Day Zero

Some of you may have heard about the Day Zero project, which entails creating a list of 101 things that you want to do within the next 1001 days (a little less than 3 years). Pretty much like a short-term bucket list. I first read about it sometime back in early 2008, so almost 3 years ago now (yikes! where does the time go?). I started a list, written on paper, and I started crossing things off, but somehow amidst a move and reorganization, I seem to have lost the list. Which was really kind of upsetting. But, it’s 3 years later, and by all accounts that list should have expired by now, so I created a new one!

They say that you are more likely to meet goals that you have written down, and shared with others. So I figured I couldn’t do much better than writing them here and sharing them with  you!

The deadline for this list is August 29, 2013. I look forward to working through it and sharing many of the adventures with you!

101 Things in 1001 Days

1. Travel to Europe.
2. Drive through New England during the fall.
3. Travel to Montreal.
4. Travel somewhere by train.
5. Travel somewhere by myself, even if only for a day or weekend.
6. Visit Colorado both in the summer and the winter.
7. Go to the chocolate spa in Hershey.

8. Go to a Steelers away game.
9. Go to a Penguins away game. ~ Completed
10. Go to the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh. ~ Completed
11. See a baseball game at Camden Yards.
12. See a baseball game at Fenway Park.
13. See a baseball game at Wrigley Field.
14. Go to a hockey game at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
15. Go to a Pens/Caps game in DC.

16. See U2 in concert.
17. See Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden.

18. Volunteer at children’s hospital.
19. Pay for a stranger’s coffee.
20. Send a handwritten note or card to friends on a regular basis.
21. Sign up to be a bone marrow donor.
22. Make a list of family/friends’ birthdays and mail them cards.
23. Give up something for Lent.
24. Sign up to work with a charity on a regular basis.

25. Learn to knit and make a scarf (or hat or sweater!)
26. Learn how to make sushi at home. ~ Completed. My sister took me to a sushi class as a Christmas gift!
27. Learn how to play a new sport. ~ Completed. Got a tennis lesson on vacation!
28. Learn yoga and do it regularly.
29. Learn how to can and make homemade jam, pickles, etc.
30. Take a dance class.
31. Take a class on proper makeup application.

32. Read 1 new book a month.
33. Read new magazines the day I receive them; unsubscribe from the ones I don’t read.
34. Subscribe to the Sunday editions of the local newspaper and the New York Times.
35. Read a book trilogy/series.
36. Read 5 books on historical events.
37. Go to a book signing for an author/chef I love.

38. Complete the 365 day photo challenge.
39. Take a photography class.
40. Scan old photos and organize on hard drive/CDs.
41. Get a dSLR camera. ~ Completed

42. Get a cookbook proposal accepted for publishing.
43. Attend at least one food blogging conference.

44. Run a 5K.
45. Eliminate most processed foods from my diet.
46. Start going to the dentist for regular checkups.
47. Give up pop for at least 1 week.
48. Make a concerted effort to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
49. Get a massage once a month.
50. Get a facial four times per year.
51. Go to the doctor for an annual physical + baseline blood work.
52. Develop and maintain a good skin care routine.
53. Take a multivitamin every day.
54. Floss every day.

55. Spend a rainy/snowy day on the couch with a blanket, movies, snacks, and no Internet.
56. Attend the midnight premiere of a movie.
57. Go to a movie by myself.
58. Watch romantic classics I’ve never seen:
- Casablanca
- Gone With the Wind
- An Affair to Remember
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- The Graduate
- The Way We Were
59. Watch at least 30 of the “Best Picture” Oscar winners
60. Watch a movie outside in a park.
61. Watch a movie trilogy/series in succession all in one day.
62. Pick a television series I’ve never seen and watch from the beginning (a la Netflix)
63. Watch the entire “America the Story of Us” series from the History Channel

64. Plant a garden.
65. Attend a food and wine festival.
66. Host a holiday meal/party.
67. Go on a picnic.
68. Pick fresh fruit and then make a pie with it.
69. Eat an In n’ Out burger.
70. Try Indian food.
71. Take a tour of a brewery.
72. Join a CSA.
73. Drink a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake (I’ve never had one!).
74. Drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day.
75. Finally master making sfogliatelle (an Italian pastry).
76. Eat street food from a vendor or truck.

