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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Eliza Marie

is feeling great!



Entries
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31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 31: Less Coming In, More Contentment

LESS COMING IN

Wow, so, I am at the end of this journey. I am going to sit and reflect how I have been, what I have learned and how much I have gained… What I have left to do as well. This has been a great journey.

This journey has been about letting go of some of the negative stuff in my life and being purposeful about adding more positive things. This has been a great deal of work.

Things to remember:
  • The less we let in, the less we will have to get rid of later.
  • Refuse to let anything in your home that isn’t absolutely essential.
  • Refuse to add to your schedule things that don’t need to be done.
  • Realize that everything we bring in is a choice.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Evaluate the current state of where you are in your life right now. Ask yourself the hard questions. Is my life full of the things that don’t matter? Am I still letting in too much heartache, too much stress and too much stuff? Resolve right now to be intentional and purposeful with your heart and time and environment. Choose to let in only that which adds joy and peace and contentment. I have come a long way. I feel like this will be a daily struggle, but with time, I will be able to figure this out more appropriately.



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 30: Less Holiday Overkill, More Memories

LESS HOLIDAY OVERKILL

I know that this is not near the Christmas season, but hey, it’s never too early to start planning. That and that is what is next during this time.

Strategies to Have a Better Holiday Season
1. Plan Ahead: set a budget
2. Reserve Space in your Schedule: block out downtime
3. Cut Down on Gifts: “something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read” rule
4. Volunteer: to spread holiday cheer
5. Eliminate the Unessential: determine your priorities

MORE MEMORIES:

We were together. I forget the rest. – Walt Whitman

Ways to Help Make Memories:
1. Make Memories with Food: perfect one or two recipes, make signature dishes
2. Make Memories with Laughter: play games
3. Make Memories with Tradition: they help us know who were are and where we’ve come from



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 29: Less Surface Clutter, More Art

LESS SURFACE CLUTTER

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.” – Albert Einstein

Advantages of Less Clutter:

1. Easier to keep clean: of course this is just a theory. For me I see that when I actually have a clear space, my husband will put something on it! which of course drives me insane! Anyway, it means that you have fewer things to dust as well. Which is good. In theory of course: the less you have, the less you will have to clean.

2. Easier to find things: of course I do see this as true. I have an organization to things and with everything in it’s proper place, it’s easier to find things.

3. Feels more restful: I do wholeheartedly agree with this. I feel that when I am able to see a clear surface (like on my desk) the calmness washes over me. It is much easier to get things done. I feel better! I need to continue to strive to do this.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Walk through your home and find an area that you plan to clear off the surfaces of the room. Clear off the clutter. See how that feels. I am going to do this in my living room. I do not consider books to be clutter (if properly arranged). So, I am going to work on this right after this post.

MORE ART

I have to say I just love the quote in the picture. I agree! I think life is art. Everything is art and it’s important to find all the beauty in art.

“If we fill our homes with things we love – things that are meaningful and useful and beautiful – then we will begin making our homes a reflection of our hearts.”

“We want to create spaces that inspire us into becoming what we were made to be.” I must say I agree. I feel that at times, my house is not all that inspiring. I have some places that are. But some are just a cluttered mess that do not make me happy. It is something I need to continue to work on.

Ten Ways to Add Beautiful Meaningful Art to Your Home
1. Make a gallery wall, full of your favorite pieces
2. Print some oversize photos and mount to foam board
3. Frame meaningful prints
4. Frame Children’s artwork (don’t have children but can frame other children’s)
5. Shop thrift stores for oil paintings (or just put up mine and my husband’s)
6. Paint an abstract painting of yourself
7. Tape poster’s to the wall using duct/washi tape
8. Group like things together in collections
9. Take everything out of the room for awhile to let the room breathe
10. When you put things back into your spaces, edit them so that it can only contain things you love.

Great ideas! I will definitely implement them!



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 28: Less Craft Mess, More Creativity

LESS CRAFT MESS
Tips to help tame craft clutter:
1. Stop going to the craft store: eek! I see where this could make sense though, I need to stop getting more things and use what I already own.
2. Get it all in one place: I have a everything in my office, however it needs to have a more organized approach.
3. Purge it: Keep only items that are useful (or ones that I will actually use)
4. Corral it: Invest in clear stack-able containers, I think that it makes sense. This is my whole, wanting to organize things.
5. Label it: I really must invest in a label maker.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Spend time today sorting and organizing your craft supplies. Get it all into one place, then purge the things you know you’ll never use, find bins and containers for loose items and label everything. Chances are just this process alone will have you feeling more creative and inspired to get crafty. This is something I am going to be working on tomorrow. I have periodically been working on this however I need to hustle more with it.

