It’s good to have goals!


One of my goals is to see meerkats. I love meerkats.

I’m preparing to start the Day Zero project soon, and it’s had me really thinking about my goals. For those of you who have never heard of this before, it’s challenge to complete 101 preset goals in 1001 days—that’s about three months shy of three years, and amounts to a goal being completed every ten days. Some people listed on the site clearly haven’t taken these numbers into account and fill their lists with a compilation of goals that might be difficult to complete in thirty years, but I digress. (Also, coming up with 101 realistic goals is way harder than you’d think.)

What’s particularly interesting to me is how many people have artsy type goals. (You can browse the lists here.) A lot of people want to write books—though I suppose that probably doesn’t surprise most writers, since once we announce we are writers, friends and family (and strangers) start popping out of the woodwork with the books they are writing, or want to write. Personally, I think this is awesome—the more people that see value in the written word the better—but I’m sure many “real” writers would disagree with me.

After writing, lots of people are setting reading goals. These, however, often make me sad. One girl whose list I just looked at set a goal to read ten books. Ten. In 33 months. Still, hypothetically speaking, maybe she only reads two books a year now, in which case this is actually a good thing. Personally, my yearly reading goal (and I’m a total nerd and track my reading in a specially designed Excel spreadsheet) is 52 books and somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 pages.

I admit, I’m still working on my own list (I started brainstorming in August and have to cross some things off of it already), but here’s a selection (all arts-related):

  • publish a short story in a print journal
  • read 50 new novels or short story collections
  • visit 3 museums
  • build a snowman
  • design my own computer desktop background
  • read 5 books of poetry
  • go to a book signing
  • learn a new song on guitar
  • buy 25 books from independent booksellers (Schuler Books being my favorite)

What are your arts-related goals?


  • tanya debuff says:

    I’d love to have that spreadsheet, what a great idea! I am going to think about this.

  • tanya debuff says:

    OK, here’s a few:

    Read 20 books of essays and 40 memoirs
    Take German language classes
    Learn and write about family history
    Learn and use 150 new words
    Write a poem in a hypnotic state (i’m supposed to be doing this for Chris Howell’s Surrealism class, but i think it would be interesting to do it for real)

    • Brett says:

      Ja wohl fuer Nummer Zwei!

      (Sie sollen etwa Deutsche Gedichte lesen–Rilke ist wuenderschoene auf Deustch!)


      Hooray for goal #2! You should read some German poems; Rilke is wonderful in German. (Edward Snow’s translations are my favorites.)

      • tanya debuff says:

        That’s a great idea, Brett! I will try and do that this summer when I start taking the German classes. I’m very excited about it.

  • Asa Maria says:

    I’m one of those totally anal people that love lists. I keep lists of lists that I should keep–that’s how much I love lists. This project sounds like something I should do, if only because I too love meerkats.

  • Shawn Vestal says:

    i love the idea of tracking your reading in a spreadsheet…i once tried to keep a reading journal. For about three months…

  • MelinaCR says:

    This makes me stressed.

    Maybe a list would help?

  • Marcus says:

    I have a list to keep track of my lists.

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