Last year for my 23rd birthday, I came up with a list of twenty-three goals to accomplish before I turned 24. All year, I had this list in the back of my mind and it really did help me try new things, achieve some goals, and follow through.
You probably don’t care about how it turned out, but since you’re still reading this blog I’d guess you’re at least vaguely interested. For your entertainment, I’ve added some gifs from Parks and Rec and 30 Rock (since those were two shows I watched and LOVED this year).
Let us revisit those 23 things:
1. Sew something significant by hand (a pillow, a dress, etc.)
Uhh, I never really got around to this. I sewed some minor things and mostly I’m okay with that.
2. Run 10 miles straight
I started training for this goal in January, giving myself three months to achieve it. Several times I was set back by weather (ice, rain, freezing temps), so I ended up only getting to 8.5 miles straight by my 24th birthday. But, I do hope to accomplish this goal before the month is over because I’m certainly within arm’s reach. I just don’t want to run in icy rain so I’ll have to wait for the weather to clear up a bit.
3. Read two books per month
I pretty much did this and I’m so happy about that. Having the goal made a difference in my persistence of finding new books and finishing them in a timely manner.
4. Learn to play piano (anyone have a piano?)
I got a keyboard for Christmas so I’ve started teaching myself piano! Slowly but surely…
5. Leave the country
Haiti 2014, thank you, Jesus
6. Leave the state
Colorado, Ohio, Georgia, overnight stay in Florida
7. Go camping, preferably some where new
I went camping a few times last year. Colorado was definitely my favorite camping trip (hiking 26 miles in the Rocky Mountains with awesome friends – thank you, Jesus). I can never get enough camping though.
8. Learn to knit or crochet
Learned it. Wasn’t very interested in it. Will revisit it when I’m 70.
9. Read a book in Spanish, and brush up on my (really rusty) Turkish
I read a chapter of Harry Potter in Spanish and it took me weeks. So, I didn’t really succeed at this goal, but I’m satisfied with my attempt.
10. Go to a concert
I got invited to a Switchfoot concert last fall and it was a blast. It made me want to go to concerts a little more regularly, so maybe I’ll have this goal again this year.
11. Go country dancing
I never went out country dancing, but I did get plenty of country dances in at several weddings last year, so I semi-achieved this goal.
12. Go on a lengthy road trip with friends to somewhere new
I kind of did this? I went on a road trip to Houston, many times to Austin (does that even count?), and we did some driving in Colorado, Ohio, and Georgia. I never planned out a road trip, which was maybe the point, but I did embrace the opportunities to drive to new places with friends and spend time laughing and talking in the car.
13. Vertical gardening
I never did this. I’m not really in a living situation where this would be possible, but someday I would like to do this (i.e. when I move)
14. Memorize a book of the Bible
This is one goal that I really wanted to achieve but I never buckled down and followed through on it. Of the goals I did not meet, this is the one that haunts me the most.
15. Visit a friend who lives out of the city, state, or country
Thank you, World Race weddings
16. Get back into swimming (…if I can use a free pool… I’m not really into paying gym memberships)
I never got a gym membership and I never moved to an apartment with a pool. So, I didn’t meet this goal (but I feel fine about that since the condition was that a free pool would be available)
17. Get a hair cut
lol that this was a goal for me; yay that I achieve it.
18. Give up soda for one month
I did this in September. It was challenging at first, but ultimately it was a great exercise of discipline.
19. Give away any piece of clothing I don’t wear at least once a month
Having this goal made me conscious of the items in my closet that sat unworn for months at a time. Often I would rationalize by thinking, I’ll wear that next week or for another event or when the weather changes, but a lot of time I realized that I just didn’t wear the item because (usually) my style has changed and I just don’t wear it anymore. There’s no reason to keep it if I don’t use it, but I would find myself being fearful that if I gave it away, I would have less. Quickly I realized the irrationality of this poverty-complex. So, every 3-4 months I would take some of the unworn items out and donate them. It was a great lesson on living with hands open, appreciating what I do have, and practicing generosity (not a fear of scarcity).
20. Give away all the unnecessary and/or unused items in my bedroom
Same as above. Did it. Still doing it. Loving it.
21. Spend more intentional time with family and friends
Though this was ambiguous, I’d say I did do it. Having the goal in the back of my mind helped me be intentional about it.
22. Spend time at the ocean
I went to the beach in Haiti and went snorkeling with my dad, so that’s pretty cool.
23. Give feedback more often
Having this goal helped me in several key relationships last year. It encouraged me to be brave, communicate clearly, and give intentional affirmation to others. All good things!
So, I accomplished a good portion of my 23 goals and I feel good about it.
I’m currently developing my list of 24 things to achieve this year. What would should I put on it?
P.S. I haven’t seen the last season of Parks and Rec yet so don’t ruin it for me!