77. Buy a new laptop. ~ Completed (Bought a Toshiba Satellite, which I *LOVE*!)
78. Organize all of my music.
79. Finish transferring old home movies to DVD’s to give to my mom.
80. Get an external hard drive and back up all of my files, media, etc.

81. Start contributing regularly to a retirement fund.
82. Set up an appointment with a financial planner.
83. Set up separate savings accounts for short-term savings goals.

84. Do a 1,000+ piece jigsaw puzzle, seal it, and frame it.
85. Take my dog to a dog park at least once a week during the spring/summer/fall.
86. Go skiing again.
87. Do a crossword puzzle each day.
88. Take a horse and carriage ride in the winter.
89. Sit in a hot tub in the mountains.
90. Go to the Heinz History Museum.
91. Go to the Pittsburgh Zoo on an evening during the holidays.
92. Go on a bike ride.
93. Crochet at least 3 new afghans.
94. Ice skate outside sometime in December.
95. Walk through a corn maze.

96. Find a hairstylist I like that can give me a hair style I love. ~ Completed!
97. Clean out my closet and update my wardrobe
98. Buy a little red dress.

99. Start keeping a dream journal.
100. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years at age 40.

101. Learn to say no confidently and without apologies.

15 Responses to Day Zero

Tania December 1, 2010 at 9:02 am

This list is so inspiring that I think I will create one of my own! I could comment on so many of these goals, but I will stick with 6 & 89; Consider going to Ouray, CO. It is a tiny, tiny town nestled waaay up in the mountains but it is very interesting. The hot springs pool is fabulous, and the restraunts did not dissapoint. We stayed at the St. Elmo Hotel and it was a very beautiful place. If you DO go there, don’t miss the Bon Ton Restraunt. It is AMAZING! We went in April which is off-season so most of the little shops were closed but we didn’t feel like we missed out. The do have a website, so check it out if you get a chance!


Michelle December 1, 2010 at 9:14 am

Oooh Tania, thank you so much for the tip on Ouray and where to stay and where to eat. I will definitely check it out!


Erik December 1, 2010 at 9:47 am

Hi Michelle, just looking around the new site. I came across this list. I guess the first thing on my list would be to create a list like this. 101 items is really a lot to accomplish in 3 years. Good luck. As to the 365 day photo challenge – what is that, exactly? I love photography, been doing it since I was 10, I’m just curious what that is? Also, as to #101, I can tell you, as a person who struggled saying ‘No’ to people most of my life, when I finally learned how to do it, it was remarkably freeing. A wise person once told me “you are not responsible for other’s feelings or reactions”. That piece of information helped a lot. After struggling with the thought of people being angry or disappointed or potentially loosing a friend, I started exercising the ‘no’ muscle. It was really hard at first, feeling I had to apoloize to people for saying no. But I stood my ground. You know what, I’ve not lost a single friend or relation over saying no. In fact, I find myself so much more relaxed now, knowing that I can do it. Sure there are always those who try the guilt trip angle, but I just don’t buckle like I used to. It takes practice and time, but it’s so worth it. Now when people ask me for a favor, they tend to qualify their question with “if you’re available and interested” and I just tell them “ask me what you need, if I can’t do it, I’ll tell you, but I may be able to help”. It’s great. Good luck with the new blogs.


Michelle December 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Thank you Erik! A challenge for sure, but it was actually really fun to just go through the process of making the list.

The 365 day photo challenge is basically documenting a year of your life by taking a photo each day. Some people document it on their blogs, or join Flickr groups. Here is some background on it:

And lastly, thank you for sharing your experience about becoming better at saying no. I have no doubt it will be the most challenging thing to accomplish on my list!


