Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rapid Results

As part of my current project to make my life in every way as wonderful as possible, I've been subscribing for the first time in many many years to The New York Times, sharing a subscription with my friend Keith. I pick it up first, trotting over in the morning to get our copy from the pile outside Asbury Hall on campus, and then I give it to Keith when I'm done with it. At first this worked out great, because I would force myself to read at least some of it every day and then simply pass it on to Keith, either way. But then I fell behind, and he fell behind, and now there are piles of them everywhere. And I know that every single issue is more worth reading than many books. I can't let myself get stressed by this, however. I have to say: whatever little sparkly thing I pick up from any given issue makes it all okay.

This morning I spent a lovely hour at the Blue Door Cafe, with hot chocolate, French toast, and just one section of the Sunday paper, my favorite section: Sunday Review. There was a terrific article on compassion fatigue, another on whether Gov. Christie of New Jersey is too fat to be president, another on the proliferation of super-people among college applicants, and the best one of all, for me, one called "Deadlines Get Results" by Tina Rosenberg.

She writes about the successes brought by the Rapid Results program, where people come together to pledge to solve problems in 100 days: HIV testing in Ethiopia, boosting infant mortality in Rwanda, digging wells in Sierra Leone. Things that hadn't been done in decades were accomplished within 100 days, because time-concentrated efforts pay off.

Ooh! Now I want to think what projects in my own life I could decide to tackle in 100 days. Just one, of course, for each 100-day cycle. After all, the article didn't say you could increase HIV testing, boost infant mortality rates AND dig a bunch of wells all in 100 days. It said, or implied, that you pick one thing, and then do IT. Plan to get it done in 100 days, and then see what happens.

I think I'm getting ready to make my 100-day plan....

1 comment:

  1. Oh, now I could definitely get into that. It actually reminds me of an exercise that triggered the beginning of me changing my writing from constant-but-casual to writing in a very committed way twelve years ago: a business consultant asked me to make a list of the 100 things I wanted to do before I was 100.

    The Midwest is good for you, clearly!