Opinion

Lists of 100

Last week, a friend and I shared 2020 goals, intentions and plans to cultivate new habits. We talked over afternoon coffee, and she mentioned Laura Vanderkam’s List of 100 Dreams. Laura encourages creating a list blending bucket list items (travel to France, hire a personal chef) and achievable to-dos (get a better headshot, have a swimsuit she likes). 

I shared that I know about “Lists of 100” from my mother, not from Laura Vanderkam. As a therapist, my mom taught me this tool as a journaling technique. Journaling provides insights into what’s on your mind that you might not even know about. Lists-as-a-strategy is an organized way to see what’s floating around in your mind.

Besides dreams, there are so many things that can fuel a List of 100…. fears, things that are annoying, wishes, books to read, gratitudes, topics to write about, people in your network, ideas you think are interesting. You could list 100 questions you wish you knew the answer to, ways to earn money, or things you’re good at.

The trick is not to create a punch list, but to sit down and write out your lists of 100 without stopping until you get to 100 items. Number the paper first and then just write until you reach the end. Repeat yourself, don’t edit and keep going. For more details, check out Tackle Any Issue with a List of 100 – and read to the end for 100 ideas for a List of 100.

The magic comes once the list is done! Review your list for themes, repeats and line items revealing themselves as important. Reflection on the list is equally important as creating the list and crossing things off the list. Get a pen and paper, and start writing!

Lists to get you started:
1. 100 Things I Appreciate
2. 100 Ideas To Learn More About

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