One day, I took my daughter Eden, who was 16 years old at the time, to a workshop I ran with a group of women about life skills and relationships. When we reached the positive thinking and happiness part of the workshop, I asked everyone to go home and think of a 100 things that would make them happy.
On our way home, Eden told me I had been very cruel to those women, because finding 100 things is too hard. “Why do you always say 100 when you ask people to make a list?” she asked and I thought it was a valid question. In all my life coaching programs for kids, parents, couples or just people who want to be happy, my clients make many lists. Why 100 things?
I guess the reason I say 100 is because 100 is a lot. The 100 things technique was something I learned during my special education studies. To get the kids’ creative juices flowing, we asked them to find uses for a blank sheet of paper or a shoe lace, to build something from 100 parts, and the list was huge.
Although it seemed to most people that thinking of 100 things is easy, I guess you need to actually do it to realize that the first 10 come easily, the next 10 are a bit harder, items 20 to 40 are even harder still and for anything beyond 50, you need to dig deep into your brain and be really creative to complete the list.
The kids who were naturally more open than grownups (and less experienced) had many quiet moments, as if going to places in their brain they did not use much. Those were the places where creativity resides.
So one reason we use 100 is because we want to get to those places, where we do not go often.
Another reason we use 100 is because it is like a competition with ourselves.
My explanations did not help my daughter. Four years later, she still thinks I use 100 just because it is a nice number…
100 Life Skills Lists
Personal development is the science of improving ourselves towards happiness, contentment and living with purpose. If we want to reach a peak state, we must know what it is. If someone wants to be happy, they first need to find out what makes them happy. If someone wants to be kind, they first need to know what their definition of kindness is… You get the idea, right?
If you have just figured out why you do not get what you want in life, well done! If you do not know exactly what you want in life, you will never get it, because even if you did, you would not know it.
In the next year, I will elaborate on the 100 list that appears on the Be happy in LIFE life coaching program. I will take each list and provide ideas and tips to complete each of the lists here at the bottom.
The 10 rules of list making
(I didn’t think you would survive 100 rules and 10 is a nice number too…)
- Do not fight over memory space in your brain. Write the list down!
- Use a numbered page to avoid counting over and over again (download the Be Happy in LIFE “100 things list” – it’s free).
- Keep the list in a place you can easily find to add items to it
- Pick the list that will be most meaningful to you (see below) and avoid making multiple lists at the same time
- Tell others you are making this list – it is not a secret and talking about your list will trigger many ideas
- Ask other people for ideas – the more minds, the more ideas
- Write a note next to the list of how many items you listed each time. The more items you add in one go, the deeper you go into your subconscious
- It is OK to repeat yourself. You will have time to go over your list again and add more items later
- Most lists need to be revised from time to time. Examine your lists every year and do some cleaning. Over time, you change your thoughts, desires, attitudes, feelings and beliefs and your lists need to change with them
- When you write a list of things you want to have, be or do, write the actions required to reach them, so you can start achieving right away
List of a 100 lists
Below is a list of 100 list ideas you can choose from.
Note that most things on the list have a positive focus. I have added only some self-awareness lists like “things I am afraid of”, because they can help you move forward. Keep in mind the Be Happy in LIFE philosophy – looking forward to a happy and positive future should always be the main focus.
To use the 100 list technique with kids, choose positive and character-building lists, like “ways to be kind” or “examples of success” and make the list shorter (start with 10 for very young kids and add as your kids grow older.
Making lists together with your kids is a great idea. Make your own list while your kids are making theirs. Talking about it can help everyone understand one another.