Next, embrace your inner artist. Look for a small project you can complete in an hour or two. I need to work on this, but I don’t know if I can because of all the school work I have to do.

MORE CREATIVITY

“We may not all have the same skill or training as do painters or musicians, but we all bear the image of a creative God. Being an artist has something to do with being brave enough to move toward what makes you come alive. Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are. You have the capacity of doing that work that comes from deep within you that touches something deep within me. We make art with our lives.”



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 27: Less In the Garage, More Inspiring Garage Spaces

LESS IN THE GARAGE:

Strategies to Clear Out Garage Space:
1. Do Something Everyday: Set timer for 30 – 60 minutes and just do something in the garage. This is something that I really should be doing. Of course I can’t do this everyday, but I can every non-working day. I think that it will be something that will show some differences in the room.
2. Define the Space: The space for me would be a storage space, a work out space, a space to hold my car and a place for paintings/paint supplies
3. Find Storage Solutions that Work: I want to make a shelving thing for binds so that I can grab them and get them out as needed.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Vow to tackle one section of this space today. Clear the clutter, organize or clean one small area, then make a plan to tackle another section soon. I am going to spend 60 minutes in the garage today. Just picking up junk I think (would be easier than trying to get a section clear).



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 26: Less Bedroom Clutter, More Intimacy

LESS BEDROOM CLUTTER:

”... 1/3rd of your life will be spend in the bedroom it makes eliminating the chaos and transforming that space into a haven when we can recharge from the demands of the day seem a lot more important…”

Ideas for Creating a Restful, Clutter Free Bedroom:
1. Make your bed everyday: This is something that I have been meaning to do but I haven’t done yet. Mostly because my husband and I have different schedules when it comes to work. But, I must try to find a way.
2. Calm Your Closet: This is already completed.
3. Get Rid of What Doesn’t Belong: This is the thing that I really need to work on. I have too many things in my room that don’t belong. Of course books are okay but not books that I have already read and do not belong in that area. That and Alex keeps a bunch of things from work in the room that should be in the office if anything.
4. Add Ambiance: Candles, fresh linen, flowers? Need to seriously consider what to do.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Clear the clutter from the drawers and dressers. Dust surfaces. Also, let your husband know that you love him. Love note, special meal, backrub. Kiss like you mean it. This is something I will do. I need to clean off my nightstand at the very least. I can’t clean of Alex’s because I don’t know where he wants his things to be, but I know that I need to remind him (gently) what the bedroom is for. Also the dresser has to be cleaned out. Especially the tops.

MORE INTIMACY

“Life is just hard. Life takes work and nothing will require more commitment and soul-searching than marriage.”

This is something that I need to be working on. I need to gain the intimacy in my life with my partner that sometimes is lacking.



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 25: Less Bathroom Junk, More Personal Beauty

LESS BATHROOM JUNK

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a killer red lipstick.” – Gwyneth Paltrow

Simple Tips for Cleaning Bathroom Junk:
1. Find out what you use: of course see what I need to declutter, what I need to stock up on and what is worth keeping (somethings are already expired).
2. Eliminate Multiples: Of course I am not going to do this in the way it was intended. I want to keep the multiples under the sink so that I can have a little stock pile of things and not have to run to the store for deodorant or toothpaste.
3. Discard old expired products: I did this with some nail polish yesterday, and went through my “special make up” drawer but I need to keep weeding things out
4. Find a system that works: I think this is something that I would just have to do a massive cleaning then the upkeep will be really easy to maintain. That was how it was with my kitchen

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Clean our your bathroom. Purge unnecessary items. I have been meaning to do this for some time. I also need to make a list of the things I need to purchase (some extra items and just things in general that I need).

Think about your best facial feature. What small changes can you make to accentuate your beautiful self? I am not sure what I would say. But I have been trying to wear a light olored mascara most days. Which I think bring out my eyes.

MORE PERSONAL BEAUTY:

”... beauty is not some ‘conjured up’ set of external qualities, but is instead the essence of what God has already put inside us.”

