Monday, September 17, 2012

27 Before 28

Last year, I wrote a post around the time of my birthday called 26 lessons learned.  For this post, I reflected upon my life and listed the most important lessons that I had learned up until that point.  However, it would seem a little redundant to make this years post 27 lessons learned.  Instead, I pondered what I wanted this post to be about - after all, I started this blog as a way to not only share my love of cooking but also as a way to look back on my life to see how I had grown and changed throughout the days, months and years.

A couple of weeks ago, I was randomly browsing my hard drive and found a list that I had made when I was 23 of things that I wanted to do before I turned 27.  Clearly, I forgot about that list, but some of the things on the list actually happened such as starting and finishing a master's program in nutrition science.  Other aspirations that happened by magic included going on a beach vacation, buying rainboots and getting a massage.  The concept of making a list of things I wanted for my life is definitely not foreign to me, I made a list of what I wanted in a job before I found mine and I've created vision boards before.

I decided that it would be a way to challenge myself if I made a list of 27 things to do before I turn 28... then as the year goes on, I can feature future blog posts of how I've accomplished each one.  It's also a way to face things I've been afraid of or put off as time has gone on. 

So, now I present to you...

27 Things To Do Before 28

1. Take a cooking class - after all, I love cooking, so why wouldn't I want a way to sharpen and refine my technique?

2. Go to yoga once a month - ideally, I would like to go to yoga more than this, but it's important to start small. I've loved every yoga class I've ever gone to and with free yoga at Lululemon on the weekends, I can't say I have any excuses.

3. Run a 5k - as in, run the whole 5k without stopping.  I've run/walked a 5k before and finished in a decent amount of time but my next 5k goal is to run the whole time without stopping.

4. Keep a journal for 21 days - this was on my previous list, except the goal was 30 days which seems pretty lofty to me.  Periodically, I've written my thoughts at various time points in my life but never consistently.   

5. Get a passport - even if I don't have a set vacation, I would really like to travel out of the country at some point and time and a passport is definitely the first step.

6. Meditate 3 times a week and work up to daily - this should be underlined and in caps.  Nothing ever makes me feel as connected to myself and to life as much as quiet time to reflect and listen, but for some reason I don't make enough time for it.  If you're new to meditation or aren't sure where to start, I recommend reading this article from Whole Living and if you're ready to dive a little deeper, try reading one of Sonia Choquette's books.

7. Continue crafting - is it against the rules to make a goal one of the things I already do? The thing is, in the past year, I've explored the crafty side of my personality that I loved so much during childhood.  Thankfully, pinterest fully supports this goal!

8. Carve a pumpkin - I haven't done this in so long.  When I was little, my grandpa and I would carve pumpkins every Halloween.  I always looked forward to it and maybe now that I'm 27 my carving skills will have improved (although, I seriously doubt it)  

9. Go to a football game - nothing says fall like football and last year I only went to one game.  Even though I don't always know what's going on, I always enjoy the atmosphere.

10. Make a chocolate chip tofu cheesecake - my favorite dessert of all time, but I only end up making it once a year if even that.... so clearly that needs to change.

11. Go on a bike ride - on a trail, obviously.  I haven't been on a bike since 8th grade and honestly they kind of terrify me a little bit.  The funny thing is, I remember liking to ride my bike but being scared of cars, so if I rode on a trail this wouldn't be an issue.  There wasn't really anyone to teach me to ride it, except for my friends, so I can't say that I've got the best skills. 

12. Go on a picnic - something I have always wanted to do and have never done!  I love cooking, so why not pack it into a basket and head to the park?

13. Waste less time on my laptop - does this happen to anyone else?  I come home from work, I'm tired, so I grab my computer and look at blogs/pinterest.  Before I know it, I've wasted a ridiculous amount of productive time, so perhaps I should set a limit of 30 minutes a day?

14. Don't always multitask - multitasking can be a great thing, but not when you're trying to relax.  At the end of a long day, I'll be trying to check & send emails while eating dinner and trying to watch tv - and then I just end up stressed which is the opposite of how this was supposed to make me feel.

15. Continue to follow my budget - I'll admit this isn't always easy but lately I have been having a much easier time.  I've always had a lot of anxiety when it comes to money, but having a budget in place helps me to feel much more confident.

16. Become a better friend - because I can.  I can listen more and talk less, I can ask about difficult situations going on in friends lives instead of just saying let me know if you need anything, I can pay more attention to how other people are feeling, everyone can do these things.

17. Perfect a signature cookie recipe - everyone has something that they make really well... so since I love baking, I would love mine to be cookies.

18. Spend more time with my grandma - this one is hard now that I'm working full-time, I'm always there on the weekends and I try to call every single day, but she doesn't always remember that I was there or that I've called... which can be hard, but it helps me to know that I'm doing the best I can right now. 

19. Blog at least one time per week - blogging has been so hard once I've started working, but I think that once I work on #13, I'll be much more efficient at having time to blog.

20. Plan a trip - it's always fun to go somewhere, no explanation needed. 

21. Be more grateful - we can all be better at appreciating what we have and reflecting on it everyday.

22. Take a class - it might be a one time class, or it might be a series class.  I'm interested in calligraphy, photography, cake decorating, ballet....the list goes on and on :)

23. Read one book per month - gosh, it used to be that I could read one book in a matter of days...but now it takes me so long that I have less time.  Next up on my list, Gone Girl.

24. Volunteer - even if it's just once or even if it's more consistent.  In college, I volunteered between 2-5 hours a week at the hospital, went on a Habitat for Humanity trip and was always participating in random volunteer events.  I miss it.

25. Discover the area of dietetics I'm passionate about - I'm fortunate that my job is giving me exposure to so many areas of my profession and love it.  I know that at some point I want to obtain a specialty certification from CDR, which is a goal that I hope to be working towards once I'm 28... and since these go together Continue to further my education in my field- I'll do this by attending workshops, seminars, online trainings etc.  Even though I'm done with my continuing education requirements, I still want to be able to learn and grow my knowledge to better serve my patients.  

26. Complete one month of the Physique 57 challenge - now that I've been running, completing the challenges that Physique 57 posts on their website are difficult for me to accomplish.  However, winter will be here before I know it and I'll be looking for a workout that I can complete indoors.  Finishing the challenge will be difficult for me, but I think it would be a great accomplishment!

27. Try a book on tape & stay more current with the news - numerous people have asked if I've ever tried a book on tape with my long drives for work.  I haven't but I'm thinking this could be a good avenue to help me "read" more books.  I listen to NPR fairly often in the car which helps me to stay up on current events, but I would like to know more about what's going on in the world. 

What do you want to do before your next birthday?