101 Things in 1095 Days (3 years)

Beginning Oct 31, 2018 thru Oct. 31, 2021

Why the variation of 101 Things in 1001 Days?

On October 31, I turn 55. I will begin my 56th year of life – which means that on October 31, 2021, I will be 58 and beginning my 59th year of life. This allows wiggle-room to complete my 101 Things and write a new list – before I turn 60.

I’ve resisted creating this list – because when I reflect on the journals, vision exercises, new year resolutions, Lenten practices, etc of the past many years – I am struck by the lack of progress I make. I have incomplete writing works-in-progress and house repair to-do lists dating back to “too embarrassed to tell you” time. So, I ask myself – what’s the point.

And, for so many years, when I’d plan to ‘make progress’ by calendaring and listing, something would come up that thwarted my efforts. I even piddled away My Self-directed Writer’s Retreat in August.

Then I realized that I’ve always been a ‘give me a deadline’ person. And, my recent experience as accountability partner with Molly Totoro (a blogger friend at Molly Totoro) helped me realize that having some accountability helps keep me focused. (I can be a 95-idea-a-day person).

I lead Strategic Planning sessions for clients all the time! I know they work!

So, here’s my list – not 101 Things in 1001 Days, but in 3 years, so that when I’m ready to begin my 60th year (4 years from now) I will have hopefully completed at least a portion of them. Because hey, life happens…

I’ll check back to provide an update every quarter: January, April, July, October of each year. I hope you’ll join me — and help keep me accountable.


My children are 21, 20, and 16 – and although quite self-sufficient are by no means grown. Although self-employed and, therefore, have a good deal of flexibility in my schedule, I am in no position to retire or act as if I am retired – I must earn a living.

I love what I currently do. I am a strategy and fundraising coach to small nonprofits across the country. One of the main reasons I love what I do is because I can satisfy my urge to ‘go about doing good’ and with nearly 70 clients, stave off boredom. But I’ve become a bit complacent because I have a very lucrative sub-contracting gig.

So, I am challenging myself to up my game.

Fundraising Coaching

  1. Blog professionally (2x/month) for 2018-19
  2. Blog professionally (2x/month) for 2019-20
  3. Blog professionally (2x/month) for 2020-21
  4. Offer monthly Rafflecopter contest for a free coaching service to a non-profit org?
  5. Finish research for business book (a work-in-progress)
  6. Write Chapter 1
  7. Write Chapter 2
  8. Write Chapter 3
  9. Write Chapter 4
  10. Write Chapter 5
  11. Write Chapter 6
  12. Write Chapter 7
  13. Write Chapter 8
  14. Write Chapter 9
  15. Write Chapter 10
  16. Edit business book
  17. Send to beta-readers (Please let me know if you are interested)
  18. Review beta-reader comments
  19. Edit business book
  20. Prep for publication
  21. Create calendar to complement business book
  22. Market/promote services and book
  23. Explore new coaching niches to broaden my services

 Writing – Author Platform

Being self-employed allows me the flexibility to develop my writing life. I’ve always wanted to be a published author and to write for a living. I’m grateful for the time I have to further study the craft, develop my voice, and prepare for the next phase in life. If you’ve read my guest posts (Starting Over: Why She Left the Convent to Embrace Change or Terrifying Questions) you’ll understand how many twists and turns my life has taken and why I feel the need to be ready for the next phase.


  1. Figure out Pinterest
  2. Figure out why Mailchimp doesn’t connect well to my blog – make needed adjustments
  3. Blog weekly “Midlife Musings” in 2018-19
  4. Blog weekly “Midlife Musings” in 2019-20
  5. Blog weekly “Midlife Musings” in 2020-21
  6. Blog weekly in “In the Kitchen” in 2018-2019
  7. Blog weekly in “In the Kitchen” in 2019-2020
  8. Blog weekly in “In the Kitchen” in 2020-2021
  9. Complete A-Z Challenge 2019 – 26 blogs
  10. Complete A-Z Challenge 2020 – 26 blogs
  11. Complete A-Z Challenge 2021 – 26 blogs


  1. Submit at least 2 articles per month to publications
  2. If publication submissions are rejected, post them to Medium.com