Tips and Products on Making the Outside Match the Inside
1. Smile and smile some more: True beauty comes from the heart. Attitude is everything: this is something that I have to continue to remind myself. I can have a bad attitude at times, forget that I am not the only one feeling a certain way, so I need to remember that I need to smile, think the best in people and do the best I can do.
2. Beauty products that you must have: I like the BB cream with the sunscreen in it, basic eye shadow and mascara, some lip gloss to.
3. Hair Products: I have to use a defining gel or some sort of gel because I have a pixie cut now.



Identify and accomplish a monthly procrastination goal (read all 16 entries…)
Year 2013 Review, Updates and Plans for the Future

This is a goal that I don’t know if it ever had/has an ending. I have done a few months of things, but not all. But of course I do complete all these things I “plan on doing” but forget to post them here.

So, I am going to just consider this goal as done. I don’t see it as something that will benefit me in the new year. I am sure it might, however I am going do to things a bit differently so.. Done.



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Year 2013 Review, Updates and Plans for the Future

Review: I started this goal this year so.. all my progress is there. I feel like I have learned a lot about who I am, what I want and have worked on my physical clutter (to a point). It is something that I have continued to want to work on and plan on working on until this is complete (7 more days).

So, I have enjoyed these principles and I will continue to use what I have learned and will have made this into a change of life kind of thing.

This has been a great run!



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 24: Less Kitchen Disorder, More Pretty Pantries

LESS KITCHEN DISORDER:

I have already done a lot of this in the past and have kept up my kitchen clean up almost daily. So, this day will be something I can easily accomplish.

Strategies to Simply Kitchen:
1. Plan your meals: We don’t cook much, so I don’t know if planning meals is really what I need to work on, maybe just keeping things in order and keeping things more stocked
2. Embrace your crockpot and freezer: don’t have a crockpot but I do eat leftovers. so I hope that counts as a decluttering my kitchen things
3. Buy less food: I think I have to really work on this. I have been buying too much food at times then see that I am throwing away foods because they spoil. This is definitely something that organization will help me.
4. Keep it clean: I have been working on this, and will continue to do so.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Although today’s challenge was things that were important to be done, I feel like they don’t work for me. I have containers and I frequently evaluate and throw out the ones that don’t work for me. I have a pantry that I continuously update, stock and clean things up. I don’t have things to label (like to challenge suggested) and as far as creating a meal plan, we don’t really eat “meals” at home so, as long as I have the necessary supplies: cheese, lunch meat, crackers. Then I am set.

MORE PRETTY PANTRIES:

I want to say that I feel my pantries are already pretty. Sure they can be prettier (anything can be), but I like what I have going right now and I think that I don’t really have to do much to maintain this (after I made this a mission, it just stuck!)

Extra Ideas On Ways to Make the Pantry Pretty:
1. Decide on some pretty containers: I have some already, and of course I can always use some more. The Container store is way too far away!
2. Labels: this is something I haven’t done yet. I have thought about getting an actual label maker for my labels, and have thought about printing out labels as well, however I haven’t quite figured out what I want to do yet
3. Take Everything Out: this is something I guess I should do monthly? or maybe even quarterly?
4. Put it back pretty: well duh!
5. Maintain it.



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Update Day 23

Well, I started to clean out my closet. Its almost done. I found a lot of clothes that I should have been put in the give away pile a long time ago. But didn’t for whatever reason. Anyway. I still have to go through the top bins to see what now fits me that (didn’t really fit before). But I don’t really feel like doing that today. Maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, I still spent time working on this and got a lot of it done.



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 23: Less Closet Chaos, More Pretty Closets

LESS CLOSET CHAOS

Things to ask yourself: “What excess in your home is keeping you or your family from enjoying a chaos-free life?”

Morris rule: Have nothing your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

TIPS FOR KEEPING CLOSET CHAOS AT BAY:
1. Stop the Flow: convince yourself you already have enough.
2. Ruthlessly Purge: only keep things that are currently useful
3. Set Strict Limits: only things that fit in designated areas
4. Value Quality Over Quantity: choose long term value

TODAY’S CHALLENGE
Organize your closet. Go through every piece and remove the things you haven’t worn in a month. I plan on doing this tomorrow. Its too late in the day to work on this now, but I do have some clothes that are ready to be donated, so I am going to work on this. The good thing about this is that I have already cleaned out my closet and done a mass organization a few months ago and have pretty much kept this up to date.

