Resolutions and realisations – reviewing my 101 things in 1001 days, and my future plans.

The start of the calendar year is so often set up for failure. All these resolutions that are made, often with the best of intentions, only to fall by the wayside usually within a week, let alone a month. I won’t deny that in the past, I’ve been just as guilty of this as the next man or woman, and that’s why I don’t generally go with Resolutions at New Years. The other reason, is that if something is important enough for me to resolve to do, then I don’t need a special date to do it. I’ll do it because I want to do it.

A while ago I started a project – 101 things in 1001 days. It’s not something that’s been forgotten, but it has fallen out of my top priorities, as other things have cropped up. However, my realisation last week was that it doesn’t matter to me if I achieved them all within the time frame or not. It’s the fact that I’ve tried, and done some cool stuff! Being able to achieve them all would have been a huge bonus, but completely unrealistic. I’d need to be not working and have a steady income at the same time, to have the time alone to do them all, let alone everything else, but the act was symbolic. It’s the halfway point of this pretty much, so it’s time to see what I *have* achieved so far, as well as look at what could be achieved in the remaining time, but time is my enemy with this, as it’s the thing I lack most of now.

Working a 9-5 job, and then Tutoring 3.5 nights a week on TOP of that leaves me lacking in the free time department. But, I don’t want to just have to veg from apathy and because it’s easy when I have time, so this will allow me to plan other stuff. I might even amend a couple of things to make them a little more accessible to do….

My resolution for this year – if I have to have one is actually pretty simple. ‘Carry out 10% of the ideas I have.’ I have a LOT of ideas – but this may well be achievable, and fits me well. It is spontaneous enough to be fun, not rigid in execution, and gives me an excuse to be crazy, creative, compassionate, cogitate, and twenty more adjectives that may or may not begin with the letter C! It covers things as simple as helping friends out, to starting new projects, improving something, planning things, but basically making the most of the crazy brain I’ve been given. Make Good Art, as my birthday buddy Mr Gaiman once said so wisely…

So here goes the review – you might want to grab a coffee, or tea before you start – as it’s not the shortest thing in the world!! I’ll try and add my comments to the list in another colour.

1. Try Yoga – something I’ve been told to do and never gotten around to doing. Success will be 6 completed sessions.

2. Try Ta’i Chi /Qi Gong – done some martial arts, but could do with something different – and this has other aspects to it too. Success will be 6 completed sessions.

3. The Three Peaks Challenge – I think that realistically doing it in 24 hours might be pushing it, if only because of the distance between them all, but I would aim to do them all in fairly close proximity timewise.

4. Grow Vegetables – wanted to do this for ages, and done herbs, but want to do veg. Even if it means boxes indoors, due to not having a garded. Success here is 3 types of Veg grown. I did actually attempt this – but the caterpillars got to it before I could harvest. Might have another go if I can borrow a patch of garden from somewhere.

5. A Proper mountain climb – not a hill, but a mountain. Currently thinking Snowdon or Ben Nevis. Could also be abroad, but there will be a minimum height ascent. And just to make it harder – it can’t be combined with any other challenge.

6. Take a short course in a holistic/complimentary therapy – given my prowess at massage, I think it would be cool to be able to combine it with something else.

7. Complete a NaNoWriMo – 50,000 words, 31 days. 1620 words per day. I’ll get three strikes at this one, because of when in the year I start my countdown. Will require discipline and ideas, and planning!

8. Quayside to Coast along the river – pretty self explanatory. Walk along the river Tyne from the Quayside, to the coast. It’s not a long walk, or particularly difficult one, but it’s one that I haven’t managed to do yet in the last 4 years.
Given that it’s proximally difficult to achieve this one, I’m going to sub in FoxHouse to Hathersage – it’s about the same distance and follows the river!

9. Go Sailing – living near the sea, it’s something I’ve looked at especially on a nice day and gone “that would be cool…” so I should go do it!

10. Walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall – 84 miles/135 km, has all the info needed. Hoping to have a walking partner for this. Any Volunteers? xD

11. Antonine Wall – Shorter than Hadrian’s Wall at 37 miles/59.6km, it’s not as easy to follow, as some areas are not walkable across, so this will take more planning, although probably 3 days to do. is my starting point for that.