- 100 things I would say about myself if I had to present myself to an unknown person
- 100 people I consider my friends
- 100 things I want to do in my lifetime (also known as “the bucket list”)
- 100 things I am happy about
- 100 good memories from my childhood
- 100 ways to say “I love you”
- 100 things I’m grateful for
- 100 things I like about myself
- 100 Things I’m good at
- 100 things that make me happy
- 100 things I want for my birthday
- 100 things I can do to improve my life
- 100 things I am proud of myself for
- 100 things I would like to tell my dad
- 100 things I would like to tell my mom
- 100 beliefs I have about money
- 100 beliefs I have about relationships
- 100 beliefs I have about work
- 100 feelings I would like to feel
- 100 things I would do if I had all the time in the world
- 100 beliefs I have about kids
- 100 reasons to be healthy
- 100 ways to stay healthy
- 100 reasons to be rich
- 100 ways to be rich
- 100 reasons to stay married
- 100 good things I can say about myself
- 100 good things I can say about my kids
- 100 good things I can say about my partner
- 100 good things I can say about my childhood
- 100 good things I can say about my parents
- 100 things I would like people to say about me
- 100 beliefs I had when I was a kid
- 100 beliefs I would like my kids to have
- 100 ways to be kind
- 100 ways to save the environment
- 100 songs I loved listening to
- 100 books I loved reading
- 100 TV shows I love watching
- 100 games I love playing
- 100 places I loved being at
- 100 movies I loved watching
- 100 events that shaped my life
- 100 ways to make money
- 100 ways to make a difference in the world
- 100 things I absolutely sure are true
- 100 things I would save if my house went on fire
- 100 expectations I have from myself
- 100 expectations I have from my partner
- 100 expectations I have from my kids
- 100 expectations I have from my family (parents, siblings…)
- 100 expectations I have from my work
- 100 expectations I have from my friends
- 100 expectations I have from the government
- 100 things I share with my partner
- 100 good qualities I have as a parent
- 100 things that are important to me
- 100 places I would like to visit in my life time
- 100 ways I can help others
- 100 things I am excited about
- 100 decisions I have made that changed my life
- 100 people that inspired me
- 100 professions I would like to have (jobs, careers)
- 100 rules I follow
- 100 ways to be more productive
- 100 things I can do when I am by myself
- 100 mistakes I have made (and what did I learn from them?)
- 100 things I want my kids to know about me
- 100 things I want my kids to know
- 100 things I possess
- 100 ways to be creative
- 100 things I would never do
- 100 people I would like to meet and why (the people can be from history, your past, books, movies…)
- 100 things I would do if I just found out I won 1 million dollar
- 100 secrets I had or have
- 100 excuses people give for not living the life they want
- 100 things I would do if I knew I had one year to live.
- 100 things I could carry if I had a Mary Poppins bag
- 100 things my parents used to say to me
- 100 things I can donate
- 100 things that are funny
- 100 principles I live by
- 100 people I admire (from history, family, teachers, friends, coaches…)
- 100 things I do not regret
- 100 things I care about
- 100 character traits of a successful person
- 100 things I wished for that were fulfilled
- 100 things I would invent (if I could)
- 100 things I would do differently if I could live my life all over again
- 100 ways to use my time more efficiently
- 100 examples of good friendship
- 100 things I would do if I could do magic
- 100 sacrifices I was happy to make
- 100 things I want to give my kids (hopefully, you will need a few sets of this list…)
- 100 organizations I support
- 100 things you would like people to say about me after I die
- 100 examples of excellence
- 100 thoughts and beliefs I should let go of.
- 100 ideas I can adopt that will make my life better.
- 100 lessons I have learned in life
As you can see from the list above, some of the lists will take you to the past and examine your perception of what has happened to you. Some lists will take you to your inner-self, where honesty and self-assessment is required, but most will take you to the place you want to be, the person you want to be. And there, where desires and action combine, lies your true potential.
Join me in two week for the benefits of making each of the lists above, together with tips and suggestions.
And if you think like my daughter that 100 is too much, remember that in personal development, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
Happy list making,
This post is part of the series Make a List:
- Make a list: List Making
- Make a list: About Myself
- Make a list: Friends and Friendships
- Make a list: My Lifetime
- Make a list: Things I am Happy about
- Make a list: Childhood Memories
- Make a list: Ways to say “I love you!”
- Make a list: What I like about me
- Make a list: Birthday Presents to Ask for
- Make a list: Improve My Life
- Make a list: Things to tell my parents
- Make a list: Beliefs about Money
- Make a list: Feelings I Want to Feel
- Make a list: If I Could Live Forever
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids cont.
- Make a list: Events that have shaped my life
- Make a list: Ways to be kind
- Make a list: Be More Productive
- Make a list: Mistakes (and what I can learn from them)
- Make a list: Expectations
- Make a list: Beliefs about Traveling
- Make a list: Rules I Follow
- Make a list: Good Parenting Qualities
- Make a list: Excuses
- Make a list: Quotes to live by
- Make a list: How to use my time better
- Make a list: If I were Santa Claus
- Make a list: If I had one year to live
- Make a list: Things that Make Me Happy
- Make a list: Movies I loved
- Make a List: My Fears
- Make a List: Find your Happy-ism
- Make a List: Inspiring People
- Make a List: Books that have changed my life
- Make a list: Inspiring Movies
- Make a List: Things to be Grateful for
- Make a List: Ronit’s Gratitude List
- Make a list: Life Lessons Learned
- Make a List: Self-Kindness
- Make a List: 100 Ways to Be Kind to Myself
- Make a List: 100 Things I Want People to Think of Me
- Make a List: Judgment of Right from Wrong
- Make a List: 100 Reasons to Be Wealthy