30 Goals By 30 Years Old: A Personal Challenge
I remember on my tenth birthday, it felt like such a big deal! From single digits to double digits, the world was mine to conquer. A few years later, turning thirteen meant becoming a teenager, sixteen meant I could get my driver’s license, and eighteen meant I was graduating from high school and headed off to college.
Twenty-one was a particularly exciting year. Yes, I could drink alcohol, but I was also knees-deep in some very heated political campaigns and enjoying every minute of it. Twenty-five, a less exciting but still important milestone, meant paying less for car insurance each month and finally being able to rent a car by myself.
Each of these milestones, the people I’ve met along the way, and the opportunities I’ve been afforded, have all led me here, staring down my next milestone – my thirtieth birthday.
It seems quite fitting, just as I mark being six months away from my thirtieth, that we’re amidst the holiday season and only days away from celebrating Christmas. A time of reflection and gratitude, I’ve spent a great deal of time jotting down some of life’s greatest lessons, reflecting on the many blessings I’ve been afforded, and plotting out where I want to be ten years from now.
With unlimited possibilities before me, I have a good idea of where I want to be in ten years. However, if I’ve learned anything about myself over the last twenty-nine and a half years, I’m more likely to accomplish big things when I set goals and divulge a plan on how to push myself across the finish line. Think, a road map, so to say.
That’s where the idea for this challenge came from – building a roadmap for the goals I want to accomplish in the next six months. More importantly, while this roadmap is certainly intended to help me accomplish goals before my thirtieth birthday, it is also intended to create habits that I’ll carry with me through my thirties and so on.
While this certainly isn’t a comprehensive list of everything I’d like to accomplish, the following thirty goals, are amongst the most important to me:
Personal Growth Goals:
- 30 Credit Hours – Finish Master’s Program
I’m just three credit hours away from my finishing my master’s degree, and all that’s standing between me and becoming an alumnus of Georgetown University is my capstone course.
Classes are only a few days from being over, and I expect to do great in the course. It’s been an amazing experience to bring all my studies from the program together and put them to work for an awesome client. Pending only a few more grades to come in, I’ll graduate with a Master’s of Public Relations and Corporate Communications. Hoya Saxa!
- Read 30 Minutes Per Day
I read the news every day, but that’s typically the extent of my reading. Rarely do I ever pick up a book and read for fun. It’s not that I don’t like to read, it’s just that I don’t prioritize it.
That said, science has proven that reading can increase empathy, relieve stress, and increases the strength of your brain. The average reader who commits to consistently reading 30 minutes a day will complete nearly 33 books per year – that’s incredible to me.
As such, I’m going to pick up a book for at least 30 minutes per day. It doesn’t matter what kind of book, whether it be biography or mystery – so long as I pick up a book and read for at least 30 minutes per day. By the end of this challenge, I’ll have read for more than 4,500 minutes, or 76+ hours.
- 30 Hours with Mentors
As an entrepreneur, I’ll admit I love to go at it alone and blaze my own trail. However, the reality is, truly successful people never have all the right answers and instead surround themselves with others who do.
From making business decisions to opening doors and offering personal advice, having others you can lean on for personal and professional advice is really important. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying if it weren’t for the mentors in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Despite feeling that way, I’m not diligent enough about seeking out their advice. Rather than proactively asking for their help, I’m guilty of typically going to them in the heat of the moment.
This is a habit I want to turn around. To do so, between now and my 30th birthday, I plan to make it a priority to spend at least 30 hours with mentors. These hours will be spent developing myself both personally and professionally and will ultimately help me become the person I desire to be.
- Make 30 New Friends or Professional Connections
All kinds of people make the world go ‘round. Perhaps my most favorite thing about traveling isn’t the traveling itself, but instead, the people it’s introduced me to. I love meeting new people, and if you asked my grade-school teachers, they’d tell you I’ve been somewhat of a social butterfly my entire life.
While this admittedly got me into a good bit of trouble during my upbringing, particularly because I was more focused on talking than doing my classwork, it’s been a major strength for me in my adult life (see, I told you mom).
I love connecting with people from all walks of life. Whether it be building professional relationships or friendships, it’s my goal over the next year, to meet 30 new people. Regardless of how I do it or who they might be, I simply want to continue growing my network and being the best colleague and/or friend I can be.
