10/01/10: My List of 100 Dreams

As promised, today is List of 100 Dreams Day here at My168Hours.com. I'm posting the first 100 dreams that I came up with, and I hope you will join me! You can post a few (5-10? or more if you want) in the comments section, or post on your own blog. (2013 UPDATE: Comments are closed on this post, but you can post comments on my recent post on Revisiting the Bucket List)

This is not a complete list of everything I want to do or have in life, but it's a start. I realized, while writing it, that I've actually made pretty good progress on checking off items that may have landed on previous Lists. Years ago, I might have put "write a book" on there, or "live in New York City," or "get married" and "have kids." There are many places I want to travel, but also many places I've been. In writing this, I also came up with a few that surprised me. Christmas sonnets? Anyway, here goes!


1. Have a book hit bestseller list

2. Publish a novel

3. Always have another book on the horizon that I’m working on. I like to spend my hours writing books.

4. Get pieces into my favorite magazines: Runner’s World, O, Time, The New Yorker

5. Write the cover piece of the weekend section of the WSJ

6. Ghostwrite Paula Radcliffe’s memoirs (I had Sarah Palin on the list but she hired someone else. Oh well.  Basically, I am really drawn to stories of women who’ve done amazing things while their kids are little).

7. Write a collection of Christmas sonnets

8. Have a print op-ed in NY Times. I have hit USA Today and WSJ, so this is the remainder of the big three. I actually have never tried, basically because I write for the others. But we’ll put it on the bucket list.

9. Write a series of columns that involves traveling to exotic places...expensed.

10. Write a series of columns for one of my regular gigs (say, USA Today) on a single topic and really get buzz going on it. I did this with the Huffington Post and “Core Competency Moms” two years ago; I’d like to do it again.

11. Collaborate with an awesome illustrator to do a children’s book

12. Write a young-reader chapter book that I’d want my kids to read (a la Beverly Cleary with Ramona)

13. Teach journalism and creative writing at a top tier college

14. Influence: I have a peculiar free market feminist philosophy and over time I intend to have more people espouse it

15. Blogging: I want the kind of blog where hundreds of people comment regularly, because it is just that compelling

16. In some way/shape/form, attend the Fortune Most Powerful Women summit

17. Create a testimonials file -- nice things people have said, which are good to read during the inevitable moments of frustration in creative careers

18. Step up my involvement with professional groups - writing groups, writers’ organizations, etc.

19. Be interviewed about my book on the Daily Show. In a positive fashion.

20. Get on Oprah. Time seems to be running out on this one!


21. Earn enough to support my family, well, on my own

22. Be able to live off passive income (dividends, royalties and interest). Even though I never plan to stop working!

23. Invest in a handful of start-ups

24. Invest in a handful of start-up non-profits too

25. Spend money mindfully on experiences and things that I and my family enjoy

26. Spend money mindfully to improve the world around me. Working on exactly what this will entail, but that’s part of the next book.

27. Create jobs

28. Commission new music (have indirectly done this with my choir, but would like to do a longer work)


29. Do a wine tour in South America

30. Eat at Noma in Denmark (I just read about it in Vogue)

31. See Jordan and area around there

32. Go to Greece/Turkey/other ancient archeological sites

33. Eat my way through Italy. I’ve been once and my goodness, even the food in the gas stations is amazing! This time, focus on the food.

34. Visit Mongolia. Probably not by camel.

35. Travel along the old Silk Road - this may require some regime changes before this happens

36. Visit the Netherlands and see where the “Vanderkams” are from

37. Do a trip that involves stopping at various towns along the Mississippi river

38. Occasionally do something crazy like go to London or Paris for the weekend

39. Go to Australia with my kids when they’re a little older (I lived there for a few months in 2000)

40. Go to Africa to do more safaris with my kids when they’re older (have done this with husband)

41. Spend an extended period of time at the beach - maybe rent a house for a month sometime

42. Visit Seattle and the mountains around there - I like the Pacific northwest

43. See Antarctica very briefly. I don’t like the cold.

44. Cruise around the Galapagos

45. Re-visit Toledo and Seville. Actually, I’d love to spend an extended time traveling around Europe. It’s something I never did when I was younger. Will probably take a different form now, as I don’t intend to backpack at age 31

Other Experiences

46. Go on dinner dates twice a month with my husband. We are failing miserably at this right now.

47. Eat at all of the top Zagat-rated restaurants in NYC

48. Ditto with wherever I live next

49. Be a “regular” somewhere: restaurant/coffee shop, etc.

50. Play the piano again on occasion

51. Train for and run more races in beautiful occasions. The marathon is off the list after Big Sur this past April. Much as running NYC and Boston sound exciting, I’m thinking half marathons now.

