Eek! Less than a year to go before I hit that point where I should probably figure out how to adult. (Why don’t we instantly learn how to adult when I hit thirty, right?!). I actually created my 30 before 30 list when I turned 28 to give myself two years to complete it. It seemed apt to try and get down what I wanted to have achieved in the next two years. Since I have less than a year left, I thought it best to review the list and see if there has been any progress towards it in the past year. I know I did not dedicate as much time as I would have liked last year towards it so this is something I will have to actively add to my planner over coming months.
Since writing the list, I actually managed to split it down into four different categories.
The Self-Improvement 30s:
This category is mostly for me. It contains the things that are most likely on other people’s bucket list or 30 before 30 lists, as it is things that I would like to have done or achieved by then.
Have visited at least 30 Countries / US States.
I’m on 28 Countries or US States (not including England), which isn’t bad. This year, I did visit a couple of new cities around the world but they were often in countries I have already been to. However, I have a year to go and only two trips left to hit this target.
I would love to do a road trip around the west coast of USA – hitting California, Arizona and Nevada. It is mostly planned out but I do need to find a time when my relatives can join me and that’s the trickiest part of this plan! Those three states are also new to me so it would be a great way to hit this target. However, I am also going to look at countries in case everyone is too busy for the former option to happen.
If you have any suggestions, I am all ears. I am currently considering Luxembourg and perhaps Norway or Iceland. Who knows? The trips I am planning seem to constantly fall in the same countries so I’ll have to make an effort to try and visit two new ones in my endeavours. The first two trips of the year have been booked for two countries I have already visited before, so I will definitely have to make an effort to figure out the last two.
Visit a new country.
One of the above holidays will have to be a new country, rather than a US State, to hit this one too! Luxembourg might be the first on that list as I have always been curious to know what it is like. It is super close to England too, so there’s no real reason for me not to go visit for a weekend. To be quite honest, I like to have this as a goal to hit every couple of years, at the very least. It is always nice to visit new cities or countries so that will definitely be a goal post thirty too.
Learn to drive.
Okay, I did manage to learn the basic of how to drive but need to spend some time practicing it and actually taking the exam. Pretty sure I only did around ten hours, over a year ago, so definitely need a few more soon. That will be the coming month’s problem, I guess.
Take a road trip somewhere.
Ahh I need to do this! Haven’t done this in years, definitely want to get another one in. It’s a very different kind of holiday. To be honest, I have no idea where I’ll go on this trip but I think it’s something that I want to try and do – even if it’s a short road trip. This might just have to wait till the former goal has been met, however. If I am doing the driving – or at least sharing it in – then I will need to hit the above goal in advance of this! Might try to do this by the end of 2020, so I have enough time to plan it out and actually get my license.
Learn 30 recipes.
Alright, I need to definitely do this one. I have learned a few new things over the past year but have not really written down any recipes or tracked how many things I have learned. One thing I’ll definitely be doing this year is to set up a recipe folder of things that I can use. One of my friends has recently started a food blog this week, which I am very excited to be following. She has shared a few of her recipes and has some amazing plans for the blog. I’ll definitely be trying her stuff this year, whilst trying to learn how to cook! If you’re interested, check out her blog here: Nightingale Bite.
Watch a musical you haven’t seen before.
I finally saw Hamilton – and it’s so good. Definitely worth all of the hype that it got. Honestly, cannot wait to see it again. Musicals are definitely something that I love and I’ll probably try and catch a couple of new ones this year too. I also saw a musical that was held by my friend’s company, which she starred in – it was great! Pretty sure I will hit this one a few more times this year as my list of “must see musicals” is growing faster than I can watch them!
Buy a house / apartment.
I honestly don’t know if I’ll reach this one by next year. It looks unlikely, given that I have left my job and don’t have a salary at the moment – so no mortgage for me! London also makes it really hard to actually get anything as a single person, without a second mortgage from somewhere or your parents support. I am hoping it will happen in the next few years though but we shall see!
Learn the basics of a new language.
To be quite honest, I am not sure which language to go for here. This goal is a little vague too. What I might do, instead, is to learn some common phrases and words that I can use in my travels for a few different common languages. It will, at the very least, help me to recognise some words – common or useful phrases such as “Hello”, “Thank you”, “Do you speak English?”. I am going to have to do some studying it seems! Most likely, I will try and learn some words for that new country or two!
Run a Half-Marathon.