- Write 30 Handwritten Notes Per Quarter
At a very young age, my parents, each Christmas, began to gift me custom stationary. I’ll admit that I wasn’t always enthusiastic about using it, but always got excited to see what design they had picked out for the year ahead.
This tradition dates back to my great grandmother, “Mama Dot,” who is 99 years young and still with us today. Mama Dot never misses an opportunity to write you a note, whether it be for your birthday or to say thanks for simply visiting her. Her notes are always warm and loving, and I’m so thankful it’s a habit our family has instilled in me.
Many people don’t know this story, but my fiancé wouldn’t pay attention to me and refused to give “us” a chance. No matter what I did, he didn’t take me seriously and thought we lived too far away to make anything work. That is, until I wrote him a handwritten note and had it waiting for him on his apartment island when he returned from a trip to Bali (to be fair, I paired the note with a bottle of his favorite wine). This note was the first step in what has become our life together.
For the entirety of our relationship, handwritten notes have been a cornerstone of our relationship, and are something I’ve also carried over to my friendships and professional relationships with others. Many of my friends, who I hope are reading this, have handwritten notes from me. Whether it be to say thank you or just to remind them I love them, there’s something more personal about a handwritten note
Despite loving to write these notes, I don’t do it enough, and want to do it more often. Whether it be to thank a colleague for helping me with a project, to congratulate a friend on their recent promotion, or just to say thank you for visiting me, my goal is to write 30 of these handwritten notes per quarter. Quite frankly, I think I should do more, but we’ll start here.
- Document 30 of Life’s Biggest Lessons
I was recently having dinner with a good friend I haven’t seen in a while. In the middle of a statement I was making, he interrupted and blurted out, “who are you and what have you done with Gavin?!” All eyes on me, we shared a good laugh while everyone else stared in confusion, until I exclaimed, “I learned my lesson.”
I’ll save the lesson I learned in this particular instance for another day, but moral of the story is this – life has taught me a lot. Some things I’ve learned the hard way, and others I’ve learned the really hard way. Nonetheless, I’ve been very fortunate, and I’ve learned a lot that I’d like to share with others. I guess the old adage goes, “to help others learn from my mistakes.”
Over the next year, that’s my plan – document, via this blog, 30 of life’s greatest lessons. Some may be failures I’ve experienced, and others may be successes. All lessons that I share will be intended to help others, and that, in the end, is what’s most important in my book.
- Listen to 30 New Podcast Episodes Per Month
I’ve never made a habit of listening to podcasts. It’s always something I’ve wanted to be more into, but I rarely pick up my phone and listen to a full podcast episode.
Admittedly, I did find one podcast series, 22 Hours: An American Nightmare, that I absolutely loved. I listened to the whole series (you should, too), and I enjoyed that time I spent decompressing and not focusing on the world around me. Another podcast I’ve been listening to recently – my friend Bakari Sellers’ podcast. Bakari is a rockstar and someone I look up to a lot.
I want to do more of this, though – without limiting myself to just one particularly podcast. Whether it’s a daily news or crime podcast, over the course of a month, I’d like to listen to at least 30 new podcasts. By the time I finish the challenge, I’ll have to listened to over 150 podcast episodes.
Personal Finance Goals:
- Grow Rainy Day Fund by 30%
When I was in my early twenties, I rarely saved a dollar. Pretty much every penny I earned was spent and I never prioritized building a savings account. It wasn’t until just a couple years ago (you know, the moment when I had a big “uh oh” moment), that I realized how important having a rainy-day fund is.
Over the last several years, I’ve built on my rainy-day fund, and I refuse to touch it. This money isn’t used for things I want around the house, new clothes, or even travel. This money is set aside explicitly for unexpected vets bills, trips to the emergency room (which are too expensive, by the way), or in the event I’m unable to work for an extended period, to pay the bills.
I can’t emphasize how important this type of fund is, and over the next six months, I’m going to work very hard to grow my fund by an additional 30%. To me, this is just more peace of mind – and ultimately, that’s what I hope my thirties bring to me.