52. Run races with my kids when they’re older. I’d like at least one of my children to be my running partner someday.

53. Sing in a choir with my kid(s)

54. Do a big volunteer project with my family

55. Camping! Figure out a way to do this even with little ones. Maybe I’ll be a Cub Scout assistant leader.

56. Consciously create “perfect days” -- days when I pack in a lot of things I love to do

57. Get regular massages

58. Do strength training with a trainer for a while

59. Take a yoga class on occasion

60. Host a big Christmas celebration

61. Host a big Thanksgiving celebration

62. Go to art museums more often - even when I just have a spare hour, seize the moment

63. Go to the ballet

64. Hear the NY Philharmonic at least one more time before we leave this city

65. Go to the Very Young People’s Concerts with Jasper

66. Enjoy my food in general - I’m trying to have good food in the house so meals and snacks are a pleasure. This fits into the entry above about spending money mindfully.

67. Do more dinner parties. Host them! Go to them! This will probably require more of a dining room table (we’ll get that one out of storage when we move).

68. Go visit the High Line. Haven’t been there yet.

69. Hiking - may have to wait until both kids can walk without falling over or asking to be carried

70. Sit on the balcony and write in my journal more often. I love blogging, but my personal journal is suffering as I share my life with the world.

71. Get family photos taken every six months or so while kids are little

72. Write a journal of memories (“Life with Little Ones”) that I can show the kids when they’re older

73. Get my torn ear lobe repaired and re-pierced

74. Read more stories with the kids when I’m not tired and rushing them to get to bed

75. Become a children’s book connoisseur so we always have good ones around

76. Get out of the house more with the kids - come up with fun things to do in the evenings. When in doubt, go for a walk, go to the playroom, go to the grocery store, do something...

77. Listen to classical music sometimes when I’m checking email

78. Take a basic painting or drawing class

79. Learn to take better photos, and print up more of them

80. Take a basic cooking class

81. Learn something about cheese, beer and wine (maybe chocolate too). And flowers.

82. Live near a great running/bike path

83. Use the jacuzzi in my gym

84. Lattes. Order them instead of regular coffee on occasion.


85. Own less stuff in general. I have a lot of books, CDs and old linens to dump. This item could read “get rid of my stuff.”

86. Edit my wardrobe down to fewer items, all of which I love (getting closer on this one). I want to be excited to get dressed.

87. Live somewhere with some acreage and awesome leaves in the fall. What would be really cool is if it were also close to the beach and mountains, but I’m not quite sure how that would work geographically.

88. That house should have a separate building for my office. Which will be comfy and wonderful.

89. Also a fireplace and a kitchen that begs to be cooked in even if I do not, technically, cook much

90. Have an amazing garden. I also know that I do not wish to personally care for this garden, so we may have to step up the financial goals on the List of 100 Dreams a notch. Or get my husband to quit his job.

91. Have lots of house plants too

92. Dark chocolate covered caramels. Mmmm.... I’ve been making myself run with the stroller to/from Trader Joe’s to buy them.

93. A car. I’ve actually never owned one. Need not be flashy. Just reliable and get good gas mileage. And I need to learn to drive it.

94. A bike. I’d probably prefer to get around by bike, when I think about it.

95. A well-used hammock with a view

96. A piano

97. Interesting art. I wrote in 168 Hours about buying my Texas Strawberry painting by Tanya Davis, which would have made a previous List of 100 Dreams. Walls should be inspiring to look at.


98. A novel a month. Ok, 6 per year. I read a lot of non-fiction for work.

99. Poetry. This should be readily available on my iPhone for reading in line.

100. Casablanca. I just don’t like movies but this is supposed to be the best one ever, so guess I should see it!

What's on your List of 100 Dreams?

flickr image courtesy of Crystl


View Comments

  • 100 Dreams 1. Get a real working fireplace 2. Eat my way through Italy 3. Ski with my kids; make sure my kids know how to ski... 4. Write and get published, but just enough to suit my interests, that is not as my job but b/c there is something I want to write about 5. Own a business that Sells a million dollars or more than that is fine too! 6. Pay off both our houses – live debt free 7. Not need to work 8. Save enough money to send all my kids to college 9. Save enough money to retire comfortably even though don’t plan to retire 10. Take my whole extended family on a super fun cruise 11. Date night once a week or date something once a week or twice a month 12. Exercise every day – when not pregnant run 10 miles a week or more 13. After this baby weigh 125 lbs 14. Strength train or hire a trainer 15. Play tennis again … teach my kids to play see if one will be my partner 16. Have a porch swing at my beach place 17. have a fountain in my backyard with fish 18. have a patio and French doors in my house from the back of the hosue (we have a side exit but no back patio) 19. own a dog without loosing my mind and before my kids are too old 20. read a book a month 21. Take my kid to sesame place before she is not free admission!

