Masthead header

101 in 1001

I was reading at the pool yesterday afternoon and I came across a random statement: The difference between a rut and death is six feet. I glossed over it and kept reading…but something drew me back to that statement repeatedly. I think my life is pretty darn good — I have a husband I love and who loves me. I have a great job. I have amazing friends. I try to live each day to the fullest and with little to no regrets. But, even then, it can be easy to settle into a routine, develop habits (some good, some bad) and then find myself in somewhat of a rut. And that is NOT where I want to be!

So that got me to thinking about a Dale Carnegie quote I came across years ago: “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.”

So now, you’re probably thinking “Oh no! Here she goes with a ‘bucket list!” But you’re wrong. I did create a list – 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days. Rather than a wish list of places to go and things to do before I die, 101 in 1001 is a list of 101 dreams and/or goals – some personal, some professional – that I want to accomplish in a short amount of time.

In 2.75 years to be exact.

Some things will improve my relationships. Some things will improve my business. Some things will build new skills or hone existing ones. Some things are strictly just for fun. The common denominator, however, is that they are all things that will challenge me and improve my life – and hopefully the lives of those around me – in some way.

The criteria: 1) the goals/tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined and 2) tasks/goals must be realistic and stretching thus representing some amount of effort on creator’s part. That’s it. There’s nothing else to it — and the sky is the limit.

So…here it is. The list. In no real order other than alphabetically by category so it’s easier for me to keep track of for the next 1001 days. There are even a couple of interactive things for those of you who read far enough. 🙂

Renee’s 101 in 1001.

Start date: Monday, July 5, 2010                            End date: Monday, April 1, 2013

Building Relationships

  1. Spend at least 1 weekend a month doing “nothing” with my husband
  2. Have date night with Jeff every Friday for at least 3 months
  3. Get in touch with and/or visit a friend I haven’t seen in years
  4. Write a real letter to someone once a week for 3 months
  5. Meet a neighbor I don’t already know
  6. Make 3 new friends


  1. Create a web site to go with the blog
  2. Get my business organized
  3. Create a weekly blog schedule so i know what i’m blogging about and when
  4. Create an inspiration board
  5. Seek out and meet with a mentor
  6. Create at least one new sample album
  7. Plan business ‘special events’ or promotional plan for next 3 months
  8. Develop the boudoir side of the business
  9. Have a booth at a bridal show
  10. Design and order letterpress business cards
  11. Finish branding my business
  12. Increase sales by at least 35% next year
  13. Blog about random things at least 3 times a week for 3 month
  14. Blog monthly ‘top 10’ or ‘i love’ lists for a year


  1. Volunteer my photography services to a community project or a family in need
  2. Donate old books to local book drive
  3. Do an anonymous favor or ‘pay it forward’
  4. Donate portrait shoot to charity auction
  5. Purge closet of anything not worn in last 2 years
  6. Buy a meal for a complete stranger
  7. Host a random giveaway on my blog

Fun with Husband or Family & Friends

  1. Host an 80s party
  2. Watch fireworks somewhere other than Raleigh
  3. Create a scavenger hunt for someone else
  4. See a live comedy show
  5. Host a wine tasting
  6. Learn to play golf
  7. Go to a Steelers or Chargers football game
  8. Go to the Kentucky Derby
  9. Take a hot air balloon ride

Health & wellness

  1. Get a personal trainer and actually do what he/she says
  2. Lose 15 pounds
  3. Run a 5k
  4. Go to bed by 11pm every weekday for a month
  5. Find a workout/weight loss partner to keep me accountable
  6. Go running at least 5 times a week for 3 months
  7. Take a full lunch break away from the computer at least twice a week for 3 months

Personal growth & development

  1. Re-learn how to shag/get Jeff to learn to shag
  2. Publish an inspirational quote on FB every day for a month
  3. Go to an opera, symphony performance or ballet this fall
  4. Visit every (major) museum in the Triangle
  5. Try 5 new restaurants
  6. Answer 50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind
  7. Cook 1 new recipe a week for 3 months
  8. Find a new church home
  9. Get new photos done by one of my favorite photographers
  10. Go to sailing school and learn to sail
  11. Join a church choir or praise team
  12. Play the piano at least twice a week for 3 months
  13. Establish $5000 personal emergency fund (that doesn’t involve shoe emergencies)
  14. Learn to scuba dive
  15. Read and implement Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover
  16. Read 7 Habits and Getting Things Done


  1. Get published in Unveiled, Southern Weddings and/or Grace Ormonde magazine
  2. Get published on a blog other than mine
  3. Photograph a destination wedding, preferably in Europe
  4. Do a photo shoot on an island, in NYC and in Charleston
  5. Take a self-portrait once a month for a year
  6. Enter a photo competition
  7. Go on a photo safari in Raleigh
  8. Photograph something at least once a week for 6 months
  9. Complete NY Institute of Photography course
  10. Complete certification study course
  11. Get certified through PPA
  12. Shoot a session in the rain
  13. Catch up on my 52 weeks photo project
  14. Photograph a band or musician

Rest & Relaxation

  1. Read at least one book a month for a year
  2. Spend a day I bed doing nothing for no real reason
  3. Go an entire day with no email, text or message boards
  4. Go on a movie marathon – 3 in one day at a theater
  5. Sleep in until at least 7:30am every Saturday for a month


  1. Visit Ireland
  2. Take a random road trip with jeff
  3. Visit Italy
  4. Tour Napa Valley
  5. Take another trip to St. John
  6. Visit Cape Cod
  7. Visit Australia
  8. Take a 7-10 day sailing vacation
  9. Attend Jazz Festival in NOLA

Random stuff

  1. Develop mystery roll of film from our wedding
  2. Update passport with new married name
  3. Write a letter to myself to open on day 1001
  4. Focus on one room at a time and finish decorating it
  5. Buy another Porsche Boxster
  6. Create our wedding album
  7. Watch 10 movies I should have already seen
  8. Put a note in a book for a random stranger to find
  9. Create a will
  10. Buy a condo at the beach
  11. Update my address book and FB friends list
  12. Replace all the ‘frame families’ in my house with real photos
  13. Complete 2 truths and 2 dares proposed by someone who comments on this post
  14. Send a care package to someone who comments on this post (randomly selected)

L A T E S T   P I N S