Well, it's like they say...I ain't getting any younger!
You don't realize how fast time is passing you by until one day you're almost 30. For me, I'm actually excited to enter my 30's because I feel like there will be a lot in store for me there. I feel that there are some pretty big goals I've had for myself that I will finally obtain in my 30's.
But...I don't want to leave my 20's behind without accomplishing some goals that I hoped to accomplish here...which means, I've only got 14 months to tackle this 30x30 checklist. Yikes!
Some of the items listed above are pretty self-explanatory, but others could be expanded upon, so let's take a few moments to run through each of the items I'll be working toward over this next year, shall we?
1. Develop a consistent workout routine
2. Give up fast food
As you've previously read in my Project Self posts, this year I'm trying to get my health back under wraps. A few months ago I realized that I'd spent the majority of my 20's being out of shape...and aren't your 20's supposed to be the best time of your life? I felt that perhaps I had missed out on things in my 20's due to my health, and I don't want to look back as I'm about to turn 40 and have the same regrets. It's a little embarrassing to admit that I'm nearly 30 and I'm having to commit myself to a healthy lifestyle, but it's also the reality of where I'm at right now, and I'm hoping I can change. These first two goals are directly tied to the change I'm striving for.
3. Maintain an orderly home
This may shock some of you, but my house is rarely in the tip-top condition that you see captured in the photographs featured on this blog. In fact, most of the time I have to clean my house up before I can take the shots that I post. Behind the scenes, my house is usually in a state that I'd be embarrassed to show on camera. I gave you a sneak peak when I told you all about Hurricane Kelli a while back, but that wasn't even close to what it can be like in real life sometimes.
My goal is to keep my house in such a state that I would not be terribly embarrassed if someone dropped by to say hello. You know what I'm talking about...I don't care if it's spotless...but I don't want it to look like a tornado ran through it either.
I hope to hold myself more accountable to cleaning up after myself right away. Doing the dishes immediately, folding the laundry AND putting it away when it comes out of the dryer (who knew that dryers were not intended as mini-closets?), and cleaning up each night when I'm working on a new project. There's more to be done, but the general idea is to take care of things right then and there, rather than put things off until later.
4. Read "To Kill a Mockingbird"
I'm a reader of many blogs and many magazines, but when it comes to books I fall a bit flat. Unfortunately, this makes me feel like I'm not very culturally savvy. I've never read To Kill a Mockingbird. It's an American classic, and I've never read it. Hmmm...it's time for me to show my American spirit and dive into some good ol' American literature.
5. Buy something from West Elm
This may come as a shock to you, but I've never, ever, ever in my life bought something from West Elm. Gasp, I know! It's my favorite store in the whole-wide-world, yet I've done nothing to support their awesomeness. In fact, I even ripped them off by making my own knock-off version of my favorite chandelier. I think it's about time I showed them some love...and I'm not talking about a set of napkins here...I want to make a significant purchase of an item I will absolutely love!
6. Road trip to the Grand Canyon
I've been to the Grand Canyon before as a child, but Mark and I have talked about taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon since we've been married (aka...nearly 7 years ago). But, between work, school, and everything else we've just never made it out.
Perhaps I should up this one a bit and conquer a fear while I'm at it, and include a viewing from the Skywalk (pictured above). Doesn't it look terrifying? It's got a plexi-glass bottom so that you literally feel like you're walking on air! For someone who is terrified of heights (aka me), this would not be a pleasant stroll, but maybe the views are worth it.
7. Blog full-time
This might be a bit lofty, but maybe by the time I turn 30 I will have made the leap into blogging full-time. That's my dream...but for now, I don't want to think of quitting my 40-hour-per-week job as the indicator of success here. Instead, I'd like to look at it as finally having a consistent posting structure...posting nearly every day, and keeping myself constantly busy with projects to share. That's what I would be doing if I were blogging full-time, so I hope to make strides that will get me closer to that ultimate goal.
8. Write an e-book
This is actually something that I've wanted to do from day one, but with all the time I spent on the web design for the site itself, I just didn't have the time it would take. Hopefully, sometime this year I will be able to put some thoughts together for inspiring ideas to share in an e-book format.
9. Run two miles straight
Another goal that is tied to my Project Self challenge. I'm thinking that if I do well with #1 and #2, then I should be feeling better about my running abilities (because right now I have none). Two miles? We'll see...I'm not so sure about this one, but I'll give it a try.
10. Have a house warming party
Another shocker here...I never had a house warming party when Mark and I moved into this house three-years back. Crazy, I know. But what's even crazier is the fact that I still want to have one, even now!
11. Buy my first IPhone
Enough said. I don't have an IPhone...I want one...Siri, please come save me!
12. Donate my hair to Locks of Love
This is something that I've wanted to do for many years...I've just never had the patience to grow my hair out long enough to give the 10 inch minimum. Well, without sporting a neat-o bob cut, at least! For anyone who doesn't know, Locks of Love is an organization that uses donated hair to make wigs for children with diseases that stunt hair growth.
I know, I know...there's been some media out there that questions the actual impact of how many wigs the organization produces, and just how much good is really being done...but if there's even a small chance that donating my hair could make a difference then to me it's worth it. I'd rather it go there, than hit the salon floor to be swept up into the trash bin. My hair is finally long enough, so this might be something I'll be doing relatively soon.
