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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Amanda Riley

I'm doing 1 thing

Amanda Riley's Life List

  1. 1. live in the moment
    3 entries . 9 cheers
    2,077 people
  2. 2. be more positive
    12 entries . 29 cheers
    2,864 people

How I did it
How to get a scholarship
It took me
1 month
It made me

How to create my own website
It took me
1 year
It made me

How to lose weight
It took me
2 months
It made me

See all "How I Did It" stories...

Recent entries
live in the moment (read all 3 entries…)
Going even better being out of college

Well, I didn’t get into grad school and I decided I no longer want to pursue an academic career. It’s a bit too stifling for me. But unfortunately, I can never really decide what I WOULD want to do (besides creative pursuits that won’t really keep me fed and sheltered). So instead of looking for a job immediately after graduation last month, I gave myself some space and freedom to do whatever I felt like. I am so grateful I can afford to do that for a while because of my family.

But anyway, it has been the most amazing month ever. One thing I really need to work on is my social life though, but that will come in time once I get myself out into the world again. But I do have a few friends that I went to a couple of concerts with and vegan events, and I love them so much! All of that stuff made me really happy. But most days I just stay in my room by myself and work on things, just whatever I felt like. I worked on my French and computer programming skills a bit at first. Then I started a vegan 1-minute video channel on YouTube. I also started putting together a jacket made from old jeans I would have to throw out soon if I didn’t find a use for them. And most importantly, I’ve been playing my guitar a lot (hoping to take lessons again soon because I am a bit stunted in my skill building)... but I actually covered someone’s song whom I really admire, and they loved it! I am also nearly done with my first three original songs, which I was never able to do before. I also learned to cook a few cool new meals, like macaroni and cashew cheese, which is SO GOOD!

All that in a month! Wow! I forget how short of a time it’s been but that is really good. Anyway, I will probably continue to work on all of those things, except maybe the jacket, because it turns out gaining sewing skills from the ground up and doing a complex project isn’t as easy as it sounds!

But today all of those random activities paid off. I was thinking about all the stuff I love and spend my time on, and I remembered Guide to Good—the nonprofit that I’ve wanted to start for the past 4 years. And I figured out that my calling is to make this, as a website that inspires people with meaningful art, events, people, and organizations, in addition to helping underprivileged people find their way to make their mark. Eh, I’m not sure, but I feel really inspired.

I’ve enjoyed this so much that I think I am going to continue this freedom indefinitely by getting a crappy job at a shop or something, that will not require extra thinking when I go home. (I really don’t care about luxuries so I’m good with a minimum hourly wage. I literally just need rent, food, and internet!) Then I am going to work on all this stuff until it pans out. Something may change at some point, but I am not going to worry about it now in this moment!

be more positive (read all 12 entries…)
Graduating from college and the crossroads of my life!

Woo, so I just finished my educational responsibilities yesterday, I’m thinking forever. I did not get into graduate school, but I have already decided that was for the best because I am probably poorly suited for an academic career.

I have been very uncomfortable with this position in my life because I am currently not in a financially stable position or close to attaining one. Very quickly, let me just get out some things that are bugging me about myself and my life:
1.) I have no job and no job prospects in the near future… and I am really not at all sure of what I want to do with my life.
2.) Actually… there are several things that I would love nothing more than to dedicate my life to them, but none of them are things I am likely to get paid for… especially enough money to live off of in the long term.
3.) I am dependent on my parents because I get food and shelter from my mother, and my father pays for my car insurance and cell phone.
4.) I have very poor social skills… not good at public speaking or interviewing, and significant trouble connecting with people on an emotional, individual level, which I know is going to make it much harder for me to get a job, not to mention keep me without enriching friendships and relationships.

