A List of 100 Dreams update, 2015 to now

I’ll be running my annual time-tracking challenge from January 9-15, 2023. If this is anything like past years, thousands of folks will commit to tracking their time together. You can sign up here for daily motivational emails.

One of those emails (spoiler alert) suggests creating a List of 100 Dreams. The emails that will be going out link to past Lists of 100 Dreams I have posted here on this blog. The folks who help me with digital marketing asked if I wanted to update the list.

I don’t want to create a whole new one right now. BUT…I thought it might be fun to look at some of the old lists and see what has happened. The 2015 list in particular was interesting to me because a number of those things have happened in the intervening years! Some have not. Some laughably not. But a few highlights:

Travel goals: #5 was to visit Paris and the French countryside. I took my big kids to Paris this past year. We went to Versailles, which is sort of the countryside? Biking around the grounds was a definite highlight.

#6 was to go on a resort vacation where there was a camp for the kids. Over the past 7.5 years we have done a few of these, including Aulani in Hawaii, Windjammer in St. Lucia, and Beaches in Turks & Caicos. These sorts of vacations tend to be a hit with all family members, which is of course why these places exist!

#10 was to visit more national parks, and in the intervening years, we went to Yellowstone in 2018 + Grand Tetons and Rocky Mountain National Park, a Yellowstone fall trip in 2020 that I took with the big kids (that had been on my 2018 list of 100 dreams), a 2016 couples trip to Acadia, a summer 2019 family visit to Yosemite, and a Labor Day trip to Acadia in 2021. That trip involved eating lobster by the sea in Maine (#12). I also visited some Oregon wineries (#15) in fall of 2018, and went to New Orleans for a talk at one point, which was tangentially listed in #20.

I think the upside of listing travel goals is that it gives you a trip planning nudge! Although I would note that #16, the Bach tour of Germany, was planned for 2020 and then Covid nixed that one. Oh well.

In the personal category, I am most definitely NOT setting PRs in the half-marathon (#24), and the idea of hitting 125 lbs (#27) feels absurd (I would note that I went on a strict low carb diet in spring 2015 when I made this list and I did in fact get down to my high school weight but I didn’t find it sustainable because…I like carbs. So my note that it might not be maintainable was a good case of knowing myself!)

However, #29 was about home decoration, with a specific note on art. We wound up commissioning a painting of Texas wildflowers from the artist I mentioned. #30 was to get into my garden, a project which was massively bumped up by buying a house with a full-on legit walled garden (historic houses can be so cool….painful to renovate but cool in other ways).

#42 was to join a choir where I am the least good member. I joined my church choir, which I’d put myself in the middle of, BUT our chamber ensemble, which is half professional singers, is starting up again this winter after a pandemic hiatus. That is such a treat to sing with because, yes, singing with talented and skilled singers is a choral experience on an entirely different level.

Then, a fun little Easter egg for the future: #43 was to “Go on some sort of culinary retreat/camp. I’m writing a novel about an ‘institute for the domestic arts’ and I want to attend such a thing!” I didn’t go on such a retreat but that novel ultimately turned into Juliet’s School of Possibilities.

#46 was to get a better headshot, and sure enough, that summer I took the headshot I still use. (Maybe, 7.5 years on, this is getting a little untruthful, but hey…)

#56 was to “Get better at my keynote speech and actually market it. I’d love to do more big speeches!” I would say that giving a TED talk in 2016 counts! It’s interesting to think that in early 2015 I wasn’t speaking quite so regularly but after I Know How She Does It came out that year (and once I did the TED talk the next year) it became a much bigger part of my life.

#64 was to join a mastermind group or a close-knit group of amazing writers. I am now part of a writers strategy group that meets every month or so, and has been going for about four years. I’m also part of a mastermind group that operates more mysteriously, but suffice to say it is awesome.

Alas, #71, to raise kids who can eat in restaurants, is somewhat of a sore point. They can eat in Olive Garden? Actually, my 13-year-old will eat sushi, and the 15-year-old was excited about the Brazilian steakhouse we visited recently, so maybe this will develop more in time. But we don’t eat in restaurants all that much because — another spoiler alert — there are now 7 of us, something that was NOT on my mind in 2015. Sometimes we have lists of dreams that change.

But #74? “Run a race with Kid #1 when he’s a little older”? We just did our Turkey Trot! I am sending a thought back in time to 2015 Laura to let her know that will happen! And also #94 to keep going with my time log…I’d done 6 weeks then. I’m now closing in on 8 years this spring. It’s been a good 8 years, as looking at old Lists of 100 Dreams shows.

Photo: Cherry blossoms in March, because why not



10 thoughts on “A List of 100 Dreams update, 2015 to now

  1. Wow Laura, how neat that your future self gets to look back at your anticipating self! I should pull out and dust off my 100 dreams list. Your concepts of 100 dreams, and seasonal fun lists, create unique moments in life. I don’t know how to articulate it nicely, but they make life seem more… full. They were particularly helpful for me during COVID. I am grateful for you and your work!