Non-fiction Writing

  1. Finish writing The Radical Heart (a work-in-progress)
  2. Chapter 1
  3. Chapter 2
  4. Chapter 3
  5. Chapter 4
  6. Chapter 5
  7. Chapter 6
  8. Chapter 7
  9. Chapter 8
  10.  Chapter 9
  11.  Chapter 10
  12. Chapter 11
  13. Chapter 12
  14. Chapter 13
  15. Chapter 14
  16. Chapter 15
  17. Chapter 16
  18. Chapter 17
  19. Chapter 18
  20. Chapter 19
  21. Chapter 20
  22. Chapter 21
  23. Chapter 22
  24. Edit The Radical Heart
  25. Send The Radical Heart to beta-readers (Please let me know if you are interested)
  26. Review beta-reader comments and edit again.
  27. Create accessories to complement The Radical Heart

Fiction Writing

  1. Write basic outline of Novel 1 (a work-in-progress)
  2. Write Part I of Novel 1 (a work-in-progress)
  3. Write Part II of Novel 1
  4. Write Part III of Novel 1
  5. Edit Novel 1
  6. Send to beta readers (Please let me know if you are interested)
  7. Review comments and edit Novel 1 again
  8. Finalize Novel 1 for publication


And because life isn’t all work and no play – and I know the importance of enjoying life, I am embracing elements of relaxation, exercise, and gratitude in action.


  1. Finish 4-6 Jigsaw puzzles
  2. Roller-skating on any 5th Tuesdays of the month
  3. Make (and use) prayer stool
  4. Read 20 novels in 2019
  5. Read 20 novels in 2020
  6. Read 20 novels in 2021
  7. Read 12 non-fiction books in 2019
  8. Read 12 non-fiction books in 2020
  9. Read 12 non-fiction books in 2021

Gratitude in Action

  1. Find a ‘cause’ or organization to volunteer for regularly
  2. Read husband’s doctoral thesis

Physical Activity

  1. Engage in moderate aerobic activity at least 5 days a week

Enjoy bike trails around Chicago

  1. North branch – 33.5 miles
  2. Des Plaines – 54.8 miles
  3. Major Taylor – 7 miles
  4. Greenbay – 8.9 miles
  5. Illinois Prairie Path – 61 miles
  6. All forest preserves


  1. Use reward points to take vacation – somewhere, with husband
  2. Visit Hong Kong (China) – with my daughter?


With the hope that I will not need to work until I’m 900, I hope to address critical areas that need attention BEFORE I am ready to retire, so that when I do – I can truly enjoy life.

House Projects

I’ve already re-plastered and re-tiled two bathrooms, painted all but the living room, created a backyard garden, and retiled the kitchen and back porch – but there’s always more to do:

  1. Paint living room
  2. Repair front porch
  3. Insulate and re-plaster enclosed back porch
  4. Convert fire pit to brick insert
  5. Build patio in backyard
  6. Insulate and drywall basement ceiling
  7. Do basic upgrades to basement half-bath

Personal Finances

99. Establish will, trust, power of attorney
100. Pay OFF credit card debt

Finally, I hope that my journey might:

  1. Inspire one other person to create a 101 Things in 1001 Days List.




  1. Hi Janet! WOW! All I can say is WOW! I did a 60 for 60 during my 60th year and managed to do about half of them but mine wasn’t nearly as structured as yours. It does sound like a LOT of work compared to the fun part and that would be my own recommendation. I tend to believe that including things for your heart and soul –including laughter and fun–is as important as all the “work” we do so I would recommend you add a bit of that and lighten up on some of the responsibilities. But with that said, I do look forward to reading your books AND your blog during the next 3 years. ~Kathy


  2. Thanks for your thoughts Kathy — I was thinking it sounded like a lot of work too — but two of the books are about half finished with content — so I’m kind of cheating there. I’m hoping for laughter and fun along the way, of course, but I will consider ways that I might articulate that too! Thanks for joining the conversation!


  3. That’s an epic list! And so worth the effort!
    I have a friend who works in fundraising and is very clever. I am sure she would be interested in beta reading that business book when you’re ready.
    And roller skating! I love it.


  4. Hi Janet,

    That seems like a long and overwhelming list at first glance, but I believe in the power of writing it down. I did that once – was supposed to write down 100 audacious goals but ran out of steam at 51. I put my list away and forgot about it, at least in my conscious mind. A year later I came across it again and was surprised that at least half of the goals had been achieved. So I have no doubt your three year list can be completed! You go, girl!



