One year ago I decided to stop being a fatigued couch potato and take back control over my life. Maybe I could not control my fatigue, but I could control the way I’d deal with it. I started the Day Zero Project; a project designed to accomplish 101 goals in 1001 days. That’s almost three years, which sounds like a long time. It’s amazing how this first year flew by however. I had hoped to have completed more goals by now, but somehow that didn’t work out like that. However, I believe I’ve come a long way already. Today I’d like to share with you the goals I’ve accomplished so far.
This was the month I started this big, ambitious project. I started on the 29th, so obviously I didn’t complete a goal in my first month. I did however create my list. A list which would always be in my mind from that day on.
Goal no. 96: Practice loose leash walking each day for a month, by taking separate walks with each dog.
This goal was originally designed for two dogs, my own. But by the time I started with the project, we had a third dog. He’s my sister’s dog and we took him in because at the time she wasn’t able to take care of him. We didn’t know how long that would take and I really wanted to start with this goal. So I decided I would do this goal with three dogs instead. Three separate walks each day. Sometimes Ruud helped by taking our ‘borrowed’ dog for a walk, but a lot of the times I did it on my own. Which was a huge deal for me, considering I’m chronically fatigued. I was very proud to have accomplished this goal!
I didn’t complete any goals this month! Woops! Well, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, I did take on a lot of goals, they were just long-term goals.
Goal no. 44: Don’t drink soda for two weeks in a row.
I actually thought this would be one of the hardest goals of all, considering my addiction to diet coke. But it turned out to be so much easier than I’d thought! After two weeks, diet coke even tasted really strange. Like drinking candy. I must confess that my coke addiction is back, although I am not drinking it as much as I used to.
Goal no. 45: Drink a jug of water every day for a month.
This actually was a difficult goal for me. I don’t like water that much. It tastes boring. But I made this goal far more doable, by making the water more interesting. I added cucumber slices, lemon, orange or mint to my water. And I noticed I really liked the taste of it that way!
Goal no. 60: Get a funeral insurance.
I had been putting this off since I was 18 years old. Just because I didn’t know how to possibly make decisions for after I’d be dead. But not making the choices would mean I’d leave my family with a major bill if something would happen to me, which I didn’t want of course. So I just stopped having doubts and finally applied for an insurance. I’ve been told it’s not even common in some other countries to do this, but here it’s pretty standard. It feels safe to have one!
Goal no. 63: Make sushi.
Oh, I’ve wanted to make sushi for ages! But I never dared. It looked so extremely difficult (and most sushi cookbooks tell you it actually is). I was so afraid I’d ruin everything. But when you never try, you’ll never learn, right? So finally I picked a day and did it! It was quite hard, especially because I chose some difficult recipes to try. Advice: Don’t do that on your first time making sushi. Just focus on preparing the rice and rolling the things and put random stuff inside that you like.
Goal no. 64: Make hummus.
Ruud often made hummus and it tasted so good. But I had never tried it myself. I figured it was useful to learn, because combined with carrots and cucumbers it makes for a very healthy snack. I found a delicious recipe on the vegan food blog of De Groene Meisjes. I translated it on my blog for those of you who don’t speak Dutch. I have made hummus a lot after completing this goal! It’s one of my favorite healthy snacks!
Wow! January was a good month!
Again, no goals accomplished. I worked on some longer-term goals though. I always do. Yet it would have been nice to have completed some as well. Maybe then I wouldn’t be so far behind now. Oh well.
No. 65: Cook with coke.
I had this coke cookbook for years, because I thought it was funny. I had never tried one of the recipes though. Until March 2015. I created Caramelized Pork Curry, which tasted amazing! I haven’t cooked with coke since then, because I am really trying to lose some weight. And maybe because Ruud didn’t care for it so much. But one day I will create another coke dish. It’s incredible.
No. 69: Try out 10 new recipes from 10 different cookbooks.
I had been working on this goal for a couple of months. I have so many cookbooks I had never used before. I found out some of them won’t make it to a second try. But I also discovered some amazing recipes. The most important thing of all: I found back my joy in cooking!
No. 29: Paint on a canvas.
For some reason I’d always been afraid of doing this. I was afraid I might ruin the canvas. Which is stupid, because they’re super cheap. When we were in need of some paintings for our play, I decided it was time to face my fears and just start painting. I painted six and I was very pleased with how they turned out!
No. 95: Send a surprise package I assembled myself to someone I care about on a random day.
I loved this goal! How cool is it to receive a package from someone when you least expect it? I started collecting things for the package months earlier. Every time I stumbled upon something, I bought it and put it in the box. It was a great feeling when I finally sent the box. I was glad I could brighten someone’s day.
No. 46: Finish painting the secretary desk.
Another things I had been stalling for ages. What is it with me and being afraid of finishing things? Again, the play pushed me to finish this one, as we needed a desk on stage. I love it!
No. 42: Don’t eat sweet and salty snacks and sweet desserts for a month. Do this three times.
Three months of healthy snacks only. It was not easy to accomplish, but I did it! I don’t do complete months of abstinence now, but I am planning weeks without sugary snacks regularly. It really helps me losing weight and focus on healthy eating.
No. 71: Play video games all day.
I hadn’t done this since I was a student. Somehow I became too much of an adult. Ugh. But in June I found back my inner child and played video games the whole day. No doing laundry or filling dish washers in between. No boring adult stuff and stupid obligations. Just me, the couch and Final Fantasy. I should do this more often!
No 85: Visit one of the Wadden Islands.
Again, something I had never visited before. And I live in such a small country, it’s really no effort to just go there. I was amazed by how different it looked than the rest of the Netherlands. There was so much nature and the beaches were so much whiter than anywhere else in our country. It was the perfect place to relax. And I haven’t even gone to one of the quieter islands. I visited the biggest one, Texel. I have so much left to discover in our tiny little country.
