My New Year tradition is not too exciting for someone my age: after spending the evening with family playing cards or watching a movie, I head home in time to be with my fur babies by midnight, snuggle them and thank them for putting up with my shenanigans for another year, then crawl into bed around 0005 or 0030. Then, when I eventually open my peepers later in the morning, I hop on my computer and apply for my PFD. By doing it January first, every year, I ensure that I don’t put it off and then forget about it, as life can get crazy busy without my permission. And then I sit down with my 100’s list, and go over my goals for the coming year and see how last year went.

What is a 100’s list you might ask? Why, let me tell you! Lauralye many years ago introduced me to the concept of a 100’s list. For people that loath condensing our hopes and dreams for the next year into one little goal that is often hard to quantify and track, a 100’s list is a perfect solution. Every year I buy a new spiral journal or diary, and then sit down and really think hard about my life for a few weeks. This is no time for arrogance and false modesty. I will be the first person to admit I am far from perfect, and I have several areas to improve upon. And a 100’s list is a perfect place to celebrate your strengths, and work on your weaknesses.

When I host 100’s parties in January, and mid-year 100’s parties around June, we usually go around the room and people pick things from their lists they want to share. People will write a range of things on their 100’s list: grandiose travel plans, people they want to prioritize seeing, projects they want to finish but have been putting off, and even simple things we don’t take seriously enough but should (the bed is a cell phone free zone). For example, a silly thing on my 100’s list a few years back was ‘skinny dip’. Yep, at 26 I finally went skinny dipping with friends at a lake on a glorious May day. That was on my list for three years before I finally did it. ‘Camp in Granite Basin’ was on my list for two years, and when we camped back there it was an incredible experience that actually made me a little sad it took so long to accomplish. But then I also had important things that aren’t glamorous at all like ‘get out of credit card debt’ and ‘support Trail Mix’. Then there are really personal ones that I haven’t done because it’s just really hard; my childhood cat of 10 years passed away a few years back, and I still can’t bring myself to look at her little urn without ugly crying, but I want to get to a point where I can open it and send some ashes to Memory Glass and ‘get two Memory Glass for kitty’ when I’m finally ready.

I have found over the years, it is easier to break my list into six categories: personal relations, adventure, financial, reading, photography, and crafty pants. For me, this helps me break my life into the larger categories that are important to me. And a personal gift of making a 100’s list is that over time you can see how your interests change, how what you consider important shifts and your goals evolve. I couldn’t tell you off hand what was important to me three years ago, but when I look back at my 100’s list I have it written right there. And when comparing my lists’, I can see where I have grown as a person, where I accomplished the things that were important even if it took me a while, and that gives me strength each year that I will accomplish more and more of my goals. Have I ever once completed everything on my list? Heck no! But I sure try. And what isn’t completed each year is a good base for the next year if you want it to be. Or, you can decide that after a year, it really wasn’t that important to you after all. And that is a perfectly ok.

Courtney Wendel has lived in Juneau since she was a year old. She has a twin brother and an older brother, and learned to enjoy the outdoors at a young age by following the boys into mischief. Graduating from JDHS in 2006, she attended UAS to receive her Literature of the Environment, BA English degree. When not at work she spends most of her time on the diverse trail system hiking, running, or camping with her spotted pooch and adventure buddies.