101 things in 1001 days - the results

Posted on: 7 September 2014

Almost 3 years ago, I started my "Day Zero" challenge, or as knew it as, the "101 things in 1001 days" challenge. I hadn't realised, but 1001 days was up over 70 days ago, and I finished on the grand total of 33 tasks complete. Not quite a third of the list.

Reviewing some of these challenges I'd set myself, it made me realise how much I've changed in that time. And how your priorities in life are constantly evolving.

So although I failed the challenge pretty miserably, I might as well learn something from it. So, with that in mind, here is my review of the challenge (started 28th September 2011).

  1. 1) Run a marathon - COMPLETED 15/04/12. I'd already signed up when I started this list, but I'd barely started training so confidence was low. Definitely the proudest of my accomplishments on this list.
  2. 2) Eat vegetarian for a week - COMPLETED 12/08/12. This was a bit of a silly one, but the aim was less not eating meat for a week, and more to simply make me consider other options. My eyes have definitely been opened to this over the past few years, and if I was a bit stronger willed, I'd probably have given up meat for good by now.
  3. 3) Skydive - INCOMPLETE. This one was always optimistic. Truth be-told, this challenge never gained any traction and remained a distant idea. One day.
  4. 4) Visit 5 countries - INCOMPLETE (3/5; Amsterdam, Canada, Belgium). I'm a little disappointed I never completed this one. With a bit more effort I could've easily ticked off a couple more. The three I did visit were excellent trips though.
  5. 5) Get a tattoo - INCOMPLETE. Maybe one day. Maybe. Bottled this one, really.
  6. 6) Earn over £******/YEAR - COMPLETED 01/07/2014. A third pay-rise in this period finally allowed me to hit my planned salary at this point in time. Happy to have achieved this.
  7. 7) Re-watch every episode of Friends - INCOMPLETE. I do miss Friends, and I will likely do this at some point, but I just never got round to this.
  8. 8) Rewatch every episode of Lost - COMPLETED 01/07/13. Now this I did watch. I'd never actually seen the last few episodes of the last season, but I decided to start from scratch and re-watch all 6. It was a fun trip down memory lane, but a disappointing ending to an otherwise exciting show.
  9. 9) Star Wars Marathon - INCOMPLETE. Really disappointed I never got round to doing this. And I put off watching any of the films during this challenge with the sole purpose of completing this one. But allas, life.
  10. 10) Put a $100 bet on red or black in Vegas - INCOMPLETE. I'm not sure where the motivation for this one came from. But it didn't happen. Not ruling out it happening in the future though.
  11. 11) Learn a Language - INCOMPLETE - Gutted I never did this one. Lots of opportunities but just never committed to a proper learning schedule. One day.
  12. 12) Road trip across the US/Canada - COMPLETED 26/09/12. This was part of a memorable trip to Canada to see friends. Roadtripping under your own steam really is the most freedom you can experience on a holiday. Would recommend it to everyone.
  13. 13) Be in a band - INCOMPLETE. This one never materialised. I'm still into playing music, but not as much, and truthfully, I never pursued this with any great vigour.
  14. 14) Learn how to dive - INCOMPLETE. No excuses with this one.
  15. 15) Swim a mile - INCOMPLETE. Another regret, that I never got my stamina back in the pool. I'd like to become a more confident swimmer, but I guess I just keep putting it off.
  16. 16) Take a huge canvas worthy photograph - INCOMPLETE. Photography is another hobby that has dwindled in the last few years. I've upgraded my camera since the start of the challenge though, and intend to keep this going.
  17. 17) Watch a live sporting event in a foreign country INCOMPLETE. Disappointed I haven't been able to do this yet, but definitely see this happening in the near future.
  18. 18) Watch Chelsea at Stamford Bridge - COMPLETED 29/11/11. This one's done and then some. Since I started the challenge, Chelsea has become a much bigger part of my life. Since starting this, I've been to 20 games with Chelsea, across the UK.
