Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to use the 100-day mark as a measuring stick for his administration, and ever since, media and politicians have used this timeline as a standard for assessing the effectiveness of a president. During FDR’s first 100 days, he passed 15 major bills through Congress, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Civil Works Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Civilian Conservation Corps. It was a welcome response to the calamity facing the nation, and set the tone for decades to come. It also set the bar high for future presidents, as their first 100 days is evaluated against the sweeping legislative success in the early stages of FDR’s first term.
I am not sure why 100 days was chosen as the benchmark — maybe because it is a more sexy sound bite than “three months”. The measurement is now used in other settings: 100 days until the election, 100 days of summer, 100 day challenges, 100 day countdowns until Christmas (which is September 16 if you’re keeping track), and 100 day projects or exhibits. Google “100 days” and there are enough entries to keep you reading for that length of time.
What I will say about my first 100 days is that it hasn’t turned out at all like I expected. For years, I have been putting off writing a blog because I had it in my head that the work had to be linear — I needed to organize things first and then write it. As it has happened, so much of what I have commented on is from current events and daily observations — things that I didn’t even know existed when I started.
And that brings us back to the theme of this whole thing — that little things are like dots that can be connected together to make a whole. I hope this blog has in some way inspired you to focus on starting something — making that first dot is the hardest one. The other 99 have come with relative ease, and dare I say, even enjoyment. If you’ve learned one thing from me in these 100 days, I hope it is that little things do matter — and do quickly add up to make an impact.
— beth triplett