30 THINGS TO ACCOMPLISH BY 30 Pt. 2

Hiya! Welcome to the second, and final, part of my “30 Things to Accomplish by 30” Series! Check out my previous blog for the first half of this series. I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think!

#16: READ 20 BOOKS IN A YEAR

This doesn’t seem like a big feat, but I am setting this goal for myself to be more intentional of reading at least one book a month. It can be a longer fictional read or a shorter devotional, but I want to push myself to read many things and to read things outside of the norm.

#17: TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY AS A COUPLE

Chandler and I have traveled bookoodles together as a couple, but not yet internationally. Before we have kids and add more responsibility to the mix, it is my goal to travel abroad with Chandler. We have both traveled outside of the US independent of each other and have been on a cruise to the Bahamas, but not yet on an extended trip. We just recently made this a “joint” goal and know it won’t be a small feat by any means, but I know it would be a great experience to see the world together.

SIDE NOTE: We were scheduled to visit Cuba for our honeymoon last year, but the country was shut down just two months before we left…

#18: HAVE A NO FRIVOLOUS SPENDING WEEK

Y’all. I can tell you that will be a hard. Other than the usual gas stop, grocery run and other basic necessities, I overspend in ways that I shouldn’t. Coffee before work and eating out can add up veryyy quickly. Because of that, I want to be more cognisant in how and what I spend my money on. Investing or saving for our house and/or retirement is such an important thing that I feel people my age struggle with a lot.

#19: INVEST IN STOCKS

If I’m being honest, I am completely lost when it comes to investing and stocks as a whole, but that’s okay! Going into a new year, I want to make moves that might scare me, but are financially “responsible” and could set me out on a good foot.

#20: TAKE MASTERS CLASSES

I’ve always enjoyed school and learning in any kind of capacity. My masters would more than likely be an MBA, but I would love to start somewhere. I plan to look into options at the local community college just to see if this is something I would be interested in pursuing full-time.

#21: EMBRACE CHANGE (7/21)

ALERT: This will be a continuous goal for me. I have never been who has enjoyed change and have loved to know what was coming next, but the greatest joys have been from the unexpected. When my husband told me about the potential of moving us to Asheville, this girl panicked hardcore. I brushed it off and tried to keep myself from thinking about it too much. Once we had officially moved here and had settled into our routine, I have never loved a change in my life more.

*Again – this is something that I will never perfect, but I am getting better at. We moved for the SECOND time in two years this July, which was a stresser for the books.

#22: FIND MY “DREAM” JOB

I understand that this is a very vague goal, but I am hoping to find a “field” in which I enjoy. Finding something that fits my //. My time in food service is quickly coming to an end and I have loved the disciple and people skills it has taught me, but seven years is enough for this girl.

#23: TAKE A POTTERY CLASS

I’ve always loved crafts and considered myself somewhat of a creative person, but making pottery is a whole other realm of skill. I remember taking a basic pottery class as a Girl Scout growing up and loved every minute of it. I’m assuming the pandemic will make it harder to schedule times as class sizes will be smaller, but I look forward to trying something new in the future and being able to have something to show for my hard work.

#24: SEND MORE SNAIL MAIL (12/21)

Snail mail is always such a treat for me! Sending and receiving mail, other than bills if we’re being honest, is such a lost “art.” With that being said, I want to be more intentional with writing out cards for special occasions or “just because.”

After all, my husband does work a card shop…

*I want this to be a more continuous thing, but I did send out Christmas cards to friends and family this year!

#25: START A “PAY IT FORWARD”

To me, paying it forward can be a small, but mighty way to make someone’s day so much better. A week before Christmas, we had 27 CARS in a row pay it forward. How amazing? It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, but is just something that lets people know you care. Buying somebody’s coffee at Starbucks or food at Chick-fil-A is a small gesture that speaks volumes.

Goal: Pay it forward 1x a month

#26: START A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

Let’s be honest – there is so much to be thankful for and we often overlook even the smallest of blessings. Whether it be once a day or every couple of days, I want to take more time every day in being cognizant of what the Lord has blessed me with. It can be a small everyday thing or something completely new and big, but keeping gratitude on the forefront of mind is the ultimate end goal here.

#27: LISTEN TO A PODCAST

Podcasts are no new concept, but I haven’t ever jumped on the “bandwagon.” My dad has always been one to listen to audiobooks on tape, but it was never my cup of tea. As I’ve gotten older and had more solo trips across town and out of state, I feel like it would be great way to listen to things to sermons, podcasts or books, likewise.

