101 goals

In a fit of wanting to get out of a rut and stop wasting my life in 2013, I stumbled across this challenge:

The 101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people create lists such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

The end date of my self-challenge is 16 July 2016 (start date was 19 October 2013).

So, here is my list of tasks to achieve (those in bold green text have been completed):

1) Read through the Bible in a year

2) Read 1001 poems (22% complete)

3) Listen to the entire Bible in audiobook

4) Read 30 books that I own, but haven’t read

5) List another 1000 gifts

6) Preach 15 sermons (20% complete)

7) Create a budget and stick to it for 12 weeks

8) Find 20 ways to save $10

9) Catch tadpoles with the kids

10) Get rid of 100 things (35% done)

Stuff I have got rid of: books, clothes, shoes, old music cassette tapes,

11) Pass the grade 3 flute exam

12) Clean the oven every 6 months (16% complete)

This is one of the tasks my wife hates most, so a good way to show my love for her is to do nasty jobs such as this when I am able to. There are 5.5 periods of 6 months in 1001 days so a generous husband would round it up to 6 oven cleanings to meet this goal.

13) Take a pilates class

14) Make something out of wood

15) Shave with a straight razor

16) Make elderflower cordial

17) See penguins in their natural habitat

18) Go to 5 different museums

19) Buy only Fair-Trade chocolate

I am convinced that the capitalist system of economics is extremely unfair to those who have very little. However, like democracy it is probably the best system humans have come up with so far. Even within a system which favours the wealthy, it is possible to counter the injustices by being purposeful in how we spend out money. One way to achieve this is buying Fair-Trade certified goods.

A particularly good item to purchase only if Fair-Trade certified is chocolate because it is a treat anyway and if I am not prepared to pay extra for Fair-Trade chocolate, I really should not be eating lots of cheap chocolate anyway!

20) Buy only Fair-Trade coffee

My rationale for this goal is the same as above for chocolate.

The way I am measuring progress for these two goals is the % of 1001 days that I have gone without breaking my ‘Fair-Trade only’ rule.

21) Complete Udemy iOS7 online course

22) Get away with just my wife and I for a whole weekend

23) Create my own iPhone app

24) Learn a poem by heart

25) Cook sausages on a beach with my kids

26) Build a campfire and roast marshmallows with the kids

27) Keep a journal for 6 months

28) Take our family to Milford Sound

29) Take our family to Te Anau

30) See ‘Sirocco’ the Kakapo

31) Take our family to Orana park

32) Make homemade ice cream with the kids

33) Cook dinner one evening each week for a month

34) Renovate the woodshed

35) Write 100 blog posts

36) Plant a garden full of flowers

37) Take my son on a train

38) Wash the floors every week for a month

39) Go a day without coffee

40) Drink only one cup of caffeinated coffee per day for a month

41) Go a month without drinking coffee

42) Attend a weekend prayer retreat

43) Finish and stain all our fences

44) Do 100 pushups

45) Do 200 sit-ups

46) Go a day without chocolate

47) Go a week without chocolate

48) Go a month without chocolate

49) Set up a reliable backup for my home computer

50) Create an ebook

51) Write a poem

52) Walk the Routeburn track with Iona

53) Take my kids fishing

54) Learn to identify 10 constellations

55) Cycle the Otago Rail Trail

56) Go fly fishing

57) Plant a tree

58) Learn to reliably identify 10 native plants I didn’t already know

59) Lose 5kg

60) Find 500 geocaches

61) Hide a geocache

62) Fill the kids’ sandpit with sand

63) Grow vegetables at home

64) Regularly donate to Partners

65) Save $500 in an emergency fund

66) Learn to touch type

67) Landscape and plant our front garden

68) Empty my inboxes

69) Take a photo of the same place every week for year

70) Complete a home renovation project

71) Donate blood

72) Give $5 to a busker

73) Fix all the cupboard door handles

I’m a rather poor home handyman and the handles on our kitchen cupboards were fastened using cheap bolts that were too short for the job so have been falling off. It generally takes me about 6 months to get around to cutting a bolt to the correct size and re-attaching the handle. Finally, in November 2013 they were all fixed!

74) Learn new ways to relax

75) Write a list of things that people in my life have taught me

76) Write a letter to myself to be opened when another 1001 days is over

77) Slow down and live more intentionally

78) Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day

79) choose another 20 goals!

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101) Donate $50 to charity for each task I don’t complete

Where is this blog going?

where-is-this-blog-going

A new blog name, a new web host, new blogging platform, new domain, same old writer. What’s the deal?

New web host and blogging platform

My web hosting account with A Small Orange was up for renewal at the end of September so I was in the headspace to reassess whether I was getting a good deal for my money. In digging around their terms and conditions I noticed that this particular hosting company was happy to host pornographic websites provided they complied with US law.

Hmm… I’m not as pure as the driven snow, but the idea of my dollars going to a company that is also making profits from porn does not sit well on my conscience. So I started looking into this issue and realised that the majority of hosting providers in fact are happy to host ‘legal’ porn sites. The few that do not tend to be European sites. Much internet searching later and I had a list of possible candidates and one in particular held my attention; Ghost.

In the Terms of Service for Ghost it clearly states that each user must warrant that:

Content is not pornographic, does not contain threats or incite violence, and does not violate the privacy or publicity rights of any third party;

Ghost is a new blogging platform which began from a Kickstarter campaign to design an alternative to WordPress which put the focus back on writing rather than the amassed options and clutter which can overwhelm many blogs. I tried it out a year ago when very new but at that stage I found it just too sparse and technically demanding to stick with it. The platform has matured since then and I am enjoying it now that I’m getting used to writing using Markdown.

Why the new domain and blog name?

I began blogging with a very Christian focussed blog, “Words of Eternal Life“. Having a title like that implied that what I was writing should have some authority to it but in reality I was using my blogging as an exploration of my Christian faith rather than trying to make authoritative statements on belief. So I often felt a tension between what I wanted to write and a that I should be writing good theologically sound content.

I then went the other direction and blogged under my own name and wrote on assorted random topics, though have not in fact published very much during this phase.

What I most like to write about is faith in Christ. The process of thinking up and writing blog posts centred on my faith helps my faith to grow and drives me to learn more about what I believe and why and how this can be lived out in the real world. So I am wanting to move back to such an emphasis on my blog.

However, the longer I try to walk with Christ the more aware I become of my failures, weakness and unworthiness. The grace of God is my only hope, apart from what God does I truly am wretched. I don’t profess to have a great understanding of theology, though I try to remain orthodox in my beliefs. I’m interested in how faith interacts with real life – Monday morning faith rather than Sunday evening faith. Life can be hard, for most people it is hard and faith needs to have real answers for those hard places.

The path from here will hopefully be through pondering, wrestling with, writing about and living out faith in Christ amid my normal daily life.