  19. 19) Read and watch all of Harry Potter - INCOMPLETE (7/15) This was part of an initiative to get me reading more. I'd never read/watched Harry Potter before this challenge, and I can at least now say I've seen the films. The books, one day I'll read.
  20. 20) Learn to down a pint of beer - INCOMPLETE. Silly, but I can't believe I never seized an opportunity to do this over the last 3 years. The folly of youth, eh?
  21. 21) Learn to shotgun a can of beer - INCOMPLETE. See above.
  22. 22) Score a goal in an 11-a-side match - COMPLETED 19/08/12. I've had the opportunity to play in an 11-a-side game a handful of times during the challenge. On one of them, I scored. I hope it won't be my last.
  23. 23) Stay in a hostel - INCOMPLETE. If it'd been abroad more (see #4), this probably would've become a reality. This will likely still happen at some point.
  24. 24) See The Strokes live - INCOMPLETE. Disappointed with this one. Chances to see The Strokes have been few and far between the last few years. This is definitely a "before I die" task to complete.
  25. 25) Own my own pet - INCOMPLETE. Living in a flat, I've made the decision to wait on this one. Now that we've bought a house though, I'm hoping this will become a reality very soon.
  26. 26) Attend a convention - INCOMPLETE. One day.
  27. 27) Own a valve amp, play it live - INCOMPLETE. As with #13, this part of my life has dwindled somewhat. I'd still love to own a valve amp and perform with it.
  28. 28) Own a Fender Guitar - INCOMPLETE. As above. Still got my trusty Gibson Les Paul Studio, although it mainly gathers dust in its case these days.
  29. 29) Learn how to ski/snowboard - INCOMPLETE. I did spend a hungover afternoon after my 26th Birthday in Wycombe Snowdome. But to say I'd learnt how to ski would be pushing it. Learnt how to fall over, a lot. Would still love to do a skiing holiday abroad, but Charlotte is less enthusiastic.
  30. 30) Play in a football tournament - INCOMPLETE. Shocking I never pushed this one through, plenty of opportunities to do this.
  31. 31) Bowl a score of 101 - COMPLETED 09/06/12. This one was pretty easy.
  32. 32) Ride a sleeper train - INCOMPLETE. I'd still love to do this.
  33. 33) Watch every James Bond film chronologically - INCOMPLETE. I've watched a fair few of these during the challenge, but never the whole set.
  34. 34) Learn the phonetic alphabet - COMPLETED 01/02/13. This was a fun one actually, and I can now say I've learnt it.
  35. 35) Join Twitter / Tweet Regularly - COMPLETED 30/10/11. Hard to imagine a world without Twitter now!
  36. 36) Ceiling-high DVD collection (approx. 150 DVDs) - INCOMPLETE. This challenge has trailed off in momentum somewhat, although I must be nearing ~100 by now.
  37. 37) Make a memorable speech / talk - INCOMPLETE. One day, I promise.
  38. 38) Learn to Juggle - COMPLETED 08/05/14. Proud of this achievement.
  39. 39) Ride the New York subway - INCOMPLETE. Unfortunately we didn't return to New York during this period. We definitely want to go back and do all the things we missed out the first time though.
  40. 40) Eat 5 new foods - COMPLETED 14/03/13 - 1) Seabass 2) Blue cheese 3) Asparagus 4) Crab 5) Anchovies
  41. 41) See 25 live gigs - INCOMPLETE (14/25). Although incomplete, 14 gigs is not bad. As with other tasks, the enthusiasm for this has dwindled since the start of the challenge. Replaced, from a time and financial viewpoint, by football match-going.
  42. 42) Write a song - INCOMPLETE. What can I say? I probably should've found time for this.
  43. 43) 50 press-ups in a row - INCOMPLETE. No excuses.
  44. 44) Make friends in a foreign country - INCOMPLETE.
  45. 45) Win a game of Poker - INCOMPLETE.
  46. 46) Host a poker night - INCOMPLETE. I tried to get this going a couple of times, but the occasion never materialised. Planning one currently at work.
  47. 47) Canoe/kayak - COMPLETED 24/10/12. Did this on the serene, transparent Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.
  48. 48) Swim in the sea - INCOMPLETE. Plenty of opportunities. Need to get over this semi-fear soon.
  49. 49) Learn to rollerblade/skate - INCOMPLETE. This one was easy, no excuses here.
