So, it's almost that time of year again. The time of year when everyone looks at themselves, thinks about what they want to do in the next year, works at it for two months and then promptly forgets about them - that's right, it's time for...
New Years Resolutions
Oh, that wonderful time of year when most people take a look at themselves and resolve to fix things that they personally would like to improve. Common ones include losing weight, getting more exercise, breaking a habit such as drinking or smoking, or getting better control of finances.
However, while most people mentally have a couple items in mind, they don't often complete them. In fact, only 52% of people in a study thought they would complete their resolution, and only 12% actually did
. So what should we take away from the study to maximize success? For starters, it can help to ensure that you have a discrete, measurable goal - instead of saying "lose weight" or "get fit," have a specific weight to aim for or a specific goal in mind to judge your fitness; it helps to focus on fewer resolutions as opposed to having many disparate ones which you don't always get to work on; and it's important to treat failures as setbacks as opposed to giving up.
But even when done properly, resolutions typically focus on the short term. They rarely take into account long-term goals which you might be working towards, and are normally focused on improving something that you dislike as opposed to achieving something which you do. If we go to this other end of the spectrum, we end up with an individual's...
While not everyone refers to it by this name, or has an explicit list made, it's something we've all thought about - what you want to accomplish before you die - or 'kick the bucket,' if you will. While far more disparate in terms of topics than New Years resolutions, they do also tend to have some pretty standard ones - travel to different, exotic places; master, or at least learn, some skill like playing a musical instrument; do something which is considered more extreme, such as going on an epic hike
(if you haven't seen this, watch it. seriously) or going skydiving or such; and even more 'mundane' things which people want to accomplish - get married, have kids, get a house, etc.
Now, these lists prove to be interesting in that most people have some idea of them, but they don't enumerate them, and often they don't actively work to complete them. They take far more investment (both in terms of time and money) than New Years resolutions, so people tend to just keep them in mind, perhaps occasionally work towards them, but not make an actual concentrated effort. Unfortunately, in many cases, this results with them either going uncompleted altogether, or once they finally have the means to do so easily, they're no longer in the condition to do so or to enjoy them.
So at one end, we have relatively short-term goals focused on improvement rather than achievement. People work at them with the express purpose of completing that improvement. On the other end, we have relatively long-term goals which focus on the opposite. People keep them in mind, but rarely iterate them or actively work towards them. That's a rather wide spectrum to cover, and sometimes you want something that comes in between. Hence...
The Day Zero Project
What is the Day Zero Project?
The Day Zero Project
is the challenge to complete 101 tasks within 1001 days. Tasks have to be specific, discrete and measurable, and the idea is to have goals which are achievable, but typically stretch goals - you have to work to complete them, or at least go out of the way from your normal behavior. The length of 1001 days is chosen because many goals can only be accomplished during certain seasons, or require undue periods of planning - 1001 days is roughly 2 and 3/4ths of a year, which is plenty of time to plan ahead and take care of things.
Goals often are around on-level with a number of your standard New Years Resolutions - after all, you're doing 101 of them. But at the same time, a number of them can also be taking steps towards completing items which you have on your bucket list. For example, on mine
(pardon the seemingly random order - the website messed with it for some reason), I have "Get to 40 states visited." One of my bucket list items is to visit all 50 states. When I started, I had been to 33. I judged that getting to 40 would be reasonable within the time period, and have since knocked off two (Oregon and Washington), with a plan already in the works to hit Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and (possibly) Arkansas.
In a similar vein, individual accomplishments can be stacked to work towards a bucket goal - another one of my bucket list goals is to run a marathon. I've set my 1001 days as the time period which I will accomplish that, and have gotten other goals along the way to work towards it - I had never participated in a 10k race or run a half marathon, either. Both of those are already complete. In order to motivate myself to stay in shape over the winter, I am trying to run 500 miles in a 365 day period (or roughly 10 miles a week).
So why am I bringing all of this up?
Well, as I noted at the start of the thread, it's time for New Years Resolutions. However, I would like to propose a challenge to you all - in lieu of doing New Years Resolutions for the next three years, I would like to challenge each of you to have a Day Zero Project starting at the New Year.
I'm in, but don't know where to start
I posted this early enough to give people some time to think and start making their lists. Mine started largely as a quarter-life crisis after I turned 25 - it took me about 2 weeks to do. Feel free to ask questions or bounce ideas off of one another - there's no hard and fast rule that says you can't modify things after having started, just don't modify it to be something you've already done. That's just cheesy. There's also tons of resources for people interested:
List of Bests
- a collection of "Top # of X" lists, for people who want to check out the top X number of movies or books, travel to the top X number of places, or other such list-based activities
The collection of current lists
- the website recently underwent a redesign, so there's not so many at the moment, but if you want to see what some other people are doing, it's a great spot. You can also see the archive from the old site (which required people to post theirs off-site) here
Day Zero has a twitter account with a variety of ideas
And of course, if those aren't enough for you, we've always got some of our earlier attempts of group motivation - Hundred Push-ups
, Bible support group
(both of which made it into my list
Provided there's enough interest, I'll keep this thread and OP updated with everyone's status/links to lists/blogs, etc.
