101 Things in 1001 Days – an update

Inspired by The Annoyed Thyroid, in August 2018 I posted a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days.

The Challenge

For those who missed it, the challenge was to come up with 101 things that I want to achieve in the next 1001 days. So that you don’t need a calculator, that equates to about 2.75 years – which takes me through until 23 May 2021. 

This isn’t a bucket list per se – I have a separate one of those – and it contains a mix of:

  • Big stuff
  • Small stuff
  • Small stuff that will lead to big stuff
  • Completely unrealistic how fabulous would it be if it happened stuff

It also serves to replace New Years resolutions – not that these mean anything at the moment anyway!

The hardest part of this challenge was coming up with 101 things – and keeping it (reasonably) realistic. To do that I chunked it down into categories and, where appropriate, broke large long-term goals into smaller milestones that can be ticked off along the way. 

Why 1001 days? 

The theory is that for people like me with long-term dreams and a short-term focus, this sort of time period gives you a better chance of achieving the big stuff – it covers seasonal considerations and provides ample time for bookings, training etc, but also allows for lots of smaller wins along the way. Sometimes it’s those small wins that keep you going – you have no idea how stoked I was when I nailed the perfect scrambled egg!

Another advantage of having some smaller items that might otherwise be overlooked? It’s a real boost to your confidence when you look back and see how much you’ve achieved.

The fine print

Because this is my list and therefore my rules, I reserve the right to change my mind. In full disclosure, I’ve made a decision to push back from astrology writing for the time being so have dropped these items from the list and replaced them with goals more conducive to my main focus of making a living from my writing. Likewise, I’ve updated my publishing list to coincide with what I actually want to write as opposed to what I thought I might want to.

Further to that – I don’t expect that I’ll achieve everything on this list, or the next one, and nor will I beat myself up if that’s the case. There’s no harm in carrying items across to my next 101 things list. This is not a “must-do” list or even a “should do” list. It’s more of a “how cool will it be if I have a go?” list.

Anyways, we’re now 680 days into the challenge so in the interests of accountability, here’s an update. My primary long-term goals are in bold. As an aside, I’m actually going to reset at the end of July and set a whole new 101 things – largely because I’ve ticked off so many but also because I’ve changed my mind on a few items. So, without further havering, here’s the update: 

Health and Fitness 

1. Lose 5kgs. Achieved in September 2019.

2. Lose another 5kgs Achieved at the end of November 2019

3. Lose another 5kgs As at writing this I’ve lost a total of 12.3kgs from my starting point.

4. Lose another 5 kgs

5. Lose another 5 kgs

6. Take a yoga or pilates class

7. Walk the path from Pt Cartwright to Golden Beach. We’ve now walked each segment of this path.

8. Walk up the Ballinger Rd hill without stopping. I’m scoring this a 7/10 – I’ve made it to the top, but not without stopping. 

9. Do the Kondalilla Falls Circuit

10. Do the Noosa National Park Walk along the coast to Sunshine Beach

11. Average 10,000 steps a day for 30 daysDone – back in September 2018. Since July 2019 I’ve averaged almost 12,000 steps a day.

12. Get into a meditation habit – 15 minutes a day for 30 days.

13. Visit the dentist

14. Visit a GP and get a health check done

15. Convince my husband to visit a GP and get a health check done


16. Have a photoshoot – not a glamour one, but more of a headshot one, outside, casual with decent hair and maybe even make-up for social media/branding purposes

17. Buy a pair of jeans that not only fit but are actually comfortable.

18. Be an extra on Midsomer Murders (I think I’d make a fabulous dog walker in Badger’s Drift, but I’m not at all fussy…)

19. Be a guest on Desert Island Discs – which is probably about as realistic as the Midsomer Murders one.

20. Write the family history – on the Hamilton and Lyons side. Mum has done so much research that needs to be written up

21. Research the family history on my husband’s side

22. Update my will

23. Learn how to take decent food pictures and learn how to style brown food. Not sure how to measure this, but I’ve absolutely improved. I’m giving this a tick.

24. Drive on the highway without having an anxiety thing. I have ventured onto the motorway, but the Bruce Highway still makes me quite anxious. This one still needs work.

25. Go 30 days without spending money on books or musicDone – February and March 2019

26. Get our DNA analysed by Ancestry.com Done – September 2019

27. Read 10 non-fiction books As of November 2019, I’ve read 12.

28. Put our France 2018 photos into a digital photo book

29. Put our 2015 UK photos into a digital photo book 50% done

30. Put our Vietnam photos into a digital photo bookDone.

31. Make a This Is Your Life photo book for Dad’s 80th birthdayDone.

Blogs and Writing

32. Finish writing my France blogs.

33. Transfer all France posts across to And Anyways. These are all scheduled out to be published over the next few months.

