UPDATE (January 2016):
At the end of the year, it’s always interesting to reflect back on which goals you accomplished and which didn’t quite get checked off of the list. Even with the best intentions, some things just don’t work out the way we envisioned them in the glow of optimism on December 31! In 2015, I came up with 40 goals for the year I turned 40. Some were big ticket items, some were suggestions, and some were really just for my own enjoyment. As I review the list now, a week into 2016, I see many of my goals fell short or just didn’t happen. And you know what? That’s ok! This list was created for no one but myself, and I choose to focus on the many items that did happen or came close. I recap those below with notes in italics. High five, Me!
Follow along as I tackle these 40 personal challenges and goals for my 40th year!
(Jan 2, 2015 through Jan 2, 2016)
- Learn to make tamales with Nancy
- Learn to jar/can homemade stuff
- Try one new recipe each week: The New 52. Not quite, but I did tackle 40 new recipes, many of which were featured on AOL Lifestyle and Kitchen Daily.
- Host a dinner party each season
- Publish at least 5 writing pieces
- Gather all of my published writing pieces into a portfolio. I’m proud of the words I’ve put out there. I created an online portfolio with past published works. See it here! You can also find fun pieces on various blogs, gathered here.
- Complete one of my book projects and research publishing options
- Read at least 5 new books. You can add multiple pregnancy books to this list!
- Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld
- Almost Somewhere: 28 Days on the John Muir Trail, Suzanne Roberts
- A Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy, Vicki Iovine
- Watership Down, Richard Adams
- The Wild Truth, Carine McCandless
- Take a backpacking weekend
- Run a 5K
- Try a new exercise class- hot yoga, barre method, reformer pilates, etc.
- Try a new sport/physical activity
- Hike to the Hollywood sign with Amanda
- Hike 300+ miles over the year. While I fell short of this goal (thanks to fertility treatments, side effects, minor surgery, bed rest and early pregnancy hell), I did hike almost 200 miles in 2015!
- Reacquaint myself with the piano
- Take a class to learn more about my DSLR camera
- Take a pottery class
- Learn to play chess
- Tap into my crafty side and make non-food gifts throughout the year. Did you see the lavender bath salts I made?
- Take a girls-only vacation. See it here: Ojai, California
- Plan a mini-reunion with my California girlfriends. It happened in Ojai, California!
- Take Betty somewhere she hasn’t been. We loved exploring McCoy Flats, Utah, San Rafael Swell, and all sorts of Idaho this year!
- Take a trip abroad (wish list: Oman, Croatia, Italy, France)
- Visit a state I’ve never been to. While we didn’t make it to a new state, we really got to know Idaho for the first time.
- Visit Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe
- Grow something new in my garden. We successfully grew Baby kale and pickling cucumbers! Those cucumbers made delicious spicy garlic pickles, too.
- Take a hot air balloon ride
- Do something that scares me. I trusted our family goals enough to dive into a sixth (and heavily assisted) IVF treatment which resulted in a healthy baby due in March 2016. Someday I’ll write about this very personal journey!
- Get a wedding album made
- Plan girl dates twice a month and nurture friendships. This is a constant goal for me! For part of the year, I tapped into my creative side and joined a weekly painting class with some lady friends.
- Get a mammogram. Done! It’s really no big deal and I encourage every woman over 40 to just do it.
- Get a full physical
- Have a baby. Working on it! Our bundle of joy will be arriving in March 2016. This goal trumped all other goals on this list and is the reason many of them didn’t happen. If I did nothing else this year besides #33 and #40, I claim success.
- Volunteer at a local charity
- Do something meaningful for others each month
- Do something loving for myself each month
- Properly clean out and reorganize all major areas in the house (mudroom, kitchen, pantry (check), laundry room, gear room, storage room)
- Complete an honest closet purge and donate everything. Done! It really should happen at least once each year.
- Invest in one significant piece of art
- Forgive myself and others for mistakes, misunderstandings, shortcomings, or failures. After a rough couple of years full of disappointment, struggle, and failing to accomplish what I wanted in life, this was perhaps the most important thing on my list. I continue to work on self-love during rough patches but feel proud of my efforts in this area in 2015.