Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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she's afraid of the light in the dark is doing 7 things including…

live more simply

27 cheers


she's afraid of the light in the dark has written 17 entries about this goal

hard with a boy

my boyfriend and I are, in some ways, very different, and simplicity is one of those areas. while he appreciates my enjoyment of it, it’s not his thing – when he’s here there are clothes on the couch or floor, papers all over his desk, crumbs on the bench and goodness knows what else. because he keeps some of his stuff here, too, it’s hard to have a simple place. I’ve decided to write some house guidelines so that tidiness and organisation are better, and that way (hopefully) simplicity will provail …

I think

that my life is pretty simple: during semester, it’s mainly university and time with my boyfriend, and out of semester it’s indulging in creative pursuits and reading. I want to save so we can build our own house in a hill, and I want to pick up a few more skills or hobbies, but I think my life is fairly simple. Now that I’m developing habits I’m coming into how I want to be, and that further shapes my life. By de-cluttering and making my home as beautiful and simple as possible, I have a clearer mind and a clearer life.

I have a few weeks before I go back to study, but I feel like this time will be getting those odds and ends done for the house, then getting back into the routine of study which I’ll have for the next year and a half. I’d like to simplify more, I guess; in some ways I’d love to live in a bare room with just a bed, desk, pens and books, but … well, I don’t think I really could. I don’t know. That’s kind of an ideal I strive for, but I don’t know if it’s what I really want. I’m close to marking this goal done, but I’m not sure.

those who inspire me

a few months ago, I started thinking and realised that, unintentionally, all my real role models and idols have been independent girls or women, even from a young age. it wasn’t anything instilled in me, but I never idolised princesses or dolls – I liked the Power Rangers and lots of male action heroes, then Neri (Ocean Girl), Buffy, Hermione Granger, Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo et al.), Katniss Everdeen. What they all have in common is that they’re independent, smart women who don’t rely on anyone, can look after themselves, and are smart. Often, really smart. Most of them are physically able to defend themselves, have a number of skills, and don’t feel the need to be liked by anyone. They’re not bitchy, not girly, not deliberately anything, they just are. And they’re the people I admire.

That’s what I want to be. Smart, fit, able to look after myself. Independence isn’t a worry, since I moved out when I was 16 because of my (bad) family, but I want to be able to hold my own in a fight, not be scared, be talented, know a lot of things, and just be myself without caring what others think.

I go through periods, of course, where I indulge in “girly” things – painting my nails, putting on nice make-up … well, that’s about it, I think. Wearing dresses, occasionally? I never really enjoy shopping, though. I’d rather have practical skills. And that’s kind of what I want my life to be like – not a struggle for survival, but one where I have what I need, and only that, and can rely on myself. I struggle a little with this sometimes because these characters (Lisbeth and Katniess) own pretty much nothing, and I’d really like to have less and less and less. I guess I do, really, but having a house means there are things you need, whether you like them or not. And I do like indulging in a long, lovely-smelling bath, or burning candles, or turning on my fairylights. I won’t get rid of them to fit any ideal, but sometimes I find it hard to merge two realities together.

This is why I want to learn Krav Maga. This is why I want to grow my hair out. This is why I’d love to build a house with Jem from scratch (see here). It’s why I want to be fit (really fit), and have at least one brilliant skill (not intelligence) and why I kind of dislike that I like wearing makeup and dressing up sometimes, and why I enjoy simplicity, and less, and why I like getting bruises on my knees and picking scabs and sore muscles (I remember when I was about 8 sitting in the bath and counting all the bruises all over my legs and getting to 14 or something like that, just from being a kid). It’s why I don’t care if I smell like sweat or don’t put on mascara for days or don’t do the see-my-friends-every-week thing.

And that’s my little talk to myself about why Katniss Everdeen is my new idol.

credit to:

ongoing simplicity list

- only minimum household items that Jeremy and I need
I feel like this one has been met, and that we just have lots of clutter. not sure how to deal with that at the moment.

- cull jewellery – get rid of things I don’t wear
I don’t use jewellery that often, just keep my 14 piercings in and my bracelet and two rings that are always on, putting in nice earrings or a necklace when we go out, but quite a bit of what I own has been given to me or has sentimental value. I think that right now, because it all fits into two small jewellery boxes, that’s sufficient.

- have a wardrobe of under 30 items plus 5 pairs of shoes and 4 bras
at the moment, I feel like what I have is what I need – no more, no less. I have the right number of shoes to suit all occasions, and not so many I need to choose between a pair for an outing – what I do decides my shoes. same for my bras. for clothing, I feel this is fairly true. there are a few items which don’t get used often, but I do need – work slacks, a work skirt and a winter coat. I also have a few items my boyfriend’s mum bought me from overseas that aren’t really my thing, but I try to wear them because they were a gift. there’s only a pair of silk pyjamas and a t-shirt, so that’s not very much. otherwise, I’d say I’m pretty much done with this.

- have only decorations which make me happy and have meaning – write this meaning down

- have minimal office supplies, list with frequency of use
I have: blutak, used often; glue, used to put things in my diary; paperclips, for keeping uni notes together; a ruler, for … well, measuring; whiteout, highlighters, about half a dozen black pens, a few coloured pens for making words stand out, a sharpie for crossing things off lists, and three pencils for uni. there’s a pair of household scissors, and I have two calculators – one graphic, and one for exams (I study maths and physics and so need both types). I’d say this is enough to cover my needs, without being too much.