34. Revamp my blog Done. And Anyways had a facelift in 2019

35. Revamp my author website to be a “landing page” for my books. The website is being revamped as we speak.

36. Send out a monthly newsletter – every month for at least 6 months

37. Revamp cover for Baby, It’s You Done

38. Revamp cover for Big Girls Don’t Cry Done

39. Launch Baby, It’s You to print

40. Launch Big Girls Don’t Cry to print

41. Publish Happy Ever AfterDone.

42. Publish I Want You Back (Careful What You Wish For #1) Scheduled for publication September 2020

43. Finish writing Careful What You Wish For (Careful What You Wish For #2). This just requires a cover and a blurb and we’re right to go.

44. Publish Careful What You Wish For Scheduled for publication January 2021.

45. Finish It’s In The Stars (Careful What You Wish For #3) First draft is 50% complete (The draft was complete but I turfed most of it)

46. Publish It’s In The Stars I’m aiming for May 2021

47. Release the Careful What You Wish For series as a box set I’m targeting September 2021 for this

48. Write a Christmas novel

49. Publish ebook of recipes used in Wish You Were Here and Happy Ever After and use as a lead magnet for the newsletter

50. Set up kitchen diaries blog – Brookford Kitchen DiariesDone. I’m still reviewing the future use of this

51. Set up Clancy’s Campfire website.  Done, but this project is on the back-burner

52. Publish Clancy of the Campfire – the definitive camping cookbook This project is on the back burner

53. Write The Lilac Queen – the French novel

54. Write the first book in the Alice Delaney mysteries

55. Write the first book in the Curlew Cottage series Escape to Curlew Cottage has been written – still to go through copy edit.

56. Mad About The Mac – the definitive mac cheese cookbook

57. Enter a RWA writing competitionDone – Happy Ever After came 2nd in Romantic Book of the Year

58. Learn about Amazon and Facebook advertising – progress has been made, but still learning

59. Replace my day job income with income from writing 


60. Sleep in a tent. Done. Ok, it was a posh tent, but a tent it was. Ketchup’s Bank Glamping. We loved it so much we stayed in a tent at Agnes Water too.

61. Do a road trip to Cairns

62. Explore Stradbroke Island (Straddie)

63. Stay at the Eastern & Oriental in Penang Done

64. Walk up Queenstown Hill

65. Explore Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770 Done September 2019

66. Explore the Scenic Rim region of South East QueenslandDone. October 2018 – Camping at Ketchup’s Bank Glamping.

67. Swim with sea-turtles

68. Snorkel in the Barrier Reef Scheduled for next week…watch this space

69. Ride a horse along the beach at Noosa

70. Take a Noosa Everglades cruise

71. Fly business class on a proper international flight

72. Eat at one of the world’s top 100 restaurants

73. Eat at a restaurant in the Michelin Guide Done – Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, Singapore May 2019

74. Have Christmas in the UK Christmas 2019

75. Attend a Christmas midnight mass in a village church in the UK We could have done this, but we stayed in the warm and drank wine instead.

76. Have afternoon tea somewhere posh Ellenborough Park Hotel, Cheltenham January 2020

77. Do a long-distance walk in the UK – eg The Cotswolds Way, The Ridgeway, Hadrian’s Wall

78. See bluebells in a bluebell wood. 

79. Take a cruise on a Cunard ship for Grant’s 60th in 2021 – one of the “Queens”

80. See the Northern lights

81. See the Edinburgh Tattoo in Edinburgh. (As a side note, I have seen this in Sydney and given that we have no inclination to travel to Scotland during the summer and the Tattoo is held in August, there are logistical issues with this one.)

Foodie Stuff

82. Grow ginger Done

83. Try making 5 new ice-creams Done – vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, yoghurt, nutella, coconut

84. Make focacciaDone.

85. Cook steak to medium rare (hubby usually does this) Done

86. Make an omelette (he does this too) Done

87. Perfect the poached egg (he usually does this too). Done – thanks to Nigella.

88. Make decent scrambled eggs (and this – but I’m great at boiled and fried eggs) Done

89. Make a piccalilli. Done.

90. Try 10 new meat-free dishes  Done

91. Make mayonnaise by hand Done

92. Make hollandaise by hand Done

93. Make a puff pastry Done

94. Make honeycomb Done

95. Make decent soft bread rolls Done

96. Make lemon curdDone.

97. Make flat bread Done

98. Make a Victoria sponge Done

99. Make a Tarte Tatin Done

100. Cook (and blog) my way through Nigella’s “How To Eat”. Underway – The Nigella Diaries


101. Inspire someone else to write down 101 things to do in 1001 daysDone

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Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

36 thoughts

  1. Awesome, Jo, with this challenge! I appreciate “The fine print” since life changes and we change our mind. I also like “carrying items” forward to the next list. I think many of us are huge list makers and it helps focus our attention and stay accountable. Extra good for you on the Health and Fitness challenges. I would be curious to read your Christmas novel. Christmas seems extra special in your life. Your foodie photos are always wonderful. I (almost) thought it was by accident and then I read how it is something you work on improving.

