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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Entries
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Beat S.A.D. this year (read all 3 entries…)
Spending more time in the sun

I realized that I sometimes go days without going outside, save going to and from a car. Geez, no wonder I seem to be picking up some SAD symptoms a month before I usually do.

For a week now, I’ve been spending as much time outside as possible. Weekdays, I spread out a blanket and do homework in my yard until it starts to get dark. Weekends are even easier—I spend my days hiking, boating, etc.

I try to spend some time in front of my lamp, too.

I feel better! I’m happier, and more motivated.



Beat S.A.D. this year (read all 3 entries…)
Is it that time of the year already?

My SAD symptoms usually start around late November. Strangely enough, said symptoms have already made their appearance this year (yes, in early October).

For about a week, I’ve felt sad and unmotivated during the hours following sunset. I worked through the negative feelings well, but I was confused as to why I was sad at all. The fact that I’ve been almost unbearably tired every day made things seem a lot more grave, especially when my fatigue brought about severely impaired vision.

It seems pretty obvious now that some premature Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder has come into the picture. No problem: I’ll spend as much time in the sun as I can, and I’ll use my lamp and various coping skills to fill in the gaps.

It feels good to know what’s going on—now I can cope accordingly. I’m glad that I realized what was going on, before my symptoms became really bad.

Unlike last year… I marked this goal accomplished, but I knew all along that I really hadn’t coped with SAD at all. I just didn’t care.



Eat less junk food
Already there!

When it comes to this goal, I have progressed incredibly well.

I succumbed to binge eating disorder for years. Mid-summer, I left my binge eating behind me once and for all. It’s hard to say how it happened; I think that my food issues just kind of resolved themselves as I became a happier, more in-control person. All I know is that it has been shockingly easy for me to eat less junk food.

I could mark this goal ‘accomplished’ now, but I think I should write at least one entry on my progress before I get to that point.

By the way, I’ve lost at least twenty-five pounds in the past three or four months. My healthier-looking body is just one of the reasons that I know I’ve really made it.



be more politically aware (read all 3 entries…)
New mini-goal: catch up on political news daily

When I do get a chance to read the news, I sometimes end up feeling confused and overwhelmed. A lot happens between my news-reading spurts.

This is why I am setting aside a short period of time every day to catch up on politics. I may be really busy, but I will always have twenty minutes of free time available to browse news sites online.

Once I actually know what is going on in the country, I will be better eqipped to go deeper into individual issues. One thing at a time!

The fact that I have very nearly reached voting age serves as a major encouragement to become more politically aware (and as soon as possible).



Get Principal's honor roll (read all 5 entries…)
Going strong

All A’s so far!



Learn how to be alone (read all 2 entries…)
Why I'm letting this one go

When I added this goal a long time ago, what I really wanted to do was become independent of parents—not wholly, but to the point where seperation anxiety wouldn’t get in the way of my life.

I’ve more than accomplished that since then. However, mutual and joyful love has changed my perspective on what ‘being alone’ really means to me. I can get through the day fine by myself—actually, I barely ever get to see Cordelia (my girlfriend and love—but make no mistake about it, we talk several times a day). Still, I’m not alone. I’ll never really be alone—and I don’t want to be, either.

Even though I accomplished this goal in one way, marking it ‘accomplished’ just wouldn’t do.



I want to go into my bank wearing a pair of pantyhose on my head and yell, "GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY," then take it off and say, "Just kidding, I came to cash a check."
One demographic that I can see benefiting from this

This is by far the best way to get arrested that I can think of. Angry teenage rebels can save themselves a lot of embarrasment later on in life by forsaking petty theft and crystal meth and sliding a good pair of pantyhose over their heads.

If it’s attention and trouble they’re searching for in their adolescent quest for a lack of dignity, then this would work out just as well as the typical tactics. A huge bonus: later regret will be replaced with a damn good story to tell the grandkids.

But all well-intentioned sarcasm aside: I love this goal.

And you can all expect more entries from me on different demographics that should really take this goal into consideration… whether you all like it or not.



Appreciate New Hampshire (read all 2 entries…)
New Hampshire birding

I’m taking a New Hampshire Fall Birds course at my school. I get to observe and learn about many, many different species of birds that can be seen in NH in the autumn.

Come spring, I’m taking Spring NH Birds.

Nice way to schedule a little bit of New Hampshire appreciation into my everyday life, eh?



