The way I set goals, go out and smash them, and have an amazing time doing it.
I, having the nicest parents in the known universe, spent my college summers as I so pleased. As long as I had something to show for it and could smack it on my transcript or resume, those plane tickets were all mine.
Complete my Spanish minor in Spain and intern with my three best friends in New York? “Yes, ma’am, we are so proud of you.” Write for a regional magazine for free? "What a great opportunity, MC!" Two unpaid internships on Capitol Hill? “You go get ‘em!”
I learned quickly that, as long as I were living intentionally and making moves, my parents were on board. This blind encouragement taught me to set my own goals, go smash them, and have an amazing time doing it.
So I made a list of 101 things I want to accomplish for myself in the next 1001 days. It just so happens that I learned this concept from the very blogger for whom I interned one of those summers: Mackenzie Horan, also known as Design Darling. Living with three great friends as we all worked in the city was one of the best times of my life. We were ticking off our New York bucket-list, sharing the cutest apartment (on Gramercy Park!) and taking advantage of every hour we had together (or by ourselves) in the city. We set out to try something new EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It was such a happy time.
It's clear to me why this time in my life was full of pure, constant joy: my roommates and I were constantly out and about, asking everyone we met for their recommendations of where to go, what to see, and most importantly: what to eat. Our weeks were filled to the brim with happy hours and new restaurants, weekend (or weeklong) trips to the beach, sushi nights at the place a few doors down, wine nights on the roof, visits from moms, cousins and sisters, hours upon hours of basking in central park, evening strolls in our favorite pockets of the city with no destination in sight, and standing amazed at our pastry-school roommate's assignments. And with all of this, there was no time to be on our phones or laptops outside of work. We were truly living our best lives, and we didn't waste a second.
This is the life that I want for myself--always: surrounded by a support system of close friends, a job I love, and a life full of joyful little things. And while I live in Dallas rather than New York, the city itself was not the reason I was so happy during this time in my life; it was because I was taking advantage of everything around me. I was only there for a short stint--I had to do it all!
Maybe if we treated every season of our lives like we were we on a ticking time clock, we would be more intentional about accomplishing our goals.
I am a short-term thinker. So for me, "the rest of my life" is a daunting thought; it's a lot easier for me to put things on the docket when I think in terms of the next few months. That's why I love Mackenzie's 101 in 1001 list--whenever the time runs out, she starts a new list and continues on. There are no looming "before I die" or "I'll get around to that" goals with this list... you just do the dang thing.
I borrowed some of these ideas from Mackenzie's list (like throwing someone a surprise party or putting away $10 for each goal accomplished), but most of these are my personal goals. I am starting this list on May 1, 2018, which gives me until January 26, 2021 to live my best life--and start over again (with bigger goals)!
- See free live music every week for a month.
- Host a tea party.
- Attend a ballet.
- Mail a surprise package to a friend.
- Make photobooks of the Camino for my mom and sister.
- Sign up for a pottery class.
- Go to five concerts.
- Go Christmas caroling.
- Hand out candy on Halloween.
- Get a group together to make blessing bags for those in need.
- Go to the State Fair of Texas with my family. (I missed the last few years!)
- Ride bikes around my childhood neighborhood.
- Have a canned food drive for my birthday.
- Take a goat yoga class.
- Paint with my dogs.
- Take a cooking class with my sisters or girl friends.
- Take a calligraphy class from my friend Maddy.
- See a black and white movie in theaters.
- Have a picnic with my picnic set (it's, like, really cute).
- Unplug for 72 hours (no TV, phone, Spotify, laptop).
- Learn how to knit / needlepoint
- Western trail ride in Texas.
- Go to Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.
- Take Bitty (my twelve year old Boston Terrier) to the beach or the lake.
- Attend ‘Til Midnight at the Nasher, the sculpture garden’s outdoor movie night.
- Drive out to Hamm Orchards to go peach picking (no relation to my family!)