#28: LEARN GRAPHIC DESIGN & PROCREATE

For those of you who don’t know, Procreate is an iPad/iPhone app that gives you the space to create word and graphics from scratch. Below are ones that I’ve had made as gifts and they are #goals. 😍

This would be such a new concept for me, but something I feel like I’d enjoy. Graphic Design is such a neat trade in that it gives you the space and creativity to create whatever you are dreaming up. Some of the full-time graphic designers I know are some of the most insanely talented people I’ve ever met.

Visit Madison at her Facebook page if you’re wanting art done!

#29: LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE

I’ve never been a health conscious person, if i’m being completely honest. I am willing to try anything once, so “healthier” foods aren’t necessarily the issue. With that being said, I am making it my goal to establish a better pattern of finding time to establish a workout routine and to cook meals that are simple and easy.

#30: BE INTENTIONAL

This goal applies to all aspects of life. I aim to do a better job at actively hearing than passively listening. I want to spend more time in the Lord’s word and applying what He has to say. I want to lend a helping hand to those more in need. The intent of being intentional will be one of my 2021 goals.

Thanks for sticking around for all thirty of my “goals” before 30! I hope this year is your best yet and you accomplish everything you set out to do.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR GOALS, SHORT-TERM OR LONG-TERM? LET’S CHAT IN THE COMMENTS!

30 THINGS TO ACCOMPLISH BY 30 Pt. 1

Turning another year older always makes me reminiscent over everything I have accomplished and the many things I hope to do. Although I truly believe that “age is just a number,” there are thirty things that I am setting out to do before I hit ominous dirty thirty in 2023. Anybody else right there with me?! Entering into a new decade will have challenges of its own, but I know that I will be ready for whatever happens!

This might be a lengthier post, but stay with me as I dive head first into half of the things that I hope to before the next decade hits. I plan to post later this week of my second half of goals, make sure to stay tuned. Here’s to getting these all accomplished (and more) in the next three years.

#1: Take a class to learn a skill

Baking has been a hobby for me in years past. I haven’t done the best job in branching out to try new recipes but I plan to sign up for a class to learn new tips and tricks in the cooking/baking world.

#2: Have a house to call our own

We first started a savings account from the money we got from our wedding almost a year and a half ago. From that point on, any spare “change” we’ve saved up has went into the house fund. We just renewed our lease at our apartment to give us more time to save, but our goal is to have a house in the greater Asheville area by early 2022.

#3: Go to the Kentucky Derby (5/22)

All depending on how the virus plays out, my husband and I have every intent of going to the Derby in May. We were able to see Churchill Downs on our anniversary trip in August and this girl fell madly in love with the horse racing world. Fingers crossed we can make the trip!🤞🏼

*WE ARE GOING TO THE DERBY, Y’ALL! I bought my husband tickets for Christmas and I am PUMPED!

#4: Complete a weekly juice cleanse

Juice cleanses can be pretty penny, but you get what you pay for. They are a good way to help restore your gut and to reset the your body of the harmful //. Clean Juice has a daily and weekly option that are both fully customizable to your tastes.

#5: Have 300 followers on Alex in Asheville

This goal quite frankly scares me if I’m being completely honest. Since I stared blogging some six months ago, I had no earthly idea I would even be to the point where I am now. It has been a safe space for me and has already given me a great community of fellow bloggers. These people put their heart and soul into their writings and it definitely inspires this “newcomer.”

With that being said, I want to make it a priority to grow my audience and to find my niche of fellow writers. Follow along in my journey!

#6: Learn how to knit and crochet

My mom has always said that I have knack for the tedious things. She’s not all wrong, folks. With that being said, I would love to take the time to knit pieces like hats or blankets for those who might need them. I feel like it would be something soothing to do at home curled up on the couch.

#7: Plant a tree

I am planning to save this for when Chandler and I do actually buy a house with a yard and the adequate space to do so. Every intent is to plant a tree for Chandler and I as a couple and for each of our kids when they’re born.

#8: Travel to Asia

This has been a dream of mine for some have time now. I have been fortune enough to have traveled internationally to four different countries, with the exception of Haiti twice. However, going to an Asian country has been the ultimate travel dream of mine! I am lucky enough to have friends who also love to travel, so we hope to plan a trip relatively soon.

#9: Start a family

As an obvious goal for most young couples, Chandler and I plan to start family within the next few years. We plan to only have two kids, but we’ll see where we end up.

