After writing that the road to wealth is paved with goals, I realized that my own list of goals looks a little ragged. Some of the goals are outdated. Many have been met. And I’ve developed new priorities for which new goals should be set.

I recently discovered an old internet meme that involves setting goals: the “101 things in 1001 days” list. Participants make a list of 101 things they’d like to accomplish over the next three years, and then work toward achieving them. I first saw this at dienu.com, though googling reveals that it’s been around at least since 2003. (Here’s a discussion of the concept’s origin.)

A site called Triplux popularized the 101 Things in 1001 Days, offering the following guidelines that I’ve found at many sites:

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past — frequently simple goals such as new year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Goal setting tips

  1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.
  2. Stay Focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.
  3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.
  4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.
  5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

I’m going to complete my own list of 101 Things in 1001 Days this weekend. Get Rich Slowly isn’t really the appropriate place for me to share this sort of thing; I’ll post these goals at my personal site sometime next week. (Update: My list is up.) There are two things that are sure to be on the list: publish a book and complete a marathon. (Note I didn’t write “run a marathon”!)

I encourage you to make a list of your own dreams. What would you like to accomplish in the next few years? Even if you don’t list 101 things, you could surely list a dozen. Make that list. Print it out. Post it someplace prominent so that you’re reminded of your goals daily.

Take care, my friends. Have a great weekend!

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