Life

30 by 30: How Did I Do?

I turned 30 in August, and so am a little – OK, very – late in publishing this post. But as you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of my blog, these last few months have been nothing short of crazy! I’ve been meaning to reflect on the last year, and just how much of my 30 by 30 I managed to tick off, and am finally getting around to doing so now!

About a year ago, I published a post (you can access the full post here) outlining 30 things that I wanted to tick off my bucket list, before I turned 30. The irony is that it was written in a world pre-COVID, and it’s been interesting to see the things I just used to take for granted.

So below is my list of things to do before I turned 30, along with a short update on each! I strongly recommend everybody to do a bucket list of this type, it doesn’t have to be before a big birthday or event – why not start one for 2021? It might help you live more intentionally and have the experiences you desire.

My 30 things to do before 30

1. Climb Mount Snowdon (this has been on my bucket list since 2014 and I STILL haven’t done it)

So to start off strong, I still haven’t done this! HOW has something been on my bucket list for the last 6 years and still not done it? The irony is I actually went camping in Snowdonia National Park on the weekend of my 30th birthday, we intended to climb it but it was just too hot to climb! However, lately, it seems that everybody wants to climb Snowdon so I think I’ll wait until the hype dies down again and go one day next year.

2. Get more ear piercings

Wow. Doing well here, 2 out of 2 that I didn’t do! I’ll be doing this soon though as I still really want some more ear piercings.

3. Get another tattoo

Yes! Finally – one that I did do! I am still in love with my tattoo and feel inspired every time I look at it.

4. Go camping (another one – always wanted to go and never been!)

Ha! I very much completed this one – and then some! With the lockdown restrictions, our honeymoon being cancelled, and being pretty much unable to travel anywhere, we finally went camping! James bought me camping gear for my 30th birthday and we’ve already got our money’s worth! We’ve been camping so much in the last few months and I absolutely love it. It’s a shame that it took a global pandemic and prohibited abroad travel to finally push us into doing it, but I absolutely love the whole experience and am so excited to do it again next year!

P.S. The pic above is in our garden but I can assure you, we did camp outside of our garden.

5. Do a yoga retreat

I didn’t manage to do a yoga retreat, but I knew this would be a bit ambitious. I did manage to do some SUP yoga – something else I’ve wanted to do for a while! Scroll through the pics to see our progress on the paddleboard. I got this one in just in time – the day before my 30th birthday (and the best birthday weekend I could have hoped for!)

6. Go to a festival

Isn’t it funny that something so integral to my life usually was not even an option this year? I go to festivals every year, I live for them and love them with every ounce of my being. I’m happiest when I’m drunk, in a field full of mud, listening to live music. The smell of grass, the booming of speakers and the general experience of a festival is one of my favourite things in the world. But this year, festival season was cancelled due to COVID. It’s made me realise how important they are to me. Hopefully next year!

7. Go to a gig (ha!)

I love that I was even so cocky to add ‘ha!’ on the end of this one last year. I assumed this was going to be such an easy feat. The fact is, I did go to a few gigs between my birthday last year and my 30th this year, but nowhere near what I’d usually go to. I have about 8 rescheduled gigs lined up for next year, fingers crossed. I’m really, really missing live concerts.

8. Write something that is published professionally

How far I’ve come in the last year, without even realising it. I wrote a blog post titled Why I Quit my Job in Lockdown which was picked up on Medium by The Innovation! An editor asked me if I’d be interested in posting it in the publication – to which I replied do bears shit in the woods?! I’m joking, I was very professional and replied that I’d love to submit my post for publication there. I did, and the rest is history. You can find pretty much the same post as above at The Innovation on Medium!

I write for a series of life and business coaches, and my work is also published on their respective websites on a weekly basis. So it’s fair to say I can tick this one off! Woohoo!

9. Be content in my job

Well, this one is the biggest one of all, I’d say. I handed my notice in at work back in June and served a 3-month notice period. I finished on 11th September, so whilst I wasn’t quite content in my job at the point of my 30th birthday, I was well on my way to being so I’m going to class this as a success! I was content in my side-job, so I suppose that counts! By my 31st birthday, I’ll be content in my job working for myself – another result, woohoo!

10. Go on a cool honeymoon

Nope. No such luck. We were supposed to be going on a desert island honeymoon, but COVID put a stop to that one. We rescheduled from June to December this year, but given the current circumstances, we still won’t be able to go. And you know what, I don’t even care anymore. Next year we intend to try and get away as much as possible, restrictions permitting, and I’ll be happy to just go outside of the UK. It’s funny how your attitude to travel changes when you literally can’t go anywhere easily. I’m yearning to get back to Spain, and my dream of living there again or having a holiday home there is ever more prominent.

11. Save a decent amount of money

I did do this, a few times actually. I may not have saved as much money as a lot of people, as I am inherently terrible with managing finances. But with my extra income and plans to quit my job and work for myself, it forced me to start putting money aside to pay my bills. Saving this year has become quite natural to me, thanks to the first lockdown. I’m impressed by how much I’ve turned around regarding finances this year. Definitely something I want to keep up!

12. Read at least 12 books

Yay! Another one I did! According to my Instagram account, where I’ve started sharing every book I read, I read 16 books in the last year.

