100 Things List
Not too long ago, I shared with friends how I'm doing a "100 Things List." Naturally, they asked “what is that?” to which I replied, “it’s like having a vision board…but on steroids.” I started making plans to knock things off my list on July 1st (which is like a second new year to me since it’s the beginning of the second half of the year).
Anyhow, a "100 Things List" is not a wish list. It is a “will list,” a list of things that you are going to do because you want to do them. You won't get through them all today, tomorrow or even in the next 10 years. This is a list that you understand may take you well over 25 years to complete. It will have some small things you will accomplish and some large things you will accomplish. It will have some things on there that you may accomplish within the next week and some things you won't accomplish until you're settled into your 40s or 50s.
What I love most about the "100 Things List" is that if you focus on crossing things off you will have ensured a life well lived for yourself, one where you accomplished the things you said you would do. Unfortunately, not many people will be able to make this same proclamation towards the end of their lives.
The inspiration to create my own “100 Things List” came one morning after I read an article by Jon Westenburg titled “How To Invest In Yourself And Grow.” He explains that he came up with the idea to encourage himself to live a life he could be proud of. It has allowed him to be more mindful of his days and how he’s spending his time. Here are a few other things Mr. Westenburg had to say about the "100 Things List":
“I know too many people who live their lives without direction. They finish school, get a job and then spend 60 or 70 years falling with style.”
“If I keep this up, I will have lived a life that I will be proud of. I will have lived a life with a strong, clearly defined direction.”
“If you want to get through a list of 100 things that you’re going to do in your life, you need to level up.”
Since reading Westenburg’s inspiring article, I followed his instruction and began adding to my list. I’ll share just a few things I have listed to help you to get started in case you have no idea what people would put on a “100 Things List.”
Here are a few things I have on my "100 Things List"
· Publish a best-selling book on my life story
· Visit every continent (except Antarctica, for obvious reasons)
· Have children
· Sit in the Oval Office
· Start a podcast
· Learn other languages fluently
· Do a triathlon
· Redesign my closet
· Become a pescatarian
· Own an Aston Martin
· Get a doctorate
· Fly first class internationally
· Hire an assistant
· Learn ballroom dancing
· Fly a helicopter
· Finish my adult coloring book
· Write e-books
· Collaborate with a major fashion house
· Develop an app
· Appear on Ellen
· …and so much more
Now that you’ve read a few things on my list, it’s time to get started on your own list. Below, I break down how I lined everything up using Westenburg’s guidelines with a spin of my own.
Use these steps to create your "100 Things List"
1. Open a spreadsheet and start writing down things you've always held in your mind that you've wanted to do. You know what they are because they continue to haunt you. You must understand that it will take you some time to figure out this list. Although it only took the author 3 hours to complete his, it took me a few days to finish mine.
2. After you've completed your list (and this is step that I added) then open a journal and copy your list on to paper from your spreadsheet. I like writing down goals because science has proven that there's a higher chance of accomplishing your goals when you put pen to paper.
3. When you've completed your written list, go back to your spreadsheet. You'll want to separate your list into categories. Put them on different tabs so that it's easier to navigate. Those categories include "Things I Can Do Immediately,” “Things I Need Skills For,” and “Things That I Need Time For.” Move items from your list into the right categories.
4. For items on the "Things I Need Skills For" list, in the next column assign skills for each item that you will need to learn to be able to accomplish your goals. In the column after that one, list every action it will take to accomplish each skill. As you can imagine, this will be a long list. It’s fine. Excel goes on for forever. In a final column, list your progress on each skill.
5. The last step is to START.
Set aside time to accomplish your goals. Instead of using your waking hours to scroll mindlessly through Facebook and Instagram, do like Mr. Westenburg and work on that novel. Or read, instead of listening to music, while you work out if there are a number of books you want to get through.
Two simultaneous realities will happen moving forward. You'll begin knocking things off your "Things I Can Do Immediately" list AND you'll start acquiring the skills needed for things on your "Things I Need Skills For” list.
If you can knock 4 to 5 things off your list each year, I can guarantee that you'll have an enriched life. Could you imagine living a life with no stone unturned as it relates to your dreams and goals? That would be the ultimate life experience. It would be your greatest story – the one your grandchildren would want to tell over and over again. You will have fulfilled multiple purposes on your life’s journey.
How will you get started today on your "100 Things List?"