concept of The Day Zero Project, also known as 101 in 1,001. I started my first list on January 1st, 2009 and it carried me through my entire law school career. When it ended in the fall of 2011 I had completed about 60% of my goals. I promptly created a second list which "expires" next summer. It has fallen by the wayside during a year which found me with a great deal of tunnel vision, but I'm determined in the 9 months remaining to accomplish as many items as possible.

That's not where my goal setting self let it rest. When I failed to complete my first Day Zero Project, I took a hard look at the items that went untouched. Some I had ceased valuing, but quite a few were things I still hoped - someday - to achieve. So I started on another list: a combination of my high school list, my Day Zero Projects, and some other ideas I had about the life I wanted to look back on. That list is enormous, and equally values "big ticket" items with ordinary, everyday accomplishments. I don't plan on writing out that list for you (it's mine) but I'm sure now and again items on it will be subjects of conversation here.

Tomorrow I'm going to post up my current 101 in 1,001 list. But today I want to know:

What goal are you actively pursuing this fall? Do you have a "life list"?


  1. I've got a Lifetime Bucket List with about 55 or so places to go/things to do before I kick the bucket! I'm experimenting with a seasonal bucket list, too. So far, my inaugural one for summer worked great, but I'm a little stumped so far for Fall...Happy Fall!

  2. I don't really have a goal for life, nothing tangible that I can take active steps now to achieve at least.

    crazy how quickly life moves, making last years goals obsolete. I look forward to reading your updated 101 list!

  3. I have a few lists that are written (and then rewritten) and I have yearly resolutions.

    - Linda (

  4. Completing something. Anything. Just one thing. Please Lord, let me complete something!!

  5. i learned a long time ago that having a huge list of goals is something that never works for me because i know that i'm too lazy to do them. then i look at that undone list and feel guilty and ain't nobody got time fo' dat. instead, i focus on the big things that need/should be done and make a plan to tackle them.

    i had a 5yr plan when i was in my late teens of where i wanted to be in 5yrs; then i busted my ass crossing each one of those off my list and by the time i was 24, i had done them all. it was an amazing feeling :)

    Vodka and Soda


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