I am a list maker, I love it, it makes me happy. There, I said it.
This 101 goals in 1001 days list is perfect for me and I'm enjoying the process immensely. Lists are often spoken of as restrictive and dull but I find that using lists gives me a framework for prioritising, getting essential tasks done, trying new things and making the most of my time. I feel that just making this list has opened up new possibilities to me; the possibilities were always there, the list hasn't magically created them, but it's made them more visible, given them substance and enabled me to get on and do them. At the moment I'm doing so many fun and useful things that I've been vaguely meaning to do for ages when I've got the time and/or money. Now that I've committed them to paper and done a bit of planning I can see that they were always available to me, I was just overwhelmed and unorganised. Many of my goals are free or require only a small outlay of money - that's surprised and delighted me as without any extra cash there are still so many experiences and opportunities available to me.
What happens if I start too many goals at once in my enthusiasm and feel overwhelmed by them? I'll go back to the list, back to the plans and re-organise. I see the list as a filing cabinet for my plans; if a goal is getting too much for me, I've bitten off more than I can chew or can't take a goal any further at the time (for example if I need to save up money for it first) it can go back into the 'filing cabinet' where I can pick it up where I left off later.
1001 days is a long time compared to the usual time I set myself to do things. When making new years resolutions one year seems a paltry length of time to do so much. But just under three years is enough time to pick things up, explore them, complete them or investigate them and set them aside for a more appropriate time whilst knowing that I've taken each one as far as I can for the time being. At the same time 1001 days is also a clear, set amount of time; it's not a case of meaning to make a start on something some time and not getting round to it, as there's a time frame to take into account.
The list also satisfies that start of term feeling; at high school and university I always felt that with a fresh notepad, pen and file anything was possible (I was and am a stationery geek). It feels good to be making plans, gathering information and moving forward a step at a time. I find myself focusing on the present rather than the future - what I can do now, not some currently unreal future - and that's a valuable and liberating change for me.