A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to do something BIG to commemorate my 30th birthday. Unfortunately I don’t have the PTO to go on a huge trip to New Zealand or Italy or China. I can’t really justify the expense of a multiple week-long road trip around the USA and Canada. Throwing an all-out bash complete with circus performers, letterpress invites, and a dress code probably isn’t in the cards either. I know if I indulge in a huge mound of chocolate, or buy 30 pairs of shoes I will eventually feel guilty for my excess. But lists? Lists I can do.
A few years ago I read Gretchen Rubin’s “Happiness Project” and while I really liked several of her goals and ideas, it wasn’t exactly the right format or end result I was looking for. But, the idea of choosing 12 things to focus on for the year, one per month, in order to improve ones life? That I can absolutely get behind. The last few weeks I’ve been making lists and looking at resolution blog posts of some of the bloggers I most admire, asking dozens of questions and advice from a handful of close friends, and I have finally come up with 12 things that are both manageable but will also stretch me as a person and force me to grow in new ways over the year. A few are a bit too personal for me to share here, but most will have ample blog time during their respective months. I am hoping to do a recap post once a month to break out the process, the results, and my thoughts on the outcome.
*I know there aren’t exactly 360 days in a year (30*12), but as I’m starting mid-month, and this is my 30th year, and dammit, it’s my BIRTHDAY today and a girl should be allowed to make her own rules on her birthday, I decided to just throw those extra 5 days to the wind and pretend they don’t exist because it makes for prettier math. If that drives you batty, you’re welcome to protest…elsewhere. Okay? Okay. Here we go.
30 x 12: A List
30 x 1: No sugar for
30-days 40 days. Lent starts today and I decided to tackle two sugary birds with the same stone..a stone of pure will power. A friend, Ms. JB, has graciously agreed to try this “no sugar” thing with me. I hope we can keep each other honest and motivated. For me the definition of “no sugar” means no sugar–raw, natural, or otherwise–no carbs like bread or potatoes or pasta or corn, and no fruit (which just turns to sugar in your blood stream). My goal for this experiment is to eat whole foods, lots of veggies, some lean protein, and a bit of dairy because while I can live without cupcakes I cannot live without cheese. I am hoping to lose a few pounds, yes, but I am also hoping to help train my taste buds to enjoy whole foods more and train my body to not want a cupcake for breakfast or a Diet Dr. Pepper by 10:00 am. Hopefully, some of these healthy eating habits will stick around a little while after Easter and I’ll have made a huge leap forward on any healthy eating notions I have for 2013.
30 x 2: Exercise every day for 30 days. I am not setting a time limit or running distance, but for me “exercise” means one breaks a sweat for multiple minutes in a row.
30 x 3: Focus on marriage and my relationship with J-Mo.
30 x 4: [redacted] Personal
30 x 5: No Facebook or other social media for 30 days.
30 x 6: Learn something new every day for 30 days. This can be as simple as a vocabulary word, something more complicated like knitting, or figuring out a new setting on my camera.
30 x 7: Focus on budgeting and finances. Not entirely sure what this will look like, or how much I am willing to share about it.
30 x 8: 30 days spent finishing projects. I don’t think I have 30 projects to finish, per se, but I want to finish up and clean up some of my “project piles” and start using them the way they were intended.
30 x 9: Clean or organize for 15 minutes every day for 30 days.
30 x 10: Mail 30 handwritten notes. No specific length or addressee, I just want to resurrect the idea of writing a note and mailing it.
30 x 11: Do one nice thing for someone else every day for 30 days. This can be big or small, important or not-so-important. This 30-day stretch will fall during the Christmas holiday and I really hope it helps make the season extra special for me.
30 x 12: Daily meditation. This can include yoga, journal writing, or even taking a walk whilst in the mindset of reflection (as opposed to trying to blow off anger or burn 300 calories). I’m hoping this will help solidify my thoughts on this whole process, and also help ease me in to age 31.
And there it is, my 30 x 12 that will hopefully keep me on a somewhat positive path for my 30th year. I am hoping this list will also help me accomplish some of my resolutions for the year, and some of the focus areas are specifically geared towards helping fulfill one of those goals. Here we go!
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