13. Do something for charity other than donating

This one is a little ambiguous. I did donate to charities in the form of food, money and pet supplies but it wasn’t really what I meant when I included it in this list. I wanted to get out there and actually make a difference somehow. I suppose I did a few things that weren’t really for charity as such, but the intentions were there. Last year around September/ October time I joined this Facebook group called Postcards of Kindness, which is a wonderful group organizing postcards or letters to be sent to care homes around the UK. I sent a few postcards to some residents last year. Also, at the beginning of lockdown, a wonderful girl who lives close to me called Hannah organized a group of us volunteers to go leafletting all the roads in the area to make people aware that there was a group of us available to help do shopping, deliver supplies etc. to elderly and vulnerable people in the area. I suppose they count, but I definitely should have done more – this will roll over to the coming year’s list.

14. See the Northern Lights

I finally ticked off one of my life bucket list items and made it to Iceland, fortunately the week before lockdown! We were so lucky. But we didn’t see the Northern Lights unfortunately, despite staying in a super remote cabin in the middle of nowhere. Oh well, it just means we have to plan another trip to Iceland at some point in the future!

15. Have a massage

Nope. I doubt I’ll be able to get one soon either with the 50,000 restrictions on who we can socialise with for the next 10 years.

16. Put myself first more (even if people don’t like it!)

I did do this, it was a very subtle change and people may not have even noticed it, but I did begin doing it. It’s definitely something to carry forward and keep practising!

17. Eat in a restaurant/ cafe alone

I planned to tick this off with a trip to Australia in March, where I was doing a solo trip for work and was going to have to get over my dislike of eating alone in public. I never made it on the trip, but I did eat in a cafe alone. I don’t even really see it as a big deal anymore!

18. Visit a new city/ country

Again, I was going to smash this one by visiting 5 new cities and a new country on my abovementioned trip to Australia that never went ahead. However, I did still manage to do it! I visited Edinburgh for my 29th birthday last August, and I visited Iceland in March so I managed to complete both a new city and country – woohoo!

19. Stop overcommitting myself to things

This one was aided by lockdown, where I physically wasn’t able to overcommit myself to things because I wasn’t allowed to leave my house! However, it’s still something I definitely need to learn, as it’s been a habit that’s been creeping back since lockdown was lifted. I suppose I don’t need to worry too much with another impending lockdown, but I do need to learn how to not overplan and overcommit. Watch this space!

20. Unwind in a spa

I unfortunately didn’t manage this one! We are still due to visit a spa with a voucher we were kindly gifted for our wedding last year, but haven’t been able to go this year due to COVID. Hopefully next year! I love spas!

21. Be more assertive

Again, this is something I’m still learning. I’m getting better, and I suppose now running my own copywriting business it’s something that I’ll learn as I go along – hopefully anyway!

22. Minimalise the house

I have kind of done this, but there’s a long way to go! I do enjoy minimalising and decluttering though – and was thrilled that there was even a week dedicated to it as part of the 1 Year Mindfulness Challenge! See post here.

23. Write more frequently

Absolutely done this one! I was gifted a ‘1 Year Mindfulness Challenge’ for Christmas last year which has given me something to write about on a weekly basis for the last 10 months! You can read the background to the series here, and you can find the entire collection here. I also kept a written log of the first 3 months of Coronavirus in The Corona Diaries series, and am still writing my weekly 5 Minute Coffee Corner series. Smashed this one – yay!

24. Take a week off social media

I did do this and I’ll be sharing a post about it soon – keep an eye out!

25. Develop technical/ digital design skills

LOL. Next!

26. Take better care of my body and mind (drink alcohol but not to the point where I throw up for the entire next day and feel horrific for a week)

I started drinking a lot of smoothies, does that count?!

27. Commit to a more frequent yoga and meditation practice

This is a 2021 goal. There’s been no time for much yoga or meditation this year (ironically the year it would have benefitted me most!)

28. Be vegetarian for longer than a month

I didn’t manage to do this, unfortunately. I did my veggie month in January as I have done for a few years, but during lockdown when life was a little crazy, I slipped back into the habit of eating for convenience and started eating more meat than usual. Next year however, I’m going to try and do it for longer. I just can’t stand the moral fight I have with myself over eating meat. Watch this space!

29. Do one ‘random act of kindness’ each month

I’ll be honest, I completely forgot about this one! This list is really sloping off towards the end, isn’t it?

30. Run a marathon

I wanted to run the Manchester Marathon, but like so many other things this year, it wasn’t able to go ahead. As I do every year, I’ve registered for next year’s London Marathon, not that I have a hope in hell of getting in. I’ve been trying religiously for about 8 years. Oh well, you never know, a girl can dream.

So I’ve just counted and I’d say I’ve secured about 14 and a half out of 30, so let’s round that up to 15 and say I completed 50% of my 30 by 30 list. Disappointing? Maybe so – depending on your outlook. I’d say it’s pretty great given the amount of time spent at home this year and that most of the things I didn’t do were beyond my control.

I’ve loved reminiscing on this list and can’t wait to get working on my 2021 bucket list!

If you’ve done something similar, I’d love to hear what’s on your list!

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