  50. 50) Join LinkedIn - INCOMPLETE. Shortly after making the decision to join LinkedIn, it got a lot of bad press and, to be honest, I had no real inclination to join in the first place. Seems only useful in more corporate careers.
  51. 51) Buy a wide-angle or fisheye lens - INCOMPLETE. As I mentioned earlier, my photography hobby has definitely become less intense. I'd still really like a wide-angle lens, but this probably more of a long-term wishlist item than something I would put to good use at the moment.
  52. 52) Have an alcohol free month - COMPLETED 01/02/12. Done. It was what it was. Haven't repeated; I do enjoy a drink.
  53. 53) Have afternoon tea at the Ritz - INCOMPLETE. I do owe Charlotte an anniversary gift of afternoon tea somewhere fancy, but house-buying got in the way this past year.
  54. 54) Go one day without using my phone - INCOMPLETE. Shocking I never completed this really. I even put my phone through the washing machine recently, and was still back on my old one the same day.
  55. 55) Visit 5 different museums - INCOMPLETE (1/5). I should probably visit more museums.
  56. 56) Make a short film - INCOMPLETE. Had a few ideas for this, but have never really found the time and creativity.
  57. 57) Put the equivalent of £100 a month into a savings account - COMPLETED 20/10/12. I picked up my regular saving after I began this challenge, and reached my target pretty early on. Regular saving is what started the idea of buying a house. You really should do it if you don't already.
  58. 58) Go to a music festival - INCOMPLETE. This really is something I should've done. One year I'll do Glastonbury. I promise.
  59. 59) Watch 100 of IMDB's Top 250 movies list - INCOMPLETE (~40). Although incomplete, this task did make me watch movies I probably otherwise wouldn't have; so it's been a worthwhile challenge.
  60. 60) Bungee jump - COMPLETED 22/07/12. Done!
  61. 61) Be able to recall all 50 states - COMPLETED 08/12/11. A silly, rather unpatriotic game I got pretty good at. I enjoy memory games, it's like a workout for your brain.
  62. 62) Go scuba diving - INCOMPLETE. One day.
  63. 63) Give blood - INCOMPLETE. I feel really bad I never got this one done. Definite planning went into this a couple of times at work, but I was never organised enough to follow through. No brainer; give blood.
  64. 64) Dual-monitor setup at home - INCOMPLETE. Bit of a superficial one here. My working at home lessened since I wrote this task so I haven't really had the need for a second monitor.
  65. 65) Photograph a private event - INCOMPLETE. This went the same way as my other photography tasks unfortunately.
  66. 66) Ride a hot air balloon - INCOMPLETE. I probably should've done this by now. It's something I've always wanted to do.
  67. 67) Learn to surf - INCOMPLETE. I really should learn to surf.
  68. 68) Earn over £1000 freelancing - INCOMPLETE. I set myself this task to give myself some experience on the "other side of the fence", if you like. I know people who have made the switch to freelancing so I thought I'd try a bit. In reality, I dabbled sporadically with a couple of things, but it never kicked off. Maybe one day.
  69. 69) Try 10 new restaurants - COMPLETED 21/12/12. I really should've wrote these down. This was pretty easy to achieve, I love going to new restaurants, and eating out in general really.
  70. 70) Go zorbing - INCOMPLETE. Still on the to-do list!
  71. 71) Go go-karting - COMPLETED 12/04/12. Twice. I came first and second. Must do this again some time, it's a lot of fun and plays right into my competitive side.
  72. 72) Take a really good sunset photograph - INCOMPLETE. Hmm, I was really into photography 3 years ago.
  73. 73) Host a house party - INCOMPLETE. Surprised I haven't done this actually.
  74. 74) Influence someone else to do 101 things in 1001 days - COMPLETED 10/11/11.
  75. 75) Save all loose change in a jar - COMPLETED.
  76. 76) No internet for a weekend - COMPLETED 24/10/12. Achieved during our RV trek across Canada, where Internet signal was at a premium.
  77. 77) Bake someone a Birthday cake - COMPLETED 14/11/12. Charlotte, the lucky recipient, a couple of Birthdays ago.
  78. 78) Host a dinner party - COMPLETED 20/12/13. I put on a Christmas dinner party last year. It was a success