MORE ORDER IN CLOSET

1st step would be ruthless purging: things that don’t fit, things that don’t flatter and just things I don’t like

Good Tips:
1. Stop Over-Buying: make sure you don’t by things that are too similar
2. Take Better Care of What you Have: make sure things don’t get bad due to neglect
3. Do the Rainbow Closet: store clothes by corner
4. Rinse and Repeat: repeat this process every couple of months



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 22: Less Paper Clutter, More Filing

LESS PAPER CLUTTER

3-Part System to Help Tame Paper Clutter
1. Toss it as soon as you can: junk mail straight to trash from mailbox
2. Pile it now, sort it later: piles for things that need to be looks at later, then once a month (or more frequently)
3. File, file, file:

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Tame that paper mountain. Give yourself an hour to tackle your piles. Start a file box.

MORE FILLING

“One piece of advice to give about paperwork: Throw things away!”



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Starting Part 3: Less Stuff, More Contentment

I think this is the best part yet. I did a lot of inward soul searching type of activities, which have been really good. However, I think (I know) I have a clutter problem. I hope this next part will help me claim the clutter beast!



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Update Part 2: Less Stress More Peace -- Complete

I got through two parts of this “31 Days of Less and More” and I can say that this is something that has really enriched my life. I find it very fulfilling and plan on using these principles in my everyday life. I will remind myself that I can be the person that I want to be and am ready for what life has to offer me.

Now for the updates!

Day 12: Less Social Media, More Friendship: I cleaned out my social media websites which have been better for me. It was difficult, however now I spend time looking at things that I want to look at. So in turn I am spending less time on facebook and pinterest (I am still addicted of course). I have also been cultivating my friendships. I have reconnected with Brenda and Lyzette and plan on continuing to spend more time with them.

Need to work on: continue to spend time with friends I don’t normally see or talk to. Continue keeping my current friendships, limit my internet use.

Day 13: Less Email, More Hand Written Notes:
Need to work on: Although, I have written more notes that I have in quiet some time, I haven’t written as much as I used to. I want to keep leaving my husband notes to find, and I hope that in turn he will see that I want to receive some as well.

Day 16: Less Running Around, More Nesting”I have been doing a before bed routine for the most part (including getting my work stuff together, my clothes, my keys, my lunch)

Need to work on: Start a High/Low conversation during dinner and start organizing my things better



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 21: Less Tension, More Patience

LESS TENSION

“It goes to follow that if we truly want to lessen the stress in our life, we will have to actively work to lessen our tension.”

WAYS TO REDUCE TENSION
1. Take a deep cleaning breath: short breaths compounds anxiety because we are getting less oxygen
2. Count to ten: don’t speak until you have a few minutes to compose yourself
3. Take a walk around the block: puts things into perspective
4. Say a prayer:God, grant me the patience to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Identify a recent situation where you felt stressed/tense and, as a result, snapped at a loved one. Reflect on how you could have handled the situation differently. What are some ways you can think of to alleviate tension in your day-to-day life? I get frustrated at work and lash out to some of my co-workers, well the ones that I feel are more “family”. I need to stop and think about why I am upset, who I am really upset with and what would me being grumpy would solve. NOTHING! I know that. So, I know I have to take a deep breath, maybe walk off the unit and get something to drink.

MORE PATIENCE

“You have the power to change those poor habits and to do the hard work of relating in better ways. Don’t just pray for patience, practice it. Start today with the very people who try us and test us the most – our families!”



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 20: Less Caffeine, More Exercise

LESS CAFFEINE

“According to Prevention.com, too much caffeine can cause fatigue, dehydration, insomnia or interrupted sleep, anxiety and acid reflux, all of which can make you feel more stressed, not less.”

“According to Mayo Clinic, 200-300 mg of caffeine per day – equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of coffee – is perfectly reasonable.”

TODAY’S CHALLENGE
Cut your coffee (or caffeine) consumption by half. Then sometime today, walk/exercise for at least 15 minutes. I have already started this! I haven’t had my cup of coffee today, however I am going to be making myself a cup of tea in a bit, but only 1 cup, so that will be a drastically less amount of coffee than usual. As for exercise, it’s a bit cold outside, but I will walk/run to the mail box in a bit, which won’t be 15 minutes but will be something. Also, tomorrow when I work I will play with the kids in the gym (for the next two days).

MORE EXERCISE

“Just do it!”