- Reduce Spending on Dining Out by 30%
So, let’s be real – we eat out way too much. That includes me and my fiancé, probably you, too, and according to American Express, most adults in the United States are in the same boat as well.
In fact, recent data out from the credit card giant suggests that the average American eats out between 4 and 5 times per week. When doing so, data suggests that the average meal costs about $13 and, when it’s all said and done, Americans spend about $232 a month on dining out.
I’ll admit that my fiancé and I are guilty of this habit. Despite building a brand-new house recently with every possible gadget we could ask for in the kitchen, we’re always in the “let’s just pick something up” mood. Moreover, I’ll even go as far as sharing that we spend more than double what the average American does per month, each. Ridiculous, right?
But what’s done is and done and all we can do is correct the habit. So, that’s what we’re planning to do over the next 6 months. Paired with my goal to eat healthy, it’s also my goal to reduce spending on dining out by 30%. It isn’t realistic to say I’ll never go out to eat because I know I will. Instead, I’ll just set my eyes on significantly reducing my dining out spending over the next six months.
- Reduce Student Loan Debt by 30%
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average undergraduate student has about $36,000 in student loan debt. For those graduating with a master’s degree, the number soars to an average of $91,000. And, as for those who have earned a PhD, these individuals on average have about $160,000 in student loan debt.
There’s no secret that a college education is expensive, and while I could dive into a policy conversation surrounding education spending vs. outcomes, we’ll save that for another day.
Policy nuances aside, paying down student loan debt is a reality for me as well. I join so many other students across the United States who have had to take out a student loan to pay for their education and am now among those who are staring down repayment and dreading it.
Nonetheless, regardless of how I might or might not feel about it, it’s a reality and must be done. And while I really don’t like the idea of giving these companies any more money than I must per month, I’ve set the ambitious goal of reducing my total student loan by 30% by the time I’m 30 years old.
Personal Health and Fitness:
- Reduce Screen Time by 30%
According to the Statista Research Department, in 2021, nearly 50% of Americans indicated that they spend more than 5-6 hours on their mobile phone daily. Whether it be tapping away on iMessage or scrolling through social, only 5% of respondents indicated that they spent less than 1 hour on their phone daily.
Setting these findings aside, tech web site ZDNet found that the average American spends 5.4 hours per day on their mobile phone. While on their phone, Millenials spend 48 minutes each day text messaging, and baby boomers spend 43 minutes reading and responding to e-mails. The pair spend a collective 1.5 hours on social media
Call me old, but what in the world is so important on our mobile devices that we devote this much time to them? Granted, many of us use our phones for work, but these surveys only measured personal usage. Imagine how much time we’re spending on our mobile devices if we included our professional usage details as well.
Nonetheless, these stats got me curious, and I checked out my iPhone’s daily usage log. Currently I’m spending about 5 hours a day on my mobile device. These hours include my professional usage, and there’s no real way to exclude that from the results.
Throughout the day, my social usage times are high, and the time I spend on iMessage is ridiculous. And while I obviously can’t cut my professional usage, I can cut my personal usage. There’s nothing on my phone worth my wasting several hours a day staring at it.
So, all this said, between now and my 30th birthday, it’s my goal to cut my usage down from 5 hours to 3.5 hours per day. I’m sure there will be days where I average more simply because of work, but the overall goal here is – get off the phone and spend more time with those around me.
- Run 30 Miles Per Month
I played soccer my whole life. To date, I still enjoy kicking a few “PKs” and dribbling the ball around the back yard. What I don’t enjoy doing, and what I’ve gotten really bad at – running.
Running used to be an everyday thing for me. Whether it was a soccer game or practice, I was always moving. I could run distance or for time with no problems whatsoever. As priorities have changed and considering how immersed I’ve been in professional endeavors over the last few years, personal fitness goals have fallen to the wayside.
Now is the time to do something about it. Whether it be one mile per day, or two miles a day for fifteen days, I’m challenging myself to get it done and run at least 30 miles per month. By the time this challenge is over, I’ll have run over 150 miles!