Some of these negative feelings are being reinforced by the people around me. For example, my parents are very fond of criticizing me for depending on them, and for not being interested in jobs that have a relative guarantee of financial stability. However, I am inclined to pay more attention to messages from positive people who are living contented lives. I am grateful to my parents for sustaining me, but I do not want to grow up to share their cynicism and perpetually unsatisfying lifestyles. So, here are some reasons I have to be grateful for my life:

1.) Most importantly… it’s a GOOD thing that I am not like the mainstream people in society, even if some of it is lost strengths. I am already much more dedicated to my health, happiness, and integrity than most people my age, and lots of people much older than I am. This is a good thing, and it’s not necessary to compromise these things. It’s better to proactively seek out opportunities that are in line with them.
2.) Even if it’s over, my academic career was very successful. I graduated with a >3.9 GPA, with a senior thesis and other psychological research experience, Honors College and Honors-in-Psychology distinction, two useful minors with high GPAs (CS and English), and a psychology award. I also scored very well on the GREs, so I can always apply to graduate school again as long as it’s within the next 4 years. These things may serve me well or may not, but at the very least they prove that I am capable of sticking to a goal for a long time and achieving it with flying colors.
3.) I have a wide variety of interests and skills that enable me the freedom to go into many different fields. Even though this makes decisions harder, it makes it more likely that I will hit upon the perfect fit for what I should be doing with my life.
4.) I may not have a job, but I do have enough money saved up to pay for a couple of months’ rent while I look for one.
5.) I may not have perfect social skills, and I may have many other flaws too, but looking back on who I was at 17 or 18, I have come SO far. I have gotten so much better at everything that matters and I have become so much less fearful and more open to new experiences and different kinds of people. I have also learned to be a better activist and vegan, and picked up many new skills from both formal and informal education. I may not have made the most of my time for making friends, but I definitely made the most of it in other ways.
6.) It’s actually a good thing that I’m not set into one career right now. I can literally be anything I want, well, within reason based on my skill set, but I think I could adapt to most kinds of careers because of my varied experiences. I’m doing all the right things now by keeping up with events and groups that interest me, getting out there and discussing important topics, etc. This WILL lead to good things, I’m sure.

I don’t want to spend too much time on this, just wanted to prove to myself that I’m in a GOOD spot in my life now, not a bad one. Yay!

live in the moment (read all 3 entries…)
So far a success!

I think this is truly working. Right now I am somewhat focused on getting my BA because I am graduating in May. I am also interested in getting into a PhD program, so I have been working on that. You would think those would constitute goals and ruin my living in the moment. But actually I have changed my outlook about how to go about it.

Instead of seeing grad school admission and a college degree as huge goals I have to achieve, I just pay attention to that one task I have to do at the moment. So instead of worrying about the 10 Java programs I have to write, I just worry about the one that is due next week. Instead of worrying about running 90 participants for my psychology study, I just worry about the 5 I have to run that day. And instead of worrying about being impressive overall to graduate schools, I worried about each interview and each task as it came up. I haven’t gotten burnt out at all, and now I’ve been rewarded with spring break and my applications/interviews are done! (And it’s out of my head now until I get my decisions back.)

Other than those big goals, I have tried to avoid having others. But I am doing whatever interests me. So a lot of the time, that is music, so I listen to it a lot when I have the time and I practice playing when I can too. Also, I am taking a few online courses because I enjoy them, but I am not particularly worried about finishing them. It’s just for fun, no pressure. I also just started an internship with a vegan nonprofit, which requires a certain level of commitment because other people are depending on me, but I am just seeing it as a fun new experience.

I’m not sure if this is the reason, but I have been VERY happy this year. Very happy. I can still be a little irritable occasionally when a bunch of things go wrong, but most days I have been quite pleasant to be around. I’ve been enjoying nature SO much more, even just the sky. I have been seeing the good in everything and it makes me really happy. And even most bad things that happen to me, I have been taking positively. Like, I no longer get upset if someone is rude to me, but I try to assume they were having a bad day, and a couple of times (but not every time) I have actually turned around someone’s rude behavior! I only very rarely have had to cultivate this attitude purposely; usually it feels natural now. Yay!

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