There is something so gratifying about checking something off a to do list. I have always liked to plan and organize. Breaking things down in little goals to accomplish is so incredibly satisfying. For me, the planning part is sometimes just as good as the actual activity.
A while back I came across this article, "How Vacations Affect Your Happiness". In it they explain that research has show that planning a vacation is just as enjoyable if not more enjoyable than taking the trip. If there are lists and check marks involved, I can completely understand why that would be true.
I was inspired, 288 days ago, to make a big list. Chad Williams introduced me to the Day Zero Project which is a website used to create and share a to do list, 101 things to do in 1001 days. Chad is an adventurer, so his list is way more extreme than mine, but creating this kind of a list is meant to be personal.
It took me 3 days to finish my list. 101 things are a lot of things! Not everything is something I have never done before, but everything on my list is something to enjoy, nothing like get my oil changed or clean the bathroom type of stuff. 1001 days is a little less than 3 years, so thinking long term is part of the challenge, but also part of the excitement of the list. Thinking about what life will be like that far out is something I do in a big picture way, but not necessarily in a small task kind of way.
Some of the highlights of my list include:
- Take a cooking class
- Visit Chicago
- Host a cocktail party for people who inspire me
- Start an email newsletter
- Paint something
- Go paddle-boarding
- Send 10 unexpected gifts to friends
- Ride in a rickshaw
- Go one full day without saying one word
Totally random, I know. If you are bored or looking for ideas, you can see the full list here.
I have checked off a few and it feels great every time.
The challenge of making a list like this is simply getting started. My advice is start small. Think of just 3.
What would yours be?