- Put the Phone Down 30 Minutes Before Bed
Science proves that using our phones directly before we go to bed is harmful to our overall health. Whether it’s the effect that blue light has on our body’s melatonin production, or an unsettling post we see on Facebook, doctors agree that we should stop using our cell phones at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Sitting the devices aside gives our brain a minute to wind down and prepare itself for a good night’s rest. Just as we cool down by stretching after a workout, the brain needs just a few minutes to decompress and get itself in the right headspace for a good night’s sleep.
Instead of peeking at Instagram or reading up on the latest news, I’ll be sitting down my devices at least 30 minutes before bed, and instead using this time to talk to my fiancé about his day, to read a book, or perhaps, to just take a moment and breathe.
By the end of this challenge, I’ll have taken back 4,500+ minutes from my devices, and quite frankly – that’s a win in my books.
- Exercise 30 Minutes Per Day
The minute I graduated from college, I stopped prioritizing exercise. More times than not, I blame this decision on my joining a Presidential campaign and traveling to a new state nearly every day. Admittedly, these travels did make a consistent workout routine very hard, and the days were often 18+ hours long.
However, despite my travels and eventually landing a Presidential appointment to a couple of federal agencies, it’s very important I recognize that not committing myself to some sort of physical exercise every day was my choice. I may not have had access to a gym, but that was no reason for me not to do an at-home workout or an excuse to not to go for a run.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day affords us so many benefits. Scientists and doctors link 30 minutes of exercise per day to increased heart health, weight loss, a reduction in stress, improved memory, increased productivity, and higher energy levels. In other words, these 30 minutes are really good for you.
Getting back into a regular exercise routine is perhaps one of my biggest goals on this list. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve started a workout routine, done really well for a week or two, and then fallen right back into the habit of not exercising. That is not a habit I want to take with me into my thirties.
Therefore, I’m committing myself to at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This exercise may double with my running goal of 30 miles per month, consist of weightlifting or an at-home workout, or simply be 30 minutes of walking the dogs on a day I feel I need to take it easy. No matter what it is or how I do it, I’m determined that by the day I turn 30, I’ll have exercised for at least 4,500 minutes. That’ll be a major win in my books!
- 30 Minute Lunch Breaks
Chaining yourself to your desk and scarfing down a sandwich in your office isn’t a recipe for workplace success – it’s a recipe for professional disaster. Breaks, particularly lunch breaks, are proven to create better employees.
A recent study from Tork revealed that nearly a quarter of American workers worry their bosses will view them as a slacker if they take regular lunch breaks. The same survey, which targeted both employees and employers, revealed that almost a quarter of North American bosses believe employees who take a regular lunch break are less hardworking.
This is a really bad mindset. Both statistics and science prove that employees who take regular breaks are more productive employees. Regular breaks help employees feel refreshed, and often lead to increased productivity, improved mental well-being, and contribute to a boost in creativity.
I’ll admit that I’m a victim of this mindset. More times than not, I grab a sandwich and head back to my office to continue working. I rarely take a minute to walk away from the computer and hardly ever step outside for a dose of fresh air. Even at the advice of my employer to do so, I still sit at my desk to “get things done.”
That stops now, and it’s time to break the habit of not taking a lunch break. Not only will it be good for me physically, but it’ll also be good for me mentally.
- Do At Least 30 Pushups, 30 Sit Ups, and 30 Squats Per Day
It seems easy, and quite frankly, I don’t expect this goal – 30 pushups, 30 sit ups, and 30 squats per day – to be very hard. In fact, for me, the hardest part about this is just going to be staying consistent and making sure that I get in at least 30 reps of each workout per day.
Additionally, aside from setting this goal simply to create a habit, I’m also challenging myself to do this because each of the workout sets target a key muscle group I’d like to grow and/or improve. Obviously, at a certain point, I’ll have to add weight or make the exercises harder, but, at first, it’s all about creating the habit and just being consistent with these 30 reps per day.
- 30 Days of Rest
There is rarely a moment when my mind isn’t working. Although I thoroughly enjoy my work and firmly believe that if you don’t enjoy your job, you’re probably not in the right profession, one thing I’ll admit is that I’m terrible at knowing when to slow down and take a break.
This work ethic, while admirable, also comes with its own set of downfalls. For me, amongst others and most of all, I’m convinced my unwillingness to slow down and take a breather is the very reason I’ve ended up in the doctor’s office more frequently than usual this year.
