This blue marble

– and yet it spins

Completed: Day Zero Project

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skeletoncoast-3Ever wished you could do this and try that and go there – without any of the wishes ever coming true? Why do we spend more time dreaming than making dreams reality? Why do we speak of wishes “coming true” instead of “being made true”?

I wrote the above three years ago, but it stands true today. And September 2017, one year ago, my Day Zero challenge came to a close. In January 2015 I set out to accomplish 101 things in 1001 days. Did I accomplish them all? No, because I listed quite a few major bucket list items to choose from, such as let go of past grief, learn a new language, and undertake major trips. But I accomplished 56/100, with another 6 items marked “in progress”. And I managed to visit the French Riviera not 1 time but 3 times, and same goes for practicing yoga on Bali. I found I loved those two places so much I kept going back. Perhaps without the Day Zero challenge I would still not know exactly what I have been missing out on.

Was it worth it? For sure. Otherwise I would probably not have spent a rainy day in bed in my PJs, watching movies and learning to knit socks. Or taken a ride in a hot-air balloon. Or accomplished some financial goals. Or traveled to Bali or trekked on the Everest Base Camp trail.

Life is not a rehearsal. You are the star of your show, every day, regardless of whether you are up for it or not. Trust me, the past few years I have mainly not been up for it. Yet life has happened anyway. It tends to do that, every day. We can choose to either drift down-current, or rig the sails, list our goals as bearings, and use life’s unpredictability and impermanence to change what we wish changed, and do what we always dreamed of doing.

So list your goals and begin doing instead of dreaming. For inspiration, here are my completed goals. And by the way, I am, too: already working through a 101 Goals, Vol. 2.

2015 completed
  1. Host a board games night (we made this an annual tradition with my cousins)
  2. Learn to knit socks  (still wearing the ones I made!)
  3. Make candles
  4. Spend a rainy day watching films in my PJ’s
  5. Get back in touch with 2 old friends
  6. Spend a weekend at a spa by myself
  7. Make jam
  8. Travel to New England
  9. Crochet a quilt
  10. Find a career mentor
  11. Get an Indian head massage
  12. Install a mirror in the hallway
  13. Have a hot stone massage
  14. Go back to Kathmandu
  15. Read my old journals
  16. Clean out my wardrobe  (this expanded into KonMari’ing my entire apartment)
  17. Go to the French Riviera  (goal completed 3 times)
  18. Eat at a Korean restaurant
  19. Complete a coloring book
  20. See a performance at the Helsinki Music Center
  21. Hire a cleaning maid  (one of the best decisions of 2015)
  22. See a play at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in London
  23. Find a penpal and write real letters  (I found several!)
  24. Read all moomin books
  25. Practice yoga on Bali (goal completed 3 times)
2016 completed
  1. See a Broadway musical in London
  2. Throw a tea party for ladies only
  3. Watch a meteor shower
  4. Take classes in yoga philosophy
  5. Have a picnic on an island
  6. Photograph the sun from the equator
  7. KonMari my apartment
  8. Tie a note to a balloon and let it go
  9. Ask 20 friends to suggest one book, and read them all (I loved this one)
  10. Learn to make Limoncello
  11. Install a sliding door to my bedroom
  12. Go trekking in Nepal
  13. Have a picnic on the beach
  14. Travel by train instead of flying (took the train from Paris to Biarritz. 5 hours)
  15. Influence a person to make a Day Zero list
  16. Visit Riga again (took my mother along)
  17. Get a new wristwatch (ended up being my uncle’s wind-up watch from the 50s)
  18. Visit a Buddhist monastery (both in Nepal as well as in the French mountains)
2017 completed
  1. Read 20 books per year
  2. Ride in a hot air balloon
  3. Visit Zanzibar (where I learned how to dive!)
  4. Join Earth Hour every year
  5. Save up 5000 euro either in cash or stock (this turned out to be much more)
  6. Do an annual detox (á là Gwyneth Paltrow – and I found I loved her (expensive) cooking)
  7. Go to the dentist once a year
  8. Collect 1 investment gold coin per year
  9. Volunteer with dolphin research again  (I ended up spending a month in Namibia)
  10. Watch a Cirque du Soleil show  (in London)
  11. Visit an observatory  (in Helsinki)
  12. Pay off student debt
  13. Put away $10 for every goal completed
In progress
  1. Find joy  (mostly completed in 2018)
  2. Attend a TED Talk event  (completed fall 2017)
  3. Let go of past hurt  (mostly completed in 2018)
  4. See the opera Aida  (completed spring 2018)
  5. Learn French  (switched to Spanish in fall 2018)
  6. Read all books on the 106 books of pretension list  (completed fall 2018)

(Brande, Denmark; September 2018. Photo from Skeleton Coast, Namibia; July 2017)

6 thoughts on “Completed: Day Zero Project

  1. Inspiring…to see you have completed. Nice post.

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