Wednesday, June 6, 2012

For The Next 100 Days

I came across this article and am motivated to try a few of it's suggestions. The title of the article is: 60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life in 100 Days.

... let's see, 100 days... that would be from June 6 til Sept 13. (Yes, I just counted 100 squares on my calendar.)

The article lists 60 things to do. That's insane. I will choose 20. And even then, I am biting off more than I can chew.
(Did you read the article? Which ones will you do?)

Here are my 20. (The last one I added on my own. Look at me thinking for myself.) I've added a few notes (in blue) under their ideas:

1.  Create a “100 Days to Conquer Clutter Calendar” by penciling in one group of items you plan to declutter every day, for the next 100 days. (Magazines, Books, DVD's, Game Cartridges, etc)
My conquer clutter challenge is to get rid of it all by next week. I can't wait 100 days. I will have to change this to "plan one group of items to declutter every hour for the seven days." Magazine, cook books, DVD's, old school supplies, etc, were on the chopping block today.

2. Follow the advice proffered by positive psychologists and write down 5 to 10 things that you’re grateful for, every day.
Three per day is not enough? OK OK, I'll up it to 5 for the next 100 days.

3. Make a list of 20 small things that you enjoy doing, and make sure that you do at least one of these things every day for the next 100 days.
Twenty things I enjoy doing:
1. Read for fun
2. Take photos
3. Write blog posts
4. Sit in the sun
5. Talk with friends
6. Walk along the beach, river, downtown streets
7. Explore new streets/neighbourhoods
8. Be a tourist
9. Attend seminars/lectures/book signings
10. See a movie/play/concert
11. Facebook chat (with Clint)
12. Play games at the cabin (with Drew and Danica)
13. Attend NA meetings (with Max)
14. Pray
15. Make crafty things with friends
16. Daydream
17. Attend church
18. Hang out in coffee shops, talking
19. Plan holidays or fun days
20. Wander through creative places (craft stores, home decor stores, funky accessories stores, fairs, night markets)
21. Do just about anything with my kids, even if it's at midnight.
22. Spend time in book stores (used or new)
23. Pinning. On pinterest. 

4. Keep a log of your mental chatter, both positive and negative, for ten days. (Be as specific as possible: How many times per day do I beat myself up? Do I have feelings of inadequacy? Am I constantly thinking critical thoughts of others? etc) Then, for the next 90 days, begin changing your emotions for the better by modifying your mental chatter.
This one will be hard to manage and execute. But I'll make an effort. 

5. Choose a book that requires effort and concentration and read a little of it every day, so that you read it from cover to cover in 100 days.
That Boenhoffer biography? That Queen Mother biography? A devotional? That new book by Josh McDowell? I'll have to think of this some more. Any ideas?

6. Make it a point to learn at least one new thing each day: the name of a flower that grows in your garden, the capital of a far-off country, or the name of a piece of classical music you hear playing in your favorite clothing boutique as you shop. If it’s time for bed and you can’t identify anything you’ve learned that day, take out your dictionary and learn a new word.
Can a 51 year old learn new things? Guess we'll find out. I have a feeling I'm going to have a dictionary beside my bed most of the time. But maybe I should learn about capital cities....

7. For the next 100 days, keep Morning Pages, which is a tool suggested by Julia Cameron. Morning Pages are simply three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.
I've tried this before, a number of times, actually, and never get around to it. Three reasons: My hands don't like writing after they've been sleeping. My eyes don't like being open first thing in the morning. I always end up making To Do lists or end up writing/praying-on-paper to God. About my kids. (And for that I have a prayer journal.)
But I see the value in this exercise, so I will give it a try. Maybe not EVERYDAY for 100 days, but at least, say, twice a week?

8. Create a spending plan (also known as a budget). Track every cent that you spend for the next 100 days to make sure that you’re sticking to your spending plan.
I'm 51 and have never lived by a budget. My mantra is "say no" more times than you "say yes" regarding purchases. Up until these last 24 months when crazy, stupid, unexpected HUGE expenses came pounding in on me, I've always lived within my means. I doubt I'll track every cent, but I will keep a much closer eye on things. Daily? Probably not. But weekly for sure.

9. Set an hour aside every day for the next 100 days to devote to creating one source of passive income.
Hmmm. This intrigues me. One hour a day? Passive income? 
Anyone want to buy a double-sized wood and iron bedframe? Or a folk art painted wooden storage bin?
Anyone want some family photos done?
Is that what passive income is?

10. For the next 100 days, take a notebook with you everywhere in order to keep your mind decluttered. Record everything, so that it’s safely stored in one place—out of your head—where you can decide what to do with it later. Include things such as the following: (blog ideas, grocery lists, appointment and meeting dates, to do list items)
This'll be easy because I already do this.

11. Identify one low-priority activity which you can stop doing for the next 100 days, and devote that time to a high priority task instead.
You mean, like, playing Wheel of Fortune everynight on facebook? I like to tell myself that by playing (and I'm pretty good), I'm keeping my brain healthy and sharp. Maybe not? Most of my low-priority activities are listed above in my 20 Favorite Things to Do.

12. For the next 100 days, plan your day the night before.

13. For the next 100 days, do the most important thing on your To-Do list first, before you do anything else.

14. For the next 100 days, eat five servings of vegetables every day.
OK. Shudder. Probably not. 

15. For the next 100 days, eat three servings of fruit of every day.
OK. I'll probably drink them. Smoothie style.

16. For the next 100 days, get at least twenty minutes of daily exercise.

17. Connect with someone new every day for the next 100 days, whether it’s by greeting a neighbor you’ve never spoken to before, following someone new on Twitter, leaving a comment on a blog you’ve never commented on before, and so on.
OK. The people that I'll meet will likely all be over 70 and living in dad's care home. Or under 70 and working there. 100 people in 100 days. That's probably silly. Let's aim for 50. 

18. For the next 100 days do one kind deed for someone every day, however small, even if it’s just sending a silent blessing their way.
By silent blessing, I think they mean pray. Do something nice, and if I can't do it in person, I will at least pray for them.  I'll make a big effort on this one. Don't feel hurt if you're not the recipient. I can't be nice to everybody. :)

19. For the next 100 days, make it a point to give praise and approval to those who deserve it.
Praise AND kind deeds. Whoa. I'm going to be exhausted by the time Sept 13 rolls around. 

20. For the next 100 days, pray for a different country and read from The Bible in One Year.
I tried doing this last fall. And then again in January. And I'll give it another shot through the summer. I am so bad at keeping this up.  If you're going to play along (pRay along), then today it's GIBRALTAR and GREECE. Did you know that GIBRALTAR is a British Overseas Territory? And that it's located on the south coast of Spain? I didn't know that. Now I do. I learnt something today. I don't have to pull out the dictionary. (

Three FIVE things I`m thankful for:
1. Drew and Danica switched up their afterschool plans so that they could go house shopping with me.
2. Andrea forwarded a perfect job opportunity for me.
3. Terry and Sandra invited me out for coffee to celebrate my birthday AGAIN.
4. Another grad, from another school, has asked me to take pics of her and her friends. I CAN HARDLY WAIT.
5. Peeps who are giving me baggies filled with pennies. thankyouthankyouthankyou


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