Seize the Day: Crossing off items from your list

Dave Freeman, co-author of “100 Things to Do Before You Die: Travel Events You Just Can’t Miss” passed away after a fall in his home this week. From the book:

“This life is a short journey. Make sure you fill it with the most fun and visit the coolest places on earth before you pack those bags for the very last time.”

According to Freeman’s family, he has been to at least half of the travel events listed in his book.

This story resonates with me because I have my own list of things to do and places to visit. However, I don’t really agree with ‘before you die’ as a deadline. First of all, the date itself is unknown. Secondly, most of us are under the false assumption that we will live to a ripe old age. Freeman himself was not so lucky, since he passed away at 47.

I prefer a more set deadline for intermediate personal and travel goals. Right now, my list is based on the “1001 Day Project“, where people list 101 goals they want to accomplish within 1001 days. This allows me to have a more concrete date to accomplish my travel goals, since my deadline is on May 3, 2011. Knowing the date will allow me to plan better and to ensure that I make a little progress every day.

To ensure that we accomplish the travel goals on our list, we can write down the steps we need to take to get each item crossed out. Do you need to renew your passport? How much money do you need to save? Is there some training required for the activities you want to participate in? Once we know the steps we need to take, we can review the list monthly to see how close we are to crossing each item off.

I also have a ‘penalty’ included in my list. I have to donate $10 to charity for each item I don’t complete by the deadline. If that’s too easy for you, some people recommend writing a public contract on your blog stating that if you don’t fulfill your goals, you’ll have to give a certain amount of money to a person or cause you don’t like.  It may be harsh, but it works for some people.

Freeman was right – life is a short journey. But, if we live deliberately, we can make each step of that journey count.

What travel goals are on your list? What steps are you taking to accomplish them?

Posted by | Comments (2)  | August 28, 2008
Category: General

2 Responses to “Seize the Day: Crossing off items from your list”

  1. malia Says:

    my friends and i have started a “30 things to do before i turn 30” list – although i’m sure you can figure out something similar for any age. i actually started it the year i turned 25 and i’ve got two years to go, with more than half completed already. most of my goals were travel related, and many have been crossed of this year on my RTW trip! we all keep our lists posted on personal blogs and update them whenever we cross something off. it motivates me to revisit my list whenever a friend reposts her latest update. my next travel related goal is to visit buenos aires…. maybe next year. =)

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