101 Things in 1001 Days – A Reflection and New Beginnings

So if you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll know I started this thing called “101 Things in 1,001 Days” a few years ago; 2019 to be exact…right before…COVID, though this was actually the 2nd time I’d attempted this challenge (the first time being way back in 2009 – 2012).

For those who don’t know what it is, it’s a goal setting agenda created by the Day Zero Project. Day Zero “is a community of people who love creating lists, setting challenges, and making positive changes in their lives.” The idea being you can set goals for others to see, challenge yourself to achieve them, and even compete against others. You can create an account there and sign in to monitor progress (I don’t know do this).

The idea is that you set 101 things you’d like to do and accomplish in 1001 days, which is approximately 2.75 years. Like any other well-intentioned goal, these need to be achievable (e.g. ‘learn to bake a cake’, NOT ‘become a billionaire) and an area you are invested in (otherwise you won’t put in the time and effort though even then..). DayZero has a few other options aside from 1,001 days as well such as 52 things in 52 weeks, etc and if you’d like more information, I recommend you check out their site Day Zero Project

One of the most difficult aspects of this challenge is simply creating 101 different goals you are both interested in and believe you can complete in that time frame. This list I’m going to embark on now has taken me almost 6 months complete. But once your done, from there, it’s a matter of simply pushing yourself to achieve the goals you’ve set.

The Old

I am 10 days away from wrapping up my latest 101 Things Challenge and beginning anew. COVID put a serious dent in my ability to complete many of my goals, both from a literal (e.g. travel) perspective, and, perhaps most importantly, a mental one as the pandemic took a toll on my mental health as it did and continues to do so today for me and many others.

As I reflect on my last round, I find myself both upset with my efforts and pleased with some of what I did manage to achieve (you can see those goals here – 101 Things).

Some tasks were simple, but enjoyable. I wanted to build a living room fort with Ana. We did and while it wasn’t anywhere near as fun as I remember doing as a child, it was still an exercise in being silly. Another example was taking a week to write loving notes to hide for Ana to find or pausing on mindless TV watching to settle in and find and listen to a new podcast.

Other tasks I was excited about only to be disappointed when comparing them to the memory of them from before such as going to the aquarium in Newport, OR. I remember enjoying it before (though before I’d really traveled) and this second time found it far duller than I had remembered. Or the Japanese Gardens in Portland. My first time there they had seemed magical, but the second time I only found disappointment. Perhaps this is because I’ve done so much in between, such as visit Japan and strolled through far larger aquariums, but I think ultimately it’s a matter of growing and changing as a person. As a side note, the Dole Hedge Maze in Hawaii was something I was VERY excited about as I love mazes and puzzles, however I was SUPREMELY disappointed as it was not well maintained and not much of the maze it claimed to be.

Other tasks were just simply things I’d thought I wanted to try but, as it turns, out, did not like or didn’t have an impact on me. The most obvious of these was having my back waxed. What a truly horrible experience that was. I even tried it more than once and it sucked each an every time. No more. Another might have been sending out Christmas cards on time. Yes it felt good to have done so, but it did not elicit anything special and so while I still want to maintain this, it’s not a goal going forward.

Other goals I simply lacked the motivation and drive, especially during covid, whether it was learning to do a sleight of hand trick, memorizing a poem I might like, making a list of 101 quotes that inspire me (oddly I wasn’t inspired by this idea), or learning to speak like Yoda. Ana and I also had a large move in that time frame (Hawaii to Saudi) and it also drained us as well, not just the move but starting at a new school and new jobs.

The New

As I mentioned, I am embarking on a new set of 101 tasks in 11 days time. I don’t abide strictly to 1001 days as I prefer to simply set it for 3 years. It does give me an extra 3 months, but it appeals to my need for things to be clearer.

I’ve spent 6 months planning out my goals for this next round. As I said, deciding what I want to do, what I am able to do in that amount of time is a challenge unto itself. I was more specific this time, trying to make sure I knew exactly what I wanted to do versus something generic as “Make dinner once a week for a month”. This is certainly doable and specific enough, but not for me. This time, I’ll be choosing to master 6 different recipes. That’s it. 6 Recipes of my own choosing. More specific and yet less constrained.

Some items I’ve borrowed from the previous 101 Things like to reread Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials or to create a will. Others are ones I’ve started that I am carrying over such as watching every Best Picture Winner (God some of those movies are DULL). And yet others still are completely new, like spending one day a month (for a year) without television or to be able to do 5 pull-ups without any help.

So here, in all it’s glory is my new list. It’s actually a few more than 101 and as I reread, some are still a big more vague than I’d like, but here are some of my more random goals for the next three years (I’ve put them into categories).

