101 in 1001 Check-In + Thoughts on Changing Goals

Chicago lifestyle and wellness blogger Bows & Sequins writing in a journal in her bedroom.

The strangest thing happened a few weeks back… I was flipping through one of my notebooks and I found the hard copy list of my 101 in 1001 list that I started writing from a little cafe in Paris back in 2016. I later finished the list and published it on the blog about a year later, in late 2017. And to be honest, I haven’t really thought about it again since then. The last few years have been a bit of a whirlwind for me… And if you’ve listened to the first few episodes of my podcast, you know what I’m talking about.

If you’re not familiar with “101 in 1001,” my friend Mackenzie coined this idea of accomplishing 101 things in 1001 days, or just under three years. (2.75 if we’re being exact.)

So when I found that original list in my notebook this past weekend, I was intrigued and pulled up the blog post I wrote, wondering how much progress I’ve made, how much time I had left to accomplish these goals, etc. And wouldn’t you know it, it was two days before the exact halfway mark of my 1001 days.

But as I was looking through these goals I wrote back in 2016 and 2017, I legitimately started laughing. Firstly, because I’ve barely crossed anything off. And secondly because I found myself thinking, “But I don’t even want to accomplish a lot of this in the next year and a half…” 😂

FYI: You can reference my original list here, I’ve updated it with the things I’ve actually done!

Chicago wellness blogger Bows & Sequins sharing tips for setting goals and journaling.

It’s funny how things change, isn’t it? I then remembered, “Wait, didn’t Mackenzie write a post about updating her goals?!” She did, and you can read that here. And that made me feel better about needing to update my list, too!

I felt like this would be a good opportunity to talk about changing our goals, setting attainable goals, etc. And I’m also sharing my updated 101 in 1001 list with you, that better reflects me and the place that I’m in now!

When I read back through my 101 list, my first thought was to just forget the whole damn thing. Why bother?? I felt like I was reading a list of goals written for me by someone else. Like, sure, I’d love to do these things at some point, but ain’t no way in hell some of that is happening in the next 500 days. Ya feel me? (You should see the things on my ‘personal’ list 😂🙄🙈 … Like, I’m over here just trying to pay my rent and apparently 2016/2017 Jess thought that I would be a self-made millionaire by 2020. Love the enthusiasm, J Sturdz, but that’s just not exactly realistic right now.)

And for a lot of other things, my priorities have just shifted entirely. I’ve mentioned this on both the blog and the podcast, but I just feel a bit “traveled out.” I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to be able to visit so many incredible places over the last five or six years and I know that there will be a time when international travel lights me up again, but to be honest, that’s not right now. What currently lights me up is waking up in my bed at home, having morning and evening routines, getting to spend time with my friends in Chicago, having ‘normal’ workdays and work weeks where I feel productive, growing my business(es), making time for self-care, going to therapy, getting enough sleep, reading, journaling, exercising, walking along the lake, writing, exploring my own city and finding new spots I love in Chicago, and many more seemingly boring things.

I know that this current season of my life won’t last forever, so for now, I’m embracing it. So rather than scrapping my whole list all together, I figured I’d just honor what I’ve already completed, and shift the other goals to more fit me and my lifestyle right now.

And now, my updated 101 in 1001 list!

Halfway: 3-24-19
End: 8-5-20

Travel (5/11)

1. Renew my passport (June 2018)
2. Go on a ‘big trip’ when I’m ready to explore again — South of France, Ibiza, or Greece?!
3. Australia (February 2018)
4. Japan in the Spring (April 2018)
5. Charleston — Can you believe I’ve *never* been?
6. Go back to Italy (July 2018)
7. Napa or Sonoma again (Went MDW & again in October!)
8. Visit Caneel Bay again! — One of my favorite warm-weather trips to date, dying to go back!
9. Coachella again – ticket has been purchased! (April 2018)
10. Go somewhere solo for my 30th birthday!
11. Make plans to visit Australia again.