    I agree with Donna. You need to become our neighbour. xx 😀

    1. I do like a little fine print… I love how there’s lots of ticks from little things – a real booster. Escape to Curlew Cottage was meant to be a Christmas novel, but, well, it’s now not.

  2. Jo you are really do well with your list, especially the health and writing goals! I’m sure the Covid quarantine helped with the cooking ones! I don’t have such a specific longer term list, but I like the idea as long as I also get to reserve the right to change my mind!
    PS. I loved your Eulogy on Leanne’s blog. You can write mine!

    1. I always reserve the right to change my mind and I grant you the same privileges. I love how I can tick off the little things – some of which add up to the bigger things. Thanks also for your comment re my eulogy – it was a really interesting exercise…to say the least…and a little similar to what you wrote on your blog today as well.

  3. I think you’re doing really well. Covid probably hasn’t helped in many ways but you sound like you’re back on track with your writing. (I think you mentioned you were struggling for a while with so much happening!)

    There’s a lot of things crossed out there. And yes, life changes (don’t we know it) so I love the flexibility of your list.

    1. So many ticks, but a few that won’t make it to the next list either – yay for flexibility. And yeah, I’ve struggled with my writing a lot this year. A lot.

  4. Well the cooking ones are all ticked off! And you seem to be making headway with most of the others – sooooo many writing ones and that reflects the fact that you have lots of ideas bubbling away in your head (I’m a little envious TBH) Love your list and that you’re managing to make such a dent in it. #MLSTL

    1. I’m seriously considering having 2 lists next time – 101 things to cook in 1001 days and 101 things to do.

  5. What a fab update Jo! I love that you have ticked so many off the list and think you are amazing, you certainly have some interesting things in the list especially being an extra on Midsomer Murders 🙂 #mlstl

    1. I would make an excellent dog walker in Midsomer. Or I could ride a horse down the high street. I couldn’t, however, be the bike rider.

    1. Chunking things down & being specific helps me tick off items – it’s amazing how great you can feel from the smallest success.

  6. You have done well Jo! I love this idea very much. You can see your passion lies with food! Writing too … but you definitely crossed off a lot of the foodie ones! Lucky you got some of those OS goals ticked off before Corona crashed the party. Well done on the weight loss too – well deserved as your commitment to morning walks is inspiring. That used to me but I’ve lost the plot! xo

  7. Ha! Loved your #75. I would have made the same choice! 🙂 I hope COVID doesn’t disturb your travel goals too much. I like your idea to be able to change your mind if you want to. Your game, your rules.

  8. Congrats, Jo, on your many achievements! I like the flexibility. It’s your list, your call. #lovin’lifelinky

  9. What a great list! You’re powering through. If it helps, I’ve done 70 and 72 for you (Namh in Bangkok, think it was 23 at the time, but of course it depends on which list. Also Quay in Sydney (again depending on which list), and I’ve peered in French Laundry. Interested to know, and you still keen to go cruising in 2021??

    1. We were booked to go to Namh in Bangkok & had to cancel (dodgy spring roll at the airport at Danang…too much information?). Yeah we would still jump on the Queen Vic or something…for a trip like that anyways…do I have more concerns about it than I previously did? Yes, absolutely.

      1. Well if it’s any consolation, it may have been number 23 and it was really good, but to be honest I was a little underwhelmed. I’ve eaten better elsewhere.

  10. Wow Jo! I am a list girl so this challenge really appeals to me and 670 days sounds such a long time doesn’t it. There is nothing like crossing items of a list but I also like that you make changes or change your mind because we need to be flexible with life don’t we? Can I be an extra with you on Midsommer Murders? As long as John Nettles is on set (making a special visit for the two of us) I’m in. Kondalilla Falls are beautiful although it has been about 10 years since I visited.You’ve inspired me to do some longer walks or runs along the Coast and make a few trips to the Hinterland. Always enjoy your posts and thanks for sharing at #MLSTL. xx

    1. I’m definitely Camp Tom Barnaby too. I think my resurrected list will have more local lovelies on it.

  11. I am impressed. I think your food photography is great too. #59 sure hope it happens sooner rather than later. And, if I could “just be a nag” about the dentist. Putting it off, nnnnooo. Find a lovely kind one where you are and it will be fine!! Denyse

  12. Well done on your list so far, Jo. I love this statement: This is not a “must-do” list or even a “should do” list. It’s more of a “how cool will it be if I have a go?” list. It makes the doing so much more fun, doesn’t it?

  13. Hi, Jo – This really is a fabulous list. And, it’s very timely for me. Tomorrow, I will be chatting with a group of friends. Our focus topic is “What’s on your bucket list”. Because I still don’t have this homework done (tsk, tsk), I may be borrowing a few ideas from here. Shhh, please don’t tell!

  14. Great update. Good progress being made. I like this idea very much. Allows more time than my seasonal bucket lists. The Lilac Queen sounds like a read right up my alley. Have enjoyed your Christmas in England photos so much. If we are ever allowed to travel again, you have encouraged me to put England at the top of my plans.

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