  79. 79) Go rock-climbing outside - INCOMPLETE. Although I did an indoor one in Milton Keynes, and a tiny outside one (possibly meant for kids) in Kent.
  80. 80) Go fancy dress as Doctor Who - INCOMPLETE. I did have a pretty killer Doctor Who (Matt Smith) outfit, but amazingly I don't think I've been to a fancy dress party since I started this challenge.
  81. 81) Take a fortnight's holiday from work - COMPLETED 17/12/11. Extended breaks from work are welcomed and healthy in my book. This was a long Christmas break I think.
  82. 82) Get up before 6am at least 5 times - INCOMPLETE (~4/5). I'm not a morning person. Like, at all. Definitely managed this a few times, but the fifth eluded me.
  83. 83) Climb a tree - INCOMPLETE. Oh dear. How did I not achieve this?
  84. 84) Visit a water park - INCOMPLETE. Center Parcs was the closest I got to this.
  85. 85) Redesign/recode samueldking.co.uk - INCOMPLETE. If this was needed 3 years ago, it definitely is needed now. Many failed attempts later, and I'm still staring at the original 2009 design. I was 21 in that picture. Truthfully, my day job's got more-and-more programmatic and less and less about design over the last few years. I rarely flex my rather limited design acumen much any more.
  86. 86) Have a dental checkup - INCOMPLETE. Charlotte's given me hell for this one. I *think* I may have a slight phobia of the Dentists. But this is normal, right?
  87. 87) Throw out any clothes I no longer wear - COMPLETED 10/07/14. This was long overdue, and felt good.
  88. 88) Celebrate my 25th Birthday in style - COMPLETED 02/02/13. I had no idea what I intended by "in style", but Charlotte's surprise Birthday party fit the bill. Man, was that a shock.
  89. 89) Stay in a fancy hotel - COMPLETED 25/10/12. Thanks to Will (previously contracting at Sony), we got a cheap rate at the Four Seasons in Vancouver. It was pretty swanky.
  90. 90) Have my Les Paul cleaned/setup properly - INCOMPLETE. Man, I'm lazy.
  91. 91) Sleep in a hammock - INCOMPLETE. Never did this. Would still like to.
  92. 92) Take a trip on my own - INCOMPLETE. Okay, this is scary. Humans aren't designed to be by themselves. Closest I got to this was the away end at Manchester City on my own. We lost 2-1.
  93. 93) Get at least 5 new pairs of shoes/trainers/boots - COMPLETED 29/07/12.
  94. 94) Get a rug for the living room - COMPLETED 29/12/11. Part of a joyous day in IKEA. Precious memories.
  95. 95) Go to the theatre - INCOMPLETE. Another activity I've promised and still owe Charlotte.
  96. 96) Build a gingerbread house - COMPLETED 18/12/11.
  97. 97) Spend Christmas/New Year somewhere beautiful - INCOMPLETE. A bit gutted this one never materialised. But Christmas is a ridiculously busy period for Charlotte at work.
  98. 98) Buy a spiffing suit - COMPLETED 07/04/13. Purchased last year from Ted Baker.
  99. 99) Relax in a hot tub, outside, on a cold winter's night - INCOMPLETE. Part of #97 no doubt. Definitely one for the not too distant future.
  100. 100) Learn another programming language - INCOMPLETE. I really should've achieved this. But since the challenge started, I have improved my PHP, Javascript and learnt Sass and a bit of node.js, so I'm not exactly static.
  101. 101) Write a letter to myself to open on day 1001 - COMPLETED 27/11/11. The contents of this are private, but I think they epitomise the outcome of this list.

I'm divided on my opinion of the conclusion of this challenge. On the one hand, 3 years is not a long time in the grand scheme of things, priorities change, opinions change, I've changed.

The other side of it leaves a little disappointed at a lot of the things I haven't completed. Some are things I really have no excuse for not completing, others I'm okay with, and will continue to pursue. I know I can and should be more proactive about some of the things in my life.

But you can't dwell on this too much.

Hey, I could start a new list and be sitting here having completed 40% of the list, rather than 33%, but it'll likely tell a similar story.

I tell you what, I'd like to meet someone who attempted the Day Zero challenge and managed to complete every one. If I wasn't too put off by their over eager "go get 'em" approach to life, I'd buy them a beer and find out what makes them tick.

Tags: 101project