Blog & Business (3/19)

1. Operation: Inbox Zero. Email is, admittedly, my biggest downfall as a business owner. I need to figure out how to conquer the beast once and for all. I’m getting a lot better, but have a ways to go!
2. Launch something new. Not sure what exactly this one looks like yet, but I have a few ideas swirling around. (Podcast!)
3. Organize my hard drives.
4. Organize my Dropbox folders (Sometime in 2018)
5. Clear out my camera roll on my phone and organize the photos (needs to happen immediately…)
6. Revamp my blog’s design.
7. Redesign my Travel Guide page.
8. Finally get into Freshbooks instead of doing everything manually (Sometime in 2018)
9. Do a TV segment.
10. Film a hair tutorial.
11. Film my makeup routine. (I did this on IG Live, but need to do it for YouTube or IG TV!)
12. Write a book! — I doubt I’d be able to have it published by the end of this timeframe, but I’d like to have the wheels in motion.
13. Launch the non-profit we’ve been working on.
14. Have a reader/listener meet-up in Chicago! — I feel like summer is a hard time for people with travel, so maybe in the fall?!
15. Expand my styling business.
16. Launch AFTR website.
17. Plan a work week in New York for meetings, to record, etc.
18. Same for LA!
19. Hit 75 Podcast Episodes

Personal (3/22)

1. Enroll in a Spanish class in Chicago to keep up with my skills from LatAm.
2. Enroll in French again.
3. Join a volunteer program… I’ve been looking into Big Brothers Big Sisters, but would love if you have any other suggestions in Chicago!
4. Find a charity to get involved with, too.
5. Take up horseback riding again — Start by taking a single lesson!
6. Go on some sort of a wellness retreat.
7. Do a float tank.
8. Laser Hair Removal
9. Try acupuncture.
10. Do allergy testing.
11. Hire a personal trainer.
12. Try cryotherapy. (October 2019)
13. Try an infrared sauna (December 2017)
14. *Honestly* feel 100% confident in a bikini. (May 2019)
15. Plan an epic 31st birthday party. This will be my “golden birthday” and it seems so much more unique than a 30th birthday celebration. Plus, something to look forward to if I’m being weird about turning another year older. (I never used to be weird about getting older, but something about pushing 30 and still feeling like a teenager is slightly terrifying.)
16. Find a dentist in Chicago. (Going next week!)
17. Find a new doctor in Chicago.
18. Find a hair salon in Chicago (February 2019)
19. Get a gate analysis and expertly fitted for new running shoes.
20. Do RTT again.
21. Go on five dates. — Really aiming high here, haha, but I’m just not in the mood to start dating again yet. 😂
22. Get trained in TM and practice 2x daily for one month.

Home (2/4)

1. Print and frame at least one of my own travel photos.
2. Figure out what I’m doing with my living situation… (Welp, moved once, but need to move again…)
3. Get my desk area organized once and for all (January 2019)
4. Get a storage unit once one opens up in my building (April 2018)

Just for Fun (5/22)

1. Get a lemon tree.
2. Go bowling (a few times…)
3. Play mini golf.
4. Take a tennis lesson.
5. Take golf lessons… Haven’t touched my old clubs for at least a decade, pretty sure my parents have gotten rid of them by now.
6. Go ice skating.
7. Go to a show at Second City (November 2017)
8. Go to another comedy show. (May 2019)
9. Send 5 “just because” gifts.
10. Leave a 100% tip for great service.
11. Buy a table of strangers dinner anonymously.
12. Take another surf lesson (Lima, Peru, September 2018)
13. Re-read the Harry Potter series.
14. Go skiing again… It’s been a few years now! (Steamboat; December 2018)
15. Read 10 books (excluding HP!)
16. 5 must be non self-help books.
17. Treat myself to a full spa day… Massage, facial, the works.
18. Take a Tracy Anderson class.
19. Take Hollyn (my niece) on a girls trip.
20. Find my ‘daybooks’ we had to keep in AP English Senior Year of HS.
21. Learn how to drive a stick again (haven’t tried since I learned when I was 15…)
22. Get rid of 100 things (Spring & Summer 2018)

Confidential, Financial, or Extra Personal (1/23)

I’ve got these on a list of my own!

How do you go about setting goals? Would love to hear any of your tips, tricks, ideas, etc.

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Leave a Comment


  1. 4.3.19
    Sonya said:

    I loved the post, I’m a new regular reader of yours and I like your podcast. I’m also a Chicago girl. One of my goals is getting back to Spanish classes too. It would be so fun if you did a reader/listener meetup! I also am interested to hear about the nonprofit you’re starting – my full time career has always been in nonprofits. Keep doing what you’re doing! I enjoy your writing and your podcast.

  2. 4.4.19
    Rena said:

    Oh, I see you reached already a lot! Have further many success in reaching your goals.
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  3. 4.5.19
    Meg said:

    I love your updated list! I’m in the process of putting together my second 101 list. My first one was only semi successful! Hoping for better luck this time around!

  4. 4.7.19

    I need to try the Pomodoro method!
    Very interesting post.

  5. 1.4.20
    Cynthia said:

    Get rid of 100 things- I love that one!