Merry December 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I’ve enjoyed looking around your new site this morning! I love your lists, and am inspired to start my own as well…I had not heard of this type of list before, but am really digging it :) .

As I was perusing your list of things to do and books to read, it looked as though we have a lot of similar interests. Especially in the books – a lot on your lists are either my favorites or on my must-read list, too. Along that vein, I noticed that you have on the above list that you’d like to read five historical books…and I’d like to recommend one. I’m a high-school history teacher, and in addition to my profession, history is also a huge hobby of mine. This book is one of my favorites: Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle. It is about an African-American doctor in Detroit in the 1920s who is on trial for murdering a white man during some race riots that occured after he moved into a predominantly white neighborhood. Fascinating stuff. It is completely non-fiction, but reads like a novel.

Additional side note: I love your blog. I’ve used many of your recipes, and it is one of my go-to places whenever I’m looking for something particular or special :-) . Most recently I made your green bean casserole for my family Thanksgiving – it was a hit and I was amazed by how fantastic GBC could be.

All the best as you start this new endeavor – I look forward to it!


Michelle December 1, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Hi Merry, Thanks so much for the kind comment and for the book recommendation! And so happy you loved the green bean casserole!


ashley December 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm

what a great idea! I especially love number 49


Angela December 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I love, love, love Camden Yards. If you go there you should try to take the tour too. It is really good. I took it, and I have also taken the tour of Phillies , but Camden is so much better. I will go with you!! :-D I will also go to a Caps game with you too! :-D

I want to do a 365 photo a day thing in 2011, but it might not happen. We will see.

I love the Chronicles of Narnia series. Have read them a couple times. Much easier read then say, Lord of the Rings, But that is just my opinion.

Casablanca is so good!!!

One snow day I watched all the Star Wars movies 1-6. All day. Thats all I did.

I love your list. I might borrow a couple things from it to add to my bucket list.

Seriously though, I will go to Camden Yards with you. :-D But I am wearing Orange :-D


Michelle December 5, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I’m okay with orange, I don’t mind the Orioles ;-)


Julie December 19, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I absolutely love your site! I stumbled across it one day and have been hooked ever since. So fun to read and full of inspiration. Made so many of your recipes and always to rave reviews! One of the best is the Artichoke & Spinach Dip!!!!

So from a Canadian girl, if you make it to Montreal you have to try:
Poutine, Tourtiere (Christmas tradition in our house) and a Beaver Tail….
So many others but that is a good start!
Tons of great little cafes and patisseries and “Simons” is a great place to do some shopping!

Keep up the great work and Merry Christmas!


Jeff January 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm

60. shouldn’t be too hard. It’s been years since I moved, but they used to show movies in the spring and summer at Flagstaff Hill in Schenley park. I would think they still do.


Delishhh January 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

What a great list. Love this. I usually make 1 year and 5 year goals related to career, health and financial but i really like this idea. I like what you have put on here but i travel a lot and people always ask me where to go etc. and i tell them Thailand. I didn’t see Asia on here so i just wanted to mention it to you for maybe your next 3 year list post this one. You have to add Thailand on your list. It is one of my favorite countries in the whole world. The food, the people, the services, the shopping, the weather, the nature etc. etc. The list is sooo long. I have been to Thailand about 10 times, yes it is along trip but so worth it, if you like warm weather and Thai food it is paradise.


Connie January 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

this is quite the list :) after reading yours i feel inspired to start my own list as well, but being a full time student, im not sure how much of the list I will get done!
good luck! if this were my list, i think the hardest thing would be reading a new book each month, im the slowest reader ever!


Nancy January 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I know you got a cute haircut recently, and I’m not sure what side of town you live on, but if you still feel that 96 hasn’t been fulfilled yet, I recommend Melissa at the Trim Lounge in Monroeville – she always makes me feel AMAZING!

*Thanks for sharing your list! I love your blog!


Heather May 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Fantastic! I am going to make a list!


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