Creating Your Own “Day Zero Project” – And Why You Should!

There are many ways in life you can go about pushing yourself and your boundaries, finding new challenges and improving yourself. There are the always favorite annual goals, along with monthly goals and sometimes even weekly goals! There are bucket lists and “30 before 30” and the list goes on. None of these seem to quite do what the Day Zero Project does.

This project allows you plenty of time to achieve some pretty big goals (1,001 days), enough items on the list that you can feel okay including some small and/or silly items (101 things) and finishes soon enough that it doesn’t seem ridiculously far off (again, 1,001 days). All of these things combine together to form one of the most fun and challenging projects I have ever tried!

Those of you who have been with me for a while know how much I love lists and setting goals. But as you saw in this recent post, 6 months ago I decided to try setting goals in a bit of a different way!Creating a Day Zero Project

101 Things in 1,001 Days. It seemed like both a lot and not very much at all when I got started making my list. But even making the list was a challenge! So now I would like to take you through why I think you should do a Day Zero Project yourself and how I created mine!

Why I Think You Should Try Completing a Day Zero Project

  1. Push your boundaries.
  2. Makes you think about what you want in your life to look like over the next 2.8 years (and beyond!)
  3. You have long enough to choose some major goals.
  4. But not so long that you can’t see the “end” of the project.
  5. Enough items on your list that you can pick some silly or less serious items.
  6. Gives you an extra push to work on projects you have been putting off.
  7. 101 Things really pushes you to think outside the box – It’s harder than you may think to think of that many items.
  8. It can be the excuse you need to do those things you keep putting off for a later date!
  9. Increases your motivation.
  10. It’s fun!

Why 1,001 Days Instead of a Bucket List or Annual Goals

So why this instead of just your normal yearly goals? I definitely set goals for 2016, and I am working towards them. And they are related to a few things on my Day Zero list. However, I like that I can put silly things on my Day Zero list that I would NEVER put as a year goal (build a snowman anyone?). Also, there are things that I put on my Day Zero list that would be really overwhelming to try to accomplish this year. It’s just not in the cards right now.

Ok, so why not a bucket list then, if it’s out to make them yearly goals? Personally, while I like the idea of a bucket list, for the most part I don’t think they are helpful in actually getting you to accomplish anything. It’s too big, too open-ended for me. The idea of things I want to accomplish in my lifetime is interesting, but I’m not going to be actively thinking about and working towards those things on a daily or weekly basis. They aren’t always going to be on my mind. My Day Zero list is pretty much always there in the back of my mind, and I am regularly thinking of activities I would like to do that are on that list!

Getting Started

Keep it Possible

To even start working on your project, you have to have your list of 101 things. It doesn’t sound like a huge thing, right? We all have things we want to do, so thinking of 101 should be easy! And yes, I could have easily filled the list with all the incredible, out there things I want to do someday. But that’s not the point of the project for me. The point is to push myself, to try new things, to create improvements in my life. It’s not to create a list that is impossible to complete in 1,001 days.

So while I was working on my list, I kept that in mind. Travel the world?

San Ildefonso in Peru - amazing place, not reasonable for me in the next couple years
San Ildefonso in Peru

Probably not reasonable. Take a weekend trip out of state? A lot more likely, but still pushes me! (If you don’t understand why this is a push, I haven’t been on an actual vacation in YEARS, even for a weekend)

Waterfalls in Portland a few years ago
Waterfalls in Portland a few years ago

If you travel a lot and it’s totally possible that you could travel to 10 different countries and you want to do that, put it on there! Your reasonable and possible is not the same as mine!

My point is, I want to actually have the chance that I could finish every single item on this list, if I try hard enough.

Push Your Boundaries

The other thing I had to push not to do was to censor myself. This was more difficult than I originally thought it would be. Some items I listed I initially resisted putting down….some because I thought they were too silly and didn’t belong on a goals list (hello there snowman) and others because they scared me to put out there in the world. Or even admit them to myself that they were goals I have. Other items seemed selfish to put down, or, and this was a big one for me, a waste of money.

Day Zero on a Budget

I have a hard time spending money on things that are not essential. I am better about it than I used to be, but it is still a struggle. And I’m not talking about irresponsibly blowing money…I’m talking about any money at all. So some of the items on my list are specifically activities that I have wanted to do for years but haven’t been able to justify to myself, like going to the opera or a play.

That being said, I don’t want you to think that you can’t do a Day Zero Project on a budget! I tried to pick a variety of items and costs, but notice that a decent amount of my items are free or very cheap! While I do hope to better my finances over the next 2 years, I didn’t want all of my items to require that to be completed. My suggestion would be to keep your list within your planned capabilities, whatever that may be. Again, I would not put travel the world on mine, because there is really no way I could afford that in the next 2 years!