Appreciate New Hampshire (read all 2 entries…)
History, progress, plans

Could I have named this goal “Appreciate my home state”? Certainly, but I’d rather include the name of my home state in this goal. That way, New Hampshirites searching for ‘New Hampshire’ on 43 Things may just find that this goal is something that they want to do. And in learning to appreciate my home state, isn’t proclaiming the name of it proudly a good start?

Like plenty of kids I know, I could hardly wait to get out of New Hampshire when I was younger. It was actually painful for me to live in a place that was, in my opinion, boring, and with nothing to offer by way of fun and culture.

Over a few long years, I’ve grown to appreciate NH—more because I have to be here than for the amazing things the state offers. I want to further my appreciation and love of New Hampshire. It doesn’t mean I’ll live here forever, but it does mean that it will always have a special place in my heart. I want NH to be a place that I will always look forward to coming back to—not only because it’s home, but because it’s New Hampshire.

The beauty of this state has barely been noticed by me since I started my jaded teenage years. I’ve been missing out on so much since I resigned myself to hating my home state! Now, with autumn coming up, the prime time to recognize New Hampshire’s beauty is approaching. New England’s famous fall foliage deserves more than a passing glance from me this year.

Over the summer, I took advantage of both of the bodies of water I live close to: the ocean at my actual house, and the lake at my weekend lakehouse. That was a great start to this goal.

In between taking advantage of all the great activities and sights NH has to offer (snowboarding and hikes, anyone?), I’ll read up on just what makes this state so special. NH locals will probably recognize who Fritz Wetherby is—I’m reading a book of short factual anecdotes on the history of New Hampshire. Did you know that Frost’s ‘Stopping in Woods on a Snowy Evening’ was written about a forest in Derry?

The other book is an unorthodox travel guide to eccentric and bizarre places in New England. I’ve seen a few of them (for instance, a statue of Hannah Duston, Natrive American scalps in hand, hidden away next to some out-of-the-way railroad tracks), but there are a lot more near me that I haven’t yet checked out.



Read more often
I'm so glad to be reading often again!

I’ve been an avid reader for most of my life. But for the past two years or so, a mixture of depression and a below-par attention span made reading, once an extremely important activity in my life, seem difficult if not unatractive.

I slowly worked my way through my troubles, and my hunger for literature has been fully restored. In order to get back on track in terms of reading often, I’m going to keep track of what I read every month for awhile.

August:

Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, by J.D. Salinger
Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

Total for August: 3 Books, 752 Pages

I adored all of those books. Wholly adored. I only regret that I have now made my way through all of Salinger’s present works! ;.;

Right now I’m reading V. by Thomas Pynchon. It’s an excellent book, but pretty hard to get through. It’s a challenge for me. All the better, right? ;D And I have a couple books on my home state, New Hampshire, for lighter reading (when I feel that I can’t get through a book that really takes work to fully understand).



Get Principal's honor roll (read all 5 entries…)
I think I'm really going to do it this year!

It’s been an awful long time since I actually applied myself to accomplishing and tracking progress on my 43 Things goals! But now that I’ve gone through my list and deleted the goals that no longer apply to my aspirations, I think it’s about time I get back in the swing of things.

Now, unto matters that actually deal with this particular goal!

I’m a senior now. I have one last year to try and acheive Honor Roll here at my high school.

I have three classes this trimester, out of a possible five. One block is a study hall for special needs students such as myself (I’m trying really hard to get out of it by second trimester, which I can do if I get all B’s. Academic Support was really helpful when I actually needed it, but now it’s just unnecessary). The other is a block I use to volunteer in the library for one credit a trimester. It was supposed to be a free block, but I didn’t care for all the extra time.

Add those two classes to Senior Seminar, and I have three Pass/Fail classes.

I have a lot of leg room on this one, as WHS doesn’t really even have a Principal’s Honor Roll. It has a High Honor Roll, though, and I think that seniors only need three A’s to get it. This is because Seniors tend to have free blocks. I don’t know how Pass/Fail classes enter into the equation, but this is just one trimester out of the whole year.

Here’s the important part of this update: I really think I can do it this year. Last year, and all the years before that, I didn’t really think I could make it. And to tell you the truth, I was probably right. I matured a lot over the summer—I finally feel ready to truly apply myself to school. I can do this.



