At this very moment on Post-it notes across campus, people are making to-do lists, from chores like vacuuming, taking out the trash and reminders to finally catch up on reading for class. On my desk is a list reminding me to do laundry, buy coffee creamer and study for multiple upcoming exams.
It can be overwhelming to see all of the tasks you must complete on a neon green note, so how would you feel about a to-do list with 101 things on it?
The Day Zero project (www.dayzeroproject.com) challenges you to do just that. The mission: Complete 101 tasks in 1001 days. Each task must be specific and realistic, but still challenging. Some tasks on people’s lists are as simple as “buy a bike” or “go to the zoo.” Other tasks, like skydiving or taking a pole dancing class, require more courage.
But why 1001 days? “The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic,” explains Michael Green, the creator of the Day Zero project. This isn’t just a glorified New Year’s resolution list; making a to-do list for one year is too short, the site reasons, but 1001 days (roughly 2.75 years) is a better period of time that spans over several seasons.
While some choose to share their lists on the Web site for others to see, it’s not a requirement. Those who choose to do so can provide links to personal blogs and document their accomplishments for others to see.
Green started the project back in 2006 after moving to a new city. He created a list of 101 things to explore in his new environment, goals to achieve and other random desires that entered his head at the moment. Green finished his list last March after 1001 days and has inspired hundreds of people all over the world to do the same.
Many understand that there’s a possibility that they won’t succeed with all of the 101 tasks on their list. “Welcome failure” is one of Day Zero’s goal setting tips. The purpose of Day Zero isn’t to discourage, but to inspire people to take one step closer towards fulfilling some of their life goals.
On my 101 list is a variation of things I’ve always wanted to do, things I’ve always planned on doing and things I know I may fail at but plan on trying anyways.
By October 5, 2011, I hopefully will have planted a tree, watched the sunrise (and not because I was forced to pull an all-nighter for school), gone on a Ferris wheel, visited a Buddhist temple and played the slots in Vegas. I hope to be out of school and have traveled abroad. I want to learn how to bake bread and I want to pet a panda.
I began my list in January and though my progress has been slow, I feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit already. There’s no better feeling than crossing things off your to-do list, whether it’s a list to remind you of your weekend plans or a list to inspire you to live life to the fullest.