For those curious as to why I picked what I did/to see how I've been doing, you can find my list here
and my blog here
. I've completed 17 of my 101 thus far at 155 days in, so I'm trending slightly ahead of schedule thus far.
Penny Arcade Resolutions
Can I make a resolution to have patience?
1. Complete 2 cycles of the Insanity workout program
2. Complete 1 cycle of the P90X workout program
3. Pass the LSAT
4. Apply to law school
5. Practice guitar at least 30 minutes a day
6. Complete Rosetta Stone Basic Spanish 1
1. Get an apartment with my buddy or have the possible apartments next to each other thing going on (Think "Office Space"..."Hey Peter, man, check out channel 9, check out this chick!")
2. Speaking of the office, get a better paying job.
3. Take the LSAT in June
4. Apply for law schools starting in August/September-ish
5. Run the Mercer Island Colon Cancer 10k on March 21 and do the Seattle Half-Marathon next November.
6. Crazy Climbing weekend - climb Mt. Si on a Saturday, and climb Mailbox Peak the next Sunday.
7. Speaking of climbing/hiking, hike to Camp Muir (10,000 feet on Mt. Rainier) and stay the night.
8. Do some volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity
9. Start dating more
1.Get a job for the summer which I can put on a resume as someone who wants to do political analysis
2.Work as hard as I did this semester next semester
3.During breaks read at least 1 large text on Japanese, Russian, or German history, because I'm not likely to find any Russian or German history classes in my school and Japanese history is a lower level.
RUN 2,000 MILES AGAIN IN 2010
TOTAL 1,350 LBS IN THE BIG THREE
My Resolution for the year is based on my fixing the job / home situation I face. But should I be able to for both...
My resolution is to start giving back to the community. I don't mean Portland, OR. I mean this forum. Not just participating in Secret Santa sort of events, but contest sort of things with actual prizes. I've wanted to do it for a long time and its high time I start doing so.
my main goal for the year is going to be some kind of fitness goal, but I need to nail down exactly what that is. Something around 'lose 20-30 lbs of fat, squat 250, deadlift 300, bench 150'. That'll probably be the 6 month goal, and then I'll readjust from there. I put my fitnessing on hold for the lsat.
1. Learn to cook for myself.
2. Learn to salsa dance
3. Lose at least 50 pounds
4. Gain and Maintain a job for at least six months (if accomplished, extend to a year)
5. Gain muscle definition.
6. Learn Intermediate Spanish
7. Volunteer at least 100 hours for the year.
1. Learn a new skill - right now I'm looking at speaking some basic Japanese and playing the drums.
2. Drop weight down to 145lb. Right now I'm somewhere in the 150-range, I think.
3. Climb V8.
4. Walk across the entire slack-line and walk back.
1. Write for at least 1 hour every day with 1 day per week granted as optional exception provided hour is made up elsewhere. Middle term: finish my whole book by July 4.
2. Be nicer to people on the internet. (Concrete goal: avoid any infractions on here.)
3. Be more productive and organized at work. So ... I probably shouldn't even be here, man.
1) Fix teeth. Braces probably (as an adult, yay!)
2) Lose 20 Pounds to sit around 175 lbs.
3) Pay off car A loan note early.
4) Begin Learning Spanish (Rosetta Stone is expensive - like 750 bucks for all 5 parts of Spanish).
And, if I succeed wildly this year,
5) Purchase Kickass Dodge Viper
1) Run an average of 5 days a week.
2) Run to and from work 3 days a week.
3) Get down to 165 pounds (or fit properly in my old clothes). I think I'm almost 200 now o.O
4) Apply to the fire department. Place high on the physical test.
5) Read all the books my wife has gotten me.
6) Do the 100 pushup thing.
7) Get involved in a group physical activity. Maybe BJJ again, or Muay Thai.
8) Paint house and put in baseboards.
10) Get 10 friends on Xbox Live (I have 2 now).
11) Play the games I have instead of just watching Netflix.
1) Actually go the gym I've been paying for 2-3 times a week.
2) Study Japanese at least half an hour a day.
3) Clear off 30% of my gaming backlog.
4) Find a proper stable job.
5) Lose 30lbs.
6) Set up a clean workspace (and actually keep it clean).
7) Start buying a few monthly comics again (going to switch to a pre-order service online, I can't trust myself to get to my local shop on a timely bases).
8) Upgrade my desktop (new GPU at least, new mobo and CPU if I get daring.)
9) Develop better study habits.
1) Drink more beer
2) Eat more junk food
3) Have at least $3k in savings by end of year
Penny Arcade Bucket Lists
Penny Arcade Day Zero Projects
1) Start cooking again. Check to see if stove works, find a way around a market, find a stash of new recipies, and (provided the stove works) aim for having at least 2 self-cooked meals a week.
2) Start working out (again). Had attempted 100 pushups challenge and stayed with it for a month. Start doing that again with the long-term goal of completing it, but also start getting down to the university fitness centre and actually working out.
3) Research and write up a Thesis proposal followed up by finding a professor willing to supervise.
4) Get a regular weekly cleaning schedule setup for my apartment.
Jragghen - List Blog
Delzhand - List