Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Making a List (Checking it More Than Twice)

For those of you that don't know, I made a little list last year I like to call the "30 B4 30", wherein I place extremely high expectations on myself to achieve a list of 30 things before I turn 30 (which will happen - egads - on December 11th, 2014).

Masochism, FTW!

You can read up on my list here (though there have been MANY changes to the list since then).

I pretty much place extremely high expectations on myself all day every day in my life, so you would think crossing things off the list would be easy for me. However, considering I only crossed ONE thing off my list so far (#19 - Got a Capp/Espresso coffee system for Christmas - yay!), I'd say I need a kick in the butt if I'm ever going complete the entire list.

I'm probably crazy for putting this much pressure on myself (some of the things on that list are frigin' complicated and expensive!) but what can I say, I like a challenge. And I really like to try new things and seek out new experiences. Hey, I wouldn't be living up to the title of the blog if I didn't, right?

The way I look at it, it's never a bad thing to set goals for yourself. Plus, I find writing things down (and telling the entire Internet) makes me more accountable. Who knows if I'll achieve all these things, but at least I'm daring to dream that I could!

If there is anything I've learned about myself over the years, however, it's that I'm not the most self-disciplined person around. I tend to be good at talking or thinking about doing things, but not so good at the actual DOING, know what I mean? Or I will at least procrastinate on the doing for a long time then get to a point where I am so fed up with my own laziness that I FINALLY do it (then wonder why I didn't just DO it in the first place because the doing really wasn't that hard).

I seriously want to kick my own butt sometimes.

Anyway, this is something I would like to change this year. If there is something I want to do, I would like to just DO it instead of worrying about whether or not I should. With this in mind, I decided I need to revisit my 30 B4 30 list. And not only do I need to revisit it, I need to choose a few things to focus on every few months. A list is great, but it's very easy to create one then just put it aside and completely forget about it/ignore it. I figure if I break it down then crossing things off will be much more manageable.

It's important to note that many of these goals WILL need to be put on hold until I find a permanent job (call it an excuse if you want, but it is really tough to achieve many goals when you have NO financial breathing room). Also many of them will have ongoing timelines and will evolve given the circumstances. But that's life right?! And I can at least keep them in the back of my brain and lay the groundwork so when the timing is right I can tackle them head-on.

I won't bother pasting the entire list here as you can view it in my left sidebar but here are the items I'm going to focus on for the near future:

5. Sky-dive
I am hoping to do this in the summer! Obviously, since I live in Canada where winter is a cold-hearted bitch, it isn't possible to tackle this one any earlier than that. I know you have to take a "course" that costs about $150 before you can go up as well, so I will have to start investigating that once the weather warms. I plan on talking to friends that have done it to get recos on instructors/locations. (I imagine when the time comes, my expression will very closely resemble those of Jack and Morgan in the above photo, but less wrinkly).

6. Lose 10-20 lbs
Those of you that have been reading me for a while know that this is going to be an ongoing goal. I'm focusing on losing 10 lbs right now to start and I'll go from there. I've struggled with my weight for years now so this is not going to be an overnight achievement, however I'm going to try my hardest to get at least to the 10lb mark because I know I'll feel a lot better about how I look. I think losing 10-20 lbs by the end of this year is a completely realistic and manageable goal.

13. Get a dog and/or 2 cats
I plan on adopting another cat. I had to put mine down last Fall and it was really tough, but my apartment has felt so empty and lonely without a pet I can't wait to get one. I just can't afford to take one on right now. Once I have another cat for a few months I will have to assess whether getting a 2nd cat is possible or if I'd rather get a dog. Getting a dog may have to wait until I move into a bigger apartment with a yard. It's (obviously) not fair to take pets in that you are not completely willing and able to take care of 100%

14. Visit California
Gosh I really hope this happens this year! The man and I have been discussing taking an affordable vacation this Spring, and my mom and I have also discussed a road trip at the end of the year since she turns 65 in December. Both possibilities - as always - depend on many factors, but they are at least possibilities. This could relate to #20 (though we are also discussing a possible drive to Montreal/Ottawa at the end of May for a friend's wedding), and also to #30, so achieving this goal could cross off up to two others on my list! (woo-hoo!).

25. Further my education
I have various ideas in mind under this umbrella, which I won't discuss indepthly. Let me just say that there are several online courses I'm interested in taking to upgrade various skills (and for fun!), and I also have a job possibility on the horizon which may allow me to pursue a Masters degree in my field at a significant cost savings. The details here will remain up in the air for now, but this is something I'm very interested in doing soon.

26. Make painting and/or drawing into a hobby again
This is something I'm actually already working on. Long story short, I used to draw and paint and make stuff all the time and as I grew older I lost touch with that and I've always regretted it. These creative projects always brought me so much happiness and were so important for relieving stress, I really want to tap back into that. I painted a box as a gift for my mom's birthday in December, and I'm doing a painting (plus a small crafty project) for a good friend's birthday coming up at the end of the month. I'm finding that I am not so out of practice as I originally thought, and I still get the same sense of accomplishment and joy that I used to get from creating something pretty and taking an idea from my head and crafting it into something tangible using just my hands and some materials. It feels really good, and I hope I can keep up the momentum.

So, there you have it - these are the main goals I plan on focusing on in the next 6 months! I will continue to update about my efforts on the blog whenever I have an accomplishment of note to share!

Wish me luck!

Do you have a "birthday list" or "bucket list"? What things are you focusing on achieving at the moment? How do you stay accountable to your goals?


Sara Elizabeth said...

I do have a list, actually. My list consists of losing more weight (75 pounds lost thus far), also furthering my education (I have a degree in Graphic Design already), taking a trip somewhere great (probably New York), and getting my debt in order (student loans and a couple old credit cards). Holding myself accountable is easy for me, because I am passionate about these goals. I take one day at a time, one paycheck at a time, and make progress little-by-little, slowly but surely. Best of luck with all of your goals! :)

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