- Join a library (make sure they have a kindle library)
- Find a local speak easy – done
- Attend a local slam poetry event.
- Attend my former high school’s literary festival keynote speaker – done
- Go to a speaker at the DMA.
- Join a Garden Club (I love crashing my mom’s garden club events and hearing the speakers’ passion and dedication to horticulture; if only I could grow a green thumb).
- Join a hands-on philanthropic organization.
- Hear five authors speak at SMU/TCU.
- Try fifteen new (to me) restaurants, including neighborhood staples that I have surpassed all of these years. (1. Dolce Riviera, 2. S&D, 3. Tei-An, 4. Shinsei)
- Finally attend a Mavs game – done
- Travel to three new countries. (Up next: Croatia!)
- Travel ten places I’ve never been before.
- Travel to a new continent. [Still need to hit: South America, Asia, Australia, Antarctica, Africa] I HAVE ONLY BEEN TO EUROPE (albeit, all over) AND NORTH AMERICA! I need to get moving.
- Write My Favorites: New York.
- Plan next Camino trip with my mom!
- Write a blog post about how my whole family traveled in one carry-on each, for three weeks in Europe.
- Write My Favorites: Spain.
- Write My Favorites: London.
- Write a Backpacking Guide (I’ve done The Backpack and The Overstuffed Suitcase...)
- List every city I’ve been to and keep it going!
- Go Kayaking again.
- Go surfing without an instructor’s help.
- Go to an antique fair.
- Take a girls’ trip with friends.
- Go glamping in the Grand Canyon.
- See the sun rise.
- Go to New Orleans.
- Go back to Greece.
- Blog post about walking the Camino de Santiago.
HOME AND ORGANIZATION
- Move into my own space.
- Have a wall/door that everyone who visits can sign.
- Organize pantry and fridge with clear bins.
- Purge closet and clutter (Marie Kondo style) - done.
- Have a place for everything. Literally everything.
- Clean out all purses and bags.
- Go through my old books.
- Make a “travel” box with mini size toiletries.
- Make a “headache” box to have migraine supplies all in one spot.
- Put a permanent phone charger in the kitchen/ bedroom/ bathroom counter where I get ready.
- Move photos from phone to laptop and delete them from phone.
- Go through photos on laptop (all of them) and delete old screenshots/ duplicates.
- Go through credit card statements; Make note of subscriptions that I use daily/ weekly/not at all.
- Buy a fern or olive tree and keep it alive.
- Buy a lemon tree and keep it alive.
- Unsubscribe from marketing emails.
- Paint a table for my townhouse.
- Backup computer to hard-drive.
- Find a good way to keep track of my favorite recipes.
- Find an awesome nonprofit and support – done
- Get 10,000 steps every day for two weeks.
- Hire a personal trainer.
- Play tennis once a week for a month – in progress!
- Read 100 new books!
- Attend all yearly doctors' appointments and schedule all future appointments – done
- Maintain booklist on Bookbub.com.
- Brush up on my Spanish – in progress (taking weekly Spanish classes)
- Scan or type out my old journals and useful college notes re: writing.
- Go one week without buying anything. Live off of your groceries and the gas in your car.
- Go one week without ubering.
- Deliver goodies to a hospice.
- Volunteer at an animal rescue.
- Volunteer at a women and children’s shelter.
- Track headaches for neurologist.
- One week of no processed food.
- Give Yoga a real try.
- Put $10 into long term savings for every goal accomplished.
- Link D Magazine articles on website portfolio – done
- Begin blogging actively on website.
- Write a children's book.
- Draft a Young Adult book.
- Reach out to 10 regional nonprofits to see if they need help with newsletters/etc.
- Attend 5 networking events. (2)
- Shadow an event planner to learn the process.
- Get my headshot taken. (Why haven’t I done this, OMG.)
- Set up a retirement savings account and automatic deposits.