    • Cara- love these! Especially the Sesame Place one. Better get on that! Unless she finds life-size Sesame Street characters frightening. Jasper did for a while right around the time he turned 2 -- he thought a "live" Elmo he saw at a party was really scary. I am detecting a theme for "date somethings" on this thread! Many people trying for that...

  • Cara and Laura, thank you so much for your inspirational lists! I started my day zero project last august (101 goals in 1001 days) and I can see how I gradually dare to enjoy life more and schedule days to accomplish some of my dreams. I don't have my list online -I keep it next to my bed- but I plan on writing a bit on my blog about it every now and then. Also, if you have some questions about traveling in the Netherlands or Belgium, you can always ask me.

    • Eva - that sounds exciting to do 101 goals in 1001 days - and I'm sure it's been absolutely amazing to see them coming true. I look forward to checking out your posts about it.

  • @ Laura -- Great list -- Thanks for sharing! Breaking it down into subcategories works well, too -- I'm going to do that to mine, and then post. For the children's book, The Gotham Writers' Workshop has some excellent courses on writing children's books. Something I learned at the one I took -- publishers like to pair the illustrators and writers, so just write a good story, sell it, and let them do the rest. It's one of the fun, creative choices they get to make in the publishing process. You also have to let go and not expect that it will be illustrated in the way it appears in your mind's eye. Often the writer and the illustrator have zero contact, so the illustrator is free to create. For hosting dinner parties -- don't be afraid to make it potluck -- so much easier. Mostly people just want to get together in a home with good company and good food and are happy to contribute. I'm in a gourmet-wanna-be club where we pick a country, everybody brings a course, and we rotate who hosts. @ Gwyneth -- Love your combo thinking! I'm going to take another look at my list with an eye toward some suitable pairings! Thanks!

  • Wrote my 100 Dreams today, while waiting for my car to be serviced. I came up with 64, which is more than I've ever gotten to. I lost my momentum when they told me my car was finished. I was glad to see that many of them are doable in the short-term. I have done this before, but it's always good to do again. When I compared this list to last year's I was glad to see that I've achieved some of last year's and moved on. ( I really need to work on "ride in a hot air balloon.") I also realized that my dreams do not have to be big or lofty, or what I think others think should be on my list. (traveling for example) I just have to be true to me (thank you to Gretchen Rubin for that). Now that they are personal and broken into categories I feel better able to tackle them--and I now have the plan to use my time well to do it. (thank you, Laura)

    • @Denise: 64 is still good! And you can come back to this list multiple times as things strike you. How about looking up where you can go on a hot air balloon ride this weekend? :)

  • no hot air balloon rides around here in this iffy weather, unless I want to travel to Arizona ( I do, but not yet) there is one every year in NJ, so I am going to get on the email list for that one.

  • 1. Launch the business that's been on the back burner too long 2. Finish & publish my book 3. Travel to the Middle East 4. Play the piano again 5. Live in a house I love 6. Get extended family together for annual reunion 7. Create a passive income stream 8. Lose weight 9. Manage time better (think I've found a resource for that!) 10. Write another book As already mentioned in comments, some of my dreams are impacted by choices of others. And some are impacted by severe back problems (piano, travel, some work). So some may have to be creative. I may have to find a way to love the house I'm in. I may need to travel "virtually". I've done a little of that. You have me thinking, and I'm sure that's part of the secret to achieving your dreams. 100 will sure be a lot of work!

    • @Bonnie - sounds like a good start for a list. Would like to hear more about the business! And yes, the point of this is to get us thinking, because part of the trouble with filling our time is that we don't know what we'd like to do with it. So if someone magically gave us another 50 hours, we'd probably just do more of what we're doing now.

  • Laura, Alright, I cannot stop thinking about this. So today this is my intention. To think about and write my 100 dreams. I've done a short bucket list but the *dream* part--makes this feel different--maybe that's just me. Thanks for this mind-shift:)

    • @Deborah: Go for it! We often get so caught up in daily life that we don't stop and think what we'd like to do with our time (and our lives). I will probably come back to this list multiple times, and it changes over time. But isn't it nice to spend a while dreaming?

  • We just moved to the area south of Seattle a couple of months ago. I've had some back issues but we hope it won't be long before we are exploring the area and the mountains here. It's AMAZING to drive down the interstate on a clear day and see that Mountain (Ranier). If you ever make it to the area, let me know! On another note, I've begun making a list similar to this and it gets re-written every three months...I like the idea of having a longer list and specific to the different categories. I will be working on this over the weekend. Thanks!

  • A mixture of basic things that most people have done and some very ambitious ones that will take some achieving.... like it as the same.

  • Suggest you go to a craft beer festival! Or tour a craft brewery. The latter is more kid friendly.