Despite being a very healthy kid and young adult, I’ve found myself on more prescriptions and feeling more fatigued than ever. This must change, and along with eating healthier and exercising more, I recognize that one thing I have to do to prevent these symptoms is simply slow down and take a break every now and then.
As such, between now and my 30th birthday, I’m going to slow down and take a break for at least 30 days. This doesn’t mean I have to take a full day off, but instead; it means sitting devices down, not working, and enjoying an evening with no work involved.
- Write 30 Professional Blogs in a Year
Just a little less than a year ago, I launched my personal web site. I launched it with the intentions of writing a new blog every week, mostly on communications and marketing topics, but I’ve failed miserably at that.
I haven’t failed because I dislike writing (I love writing) or because I’m too busy. Instead, I’ve failed because it hasn’t been a priority for me. Instead of writing a blog on how to communicate amidst a crisis, I spend too much time scrolling through social channels or browsing the internet.
If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last 29 years, it’s how fortunate I’ve been to be surrounded by individuals with incredible experiences and advice to give. At such a young age, I’ve climbed the ladder and communicated for some of our government’s highest officials. I’ve executed satellite media tours amidst a global health pandemic, and I’ve helped mom and pop shops turn their operations around by a few simple tweaks to their advertising plans.
All this said, that’s the purpose of my blog – to take my experience and share it. I didn’t get where I am today (and believe me, I still have a long way to go) without the experiences of others and their willingness to share. I want, and feel a sense of responsibility, to do the same thing.
No, I’m not saying that I’m some influencer you all should follow daily. However, I do believe, I, like many of you, have experiences we can all learn from. As such, by my 30th birthday, it’s my goal to have shared 30 professional or personal blogs on my web site that can help you grow.
- Grow My Company by 30%
For as long as I can remember, my parents have worked two jobs. During the day my dad works for an environmental company and my mom is a nurse. In the evenings, on the weekend, and yes, even in the middle of the night, my parents manage about 35 rental properties.
I’ve always admired my parents’ work ethic and will always be grateful for everything they’ve done for our families. My parents didn’t have anything handed to them and they’ve worked for everything they have. In fact, my dad instilled in us at a very young age – “if you want it, earn it.”
I like to think this mantra is why I’m not satisfied with working just a 9-5 job. Don’t get me wrong, for those of you who do that and are happy, that is perfectly okay and there’s nothing wrong with that. I, however, am just different and am always thinking about how I can improve or what the next big project is.
Some may view this as a flaw, but I love to work. Quite frankly, I think if you’re doing anything for work that you don’t love doing, leave your job and go do something that you do love doing. I am very thankful for my full-time job and love the people I get to work with. I also love the company I started several years ago, The Inspyre Group.
Since its inception, The Inspyre Group has served Fortune 500 companies and mom and pop shops. We’ve helped law offices turn their SEO around and an electricity company navigate a very public acquisition process. It’s been so fascinating to work with clients from different sectors and help them achieve their various goals.
I want to do more of this. With my master’s program winding down in December, I want to fill some of that time with growing The Inspyre Group. Realistically, I think I could do more, but by the time I turn 30, I’d like to have grown my firm by 30% – measured in revenue, of course.
- Publish 30 Opinion Pieces Across the Nation
I was recently named a Contributor for the Forbes Communications Council. In addition to my work with Forbes, I’ve also published, whether it be in my name or a client’s name, in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USAToday, Fox Business, and several other national publications.
In addition to my work with these media giants, I’ve written for print and digital publications in nearly every state. Typically, at this local level, I weigh in on topics such as politics, cybersecurity, education policy, and more.
Writing at a local level is something I thoroughly enjoy. Oftentimes, you can dig deeper into issues affecting the community, and, more times than not, receive some sort of feedback from local readers. Whether it be letters to the editor in response to my opinion piece or a local commentator challenging my position on television or radio, local opinion writing is something I really love.
Despite loving this form of writing, I don’t do it enough, and it’s my goal to change that. Regardless of the topic I’m writing on, it’s my goal to place 30 opinion pieces across the nation in the next 6 months. It’s an ambitious goal, but I believe I can get it done.