- keep cords off the floor with removable hooks to avoid dust
don’t know how viable this is; it might be okay as long as we sweep regularly or blutak them against the wall to keep them out of the way

- organise storage in cupboards, but keep to a minimum by checking that I REALLY need what I store and it’s just out of season
this is a hard one because I live with my boyfriend who uses household things, especially cooking and storage things, more than me. we only have limited cupboard space, so putting things back in their “set” place isn’t always easy, and it’s not hard to find anything anyway. we do have what we need, and no more, because we use the storage containers frequently for leftovers or storing packets of open things, so I think this is fairly achieved.

- organise bathroom carefully, have a place for everything
another hard one, due to sharing. my bathroom cupboard is shallow and the shelves not very high, so a lot of things just won’t fit in because they’re too big, even if there’s enough shelf space. I also use it for medications, so things that are used frequently tend to sit on the windowsill above the sink. I’m not sure whether to reinstall the shelf that was above the sink to give a more organised look (although this makes the room feel tinier than it is), or just accept the small amount of space for two people and know that I don’t keep much in there, basically: peroxide, my makeup bag (with mascara, perfume, nail clippers, tweezers, nail file, a pencil, etc.), moisturiser, lube, shoe deoderiser, body gloss (I got it for free years ago and am trying to use it up), three nail polish bottles, eyeshadow box (Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland palette, my only real makeup splurge), medication, bandaids, wax, hair stuff I rescued from his sister’s cupboard so it wouldn’t get thrown out, and our toothpaste and brushes. all that’s on the sill is deoderant/his cologne, and two containers with saline solution and cotton buds for him to clean his eyebrow piercings out with. that sounds okay, I think?

- clean/paint all surfaces and keep them clear as much as possible
definitely on the to do list once exams are over

the dancing was amazing

it was wonderful! I really could not have hoped for a better night. we started off learning a basic waltz-based dance, then went on to the proper waltz, and had a little trouble because you were meant to keep changing partners. then, everyone in the studio (at least 100 people) joined for a long sort-of ring dance doing those two dances, where the girls changed partners each time. it was fun! I was wearing heels, and almost slipped twice, but since the guys are holding on to you the whole time, it was okay. the end of the night was a bit of a downer because the last dance was taught terribly, but we went out for a drink, came home, and the next day got a lot better at the dances practicing them ourselves.

this, I feel, is what life should be about. experiences. and this was that, worth the sore legs and all.

going out dancing

I guess this goal is also something that involves lifestyle, not just the things in my house; this includes university, and things I do with my boyfriend.

I obviously have a few things on my 43things list to do in life – classes I’d like to take or books to read, that enrich my life while costing little and giving me experience. That is part of simple living – living simply to enjoy experiences wholly.

Tonight we’re going out dancing – latin/ballroom. I have no idea what to expect, at all, and I’m a little nervous. Women are asked to wear heels, which I am, but I still worried I’m overdressed (my heels are about 10cm/4” high). I’m really glad my boy agreed to come, because for me this isn’t just a thing I want to do, it’s an experience I’d like to have with him. When first suggested he thought it would be fun, then he wasn’t so sure, and I’m really glad he’s agreed to come. We might love it or hate it or anything in between, but it’ll be a night to spend together doing something new, stepping out of our comfort zone, and living simply.

how is this working?

I’ve minimised my possessions, but somehow the house always seems a-clutter, even if I tidy daily. I guess that’s the important part – cleaning daily. there’s not much to do, because the house isn’t very full, but when I take things to read to bed and leave them on the floor, or dump all my studies on the desk without putting them away, it slowly adds to the clutter.

so, as part of living more simply, I also need to live more tidily. t particularly messy, but just leaving little things out here and there starts to add up within a day or two, and the messy bed along with clutter on the desk is enough to distract me from studying as I go on a cleaning binge and end up doing more cleaning than needs to be done.

check list

Once I’ve completed all of these, I’ll cross off this goal.

- only minimum household items that Jeremy and I need

- cull jewellery – get rid of things I don’t wear

- have a wardrobe of under 30 items plus 5 pairs of shoes and 4 bras

- have only decorations which make me happy and have meaning – write this meaning down

- have minimal office supplies, list with frequency of use

- keep cords off the floor with removable hooks to avoid dust

- organise storage in cupboards, but keep to a minimum by checking that I REALLY need what I store and it’s just out of season

- organise bathroom carefully, have a place for everything

- clean/paint all surfaces and keep them clear as much as possible

- keep only books, cds and dvds that I use 8 cds, 5 dvds, ~100 books

- put all birthdays in google calendar with reminders 3 weeks prior for cards or presents

- list ALL items, with another list for significant disposable items

what this means

I realised that I’ve written several entries without more clearly defining what I mean. I guess this is difficult, but I’ll try and outline it for myself.

First, I live in a unit with my boyfriend and two cats. It’s small, but cosy, and I rent.

So, what is simple living for me?

A life fulfilled with love, emotional warmth, learning & reading, music, spending time with loved ones, animals, interesting activities, and travel, NOT material posessions.

Having a minimum of household items to live easily but without excess (to be listed).

Wardrobe of under 30 items, minimum number of shoes (about 5)

Decorations only that make me happy and have meaning – fairy lights, two cold-cast bronze statuettes, incense burners, etc. To be listed, with why.

Minimal office supplies. This is hard for me because I really like these things, but I’m trying to have what I need and only that. Pens seem to get so easily lost, so perhaps if I have less I’ll be less likely to lose them? I’m not sure.

Clear surfaces, only a few images on walls that I really like.

A life that’s filled with doing and being, not having.


this is happening by default as I’m packing up to move at an as-yet unknown time in the near future when we find a place to move into. I think I’ll be purging more when we move in as I unpack things I didn’t need, which’ll be nice.

otherwise, because I’m going back and forth between Jeremy’s place and mine, I’m down to needing only very little – clothing, medication, mascara, underwear, and books.

she's afraid of the light in the dark has gotten 27 cheers on this goal.


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