12. Watch an ice hockey match that *doesn’t* involve the Steelers! – seen a fair bit of Ice Hockey, but always Steelers/BHSL. Success is going to a live game that has nothing to do with them! Or now, I’m back, actually going to the Ice hockey a couple of times!

On to the Creative ones now….

13. Write three new songs that *I* think are OK. – This one is as much about me learning to see the good bits of what I do as much as it is getting on with it! On average… I tend to like one in 5 songs I write, so this should mean I write at least another album’s worth of material just for this challenge…. One down on this, two to go… officially in progress!

14. Make/modify an entire outfit – There are *those jeans* I once modded out, and loved, and tops that I’ve tweaked in the past, but have never done an outfit. So that’s the challenge. Success will be three items plus making up an outfit, all of which must have had some major modifications done.

15. Two pieces of art a month for three months. – I’m pretty sporadic when it comes to me and art – and I’ll do four or five things in two weeks, in one medium and then nothing for months, so the challenge here is to vary and be consistent. Success will be 6 finished pieces of art (must be drawn/painted/made) at a rate of 2 a month.

16. Something creative each month for a year. – Not hugely dissimilar to the above, but this is a little more varied in what counts. Not allowed to use stuff going into other goals though. I’d like to try and do this

17. Take five photos *I* like each month for three months- Mostly to get me out with my camera, again, I usually only really like the odd photo that I take, so this isn’t necessarily a quantity thing. More about getting myself into situations to take that picture. This should be doable actually, I just need to think about it. Might have done it already!

18. Finish one of my books. – I have two books I started writing. Hopefully at least one of them will see the light of day!

19. Spend £0 on gifts for a year, but make sure that everyone gets something- ie. get creative! This one in order to quantify, by everyone, I refer to my “uber group” on Failbook – which is made up of people I tend to see often, and are good friends. This will require planning, as well as knowing when people’s birthday’s are! Also means I’ll use some of my stash up.

20. Carve/whittle wood. – just something that I’ve always wanted to try my hand at.

21. Make a music video for one of my songs. – I think this could be fun, as well as a useful project. Not allowed to use a professional here. Help from friends allowed though.

22. A tree in all seasons (Photography study)- photograph a tree for a year. I want to say every week here, and then I can make a cool time-lapse video… This, I think I’ve found the tree to use – I now just need to decide whether to do on specific days or so many times a week…

23. 4 seasons challenge. – Each season I do a bunch of stuff. Minimum 1 piece of art, three photos, and a written thing for each one. Not allowed to use stuff being used for something else.

24. Do something with clay – quite liked working with clay, but haven’t touched it since secondary school.

25. Photo blog for one month – one photo each day, with an explanation of why I took that photo at that time. No using old photos. More about keeping my head out of the clouds and up from the ground and seeing things that are about and around me.

Food related…

26. Learn a new dish from a different country every month for a year, and cook it for someone. – so more than just learning it, it’s making it and passing it on…

27. Make Sloe Gin – find sloes, pick them, get gin, and bottle it up… Should be yummy! Will try sand do this this year!

28. Totally home made lasagne – from scratch. Pasta, ragu, bechamel. I DID THIS!!! (will trawl fb for the date, but it was november december 2013)

29. Buy no bread products for three months. – self explanatory. If I want anything bread related I need to make it.

30. Learn how to make pretzels – I like pretzels, would be cool to be able to make my own!

31. Brew mead – wine is overrated, and over done, as is beer. Mead however holds a LOT of possibilities. 😀 It’s getting to the point where I can do this.

32. Make my own chutneys – done this a couple of times, given it away and got rave reviews, so I should probably do it more and experiment. I’m going to call this half done. I didn’t make chutney, but I made Danish Picked Red Cabbage, and am planning to make similar other stuff, so, I think another batch of something different will call this success! I might still make chutney too, but we’ll see!

Onto fun things…

33. Build a sandcastle – a big one! – and give proof. Trip to the beach on the plans then!

34. Build a snowman/igloo – something else I’ve never done, but challenge accepted. 😀 Give me snow and a snow day!

35. Have a proper holiday – Something I’ve not done in a very very long time. Either taken other people or been doing other stuff at the same time.Achieved September 2013 – I went to Denmark!