- Learn 30 New Words Per Month
It’s estimated that the English vocabulary is comprised of well over a million words. Of these, the average adult is suspected to know only about 20,000 to 35,000 of them, and rarely do these individuals learn more than one new word per day.
I’m not sure about you, and perhaps it’s because I’m a communicator, but that’s an astonishing statistic to me. Think about it – most adults don’t even know 5% of the English language vocabulary. Moreover, by middle age, they’re complacent and rarely learn one new word per week.
As a communications professional, it’s imperative that I have an exceptional vocabulary to deliver the best results for my clients. Aside from the professional benefits, a recent study also found that improving our vocabularies also correlates to long-term memory and brain health.
Between the professional and health benefits, that’s enough to convince me to improve my vocabulary. Regardless of how good it might be now, it’s my goal to learn a new word every single day leading up to my 30th birthday. By then, I’ll have learned over 150 new words.
General Personal Goals:
- Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier than Usual on Weekdays
I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy sleeping in. That said, I also enjoy not leaving the house in a rush, having a shower and feeling put together before the first Zoom call of the day, and taking a few extra minutes to make myself breakfast before my morning gets started.
Admittedly, this is one of the goals I’m looking forward to the least. Not because I’m not looking forward to the extra time I’ll have, but because I’m just not a morning person.
That said, I’m going to suck it up and do it. I need the extra time, and I’m convinced it’ll be good for me. It’ll force me out of bed earlier than usual, and cut down on the rush I feel like I’m always in each morning.
By the end of this challenge, in just six short months, I’ll have afforded myself an extra 4,500 minutes of extra time in the morning.
- Write 30 Journal Entries
Long before we started dating, my fiancé bought me a personalized leather journal. Truth be told, and I’d imagine he doesn’t really know this but, it’s one of my favorite gifts he’s ever given me.
Admittedly, I haven’t really used the notebook. I’m not sure if it’s solely because it’s the first gift he ever bought me and I see some sort of sentimental value in keeping it in like-new condition, or if it’s because I’m lazy and I just don’t keep a written-journal.
As I’ve grown in my profession, I religiously use a notebook to keep up with my to-dos and meeting notes. I’m an avid scribbler and write down more than I probably should. I do this because, despite my having an incredible long-term memory, I have a very bad short-term memory. This is the best way I’ve found to keep up with everything in the short-term.
Nonetheless, aside from to-dos and professional notes, I don’t keep a personal journal. I haven’t a central place where I write down memorable moments, nor a place where I reflect on all the opportunities I’m afforded.
With such a defining age approaching, where life is certainly bound to be full of many blessing and exciting moments, I want to change this. I’d like to keep a journal of life’s most important moments, both good and bad. I want to do this for more than myself, but so I can also share it with my children someday, and perhaps they’ll be able to learn something.
That said, between now and my 30th birthday, it’s my objective to write at least 30 journal entries. These entries can be about the big moments in life, or the littlest. Nothing is off limits, and all that is required is for me to put pen to paper and simply reflect.
- 30 Random Acts of Kindness
Can we all admit that there’s too much negativity in the world? Whether it’s the political divide in Washington or depressing media outlets, sometimes I wonder if people have forgotten what it means to be kind to one another.
I won’t pretend that my acts of kindness alone are going to change the world’s divide, but what I will commit to – bringing a smile to the face of at least 30 strangers over the next six months via 30 random acts of kindness. Change in the world must start somewhere, right?
- Visit 30 New Places
My fiancé and I love to travel. Whether it be to an international destination or be it to a local state park, we love to pack up the dogs and hit the road. We don’t get to travel internationally as much as we’d like (mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic), but we’ve done a considerable amount of travel over the last year and a half.
Amidst the chaos of working full time, planning our wedding, building our house, me finishing my Master’s, and opening our beer garden together, we don’t prioritize traveling enough. And, while the reality is we simply won’t be able to do much international travel between now and my 30th birthday, nothing is stopping us from a weekend road trip to visit a local state park or one of South Carolina’s quaint little towns.
Whether it be a day or weekend trip, between now and my 30th birthday, we’d like to visit 30 new places. These places can be in South Carolina or anywhere far and in between – the goal here isn’t distance, it’s new experiences.
