Goal setting,  Lists

30 by 30 List: 30 Things to Do Before Turning 30

A good friend and former roommate of mine, Lola, worked on a 30 by 30 list that was pretty boss. I reached a turning point in my life where I found I wanted to put myself out there, take more risks, and avoid unexpected regrets.

So, with my intel-gathering habits, after the first obvious items, I began looking at lists other people came up with. And I found that, at 27.5 years, I’m proud of all I’ve done. I lived abroad. I traveled alone, abroad, without a cell phone or easy communication with friends and family. I’ve eaten alone at nice restaurants. I’ve gone snorkeling at beautiful and historic locations. I found a job and career I love. I worked hard to make progress at paying off my student debt. I’ve pulled all-nighters, partied, and dated a variety of men. I’ve learned second and third languages (some better than others). I went to large, weekend-long music festivals and determined my karaoke song (“This is How We Do It”). I’ve published my writing. I determined my signature cocktail. I can sew, crochet, cook, and host dinner parties.

But I still managed to pull together thirty items.

30 by 30 List

  1. Fly first class
  1. Visit California

I’ve been to California on multiple occasions, but both Hearst Castle (the indoor swimming pool!) and The Winchester Mystery House are on my bucket list.


  1. Get a tattoo

I’ve been thinking about getting an interesting “place” tattoo for a while—some sort of Nebraska tattoo. 

  1. Buy myself a nice purse

I want to personally invest in this luxury for myself. I’m looking at you, Kate Spade.

  1. Finish scrapbooking year in Poland (and maybe Utah)

Yeah, that’s how far behind in scrapbooking I am. I have about half of Poland done. But it would be nice if I could get 2012-2014 done. Then I can decide how much further I want to go.

  1. Invest in my succulent garden and planters

It all started with an amazing airplane planter I found on clearance. Then it was the vintage car planter I found at three different antique stores one day. (The fourth had it priced at $3.)

  1. Skydive
  1. Start a workout routine
  1. Practice speaking to/approaching strangers

I am the worst at small talk. I’m the awkward silent person on every elevator. Once I’m comfortable, I’m good… but until then… I need some practice.

  1. Develop a web/blog strategy

I’d love to get to the point where I post once a week. But holy bajeebus did I never count on it to take so long to develop the type of posts that are reflective of what my personal corner of the internet should look like.

  1. Read more books each year than the last

After I got my MA, I devoured books. But in early 2015, I hardly read. I don’t need to read the greatest books or newest books. I just think I should read. This should be an achievable goal in the next 2.5 years… tracked by Goodreads, of course.

  1. Learn to curl my hair

I always wanted a big sister who would show me how to do all the girly stuff. A couple years back, I met a really awesome makeup fanatic who basically introduced me to the idea that there’s a reason for expensive makeup. (I’m looking at you OFRA long lasting liquid lipstick. Also thanks, Boxycharm.) I just need the same for hair. I’m an air dry your hair in an unprofessional manner sort of person.

My last hair curling attempt was a massive failure.
  1. Send postcards “just because”

I used to do this. My collection of postcards is quite large. This is an emotional labor task that I used to be good at and totally neglected over time.

  1. Have a session with a professional photographer

I’m pretty sure I want this to be a dog photograph session with an amazing Omaha pet photographer that a former coworker used.

  1. See the DC cherry blossoms

I know it’s a cliché time to go to DC, but I love DC and have so many good friends there.

  1. Say “Yes, and”

I am NOT an improv person. In high school, I was the only freshman called back to audition for the production of Godspell. (Don’t worry. This story has a purpose.) The callback was ENTIRELY random freaking weird improve skits. Needless to say, I did not get a part.

  1. Take a vacation abroad just because (solo)

I’m not sold on it being solo, but why am I not traveling abroad? There are still places I want to go! My passport is valid! I have vacation time!

  1. Run a 5K

Let’s name this one most unlikely to occur. But I’m still hopeful I can get the discipline together to train for this.

  1. Find a charity cause (and spend time with it)
  1. Focus on the positive

I’ve been increasingly better at this over the past year. Work is going horrible? There were parking spots at Starbucks and no line! The elevator was practically already waiting for me, and we didn’t stop on all the other floors!

  1. Finish a significant crochet project (dog sweater or human blanket)

There’s an afghan I’ve “been working on” for about a decade… Then there’s also the book of crochet dog sweaters my mom got me for Christmas last year. I’ve never crocheted clothing before, but baby boy does get cold…

  1. Work on my skincare regimen

I was doing so well with this for a while. In Poland, I realized I was the only person (in the world) who didn’t use anti-aging cream. I’ve really let taking care of myself that way fall to the wayside.

  1. Surround myself with people and things I love
  1. Become a regular (bar? coffee shop?)

Pretty sure it’ll be the within-walking distance 1970s sunken bar in Omaha. I think we’re going to start off with every-other week visits on the same day of the week for one drink while maybe reading? I’ll count it a success when the waitress asks if I want the usual.

  1. Go back to Notre Dame with someone I love

This may end up being with some of my fellow alumni. But it counts.

  1. Languages

I don’t know what this looks like. I just know it needs to be more. I’ve downloaded DuoLingo again since my big storage update on my phone. I start my Russian class this week. I’m ready for progress.

  1. Go to a lantern festival

They have one very close to Omaha fairly regularly. I very much wanted to go many times in the past few years.

  1. Do something messy (mud run, paint party, foam club, color rave, etc.)
  1. Celebrate holidays (pumpkin carving, gingerbread houses, Easter egg dying, fireworks)
  1. Refurbish something

This is a pretty big one for me. My ex and I fixed up a really neat lamp together. I also worked with him a little bit on my amazing antique Omaha map coffee table. I’d like to pull a Fleamarket Flip on something.