    • Thanks Deb! That is very encouraging. I do feel energized around many of the goals already. And, I tried to keep them realistic given my current life situation. We’ll see how things play out…Thanks for joining the conversation!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a cool idea. I love challenges, because I am competitive with myself. 😉 This is something I can see myself starting at some point. You’re the bomb for actually writing out all 101 goals!!


    • Kate – it took me a few months after hearing about the challenge to actually sit down and create my own list. But I am glad I did it — and put it out there in the universe. I am feeling good about it so far….let’s see how it goes before I declare myself ‘the bomb’. Thanks for that though – and for joining the conversation!


  6. That is a very comprehensive and aggressive list. I wish you the best. It is inspirational for me. I am thinking of setting a list for a five year goal! Of course being the person I am I would prioritize your list starting with #99.


    • Yes it is aggressive – but I have to confess some of these are ‘works-in-progress’ – even #99. I am currently paying for it on a type of layaway plan — I pay a little, the attorney does a little. But this has been on my mind for many years so I needed to add it in there. My list isn’t so much a prioritization as it is categorization. They all feel as equally as important – which is why I’m giving myself 3 years – I likely won’t cross them off in order. Thanks for joining the conversation!


  7. I definitely feel that I need to write down my goals as well, although I am not a give me a deadline kind of person, for some reason I work best under them.

    Thank you!


    • Jennifer – I’m fortunate that I don’t tend to get anxious about what doesn’t get done — unless it really is a serious matter. :). This will help me focus but not stress out. Thanks for joining the conversation!


  8. SO much food for thought here, Janet! The very idea of listing 101 things intimidates me into paralysis. But I love the way you first developed a series of broad work/life compartments. Developing ten different compartments and then brainstorming ten things for each one seems doable. I hope to take some time this weekend to brainstorm a list of my own. Shall we add this to the accountability check-in??


    • Wow Molly – I didn’t even realize I had 10 different compartments with ten things each. LOL. The process was very interesting for me though — I definitely encourage you to develop the list! We can add it to our check-in for sure! Thanks for joining the conversation!


  9. Yours is the third one of these that I’ve seen Janet and each time I’m blown away by the ability of the writer to be able to find 101 specific things they want to achieve, and the desire and drive to actually do them. I don’t think I’d ever be able to put my mind to the task, but I’ll enjoy reading the updates from each of you along the way.
    MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂


    • Leanne – if you notice – I cheated – (he list of ‘chapters’ for my books) but I have to say I’m pumped to finish this list to start my next one! It is really about breaking down some basic goals into tiny parts. Thanks for joining the conversation and for sharing!


  10. Happy Upcoming Birthday, Janet – This is a very well-thought-out and inspiring list. I especially like your section on preparing for retirement. It is amazing how many people only focus on the financial side of this preparation and neglect that there is so much more to consider. #MLSTL


    • Thanks for the bday wishes. I must say that if I hadn’t started following retirement related blogs (like yours!) – I would probably have entered this next phase totally unaware! Thanks for joining the conversation!


  11. Janet, Wow. A lot of writing in the next 3 years! And yes, put me on the beta-reader list.

    I’ve seen a few of these 101 lists but have not yet committed to doing one. I just did a 30 in 30 days for our Florida trip and ended up doing 11 things on the list. Trying to not feel bad about that! I do like how you’ve broken things into different areas…. that might be the thing I work on. Different areas of life and some clear goals.

    Also, I shared this on social media as it’s an interesting approach to bucket lists.


    • Pat – as I shared in the opening section — my previous lists have often gone ‘unattended’ and definitely not completed. Making this one more public will hopefully help keep me focused. Only time will tell…thanks for sharing on social media – and for joining the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh I like these and I can really relate. I’ve just turned 50 and have just finished a work contract so unemployed and trying to decide ‘what next’. I also want to write more and finish novels I’ve started… I don’t want to have regrets (and do at the moment).

    I get the balance thing too because I’d like to be fitter and healthier (mentally and physically) AND I also have some stuff I’d like to do around my house.

    I’m also much better with a deadline! #teamlovinlife


    • So delighted that you found my list encouraging. I’ve often given myself deadline but they felt artificial until I made them pubic with this list. Now I want to be able to report back that I’m making progress -even if I don’t do it all in time. Thanks for joining the conversation!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jo – glad you appreciated the break down — I think small bite size steps is doable and helps me stay more focused. The old “how to you eat an elephant…” Thanks for joining the conversation.


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