- Reconnect with 30 Old Friends or Colleagues
Over the year, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit 48 of the 50 United States. Although most of my travel has been for work purposes, I’ve forged friendships, both personal and professional, across the nation and encountered some really awesome people
While I’ve done my best to keep in touch with these friends, I’ll admit I haven’t lived up to my expectations. Truth be told, I really hate being the guy that goes 6-months without talking to you, and then randomly hits you to see how you are and then asks a favor. That’s not a friendship, that’s just knowing someone’s name and phone number, in my opinion.
All that said, over the next six months and before I turn 30, I am going to prioritize reconnecting with 30 old friends or colleagues. Doesn’t matter where they are or how the reconnect is made. All that matters is this – friendships.
- Gives Back 30 Hours to the Community
It is never lost on me just how lucky I’ve been in life. I have a wonderful fiancé, two perfect dogs, incredible parents and family, and a close group of really amazing friends. I’ve traveled the world, worked for the White House and at the highest levels of the federal government, graduated from college and am attending another University to earn my Master’s, and have a wonderful job with great benefits and awesome co-workers.
The list could go on and on about how lucky I’ve been, but the point of this goal isn’t about me – it’s about serving others. I have been fortunate, but others aren’t as fortunate, and I believe it’s our responsibility, both as a community and as individuals, to love and support those who are less fortunate than we are.
Regardless of how I serve, it’s my goal to give back at least 30 hours to the community. Whether it be mentoring a less fortunate student, or serving a local foodbank, community service is important, and I am committed to doing my part.
- 30 Minutes of Piano Per Week
When I was in fifth grade, my dad passed down his trumpet to me. For the next four to five years, I took trumpet lessons, went to band class, and even placed second at a regional band competition.
Although I enjoyed playing the brass instrument, I gave it up early on in high school for sports and ultimately a job at my family’s restaurant. To date, sadly, I remember next to nothing about playing the instrument and doubt I could even play the scale.
Aside from the trumpet, another instrument that has always fascinated me is the piano. Only a select few students were allowed to sign up for the piano class, and for some reason, I never did.
Nonetheless, just because I didn’t learn to do it then, doesn’t mean I can’t learn to do it now. I’ll admit I’ve tried to download an iPad app and teach myself, but that didn’t work. Instead, between now and my 30th birthday, my goal is to take piano lessons from an actual instructor and dedicate at least 30 minutes a week to this new hobby.
- Try 30 New Recipes
Admittedly, I’m not much of a cook. Not because I can’t cook, but because the OCD in me can’t stand making a mess in the kitchen and then having to clean it up right after the meal is devoured. And no, don’t even think of cooking if you plan to leave the mess and clean it up the next day.
Aside from despising the mess that’s typically made while cooking, I really do like to cook. In fact, when we purchased our new home, I made a big deal about getting the nicest and best appliances we could, so that we’d cook at home more often. And while we haven’t done 100% better, we’ve definitely cooked at home more frequently than we used to
Despite cooking at home more frequently, one thing we don’t do is try new recipes. Very rarely do we try something new, and I’d go as far as saying that when we do, we rarely find one we don’t like. So, that begs the question – why don’t we do it more often?
I can’t say I have the answer to that question, but what I can say is this, between now and the time I’m 30, we’re going to try 30 new recipes, and finally take a step out of the comfort zone.
- Try 30 New Bottles of Wine + 30 New Craft Beers
Perhaps I’m just a creature of habit, but I’m always down for a sour beer or a glass (or bottle) of Pinot Noir. Aside from that, I rarely step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. Ask me why, I couldn’t tell you.
That said, if you’ve been following me for some time, you probably know that my fiancé and I, along with one of my best friends, are opening a biergarten. The biergarten will feature 72 taps and an assortment of wine and mixed drinks. We expect the biergarten, dubbed Navy Yard on Main, to open in Spring of 2022.
Before then, I’m on a mission to learn more about beer and to taste things that would normally be out of my comfort zone. Red wine, white wine, dark beer and ciders, it’s my goal to try at least 30 new bottles of wine and 30 new craft beers before my 30th birthday. Hopefully I’ll try more than this, but hey, it’s a start.