80 Day Project: Easy Steps To Write Your Own Life

write your own life“Learn to write your own life. The story gets so much better.” -Chris Brogan

Last week I wrote about feeling stuck because, well, I am. I’m craving movement. Daily life fell into two categories:

- The Routine

- The Annoying Unexpected

There were small successes and happy moments, but again, I’m craving movement. Something more. As someone that once proclaimed: Stop being a victim and start living – it was time to start taking my own advice.

Because sure, my family could drift into summer like we always have, flopping around like fishes trying to enjoy an “easier” summer routine.

But lovelies, I decided to say: Stop.

Stop to our routines that aren’t working. To the way we’ve “always” done things. To the way people expect us to do things.

For 80 days.

But why 80? Aren’t you supposed to use an odd number like 79 or 81?

I chose 80 for two reasons.

One, at the end of our project something truly wonderful will already be happening: Summer in Wisconsin.

Two, some rules are meant to be broken, which is the theme here. I intend to break plenty of rules in the coming 80 days. I intend to:

  • Be still in a busy, busy world.
  • Eat slow food instead of fast food.
  • Make time for things that truly matter and eliminate (or minimize) the rest.

80 days will give us time to start writing our life slowly. Time to make peaceful change.

Here are some potential project areas:

  • meals
  • mornings
  • chores
  • entertainment
  • inspiration
  • minimalism
  • paying bills
  • friendships
  • fitness
  • self
  • marriage
  • time with kids
  • the list added up fast.

Sounding pretty good, right? Wondering: How does this 80 Day Project begin?

I decided to start with a clean slate. Not only mentally, but physically, too. Here’s what we’ve been up to. Together, we:

  • Minimized our belongings.
  • Deep cleaned some pretty nasty stuff.
  • Decluttered.
  • Started writing a story we’ll be proud to tell.

Tables turned: Are you writing your own story in life?

Even better: One you’d be proud to tell?

Keep track of our progress this Thursday with: 80 Day Project: Wipe The Slate Clean And Let Life Sparkle


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1 Tracy April 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

I can’t WAIT to see how this turns out! I am so excited for you.

2 Melissa April 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Me too! Thanks for your encouragement.

3 Beth LaMie April 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I like the concept of your 80 day project & I look forward to reading more. As far as your question about writing my own story in life: yes, I write my own stories and try to live a life that is worth sharing.

4 Melissa April 13, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Awesome to hear, Beth! From what I know of your attitude and work, I agree. Thanks for stopping by.

5 Lynn April 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm

purge purge purge…..

things got better….i have my categories too. have you found inspiration in the AT Cure?

6 Melissa Gorzelanczyk April 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Yes! Loved the AT Cure. I did it last year. This year its more about being minimal in thinking … and peaceful. No fighting or nagging or stressing out. I’m excited!

7 Deb Paige April 13, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Love this concept Melissa. Inspiring me to give it a try myself!!

8 Melissa April 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm

That’s really the best compliment I can ever hope for, Deb. I really hope you will try … stay tuned … lots of how-to posts coming in the next few weeks.

9 Cali @caligater April 14, 2010 at 1:07 pm


Going through something similar-ish on my own. This is (and no doubt will continue to be) good exhortation. ;)

10 Melissa Gorzelanczyk April 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm

YAY. We can support each other. It feels awesome so far and I love the slow pace … its just my style.

Much love! Keep in touch.

11 Satya April 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Hurray for writing Sparkle and Slow back in to life…! :)

12 Melissa April 14, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Thanks Satya. Two of many awesome words I want to add back in. :-)

13 Satya April 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Hmmm… i’m doing the same myself – in fact, “sparkle” is the key word for all my online strategy consulting since about a month back when I was tapped (spirit) to change the flow of my life and work… and it’s been a massive transformation for me (and my clients).

Have you considered creating something cool and brash, like a little “80 Day Project” design badge with an embedded link to this page, and encouraging people to write their own story on their blog, use your linked badge, and then let you know? You could write about a different area relating to the 80 day project every week, and include other people’s post links, ask about their specific experience in that area or something along those lines… :)

Tweets hashtag could be #80days – just a thought! Cheers

14 Melissa April 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I love that idea! Let me see if I can make it happen. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

15 Ash April 16, 2010 at 8:17 am

Holy inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just tweeted out your project because not only do I think this is very, very cool, but I’m impressed with the way you’ve decided to take reality into your own hands. GOOD FOR YOU.

I will be following along!

And by the way, thanks for the kind link. :) Live alive, baby!!!



16 Melissa April 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Ash – I REALLY appreciated your support today and of course, thanks for being a living example of inspiration. Our project is going even better than I thought. I’m really feelin’ good about it … Cheers (Malbec!) to you.

17 Laura@mtp April 16, 2010 at 8:38 am

What a great idea…and motivator. I quit my {big} job in December and since then I’ve drifted along a little too much; I need to find a new {small} job.

Thank you for the inspiration and good luck with your own 80 days :-)

18 Melissa April 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Hi Laura – I just subscribed to your blog – if you want to join me in the project and blog about it, I’d love to add your link to the project. I have some ideas brewing … will be in touch. Lovin’ your blog!

19 Shawna Cevraini April 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

This is such an amazing idea! I am excited to follow along! I’m working on a Happiness Project, so this fits right in with that!

Tell me more!

20 Melissa April 16, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Hi Shawna – It IS like a Happiness Project … under a different name … in a set number of days. ;-) Thanks for your support. So far, it’s been a refreshing change for the whole family. More to come, stay tuned!

21 Tony April 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm

That’s a well cool idea, I’ll definitely be following you and you’ve certainly inspired me to give it a go. Good luck!

22 Rachel April 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I followed a link from http://movetoportugal.org/ to your webiste, just wanted to p ost: I love this idea! Good luck, I will be checking back to see how it’s going! xxx

23 Melissa April 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Nice to meet you … will keep you posted. Have a good night.

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