Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Fifty-Two Week Challenge

So here's what this is all about: There are fifty-two weeks in a year, fifty-two weeks during which most of our time is spent wasted. I decided to make a list of fifty-two challenges for myself, one to accomplish each week, in any random order.
The idea is not totally my own. I borrowed it from a website, An Alternative to Slitting Your Wrist, a site run by a guy called Owen who made a documentary of his challenge-a-week plan. His challenges, however, were different than mine. His challenges were to do things he had always wanted to do. My challenges are ways to make a difference in my life and in the lives of others.

My name is Alona. I'm 16 years old. I'm IsraCanadian, currently living in Israel. I play piano and I'm starting to play guitar. I'm a Scouts counselor. Scouts is very big in Israel. I travel every major vacation to Toronto to visit my dad, brother, and friends. I don't have a driver's license yet (learner's permits in Israel are acquired at 16 and a half). I don't like labels, but if I had to label myself to make this section of my blog shorter, I'd choose: Vegetarian, bookworm, musician, ecologically-conscious.

Thanks to the MetaFilter community for helping me build my list!

So now that you know a little bit about me and why I'm doing this, here is my List.

This year, for one week each I will:

1. Learn this list.
2. Be at tzofim every day. (my Israeli scouts!)
3. write only in lowercase letters.
4. Read a book.
5. Tell at lease one person each day how much I appreciate them.
6. Learn a new song a day on guitar.
7. Learn one new piece on the piano.
8. Write in a journal every day.
9. Not eat sugar all week.
10. Go someplace different each day to take pictures.
11. Draw every day.
12. Finally perfect my juggling skills.
13. Make a half-hour each day for "Alona time" to just sit and think. And the ten minutes before I fall asleep don't count!
14. Sit in the waiting room of the emergency clinic at a local hospital and take notes.
15. Read an article a day on Wikipedia.
16. Do yoga every day.
17. Surprise someone each day with something that will make them happy.
18. Drink just water.
19. Make dinner for everyone in the house.
20. Meditate
21. Run for 20 minutes each day.
22. Make someone's wish come true.
23. Write all my regrets on notes and burn them.
24. Find a place to be a wallflower and watch life from the outside.
25. Learn basic sentences in a different language (like German).
26. Grow food (or at least, start growing food).
27. Go to a civil trial.
28. Go to a protest.
29. Catch up on my cinematic education. Meaning: watch movies such as the Godfather, Minority Report, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars, etc.
30. Forgive someone I am mad at.
31. Make a video and post it on YouTube.
32. Give up TV for a week.
33. Eat vegan.
34. Climb a tree.
35. Mail a letter to someone different each day of the week.
36. Donate all my old clothes.
37. Collect stories from my older relatives.
38. Floss my teeth.
39. Learn to do tricks with a yo-yo.
40. Read the entire Sunday paper.
41. Plan a daytrip on Sunday for the coming Saturday, and spend the rest of the week excited about it.
42. Make a family tree.
43. Strike up a conversation with someone new each day.
44. Buy nothing.
45. Go to a lecture.
46. Volunteer.
47. Listen to a new album each day.
48. Try a new culture for the week- including food, clothing, music, etc.
49. Get back in touch with an old friend.
50. Only speak when spoken to.
51. Go to a movie alone.
52. Write an essay.

*53.Write out my goals for this project and keep them in mind throughout the rest of the year.


Chris said...

Hey Alona, my name is Chris. I am the producer/guy with camera who followed Owen around. We both think what your doing is great. We're extremely happy to see others taking the time to do the things that they really want to do. Sometimes it takes just making time, while other times we need a list. Keep it up and hopefully you'll get to the point where you won't need the list but are just inspired every day to do one thing you never have but always wanted to do. Thanks for the mention by the way, we appreciate that as well. Take care and best wishes to you and yours.

Alona said...

Wow, it's really great hearing such positive feedback from the people who inspired me to begin the Challenge! Thanks for your comments, always appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Good idea. I was wondering...
How do you know where the emergency clinic of a local hospital IS?

Alona said...

I think I'm going to choose either North York General or Sick Kid's, and it's not a problem getting to the Emergency Clinic. I mean, how would anyone who broke their arm know where the emergency ward is? I don't see a hurdle there.