A few weeks ago, I celebrated the birthday before the milestone: I turned 39. With only a year (and by the time I’m finally posting this, more like 46 weeks) left in my 30s, I wanted to put in writing some things I want to get done – and also some things I’d like to let go of – before I turn 40 (beforty) and before I turn 50 (befifty). And unlike the photo says, I won’t be 39 forever, so it’s time to start getting to work on this list.
But first, a little anecdote: When I was a reporter, I was once given an assignment where I profiled several people and their financial goals and challenges and we partnered with some financial advisors to give them some guidance and advice. One of the people I profiled was a single mom who wanted to go back to school. When I did a follow-up series a year later, she was enrolled in school. And she told me the fact that her goals were printed in the newspaper were a big part of what pushed her to follow through. For me, it was one of my more proud moments as a reporter. But it also speaks to the power of writing down your goals and saying them out loud and putting them into the universe.
I’ve been keeping notes in my phone for several months about what I would put on this list, and this morning I read this Instagram post from One Lovely Life about goals and I loved it so much.
So, here goes …
Take better care of my skin. I’ve had essentially the same routine since high school and can’t remember the last time I had a facial. This year, I want to see an aesthetician and learn the proper way an almost-40-year-old who lives in a very sunny place should care for her face + skin.
Stop buying things I don’t need. I’ll write more about this when I share my Plastic-Free July recap, but I want to not only save my money for more important things, but also continue to reduce my environmental impact.
Save up for a nice camera and learn to use it. This is a something I’ve wanted for a long time. And while it contradicts my earlier statement, it’s something that’s more meaningful in the long run than impulse Target purchases.
Learn to change a tire. I had a flat earlier this summer, and I couldn’t even open up the compartment that holds a spare tire to see if I had one, let alone change it. It seems like a skill that could come in handy.
Read more books and magazines and newspapers and spend less time on social media. I know there’s value in social media, but I want my time there to be more intentional – taking time to read the posts and engaging in a more meaningful way, rather than mindlessly scrolling. On the flip side, I need to put it away and focus more on the stack of books I want to get through and making the most of my online news subscriptions. I am slowly starting to unfollow accounts that are no longer personally meaningful to me, and I think this will help with meaningful interactions, and also help decrease the desire to buy things I don’t need.
Visit Armenia. Being half Armenian, this has been a goal for many years. Time to make it happen.
Visit Ireland. Similar to visiting Armenia, I’m Irish on my mom’s side and have always wanted to go.
Write a book. I’ve wanted this to do for most of my life. (When I was 8 I wanted to be a children’s book author when I grew up.) There are lots of topics I’d like to write about, mostly non-fiction, some autobiographical, and some maybe more suited to a grad-school thesis. But I’d like to stop thinking about it and start putting pen to paper.
Learn to play an instrument. I’d love to play the drums. But probably a guitar is more practical.
Have pink hair. This is the silliest of all my goals, but I epically failed trying to dye my hair pink in high school once. I’d like to have it done just once professionally and enjoy it.