The 2022 – 2025 List


  • Read 50 non-fixture books
  • Read 50 fiction books
  • Read 1 fiction & non-fiction book for a month for 1 year (eesh that’s difficult)
  • Reread Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
  • Reread The Power of One
  • Reread The Brothers K (not to be confused with The Brothers Karamazov)
  • Read 10 Classics I’ve not read before (e.g. Frankenstein, Pride & Prejudice, etc.
  • Read 5 Modern Classics I’ve not read (e.g. Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451)

Comic books

To Read
  • Thor Vol. 1 (I’m including JIM 83 – 125 in this)
  • Avengers Vol. 1
  • Amazing Spider-Man Vol.1
  • Green Lantern Vol. 2 (starting with Hal Jordan)
  • Spend time reading through other Marvel Silver Age comics (5-10 a week) any character including those above (2 birds, 1 stone)
  • Thor Vol. 1 (NOT including JIM 83-125 in this as they are pricey!)
  • Buy one of the following:
    • Green Lantern 7 (1st Sinestro)
    • Showcase 22 (first Silver Age Green Lantern)
    • Hulk 181 (first Wolverine)
    • Amazing Spider-Man 300 (first Venom)
  • Buy a comic worth $3,000 (technically any of the above might qualify)


  • Take 1 year of progress pics (track my health/weight progress)
  • Reach and maintain a 14% body fat percentage (this is difficult – I realize)
  • Average Blood Pressure of 118/78 (want to keep this down)
  • Keep my BMI under 25 (I knowBMI isn’t necessarily an indicator of health, but I do want to lower mine)
  • Stretch (every day for 3 months)
  • Be able to regularly touch my toes (May off/on trainer can’t help but comment each time we stretch how tight my hips/every are).
  • Bench press 200lbs at least twice (currently 125 lbs)
  • Do 5 pull ups (not chin ups)
  • Complete the “Walk to Mordor” Challenge – (Essentially you walk the distance Frodo and Sam do on their way to Mount Doom)

Travel (by far one of the largest categories)

  • Visit 5 New Museums
  • See the Northern Lights (this one has been on my bucket list for a number of years now)
  • Make a return trip to Japan
  • Buy a GoPro (for travel purposes)
  • Drink Sangria in Spain
  • Go to a Formula 1 GP in Europe or the US
  • Visit Scotland
  • Visit Moroccos
  • See a Broadway show
  • Achieve and maintain Marriott Platinum status
  • Vacation at the Maldives
  • See one of the ancient wonders of the world – The Pyramids at Giza


  • Listen to 36 new albums (no genre and no timeframe outside of the the 1001 days)
  • Listen to every Grammy ‘Best Album’ winner
  • Watch every ‘Best Picture’ winner (a carry over)
  • Watch all the different Star Wars series/movies
  • Watch Star Trek the Original Series
  • Watch Star Trek – The Next Generation

Miscellaneous (this is technically the longest list, as they didn’t really fit into other categories as easily)

  • Build a computer or install and start using Linux regularly
  • Complete a 365 Day Photo Challenge (random photos)
  • Complete a book of crosswords
  • Go Salsa dancing with Ana
  • Don’t complain about anything for 1 week
  • Marie Kondo our apartment at least once
  • Do 1 positive activity (these are based on a Jordan Harbinger Podcast) for 21 days
  • Buy a big replayable board game, like Clank! Or Ankh
  • Play a weekly board game with Ana
  • Buy a home in Europe (Italy/Spain) or the DR
  • Create a will (another carryover)
  • Buy Ana her hair straightener/dryer from Dyson
  • Spend one day a month (for a year) without TV
  • Have date night with Ana once a month for a year


  • Hit 5,000 subscribers/followers on our Podcast/Website
  • Design & publish a website from scratch
  • Create and sell an app (even if for free)
  • Create a course for international teachers
  • Creat a comic book collectors course to run on Udemy
  • Finish setting up our website
  • Migrate our site to a new host
  • Tweet with Nomadicgregors once a day for a year (even retweets)
  • Make $5K in income on our business ideas (this is $5K overall, not per year)
  • Operate a self-sustaining business


  • Finish the Duolingo Spanish courses
  • Finish the Duolingo Russian courses
  • Attain fluency in Spanish
  • Ready a Harry Potter novel in Spanish
  • Hire a Russian tutor
  • Acquire basic Arabic skills
  • Read a novel in Spanish


  • Write a Novella or short story
  • Learn to do basic latte art
  • Paint a picture, on a canvas
  • Learn to Moonwalk
  • Buy a keyboard
  • Start and finish a NaNoWriMo
  • Write a travel book
  • Learn to make an Origami crane
  • Learn to cook 1 item from each our cookbooks
  • Learn to make croissants
  • Learn to do 1 sleight of hand trick (another carryover)


  • Hit ¼ of our goal in our retirement savings (oof not with the markets like this)
  • Pay off 1 student loan (hahahahaha)
  • Have enough emergency savings for 6 months
  • No more credit card debt
  • Get a new travel credit card (not saying which, but there’s one specific one I want)
  • Own 10 shares of at least 10 different stocks
  • Hit $20K in my personal investment accounts


  • Complete the course on WebDev on Udemy
  • Complete the iPhone app course
  • Complete FreeCodeCamp
  • Finish 5 different Udemy courses (of any variety)

Things I’d like to buy

  • Buy a pair of designer dress shoes (like Zegna’s)
  • Buy a new TV
  • Buy a therapy gun
  • Buy a PS5
  • Get a nice black suit
  • Buy a new leather jacket

This is list is…a lot. I know there’s a strong likelihood I won’t complete everything and that’s okay. I enjoy the challenge and I hope to complete as many as I can. Some I know will be completed nearly as soon as I start as plans have already been made.

It’s a fun challenge nonetheless and I’m excited to start in a few days time!

Published by Team McGregor

Living and teaching in the Middle East - previously in China, South Korea, Hawaii, and now Saudi Arabia. This site is dedicated to teaching others about International Teaching (and how to become an international educator) and our travelsa as we live and teach abroad.

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