Seeking 365/daily project suggestions
January 1, 2011 7:40 AM   Subscribe

What 365/daily project should I start today?

I absolutely loved Ring A Day 2010, but discovered it too late to join in last year. I was thinking of jumping in with Ring A Week or TADA, but neither feels as focused or sleek to me, which bothers me.

I came across this old post on 365 blogs, which has some nifty ideas (daily photo, daily 100 word writing snippets), but nothing that really excited me that much.

So - what sort of 365/daily project should I do this year, starting today?

I'll take any and all suggestions! What would you like to see someone do? What would you do if you had the time/energy/skills? Is there an intense, focused group 365 project going on this year that I haven't heard about yet?

Suggestions don't have to relate to my special snowflake details, but if they help: I'm a great artist and cook, good photographer, decent writer, bad networker and marketer, overripe for career change, I do fun athletic things in intermittent bursts, and I love puzzles and abstract games.
posted by Eshkol to Society & Culture (21 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
If you like literature, Les Miserables has 365 chapters. It's one of those books I've always been vaguely interested in reading but haven't had the time or motivation to slog through, and I've always thought reading it a chapter a day would be a good way to pace oneself.
posted by Gordafarin at 7:50 AM on January 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

This isn't so much a project, but today I started reading "The Book of Life" which has one meditation exercise per day for a year. I think amazon let's you read the first few pages, so you could order it with 2 day shipping or something and still be able to start today! I'm expecting it to be a pretty good way to start each day off this year :)
posted by Glendale at 7:55 AM on January 1, 2011

Design a maze a day!

They could be just drawn on paper but you can also branch into other mediums, use your surroundings, take photos, reassemble your breakfasts into pathways and so-on. If you need a day off you can blog about the history of mazes or a pre-existing famous one like a historic hedge maze or something.
posted by Mizu at 8:07 AM on January 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

Cook something new every day. I have a Rachel Ray book that's 365 different recipes.

The thing that would make this easy is that you can cheat real easy and still have it count. Ham sandwich with just meat and cheese is different than one that adds mustard if you need it to. Really helps those lazy days where you just can't find the right morivation to keep it going.
posted by theichibun at 8:08 AM on January 1, 2011

Write a letter a day. On paper. Send them to people.
I think that this could be enjoyable if you wrote to multiple people - friends, celebrities, companies, politicians, writers, the local newspaper and so on (you could even solicit some addresses of mefites). You might get letters in response.

I suppose you could blog this if you wanted, but it might be more fun to have it for yourself.
posted by sciencegeek at 8:09 AM on January 1, 2011 [6 favorites]

Echoing sciencegeek--I can't remember where I saw it, but someone just completed a 365-day thank-you note project. It might be a good way to remember to be grateful to the people you appreciate.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:27 AM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's funny , last week while looking at my Xmas cards I resolved to send a real letter once a month (I'm not ambitious enough to do a 365,) so, here's another vote for letters (or a postcard - only .28!)
posted by vespabelle at 8:57 AM on January 1, 2011

Speaking of postcards, my dad makes his own (for personal use only) using photos, interesting graphic design that he finds online, scanning art books, and so on and getting them printed on card stock. He sends one or two a week and I have a big box of them that I get to look at. Before he had the scanner and started printing them, he just bought postcards.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:07 AM on January 1, 2011

How about doing a new thing every day? That could be something big, like going to a masked ball, or something small, like popping into a neighborhood coffee shop you've never tried before, or just sitting in a park for fifteen minutes to watch the squirrels if you haven't done that. It could be asking a new person to have lunch with you, or eating dessert first, or putting sriracha on your eggs. It could be sketching portraits of your friends. Writing a haiku to sum up your day. Running a marathon. Anything at all.

Doesn't need to be expensive, doesn't need to be a big time commitment, but it will definitely lead to a richer and fuller life. ^_^
posted by Andrhia at 9:38 AM on January 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

This may sound corny, but I think it would be great to do a smile a day. No special equipment needed (besides a reasonable amount of people in the vicinity). Just make genuine eye contact with one person every day
Extra challenge: make one person smile every day.
posted by Paris Elk at 9:42 AM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Take a photo of yourself each day in the same place. Then edit them all together in a movie at the end of the year! It's crazy cool to see what happens with your facial gestures, clothes and haircuts.
posted by boostershot at 10:09 AM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Paris Elk's challenge is a good one. Try looking people in the eye and smiling sincerely until they smile back. It will make you and them feel better and give you extra energy.
posted by toodleydoodley at 11:29 AM on January 1, 2011

Write a poem about what you did the day before.
posted by palacewalls at 11:44 AM on January 1, 2011

Maybe I'm missing something in Paris Elk's suggestion, and perhaps you'll think I'm overstating the obvious, but don't do this with absolute strangers.
posted by telegraph at 1:24 PM on January 1, 2011

telegraph- I'm pretty sure he meant especially to do this with complete strangers. It would be a sad sad day if we couldn't do things like that anymore.
posted by swhitt at 1:31 PM on January 1, 2011

Write a haiku a day.
posted by sickinthehead at 1:46 PM on January 1, 2011

Forgive me if this is not appropriate, but you might want to look at this MeTa suggestion, and the double dog dare that follows!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 1:58 PM on January 1, 2011

Beginning Memorial Day of 2009, I took a picture a day (of anything) for a whole year. I have to admit it was a pain in the butt on occasion, but it was quite fun, and since I'm not really a person who whips out the camera except during travel, it was great to document some more mundane aspects of my life (I took a lot of pictures of the food I cooked and the beer I drank). I posted the pictures on my flickr account, and there are a ton of photo365/project365 groups there, as well.
posted by mostly vowels at 5:01 PM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding doing a new thing everyday. I had a therapist give me that as an assignment, her words were "do something different everyday". I think the point was to knock me out of my little ruts and show me it wasn't important to keep doing things in exactly the same way each time. I ended up doing things like eating my cereal out of a goblet, sitting in a different seat each day in my school classes, shaving one leg but leaving the other (long pants day only), wearing 2 different colored socks, taking different ways to work...some of them were oddly difficult to do but I was amazed at the difference it made.
I always tried to get to classes early when I was in college so I could be sure to get "my seat", it was really difficult to change seats, it just felt wrong. I sometimes had to explain to people that I was running an experiment because I could tell that I was in "their seat", that is if they didn't outright tell me "You're in my seat". I found too, that it seemed to make it easier to make other changes in my life. Come to think of it I think it helped get me over my extreme shyness which was one of the reasons I was in therapy to begin with. Anyway just try it and see what happens.
posted by BoscosMom at 5:04 PM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

If it were me, I'd do one of the following:

1. draw a picture a day. If you try and keep the subject and medium approximately the same, e.g. charcoal life drawings, or pen and ink still lifes, you could really improve hugely after 365 practices!

2. write a page a day (fiction). At the end of the year you'll have a 365 page novel!
posted by lollusc at 7:05 PM on January 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Do something that builds a skill, and do it once a week. 52 instead of 365 lets you pursue a good bit more depth, instead of just taking a near-throwaway picture once a day.
posted by talldean at 9:02 PM on January 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

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