One of my favorite pictures from one of my free items on my Day Zero Project - A year-long, once-a-month photo project at Ada Hayden Park
One of my favorite pictures from one of my free items on my Day Zero Project – A year-long, once-a-month photo project at Ada Hayden Park

Take Your Time

The last thing I want to point out is to make sure to take your time while making your list. I took around 2 weeks to make mine! That might seem like a lot of time, but along with all the stuff I talked about above, I really wanted to put thought into the items I listed. I wanted them to be things I really want, things that matter to me (yes, even the snowman). So I kept a running list on my phone and added to it as I thought of them. Don’t feel as though you have to get the whole list done at once!DailyEssentials


So now you have your Day Zero list and can start! I don’t have a huge amount of tips for this, as I’m still working through my own list. One thing I would say is to keep a copy of your list somewhere on hand. I actually have a couple different copies! One on my computer, one of my phone and one in a journal that is dedicated for the project! Each item on the list has a space within the journal for me to take notes, make plans and write my progress out. Now, you don’t have to do all these, or even any of these, they are just what works for me! But I would keep a copy somewhere easy for you to access when you are out and about so you can keep working towards the items on there!

Lastly, make sure you calculate your end date and write it down with your list! There have been a few times I have had to check mine to figure out when I HAVE to start an item by to complete it in time.

I really hope you think about creating your own Day Zero list, if you haven’t already!


Already doing your own Day Zero Project? I would love to check it out! Leave a link to your list in the comments below and I will include it in my next update!


Friday Favs: The Links I Love – April 15, 2016

happy dog, rottweiler, outside, love
My favorite picture from the week! I love the weather finally warming up and that happy puppy smile 🙂

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so happy to be back with you all after my small, unplanned hiatus from posting this week! (Next week we will be back to our normal schedule and I have a couples posts I can’t wait for you to see 🙂 ) I don’t know about you, but I am so happy it’s Friday. This week has been a whirlwind of meetings, working on projects and really doing some hard thinking about where I want this blog and my business to go over in the future. There is still a lot of work to do in that area, and even more soul searching, but I’m really happy with what I’m working towards so far! But more on that later. Right now I’m just really excited to be sharing this week’s links I love with you! I found some really neat ones this week, including some from new-to-me blogs!



Classic Croque-Madame from A Cup of Jo

Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse from Gimme Some Oven

20 Minute Company Chicken from Iowa Girl Eats

Green Bean Fries from The Lean Green Bean

Home and Decor

Part 1: Come Hang Out in Our Home from The Skinny Confidential – I just have to say “Wow!” and that is really all that’s needed 🙂 This home is amazing. I love the artwork and how light it is!

5 Dreamy Tips for an Inspiring Home Office from Daily Dream Decor – Oh how I wish my home office looked like these….Someday!

Putting Up a New Gallery Wall from Love Taza – This gallery wall is gorgeous! And I had never heard of the framing company they used. I am excited to check them out for one of our own projects!

Family and Life

4 Books to Help You Create a Positive and Healthy Lifestyle from A Yellow Brick Blog – I love when I can find new books to check out! I hadn’t heard of any of these before now and I can’t wait to take a look at them! I especially like the sounds of “The Feelgood Plan”

Update on my 101 in 1001 List from Design Darling – As you saw in my post last week, I love these lists! Seeing someone else working towards theirs (and not their first one either!) plus all the links at the bottom to others doing the same is just awesome to see!

10 Unbelievably Photogenic US National Parks to Explore from A Globe Well Traveled – I can’t wait until I can visit these! I love travel, but haven’t gotten to do much of it lately. And I love being out in nature and in parks, so these are perfect!

Fitness and Wellness

Weighted Core Workout from Pumps and Iron – This looks like a great (and fun!) core workout! And as Nicole states, strengthening your core is so important!

Tuesday Ten: Tips for Managing Stress from Lauren Conrad – Stress can be overwhelming and I love this list! We all need reminders sometimes to take a time out and relax 🙂

Blogging and Business

How to Take Photos of Your Hands for Instagram from Fall For DIY –  Great tutorial! I used to have (still have?) a little bendy tripod like that but never got around to getting the mount for my phone. I might have to look into that now!

What Bloggers Wish You Knew About Blogging from The Private Life of a Girl – While I’m still pretty new at blogging, I can completely relate to a lot of these!

How I Intentionally Schedule My Week as a Creative Business Owner from Jen Carrington – As someone who is about to launch my online store, along with blogging, I love this article. Intentional scheduling and blocking out my week are things I’m still working on developing, but have been helpful so far! I’m sure as I get my schedule down more it will be even better!

That’s it for this week for me! A lot of great posts out there, so I’m sure I missed some! Did I miss your favorite one from the week, or a post you wrote that you are excited about? If so, I would love to hear about them, so leave a comment below with the link. I love to find new links I love!