Yeah, I don't get out much. I've already given you the "between work, school, and everything else" line, so I'm not going to go much further into detail about my excuses for not getting out into the community.
The truth is, I want to help. I want to make a difference, and I need to make the time to do so. I've been thinking about what causes I would like to get involved with, and a few have passed through my mind. Now I just need to hone in on one and go for it!
14. Refinish at least two pieces of furniture
Yeah, you've heard me say that before. It's about time I turned these thrift store finds into something beautiful, don't you think?
15. Learn 5 new recipes by heart
These don't have to be anything fancy...just a few simple recipes that I can throw together in a pinch. I've learned to make a mean batch of lasagna, and I could whip up spaghetti in a heart beat...but I want to learn a few more meals...ideally, some healthier recipes that coincide with my new plans for a healthy lifestyle.
16. Maintain a low carb diet
Another tie in to Project Self. I want to eat more vegetables and proteins, rather than foods that turn into sugar in a few hours. I also want to look for creative substitutions so that I can have my favorite dishes in a healthier way. For example, the other day I made pasta-less lasagna, using layers of zucchini wherever a layer of pasta would be--and it turned out pretty good. I'll be posting about my cooking experiments over on the Project Self blog. More details on the lasagna coming soon!
17. Buy something from Z-Gallerie
Just like my West Elm confession, I've never purchased anything from another one of my favorites, Z-Gallerie. I feel like Z-Gallerie has a lot of blingy items, so I'm thinking my purchase will need to be something shiny! We'll see though.
18. Send Christmas cards
Out of the 6 Christmas seasons Mark and I have been through as a little family, not once I have sent out cards. What's worse? Out of 6 Christmas seasons, I've actually purchased cards to send at least three times...but never sent them. Yeah, that's got to stop!
19. Get family photos
Another "times gone by" story, but the last time Mark and I had photos taken together was when we got married. Mostly, it's been because of my complete camera shy-ness...but along with my Project Self initiative I'm learning to accept who I am, and what I look like. Today, tomorrow, and the next day. So...sometime this year, I vow to get some family shots.
20. Camp at Picacho Peak during poppy season
Personally, I've never been to Picacho Peak, but Mark used to go there with his family when he was younger. He is always telling me about how cool it looks during poppy season, so I'd like to see for myself. Maybe this won't be a full-blown camping trip, maybe it will...but I at least want to get down there sometime next spring to see the poppies.
21. Start learning to play the piano
This should technically say, re-learning. I used to play the piano, up until about 7th grade when I discovered sports and no longer could stand rehearsing the piano. Now I wish that I would have stuck with it. There are so many musicians today that write songs with beautiful piano pieces, and it seems like it would be so relaxing to just sit down and play a melody. My parents have offered to give us their piano, so hopefully we can work out the details sometime soon.
22. Random acts of kindness
This is something that my friend Jana and I plan to do to celebrate our 29th birthdays. Since this will be the last year in our 20's, we want to give instead of receive. We're thinking of 29 random acts of kindness that we can do for others, that will hopefully inspire a pay-it-forward response. It should be fun!
23. Have a real stay-cation
Usually my stay-cations involve something related to the blog, so sometime this year I'd like to have an actual stay-cation that involves a bit of pampering, and perhaps some shopping or lounging by a pool. Lap-top free, cell-phone free, relaxation time!
24. Learn to be honest with myself & direct with others
I'm not really sure how I plan to measure this one, but hopefully my Project Self initiative will help me out here. I'd like to learn how to be more honest with myself about what stresses I can handle, and realize that it's okay to say no every now and then. I often have this feeling that I can't ever let anyone down, which causes me to walk around with a lot of self-created pressure in my life. Being more direct with others, and learning not to sugar-coat things will be another big accomplishment too.
25. Pay off my car
Enough said...who doesn't want to live car payment free? That's more money free'd up for blog projects, right?
26. Build a two month emergency fund
The next time my AC breaks down, or my car tire goes flat, I want to be ready for it. Mark and I are finally getting to a place financially where unexpected bills aren't as intimidating...but we've definitely got a lot of room to keep growing in this area.
27. Add artwork to my home
Say goodbye to empty walls! I've got some ideas for some fun art projects, it's just getting to them that's the problem. Ha!
28. Weekend getaway with a friend
Another road-trip that I'd like to take this year, but I may wind up combining this one with the Grand Canyon, Picacho Peak, or stay-cation ideas too.
29. Drive a Vespa
There was a time when my friend Jana and I would joke about how funny I would look driving a Vespa. I think it would be interesting to see if the picture in my mind matches up with the reality. I'll bet it does. This could be hilarious!
30. Donate to charity
Last but not least, I want to find a really good cause and donate toward the movement. I've even thought about hosting some sort of fund raising event if I find a charity that's right. This ties in with my desire to get more involved within my community, and to make some sort of impact on the world we live in.
Whew! Now you know the 30 goals I will be working toward this year. I'll keep you posted as I cross items off the list, and I'd love your input with this too. Feel free to play along by creating your own list of goals for this year. It doesn't have to be 30 items...just things that you've wanted to check off of the "to-do" list of life. What goals will you be working on over the next 12 months?