    1. @Lori C- thank you so much! My goal is to make life more rich and full of good things. You should totally pull out your list of 100 dreams!

  2. What a blast from the past; several years ago I drafted a 100 Dreams List (spurred on by your suggestion) and I…have only looked at it once. Oops. I’m going right now to see how I’ve done (*brief pause that won’t be noticeable in the static environment of a comment form on the internet).
    I expected to be a bit depressed after reviewing my list – but I’m shocked at how many items I’ve tackled. To be fair, I’ve worked on the lowest-hanging fruit (“sit on the beach and watch a killer sunset” and “enjoy ice cream on a hot summer day” are pretty doable). The ones that I haven’t crossed off are definitely more aspirational and/or time-consuming. Like: give a keynote address, buy a beach property, eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant, cultivate a great marriage and make sure he knows how much I love him – always a worthwhile in-progress goal, there is no finality to this one! – retire early, learn to confidently drive a 5-speed, see Coldplay in concert).

    Here are some of the items I’ve crossed off:
    Travel –
    #3 – See another show on Broadway (saw two this summer)
    #6 – Take my daughter to New York City (this summer; hence the 2 Broadway shows)
    # 12 – Get to South Carolina to visit my sister (done last May; a trip deferred by 2 years because of COVID)
    # 15 – Go on vacation with friends (a short lake trip this summer)

    # 23 – Get to 125 lbs; this is hilarious both because you had the same goal, and also because this year I stopped weighing myself (hopefully forever!) and now eat “intuitively.” This is one of the biggest shifts of my life in some ways. So this goal IS NO LONGER RELEVANT, but in the best possible way.
    #29 – Sing in a choir (done)
    #41 – Visit a lighthouse in another country (done; one of our family “things” is visiting lighthouses)
    #43 – Print off a compilation of all the family updates that have been sent (I send summary e-mails each month to family/friends; printed off a decade worth of these written diary-like updates)
    # 45 – Run in a race – 5KM or higher (done)
    #47 – Re-read the Harry Potter series (done)
    #53 – Get a pair of skates that actually fits (this sounds minor, but I’ve been using an ill-fitting pair of skates that hurt my feet for over a decade. Someone gave me – free – a pair of skates that fit perfectly).
    # 55-58 – Watch a killer sunset on the beach – and just savour the moment of it, Buy and enjoy really good ice cream on a hot summer day, Get a great manicure and pedicure (had my first-ever pedicure this summer), Do Whole30 STRICTLY for 30 days (done, done, done, and done)
    # 63 – Start and maintain a blog (done)

    #68 – Collaborate with Laura Vanderkam (this is a bit of a stretch, but I did the TBT study with you…and we’ve talked on the phone so I am counting this as a checkmark?!!)

    #72 – Participate in NaNoWriMo (I’ll check this off; I did NaBloPoMo this year and it took A LOT of time and energy)

    #78 – Buy a BBQ (done)
    # 81 – Buy at least 5 REAL plants for our house (done)
    # 88 – Re-do the exterior of the house (a huge undertaking!)
    # 92 – Hire a housecleaner
    #98 – Build a deck, buy outside furniture and drink coffee there on the summer mornings… (completed this summer)

    There are a few more I’ve missed that have been crossed off – and there are some HUGE/less likely ones still on the docket (walk along the Great Wall of China, hit the NYT Bestseller List) – but this was a fun and rewarding reminder to look back on that list.

  3. You may want to consider a time tracking or type type of tracking event that looks at putting in to practice your recommendations from Tranquility by Tuesday. I love that book and have benefited greatly from it. I think the bedtime rule is what benefited me the best. I’m so much more productive and feel so much healthier now that I follow that rule. I’m about to go on a run with my 13-year-old, putting the effort before the effortless activity.

    1. @Susan – so glad the book has been helpful! I will be doing a Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge starting in late January where people will get emails about the rule and questions to reflect on. Just trying to make it more of an experience…

  4. One of the things that I have wanted to do for a while is to spend a day wandering the West Village in New York. I guess it counts as something that qualifies for the 100 Dreams list but would also fit in as a TBT “little adventure.” I spent last Tuesday doing the wander-stopped in at the oldest pharmacy in New York (C.E. Bigelow), visited the Jefferson Market library and admired its lovely reading room windows, stopped in at Three Lives and Company bookstore, admired the lovely neighborhood brownstones, enjoyed a solo lunch at a delightful Italian restaurant (L’Artusi), grabbed some chocolates at the oldest chocolatier in NY (Li-Lac), browsed up and down Bleecker Street, and grabbed a cup of coffee and watched the world go by. It was glorious!

    1. @Beth C – I’m so glad you did it! What a great little adventure, and it sounds like you had a marvelous time.

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