Right, yeah… This one… Alright, I guess I’ll have to try and start this so called exercising thing. Definitely don’t think I am fit enough to run a Half-Marathon yet but I am sure I can find some four month training routines to help me to achieve this. I know there’s quite a few of these in the UK already so I’ll probably aim for one towards the end of the year to give me some solid months of training beforehand. If there’s a particular one that you’ve done that you would recommend, please let me know!
Learn a new skill / sport.
Currently, I have a lot of different ideas of what I could learn and I have been looking at different courses. Right now, I am leaning towards doing Jewellery Making, Pottery, Indoor Climbing, Hiking but I could easily switch to something like Snitching or Crochet – which I also want to do. There is just so many things that I would like to try out. This year, my goal is to just try one of them. Perhaps this will be a goal that I have every two years, to try and motivate myself to learning new things regularly.
For Others 30:
These are usually goals that are aimed at doing some good in the world or making someone else smile.
Start a challenge for others.
I am really excited about this one, actually. This is something that I have been working on and planning for a while now. Over the next few months, I will be putting in a lot more thought into this and work to set this up. However, my plan is to create a fun stationery related challenge that will hopefully inspire a few people to try and get involved. I won’t give away too much right now but I have something in the works! Just need to work hard enough to get it launched by the end of the year.
Volunteer or mentor again.
I miss volunteering and mentoring like I did before I got a full-time job and this is something that I would really like to add into my routine in the next few months. Ideally, I would like to volunteer regularly whilst holding a full-time job so I will need to try and find the opportunities that are suitable for that. My previous volunteering roles were too hard to maintain once I started working full-time. For example, one required me to be at the venue at six but I could not get there till seven whilst working full-time. I am going to try and find some more remote or weekend opportunities.
Raise/Donate £30 a month for 30 months to charity.
Yeah… no. I’m not even close. I have made a few donations here and there in response to some appeals or sponsored a friend doing an activity but I have not kept track of how much. It definitely was not the full £900. This will definitely be one that I need to hit in the coming year. I think I will tie this in with the half-marathon that I plan to run, aiming to try and raise the majority of this.
Give 30 gifts.
It is far easier to give a gift than to keep track of what I have given. Usually, gifts are something I buy on the spur of the moment. I see something that reminds me of someone and I buy it, thinking they would love it. It is as simple as that. Remembering that I have given them something and keeping track of it, however, is another matter entirely – and that’s the part that is harder with this one. I have given at least twelve gifts that I can recall this year but I am fairly sure it is higher than that. Either way, I will just say it’s twelve for now and then aim to give out at least eighteen more this year.
Send 30 letters to family or friends.
On reviewing these goals, it’s clear that I focused on writing letters to people. Not including the birthday or Christmas cards that I sent out to family and friends, I wrote an additional 17 letters to various people. I quite enjoyed writing the letters but found going to the post office tedious. That was pretty much the main hindrance to getting them sent out on time. However, today, I placed a massive order for fixed value stamps, so I can send international post more easily. This is likely what I will do going forward.
Send 30 letters to people I’ve never written to before.
This one is probably one of the most successful ones so far. I have managed to write to 26 new people this year, that I have never written before. A few more letters or cards and we’ll hit the sweet 30. With a year to go, there’s plenty of time. Now to just find four more recipients of these…
The Crafty 30s:
Complete 30 scrapbook pages.
Scrapbooking is one of the hobbies that I find really difficult to complete – and yet, really want to do. A part of this is due to the perfectionist within me that wants to make the layout really pretty and creative, as well as informative. It ends up taking me hours of playing around with photos, stickers and patterned paper before I can actually put glue something down. This has always been the case.
Over the past year, I have started to do some memory keeping and a few scrapbook layouts however. By December, I seemed to be getting a bit better at doing them a little quicker. I didn’t quite reach the halfway mark but I did make a start on this. I have around seven completed 12 x 12 pages, a few A5 layouts and I made a start on potential Project Life layouts too. Whilst the process is a little slow, I am getting there.
Recently, I joined an amazing design team – for scrapbooking – too. Over the next few months, I will be sharing regular scrapbook layouts over on my Instagram and some here. This will be a mixture of digital scrapbooking and physical as I am slowly getting into the idea of digital scrapbooking for when I’m travelling.
Handmade and send 30 Birthday cards.
Alright, this one is definitely going a little slow too. I gave a few cards over the year but I forgot to track them. By the time I remembered to write them down, I could only remember definitely making and sending three. Fairly sure I did more than that but oh wells. Now that I’m back in the country, I will have to spend some time making these birthday cards in advance of people’s birthdays!