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 19: Less Sugar, More Cooking

LESS SUGAR

Things to consider:
1. Sugar filled drinks can not only cause weight gain but also increase risk for developing diabetes.
2. Diet high in sugar can cause acne.
3. Too much sugar can lower your good cholesterol.
4. Diet high in sugar and carbs cause mood swings and increase depression.
5. Sugar has been linked to different types of cancer.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Plan a healthy, low in sugar menu for the coming week. Make a grocery list of things you might need. I have to say that I don’t really eat a lot of sugar to begin with. About a year ago, I gave up soda (which was harder for me to give up than cigarettes). I don’t have the sweet tooth (even though I occasionally crave chocolate), I am more of a salty person. I have to limit my chips, popcorn and crackers. (More than anything)

MORE COOKING

Thoughts on learning to cook and enjoying it more:
1. Feeding people is the most important way to love and care for them
2. Gather good supplies (cutting board, good knife, apron)
3. Stock your pantry with good ingredients
4. Organize your pantry and your baking supplies so that they are easy to access
5. Cook!

This is something I don’t do. I am not much of a cook, I have been baking lately (which I guess is the opposite of “less sugar”). I need to learn to cook at least a few good items. I would like to learn to make a good soup. I need a crockpot…



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 18: Less Catch-Up, More Planning

LESS CATCH-UP

Strategies to help catch-up quickly

1. Positive Self Talk: remind yourself that whatever stress you are feeling is temporary, keep telling yourself that this too shall pass (as many times as you need to)

2. Write it down: stress and pressure of keeping track of all that you have to do can be overwhelming; best thing to do is get it OUT of your head and onto a sheet of paper

3. Prioritize: next to each item in your list label the priority of each item, “A” = MUST be done, “B” = Should be done, “C” = COULD be done and “D” = DOESN’T NEED to be done (at least not right now), if you have more than one “A” tasks give them numbers (A1, A2, etc)

4. Complete “A” tasks: work on these must needed tasks, You should always do your ugliest, hardest task first, get it out of the way

5. Give yourself grace: try to focus on the most important tasks and give yourself a break on everything else; All you can do is all you can do!

TODAY’S CHALLENGE
Starting tonight, write down 3 things each evening that you want to accomplish tomorrow. Commit to waking up 15-30 minutes earlier, use that time to plan your day.

This is something I used to do and I felt it really helped me feel more calm. I can’t even understand why I stopped doing this to begin with. This is definitively something I can re-implement.

MORE PLANNING

All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.

Sunday Speed Prep:
1. Take an hour/two to prep for the week.
2. Laundry for the week
3. Clean kitchen
4. Fill Coffee water reservoir
5. Make a list of things to accomplish this week

These are good things to do at the end of the week. Since I don’t work a traditional week schedule, it is something I can do the day before I go back to work (whatever day that lands on). That’s what I have been doing with my laundry, I usually spend the day before I go back to work on laundry and some general cleaning. Just need to keep this up and make this more of a habit.



31 Days of Less And More (read all 44 entries…)
Day 17: Less Mindless Spending, More Passionate Living

LESS MINDLESS SPENDING

”... the busier (and hungrier) I get, the more apt I am to spend without thinking…”

This definitely rings true for me. I think in general you just don’t think clearly when you are hungry or stressed.

Habits to implement to help curb mindless spending:

1. Sticking to a cash budget: paying cash feels real. this is something that David Ramsey suggests, however I find it very hard to do. I am not sure if it is something I can implement, but it is something I need to consider.

2. Planning ahead: maybe keep an emergency kit in the car of snacks, so that I do not stop and get something that is not appropriate. Or carry the snacks in the car.

3. Writing it down

4. Implementing the 24 hour rule

TODAY’S CHALLENGE
Think back to the last time it happened (overspent/overindulged) and why. What are some of the ways you can avoid this situation in the future? I think I can say this was pretty much today. I went to buy some things for the dogs (food initially) but then I ended up buying dog and cat beds and dog and cat toys. I think it was because it was the Black Friday thing where I decided to “save” money buy buying things that my dogs and cats would use but on sale. I don’t normally overspend/overindulge, so I don’t feel bad about it. Identify an activity or hobby that you are passionate about, but have given up because of time, circumstances or money. Is there a way to incorporate this passion back into your life? I don’t do as much art as I would like. I think it’s more of the time issue because I don’t have a designated spot in my home where I can do this and then I have to put everything away and it’s just too much time and effort to go back and forth. I need to organize my spaces more appropriately for this to be done.

MORE PASSIONATE LIVING

“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

“And you’ll work harder when you discover your passions, because finally work won’t seem like work. While you are immersed in that thing that makes you come alive – hours will pass yet time will stand still… The challenge is not to so much to find what you were made to do as to submit to it.”

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who come alive.” – Howard Thurman



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