No. 89: Visit a cave.
We have a couple of caves in the south of the Netherlands, yet I’d never been to one. It was a nice experience to finally visit one and hear about their history. I am however still curious about natural caves, as the ones in our country are man-made.
No. 78: Create a playlist of 101 songs I love to sing along to.
I like to practice my singing, but I always choose the same songs over and over. It’s because I simply cannot remember all the other songs I love once I decide to sing. And sometimes I do, but I just want to sing along while taking a shower. And I always had to choose just one album, or a playlist someone else created that would also contain a lot of stuff I wouldn’t really care for. I really needed this playlist, to finally have all my favorite sing-alongs together. I really use this playlist a lot. In the shower, in the car, during cleaning. And my guitar teacher also uses it to pick songs for me which I really love.
If you have spotify and like to follow my playlist, you can do so here.
No. 94: Send real cards to people I care about 10 times (birthdays and holidays not included). These should be at least five different people.
Right now, sending cards to people is part of my daily schedule. In the past half year I’ve collected quite a few pen pals. But at the time of creating my list I hadn’t sent a real card to someone for years, except for the occasional birthday or Christmas card. Right now I wonder why it’s not common anymore to do this. Sending and receiving cards is such a wonderful thing!
No 39: Upload a video on YouTube (in English) in which I teach something I know a great deal about.
I love crafting. I am doing it for as long as I can remember. Recently I discovered a new, creative way of sending snail mail: pocket letters. I loved making it. On the pen pal group in which I am a member, I noticed many people were struggling with this type of letter. They wanted to create one as well, but didn’t know how to start. So I decided to make a tutorial.
No. 55: Buy a nice ceiling lamp for the bedroom and hang it.
For years I’d been looking at a lightbulb in my bedroom. Not the most charming light source, right? But now I’ve got a beautiful lamp shade hanging from my ceiling!
No. 92: Host a barbecue in the backyard for friends or family.
I found the perfect day for this barbecue: the day so many friends and neighbors came to help me dig in the backyard, so I finally could place my pond. I was so grateful with their help, thanking them with a barbecue only seemed logical.
No. 16: Learn at least one song on the guitar and upload it on YouTube.
I am so glad this goal was on my list! After 15 years of wanting to play the guitar and several failed attempts, I am now actually playing the guitar! It didn’t stop after the YouTube upload. I am having regular lessons and I am learning all different techniques. I’ve discovered a hidden talent and something I really, really like!
No. 21: Regain my knowledge of the French language by speaking, reading or listening to it every day for two weeks in a row (at least 15 minutes each time).
I felt so ashamed that I couldn’t speak proper French anymore. It was a subject in high school and I passed it with very good grades. But after so many years I could not even say the simplest things anymore. Which may not have been such a big deal, if my boyfriend didn’t happen to have a bachelor in the French language. When we were in France together, I didn’t even dare opening my mouth. That was so depressing. These two weeks helped me to remember a lot of words, but more importantly, it gave me my courage back to just try and speak French in front of my boyfriend.
No. 37: Answer ’50 Questions that will free you mind’.
I loved these questions! They really got me thinking. They were really deep, philosophical sometimes even. It took me quite a while to finish them, but it was definitely worth my time.
And that brings us to last month. A month in which I completed another three goals.
No. 38: Write down 101 things I like about myself.
This is a goal about which I haven’t written a post yet. This week I will tell you all about my reasons to think of 101 things I like about myself. For now I’ll just say I’ve completed this task!
No. 41: Eat two potions of fruit every day for a month. Do this three times.
Oh my god, the struggles I faced while doing this goal! I like fruit, some fruits I even love, but for some reason I always forget it’s an option to eat them. I often forget we even have fruit. It’s a strange phenomenon. One that resulted in me having to try this goal for a whole year before succeeding. But the most important thing is I succeeded!
No. 66: Bake a cake and decorate it with fondant or marzipan.
What better occasion to bake such a cake than on your birthday? Well, when combining your birthday with Halloween of course! I faced some struggles while baking this cake, but in the end it all worked out! I did it!
No. 102: Write a play.
This goal was not on my original list, because I already knew I was going to do it anyway. It didn’t seem fair somehow. But in retrospect I couldn’t believe I hadn’t add this as a goal. It’s the accomplishment I am most proud of having achieved! Ever! And it took me quite a long time as well. It may even be the main reason why some months I hadn’t completed any other goal. Because I was so busy writing a play! I didn’t want to change my list halfway, but I also didn’t want to let this achievement go unnoticed. So I just decided to add it as my 102nd goal!
GOALS IN PROGRESS
So last month I completed another three goals. That makes 26 goals in total. I had hoped to have accomplished a bit more goals by now, but I guess it’s to blame mainly on the two months of not completing any at all. I will try to compensate though. I’m positive I’ll catch up. I am working on so many longer term goals now and I have great plans for the next few months already.
I expect to have a website soon, with professional pictures and business cards. I am also planning a few unplugged days and a movie marathon. In January I will host a high tea. I am planning on finishing the bread baking goal soon and the exploration of walking areas for the dog. And what I am most looking forward to right now is next Saturday, when I will attend a doggy dance class with my dog Rikku!
A year has gone by, but I’m still full of plans. My list of goals is on my mind every single day, in a good way. It helps me get out of bed in the morning, and fulfil my dreams, despite my illness. Even if those dreams are ever so small. Every dream fulfilled, small or big, is one step closer to a fulfilling life. I am so thankful I stumbled upon this project over a year ago and that I decided to create a list of goals of my own. Year two, here I come!