Handmade and send 30 Christmas cards.
Work was pretty busy last year, so I didn’t get a chance to make as many Christmas cards as I would have liked. However, I have sent out around fifteen handmade ones so far. So, at the very least, I’m half way – which is a pretty good sign for the coming year! I should definitely hit this one this December.
Do 30 pieces of art [drawing, calligraphy, painting etc].
Okay, so currently, this is at zero because I have failed to actually track what I have created over the past year. I mostly struggle to finish a piece of art, to be honest. Every time I make something, I look over it a hundred times thinking that it is missing something and not quite complete yet. Declaring something as complete is what I have to work on now and I have definitely been improving over the recent months. The challenge this year will be to take these incomplete drafts, make some amends and start declaring them as finished.
Fill a sketchbook of drawings.
I made the mistake of picking a rather large sketchbook – an A4 one with 160 pages. So it is definitely going to take a while to actually fill it up but I have made a start on there. Over the next year, I will have to make sure to schedule in an hour or two of sketching every week, to try and get some solid practice in.
Complete a papercutting book.
I actually think I have half completed two papercutting books. Each book is broken down into beginner level, intermediate and advanced. I am working up towards the advanced templates but I definitely little a bit more practice making the edges smoother before trying to tackle those.
Finalise the tattoo design.
Whilst I am no closer to finalising the tattoo design that I wanted to create when I wrote this goal, I have come up with a small one that I want. Now it’s about braving myself to go do it! I should probably also spend some time finalising the original design.
Complete a journal.
I completed a few smaller notebooks and a journal this year, which has some memory keeping in there. My collection of completed journals is slowly growing. Admittedly, this particular one was a rather thin one but it’s still nice to actually get around to completing another journal/notebook.
Design ten original products.
Halfway there! Created five designs, that have been printed as tests. Need to do some more testing on colours and paper quality whilst designing at least five more products. I am, however, planning to launch the store this year finally so I will definitely need to work on more than just ten products. But hey, I am taking small steps to the dream.
Start a business.
This one ties in with the above. One of the main things I need to work on is designing new products and setting up the business. This will be of the biggest focuses of 2020. Researching and planning the business. Well, that and building the confidence to believe in myself and just go for it. Much easier said than done. However, I have wanted to do this for some years now so I will definitely have to start taking more proactive steps towards this.
Reach 20K views on my blog.
I am actually over half way there to this goal but reaching 20K views this year will definitely be a challenge. It will require a lot of commitment – both in actively posting and sharing through social media. I think I might also work on creating a monthly newsletter for all of the stationery fans out there to read and enjoy. Hopefully it will help drive up the views a bit more – as I need an increase of about nine and a half grand.
Monetise my blog.
A lot of bloggers have successfully monetised their blog. That is something that I would like to try and do this year. Whilst I am not expecting a full time salary out of it, it would be nice to earn a little here and there in return for the effort that I put into it. Now that I have a bit of time, this will be something that I look into.
Complete a Nanowrimo.
Work ended up taking a lot of my time and brainpower in November. I handed in my notice and ended up doing a ton of unpaid overtime, just to try and finish things off before I left. So writing became harder as the month went on. I have no idea how many words I did by the end but it was definitely under 20000. This year, I’ll get another chance at completing this. To be honest, I have no idea what to do for my NaNo project this year but I shall have a think about it closer to the time. I’m not too fussed if I don’t complete this one – it would just be nice to actually achieve it one day, after getting to 46K one year. So close yet so far.
Complete a Blogmas.
Unlike Nanowrimo, I completed this one this year! Twenty five Blogmas posts completed for 2019 – a great way to end the year. Definitely chuffed that I managed to do it – and honestly did not think I would be able to sometimes. You can have a read of them here, if you want to. This achievement was an amazing way to end the year – and this blog post. I am very excited to be able to share more content with you in the coming year, though. So stick around!
Have you got a 30 before 30 list – or any equivalent?
I would love to know if you are doing something similar. If so, what’s on your list? It definitely took me a while to think of what I wanted on my list but it captures what is important to me. A large proportion of it, for example, is related to stationery or this blog. It isn’t everything, of course. I have some things related to self-care or self-improvement too but a good portion is! Seeing what people put on their own list is a lovely way to see what is important to them – and to get ideas for future goals yourself.
Let me know what’s on yours or if there’s any from my list that you would definitely have/ not have. I would love to know why.