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The 50 by 50 Project: Progress Report #1

You might recall that toward the end of 2015 I shared my 2016 Word of the YearProgress – and followed up at the start of January with an explanation of a project I’d conceived to help me put the word into action in the new year. My introduction to The 50 by 50 Project was as follows:

The 50 by 50 Project is a list of 50 things I want to accomplish in the coming year: things I need to do, things I want to do, things I keep saying I’m going to do but never quite get around to it, things that will make me a better person, things that will get me out of the house more, things that will help me get my house in order.

Some of the things on my list are big, ongoing, and challenging while others are short, sweet, and easily accomplished. Some are serious, others are frivolous. Some are tedious, others are a delight. All are realistic, doable, and life-enhancing.

The intent of the project isn’t to somehow attain perfection by the age of 50 (if that were even possible!); rather, as Peter suggested when I explained the project to him, to hit the ground running when I reach that milestone, happy and healthy and ready for a vibrant, fulfilling life to come.

I wrapped up the post by committing to write a monthly “Progress Report” (usually toward the end of each month) with updates on how my 50 by 50 Project is progressing.

Well, we’re now pretty much done with January (if you can believe it!), so this is me following up and checking in.

The 50 by 50 Project: Progress Report #1
(Comments for January 2016 are in blue)

Ongoing (until complete!)

  1. Lose 50 pounds.
    • 7.1 lbs lost as of 2016-01-25.
  2. Read 50 books for the 2016 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge.
    • 5 books finished, 3 currently on the go.
  3. Within my 50 books read, include one from each of the 24 categories in the Read Harder Challenge 2016.
    • 5 books finished, 2 currently on the go.
  4. Read and complete the exercises in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (book and workbook).
  5. Create art for a colouring book.
  6. Purchase 12 (i.e., one per month) items from friends with online shops.
  7. Promote 12 (i.e., one per month) friends’ online shops on social media.
  8. Learn to play “Morning Has Broken” on the piano.
    • Purchased sheet music for piano (which includes guitar chords as I’m hoping Peter will join me!).

Anytime projects

  1. Make a video of me playing “Morning Has Broken” and upload the video to YouTube.
  2. Buy and set up a bookshelf in my arts & crafts room.
    • Purchased a bookshelf and am hoping to assemble it and get the room organized this weekend.
  3. Display my art for sale in a public place.
  4. Organize my internet bookmarks.
  5. Organize my Flickr albums.
  6. Reorganize my iTunes music library.
  7. Make a new $25 contribution to Kiva.
  8. Sort through clothing; organize/repair/discard/donate as necessary.
  9. Sort through shoes; organize/repair/discard/donate as necessary.
  10. Sort through bags and purses; organize/repair/discard/donate as necessary.
  11. Sort through accessories (scarves, gloves, etc.); organize/repair/discard/donate as necessary.
    • Started – winter stuff only so far.
  12. Sort through jewellery; organize/repair/discard/donate as necessary.


  1. Renew my passport.
    • Planning to get the ball rolling by having passport photos taken this coming Monday.
  2. Make a new will.
    • Purchased a package and set up an account on Canadian Legal Wills, but haven’t yet completed any of the forms.
  3. Make a financial contribution to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
  4. Set up a WEVolunteer profile and find a way to give back to my community.
  5. Learn to draw ZenGems.
    • Instructions and supplies have been assembled in preparation for learning.
  6. Visit the Art Gallery of Windsor.
  7. Host a craft/project night for friends at my house.
    • Scheduled for February.


  1. Work with Peter to plan and set up a vegetable garden.
  2. Spend an afternoon taking photos of spring blossoms.
  3. Visit Ojibway Nature Centre and Ojibway Park.
  4. Take a walk in Jackson Park.
  5. Host a games night for friends at my house.


  1. Complete the training to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT).
  2. Have a logo designed.
  3. Have new business cards designed and printed.
  4. Create and launch a personal web site.
  5. Go to the beach and walk barefoot in the sand.
  6. Visit Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in Dresden.
  7. Visit Kingsville.
  8. Host a backyard barbecue for friends.


  1. Publish a colouring book.
  2. Teach a Zentangle class.
  3. Create a new design for a Christmas/holiday card.
  4. Spend an afternoon taking photos of fall foliage.
  5. Blog daily with NaBloPoMo (November).


  1. Send/give Christmas cards to family and friends.
  2. Find a cat-proof (or at least cat-resistant!) way to decorate the house for the holidays.
  3. Host a Christmas cookie decorating party for friends at my house.
  4. Spend an evening touring the city to look at Christmas lights.
  5. Gather with friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve and my 50th birthday.


Thank you so much for reading, and I do hope you’ll return and follow along with my Progress – to keep me accountable, to offer support and encouragement, and to be inspired!

Are you with me?
Please share!

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.