A long time ago, well, 1001 days ago, I made a list of things I wanted to do. Like a lot of people ( http://dayzeroproject.com
) have done. Of the things on my list I managed to do 27, which is low. My list is here: http://listography.com/3960285971/to_do/100_things_in_1001_days__for_fun
Was this worthwhile? Yes, but not in the way that it should have been. A list like this is kind of a time capsule. A big reason I didn't get more things done is that priorities changed. For example: I moved into a place that doesn't need curtains over the kitchen window, it needs more serious things like a proper vent for the dryer. There were other life changes, too. But it is a very interesting snapshot of where I thought I was and where my priorities were nearly three years ago, and how these things have shifted.
I think I'd give portions of it tighter deadlines. 1001 days is too long. Long enough to forget why one wanted to a thing in the first place. Long enough for serious things to happen that make things on it irrelevant. Breaking things into 100 days, 300 days, etc. goals would be better. Plus, I get things done better with tight deadlines, even if they are artificial.
I'd think more carefully about the things on the list. Nothing should be dependent on money. That was a hang up. Nothing should be dependent on other people- eg gatherings, etc. because people get too busy to come out to things like board game nights and my social circle where I live is small. I kept two lists, a "job oriented list" and a "fun list." I ponder making a more targeted list than those even, I've seen 101 cooking things lists that are neat. Making it targeted around a long term interest instead of using it to spark new interests might help with the relevancy issue. Or doing the opposite and having a mix of professional/personal development things and fun things, which would probably lead to a higher success rate. Also, being more honest rather than aspirational would improve success. I had high ambitions for volunteering, which isn't going to happen unless I tie it more carefully into my interests. Tutoring high school students, probably not. Volunteering at the herbarium? Way more likely.
I like making lists, its fun. So I might make another list, just for the heck of it. Though I have so many places I want to travel to and I really shouldn't include them, because it'd be impossible- I can't see the money being there for that. Which is frustrating. And I hesitate to put the things down that I really do see as priorities, after my experience with the last list. If I put house stuff down odds are we'll sell the house or something rendering those goals kaput. So a real actionable list would require a lot of thought, which I'm not sure I shouldn't use elsewhere. We'll see.