Life 101

The Ultimate To Do List

Do you feel like you have lost the ball? Have you already failed half your New Year’s resolutions? Are you uninspired and overpowered? Worry not, because the Life 101 survival tool is now at your disposal.

Visit (at least) one new place is one of my favourite recurring entries. My new place for 2016 was Houston. This is Miami though!

First things first. This is NOT a 101 in 1001 list. So you do not have 1001 days to make things happen. And it is not a Bucket list either, so no need to start thinking up all the places you need to visit before you hit 80.

Life 101 is an annual list, meaning you have 365 days (and you can do the math).

I came across the idea years ago, through my old friend Tessie. It was assigned homework on her first life-coaching session. Being a list-lover, I followed suit, convinced that I’d rapidly fill it and need 10x the space to accommodate my desires. By entry #19 I had exhausted all the obvious choices (LV bags, Dior shoes, trips to Bali etc.).

Then I started grasping the concept.

“Launch a personal blog” actualized in 2016 but has been an unsuccessful entry of several past lists

Exercising some imagination, more original desires started emerging. Eventually I drafted my first 101 list and got in the “clock’s ticking” frame of mind.

By the end of the year I had managed to cross out ∼33% of the entries. Not great but totally not bad either, since I probably wouldn’t have done half that stuff without it. 
Ever since I made an annual ritual of it. By now I own the concept (I never bothered to follow up ref. its original use) and cant wait to draft a new one every year. It serves as a guide, framing the direction I want my life to go in during said year. It has helped me personally grow and become a better person for those around me.

Mind, finding 101 things is still taxing but every time it gets easier and better.

Cecina chimichurri is one of 2016’s “5 new yummy recipes” (recurring entry)

Luckily, you don’t need to go through the trouble of mastering the art of the 101 list – I will give you all the tips to make the experience smooth and flowing.

To make the list interesting (and all-around effective) it is important that you add entries from several categories.

– Personal
– Business
– Recreational
– Beauty
– Fitness
– Well being
– Educational
– Social
– Financial
and Personal Growth goals.

But you can proceed with whatever is relevant to you. And you can get REAL inventive with entries.

“Organize an international charity event” – happily check, last September

Adding completely far-out goals is pointless. If you are broke and unemployed in Blackpool there is no need to immediately add an entry pertaining to successfully trading properties in Manhattan. You could try trading a couple of high-risk stocks though – just a thought. The list must be ambitious yet realistic, otherwise the path to frustration is guaranteed.

And don’t forget to add the simple things. Little ones that can make a difference in you life (e.g. Buy -& take care of- 2 new plants) and those that lie in the back of your mind, hopelessly dormant (e.g. I never told you that I loved you) .

“Read (a minimum of) 12 books” is another recurring entry. This is the 2016 lot

Sample past entries of mine, for the sake of reference:

Learn to strut the catwalk (√) / Become more assertive (√) / Participate in Moniker Art Fair (√) / Learn how to create PDFs (not √) / Visit Portofino (not √) / Have a proper shooting session (√ – see main image) / Launch a personal blog (yes √!)

And some of 2017’s entries:

  • Organize a photography exhibition (of my self-imposed exile adventures)
  • Learn 5 new yummy recipes
  • Eliminate useless relationships
  • Write a book
  • Cut down on smoking (failing & recurring entry but this time it seems I might be nailing it)
  • Do something good for somebody I don’t know
  • Create the perfect compact wardrobe for global travelling
  • Spend more time on the blog
“Curate an exhibition abroad”. Check, “Lo Maximo” exhibition, in Quito

Achieving these things has given me immense joy. There is something empowering -not to mention uplifting- in crossing off entries, no matter how small. It elicits a sense of triumph and pumps you to go for more.

As for those that didn’t happen, it made me reassess my approach to my goals and even the goals per se. Some things it turns out we don’t really care about yet we let them deplete us of energy. Some others we want but go completely the wrong way about them. The list DOES HELP clarify all that.

“Practice Yoga” – a thriving 2016 entry 

It goes without saying that completely conquering the list is unrealistic. No matter how few you manage though, it counts as a major win. Most likely you wouldn’t have bothered going for them without the list OR, even worse, you might not notice and celebrate them for the small victories they are.

Ultimately, getting it all done is not even the purpose of the exercise (well, it is, but only in an ideal world…). The real objective is to discover what really matters to you and create a channel to direct your energy in the  year ahead.

Do try it and you will remember me.

“Become happier (even a little bit)” – gladly, check for 2016

P.S.: Harmless cheating – wherever applicable- is allowed. By opting for poetry books, I have already read 9 out of (a minimum of) 12 books for 2017 😉


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9 Comments Add yours

  1. myallhealthy says:

    Wow! You have so many things you want to accomplish!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow you have a lot of things to accomplish but I know you can do it. I want to create a list like this and attempt to finish it by the end of the year effectively. It helps to break down the task into tiny pieces so you can tackle it one day at a time. Followed! Keep up the good work. Please check out my response to the prompt and let me know what you think!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rafa, by all means try it – it is effective and super fun!
      I like your post too but I also love your hijab tutorial in youtube!
      Keep it up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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