Download every Elvis song ever made (read all 4 entries…)
vinyl dillemna

I wonder, should I include the songs by Elvis that I have on vinyl as ‘taken care of’? One one hand, I can’t take them with my everywhere, but on the other hand, I’d rather listen to music on a record player than on my Nano. I’ll give the matter some thought.

My darling little sister made me an Elvis poster for my birthday, centered around every song that he ever recorded. I have no excuse not to go back to my abandoned List of Bests! I will go work on it right now.



Read 10 books over the summer
Starting out with...

Ten is the perfect number of books to read this summer, as I will be very busy over vacation.

I am starting out with a very old, very large anthology of letters by Oscar Wilde (the title and author escapes me at the moment), with the bestseller Maurey & Me for a little light reading on the side.



learn italian
Start

I am going to Italy this summer with my family, and no one speaks Italian. Both of my parents say that they will start learning it soon, but I want to make sure that I know as much as possible before we leave this summer. It’s not just about convenience and safety—I have always wanted to learn another language!

The more Italian I learn (I’ve been practicing my Pimsleur CDs for an hour a day, and studying a phrase book), the more I love the language!



Lose 10 pounds
Motives and Plan

I’m not losing weight for any reason related to vanity or self-esteem. I’m losing weight to be in shape for summer activities! There is no way that I’m going to sit around and eat junk food until vacation, just to huff and puff my way up mountains and down cliffs.

I have very little stamina at the moment, but I will try to exercise as much as possible. It is imperative that I incorporate some sort of physical activity into my schedule every day. In addition to that, I am cutting junk food out of my diet and only snacking on fruits and vegetables.



be a tea connoisseur
My present staus, and how I plan to improve

I drink plenty of tea—3-6 cups a day, let’s say—and I know a bit about the stuff. Really, the only thing standing in the way of me being a tea conoisseur is my location. It is very hard to find many kinds of quality loose tea (good-tasting bagged tea is in steady supply) where I live.

I’m running out of my imported imported Chinese teas, so I’m going to order some Twinings and Upton online—perhaps a few Adiago brews as well.

I’m not sure what it will take for me to be a connoisseur (besides enjoying as many quality teas as I can), but I’ll ‘know it when I see it’.



Make a scrapbook
Untitled

I’ve dabbled in scrapbooking before, but just barely—I’ve made a couple of pages featuring stickers and photos on pretty paper, but that’s about it. Now, I want to make something that I’ll really treasure, something I can be proud of.

I took lots of photos at prom, photos which I have edited and printed out. I also bought some nice supplies at Wholly Scrap (the local scrapbooking store, which I love to pieces). So, I’ll get to work, and show you guys how my first attempt turns out.



go to prom (read all 2 entries…)
A great time

Thr truth is, even if you don’t have a spectacular time at prom, attending is always worth it. I happened to have the time of my life last night, but even if I did not, I would have marked this goal ‘worth doing’. From what I hear from people who didn’t attend their prom, those who didn’t give prom a chance often regret not knowing what it would be like to attend.

As long as one doesn’t take things too seriously, prom is fantastic. Luckily, I was very laid-back about the whole thing. If I hadn’t been, I might have ended up disappointed or upset. Instead, the evening was a lot of fun.

I recommend going to prom with a group of friends instead of just one person, not spending ridiculous amounts of money thinking that it will actually matter once you get there, and, again, not taking the night too seriously. Have fun!



go to prom (read all 2 entries…)
24 hours!

I wanted to add this goal long before I did, but I never thought that I would be able to go to prom (though I really wanted to, and had dreamed about going since the seventh grade). Since high school started, I’ve been hopelessly shy about school-related functions. Not to mention, I never thought that I’d find a date—and there was simply no way that I was going to prom without someone by my side.

Turns out that it is ridiculously easy to get a date, and a fantastic one at that! I can’t think of anyone that I’d rather go with. In addition to that, I have a killer dress, a ticket, and everything else that I need—and my prom starts in 24 hours! I’m so excited.



Use a picture of myself as an avatar on 43 Things
Finally!

I had been meaning to do this for quite some time! Almsot everyone on 43 Things seems to have an avatar that is a picture of their face, and having an avatar of my hand seemed so impersonal. It was hard to upload a picture of myself, though, since my camera cord was missing.

Well, I went up to the computer a few nights ago and, lo and behold, there was a camera cord plugged in to the computer. There was even a picture of me on the camera that was plugged in! Consider this goal done.



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