36. Ride a motorcycle/trike

37. Duct Tape Catamaran – Saw them build a boat on Mythbusters, I like the idea of a catamaran.

38. Plan and execute a birthday thing with at least ten people attending/taking part. Trying to be more social, and do stuff
Achieved Nov 2013. Had a nice dinner for birthday, and even though it was 6 people short due to broken cars and stuff, there were enough people!

A couple of gamer ones… and Language ones too.

39. GM a campaign. Played in enough, and the AFAMBE one I started was going well until things all went south for other reasons.

40. Learn WH Fantasy. Got a dark elf army, really should use it. Actually I’m getting rid of my Warhammer stuff…

41. Learn Necromunda. Said I’d do this ages, ago and never got round to it… see above

42. Brush up my German – get back to being at least decent conversational. Regret letting it drop! Slowly getting on with this…

43. Learn Spanish

44. Learn another language – not sure which yet… any suggestions? xD I have started learning Danish! The hard part will be the speaking, but actually, I’m finding the reading pretty OK… so far.

Time for some musical ones…

45. Learn piano to grade 4 standard – be nice to be able to accompany myself.

46. Sing on some electronica/dance as session vocalist.

47. backing sing for someone

48. do half an hours rhythm practice on guitar every day for a month

49. Learn a song properly on the guitar, riff, chords and solo

50. Do an AOR gig on Vox

51. Learn a new instrument

52. Write some instrumental stuff – something different to my usual fayre.

53. Write a jingle/intro – this one is inspired by a friend, and there’s a specific purpose in mind, but it’s a good challenge, so it’s on the list!

Random things… after all, I am a random person!

54. Ride a horse. Not gonna lie, horses intimidate me. Probably the only relatively domestic animal which scares me a bit… so this one is as much a fear facing one as learning something new! There is scope for this this year… so maybe…

55. Catch it, kill it, cook it, eat it. Several different animals could fit the bill for this one!

56. Go to a spa day – i’m partly interested in what you would actually *do* at one of them… and to see whether I could actually do it myself… Not really one for slowing down and taking it easy!

57. Spend time in a flotation tank – something that I have always fancied doing, enforced nothingness.

58. Plan an event from start to finish.

59. Decorate somewhere – my house, someone elses, don’t care!

60. Be TOTALLY spontaneous for a week, say yes to everything where practically possible.

61. Make a song calendar (one song for each month. Doesn’t have to have the month in it, but why it’s that one) This is doable. I should just get on with it!

62. complete three singsnap challenges in a year. (usually manage one, so get on with it!)

63. £5 into a pot each payday for every successfully completed goal. (money to either celebrate with or put towards future tasks. )

64. Learn to knit (believe it or not, I can’t! I can do the standard stitch if someone else casts on for me, but can’t do that myself!)

65. Firebreathe – just for the hell of it – would be cool to do. Am sure I can find someone who knows someone who can teach me.

66. Send at least one handwritten letter per month for a year. Each letter to be to different people!

67. Get my tattoo. It’s taken me ten years to decide on what I want, and it’s not massive, so just getting round to it… and deciding where!

Some Self Improvement ones now,

68. Eat breakfast every day for a month. I’ve been known to struggle with breakfast, so hopefully this one will set a pattern that will stick. I achieved this one!

69. Walk at least 2 miles a day on top of my daily normal for a month. – extra exercise – may change this to jog a mile a day dependent on when I start it.

70. Be skinnier again! (have got a target amount I want to lose, but don’t want to post it… )

71. Lose 50% of the weight I want to lose.

72. Start going to the gym again – success will be at least three times a week for three months. I joined the gym, but have quit, not because of anything other than tutoring makes it impossible to go. I am however going to start swimming again, so this will replace!

73. RUN! – I used to be a pretty good cross country runner, til I knackered my knees and ankles, and then got fat. Not so fussed about the x-country again, but would be nice to be able to run a decent distance again.

74. Sort out my store cupboard and plan seasonal menus – better for my vitamins and minerals, better for my wallet, and my brain! This is kind of on the go!

75. Study for pleasure – psychology? Have an interest, and got some books on the subject. So looking at either a distance learning thing, or possibly even a GCSE/A Level if i have the money to pay for the exam. I’m actually starting a Forensic Science course next week, so this may well be deleted in a couple of months!

