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30 Things in 30 Days for My 30th Birthday

30 things in 30 days is all the rage right now. The idea is simple: complete a bucket list of ambitions in 30 days. These 30 things can be self care, habit changes, or completing tasks put on the back burner.

I will be 30 years old in less than 30 days – a milestone that insinuates that you’re no longer an irresponsible 20-something. That you should have your life together. Oofda, that’s a lot of pressure!

My birthday is January 1. Normally, I make resolutions that I don’t keep, drink way too many glasses of wine, and make all the cliche fitness/wellness purchases.

Not this year.

This year, I’m going to reflect on my 20’s and embrace my 30’s with a new perspective. I’m challenging myself in to change habits in 30 small ways instead of one daunting yearly goal. These are things I’ve wanted to do for many years, but never prioritized or followed through. With 30 days left until my 30th birthday and coincidentally New Years Day, NOW is the time to set the trajectory of change. I’m going to end my 20’s with a bang!

1. Get rid of 30 things around the house

One thing each day. Everything from broken toys and old clothes to expired food items and unfiled papers.

2. Save $300 in 30 days:

Simply move $10 a day out of my checking account to savings and boom – 300 bucks.

3. For-go dairy

Dairy is so awful for me. I feel sick to my stomach, but still consume copious amounts of ice cream, yogurt and cheese. I need to reclaim my gut health – no cheese for a month!

4. Maintain my weight

I KNOW how cliche this sounds, but maintaining weight during the holiday time keeps me in check. For 30 days, I have to be conscious of what I eat and will keep myself accountable.

5. Go on at least 2 date nights

Hubby and I have failed hardcore on making time for each other since #2 was born. This month, we’re dedicating a date night every other week!

6. Take a trip

We’re heading to sunny Jamacia here in a few days. Granted, this was a pre-planned trip, I’m so excited and fortunate to check this off my to-do list.

7. Take 30 minutes to myself a night

A book, bath, a country drive, meditation, TV show, online shopping – I’m doing something I love every day.

8. Plan next year’s vacation

Everyone knows I’m a planner and wander luster. This just gives me an excuse to feed my soul.

9. Drink less wine and coffee

I know what you’re thinking, mamas. The two go hand-in-hand for mom hood, but I’ve got to cut back. I use wine to relax and coffee to perk up, but really what I need is just more sleep.

10. Set a bedtime and stick to it

My brain just can’t shut down at night. In order to obtain this goal, I need to get in bed, diffuse some lavender essential oil, turn off everything, and count some serious sheep to get 9 hours in.

11. Less screen time

I’ve wanted to get off social media for some time, or at least remove the apps from my phone. I’m way too plugged into what other people are doing. I need to focus on being present with my family.

12. More quality time with my kids

I see my kids 4 hours a day. I need to relish every second I get with them. Dishes, errands, and checking my phone can wait.

13. Do 20 squats a day

It takes a minute or less. Heck, I can even do this while I’m making dinner or during commercial breaks.

14. Write 3 things I’m grateful for every day

It’ll be an easy list to compile since there’s so much to be grateful for! Especially during the holiday season.

15. Visit my elderly grandparents at least once

I don’t see my grandparents nearly enough – fortunately, this challenge is around the holiday time so I’ll be seeing both sets!

16. Make the bed each morning

Such a simple task that never gets done at our house! Nothing beats a freshly made bed, why not just take the 5 minutes to do it?

17. Spend 15 each day organizing a space in my home

I don’t have much time to clean during the week with working full-time, but I certainly have 15 minutes to dedicate to tidying up!

18. Write a letter to my future self

How fun is this going to be to read 30 years from now?!

19. Watch a how-to video

I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew – I’m talking blankets, clothes, etc. It would be so fun to sew my girls matching outfits!

20. Get a massage

I think I maybe get an hour massage once every few years. Not this month! Mama is going to treat herself!

21. Work on a lingering DIY project

We have 2 main projects that sit unfinished. The next 30 days, I am determined to knock those out.

22. Watch a TED Talk

I’ve heard wonderful things about these – short, sweet and full of purpose. Maybe I can knock this out during my hour-long bath!

23. Keep track of my expenses

It’s so easy to swipe your card without really knowing what it adds up to in a months’ time. I am keeping track of every purchase, so I know where my money goes for at least 30 days. Should be eye opening.

24. Learn a new word every day

I think I’m going to download the Word of the Day app to have it auto sent to my phone. My goal would be trying to use it as well, but that seems lofty.

25. Eat meals without electronics

I know I’m super guilty of this one! Whether I’m working through lunch at my computer or thumbing through Facebook at dinner, I need to unplug and enjoy.

26. Drive somewhere new and “get lost”

I’m not the spontaneous type. Like, at all. So, this will be a bit out of my comfort zone, but how fun would it be to pick a random place on the map and just drive?

27. No caffeine after noon

This one will actually be pretty challenging. Coffee is my fuel, but I don’t sleep well when I drink it after noon. Gotta get my two cups in before the afternoon!

28. Eat something green with each meal

This one isn’t hard, but I always forget! Salad, green smoothie, broccoli, etc. Does kiwi count? 🙂

29. Create a “dream” board

I made one before I had kids. It’s laughable now because my life is so completely different. It’s time to make a realistic dream/vision board for my goals as a family.

30. Visit a new coffee shop or restaurant

Cedar Rapids and Iowa city have a plethora of new places popping up! This will be an easy (and fun) one to check off my list!

A version of this story was published on Nov. 30, 2018; it has since been updated.

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