76. Relearn BSL level 1 – my primary school had a unit for the deaf attatched to it, so it was mandatory to learn sign language. Forgotten a lot, but it would be good to relearn it.

77. Declutter. Get rid of everything I don’t want, and some stuff I don’t need. Ebay, Shops, bins…. however!

78. Get and use an exercise bike every day for 3 months. (or a real one should I be in a location I can store it!) Success will be ten km cycled everyday for a month)

79 Not bite my nails for 90 days -Ironically, just as this starts, I’ve got nails for the first time in a very long time… so this will probably be one of the first to be attempted. This was achieved.

80. Invent and follow a daily ritual every day for 2 months – not a day plan, just something I should do, every day.


81. Hold a cocktail party – just think this would be rather cool… a just for the hell of it, we dress up nice, and make cocktails.

82. See a film in IMAX – having seen the trailer for Iron Man III today, I am quite tempted to make that it. Although there’s also The Hobbit coming out, which could well be awesome!

83. Watch and photograph the Aurora. – Obviously, heading north gives me more chance for this one, but it’s possible to do from Shields too, although I would LOVE to be able to see it clearly and with a lot less light pollution, and I’m a lot better situated than most here!

84. Go somewhere new (on a day trip) every month for a year – exploration and travel. Doesn’t have to be really far away, but somewhere I’ve not been before.

85. Go to Lindesfarne – haven’t done this yet. Will be a two day job I think, but will be worth doing.

86. Go skiing. Something I’ve never done, and am interested by the prospect. Might allow snowboarding to count for this too… will need to find somewhere with snow to go!

87. Visit eastern Europe – been to Slovenia, but would love to see Croatia, or Poland so somewhere eastern is on the list!

88. Camp/backpack through Scotland- not a hiking job necessarily, as that would take longer than my holidays, but definitely involving walking, but want to go to the far north there – maybe get to the Orkneys?

89. Go to Wales – snowdonia – see if Cadvan’s Way actually exists! Cadvan’s way is a path in one of my favourite every books – The Dark is Rising Sequence, and the author uses a lot of British/Celtic folklore and mythology through the story, and she said a lot of places are based on real locations.

90. Visit Cornwall – lot of folklore and mythology – and arthurian legend from that way. Be cool to go see some of the places I’ve read about!

91. Take the sleeper train from London to Fort William. Long journey, and could get on further north, but I think if I’m going to do it, I do it properly. 😀

92. Visit the lake district and hike a couple of hills – never been to the lakes, so it’s on the list!

93. Go to a festival. Somewhere. UK or abroad… never been to a music festival, despite some rather amazing gigs in my time, so would be silly not to! One of the Scandinavian ones, perhaps, or Sonisphere, High Voltage, or if I had the cash Rock in Rio!

94. Go back to Germany – specifically this time Berlin – as I haven’t actually been there. Already kinda told someone they’re helping me out on this one!

95. Visit Northern Europe – Whether it’s the Fjords, the Faroe Isles, the home of Fairy Tales, or just seeing the Northern Lights,(couldn’t alliterate that with an ‘F word!’ they’d all be things I’d love to do…. Achieved! Went to Denmark

96. The northumbrian Coastal Walk. 64 miles/100km of walking down the coast from the top to the bottom of northumbria. I have the book and guide to do it, I bought it three years ago, but haven’t done it yet.

97. Travel in a hot air balloon – would be something very different, and a totally different perspective on things!

98. Do the Sheffield Round Walk, in Full, IN THE DARK. – This used to be a charity walk, but I’m thinking tackle it with headlamp and do it properly! (Partly inspired by the fact that this nearly happened last weekend… )

99. Falconry/Birds of Prey – I’ve held an owl before, which was quite an experience for me, so would like to do some more along those lines.

100. Compile a new 101 things…. list – BUT 40% of the things must be other people’s suggestions! (at least) so bigger challenges or just more random stuff, dependent on how mean people are! 😉

101 Hold a party to signify completion of the list, and also the unveiling of the second list! Cheesy, but I think worthwhile, after all, if I can do *all* of this in the alloted time, I’ll have done a heck of a lot!



So, 6 things fully achieved, but a good few in progress. and a few more things outside of this to get on with too…


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