#10: Upkeep a garden (9/21)

Before the winter came quickly and rudely uprooted all of my hard work, I had a thriving (in some sense of the word) herb garden on the porch of our 900 square foot apartment. We repurposed one of the troughs we had custom built for our wedding, which makes it quite a special piece to me! I was able to cut fresh basil, parsley, cilantro and mint to cook and garnish our meals with!

Going back to the tree idea, I want space enough at our “one day” house to have vegetables, fruits and flowers in one big garden! Dream big, right?

* It’s not the to level I want it just yet, but I am learning to propagate plants and keep those alive. Yay me!

#11: Make French Macaroons

I feel like this will be one to give me quite a run for my money, but making macaroons sounds ever so sophisticated. It would be as if I was back in Québec City with a gelato in one hand and macaroons in the other. A coworker from back home brought in homemade macaroons and they were the //.

This could also be the class I take to master a skill! (#1)

#12: Read a book per month

This isn’t necessarily a hard goal, but it’s consciously making time to read every night. I’ve always loved to read and would like to knock out those books that have been on my list for some time.

#13: Flip a piece of furniture

We currently have two pieces that I plan to “flip” once we buy our new house and I decide on what theme I’m going for. DIYing furniture is such a satisfying thing to watch and very cost effective.

#14: Take a picture or video every day for a month

There are so many great apps to use for this, but I have found 1SE, which stands for One Second Everday. It’s a simple way to take videos and cut them down to one second, as I’m sure you inferred. You can do a month, six months, a year or any variation of time. I have seen friends who have done different videos and it is a unique montage of memories to look back on.

#15: Travel to the West Coast

The farthest west I’ve been is to the Lone Star State three years ago for work, but I would love to visit any part of the west coast. We have family that lives out on Bainbridge Island, WA and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the Washington and Oregon area. My husband has been there once before over a decade ago, so I would love to experience it together!

Thank you for sticking with me through the first part of my “Thirty before 30” bucket-list challenge! I hope to be able to do most, if not all of these things before I turn thirty. If not, I have a great place to start and will continue to check things off as I go.

2021 GOALS AND STEWARDSHIP

Y’all. We are less than two months from a new year. Let that sink in. Two months… I think one thing we can all agree on is that this year has been difficult. 2020 has brought pain, grief, loss and has thrown us headfirst into charting the unknown in dealing with a global pandemic. Life has been hard.

On the flip side, however, 2020 also has brought much joy and has also taught me more about myself. This year has taught me to more aware of others needs before my own. It has taught me to reflect more on what’s going on in the world and around me, to be more accountable for my own actions and to not be afraid of praying boldly before the Lord.

It has also brought me a move to Asheville, our one year wedding anniversary, adopting a kitten and new friendships.

As we enter into the last month of 2020, I have pondered and prayed upon what the next year will look like for me personally and for my marriage. I want this to be a year a year of exponential growth personally, spiritually and socially.

In order to take tangible steps in the right direction, I have often found myself writing out lists or drawing pictures. In order to incorporate both, I decided to try something new in bullet journaling my goals for the new year. I’ve also posted previously on creating a vision board, which is another great way to visualize your dreams.

Personal

Blogging

Blogging has quickly become a passion of mine and has been a safe place for me to process what is going on in the world around me, while providing me a place thousands of thoughts running through my own head. Above the likes and follows, I want my blog to be a place of inspiration for others and as a way to keep my many ramblings together in one place. With that being said, I do want to set goals for my blog for the new year.

GOAL: First of all, I want to be more cognisant of supporting fellow bloggers as there are thousands of bloggers who share incredible content and spend hours of time and effort in doing so. They deserve every follow, like and view they receive and then some. As more of a tangible goal for myself, however, I would like to grow my own following to >100 by the end of 2021 without sacrificing the integrity of my own content or the enjoyment of why I started blogging in the first place.

Reading

From the moment I learned how to pick up a book, reading has always been something I enjoyed. As life has progressed and “adulting” happened, reading hasn’t been a priority like it was in the past.

GOAL: Read 20 books. I want to also challenge myself in reading different genres than the normal fiction I tend to pick up at the book store.

*If you have any book recommendations, drop them in the comments below! I would love to hear some of your favorites!

Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

This will more of a “challenge” for me than the others in that I have never been really conscious of what I eat, which has caught up with me in my late twenties and also having a slow metabolism. It’s not that I don’t enjoy eating healthy, but more about being conscious about not eating “mindlessly.” I also work full time at Chick-fil-A, which does not help AT ALL with having a balanced diet. We all know those nugs and waffle fries with Polynesian sauce hit a little differently. However, today is a new day to create new habits!

GOAL: Plan out meals for the week and be better about cooking ahead of time. A majority of weight gain for me comes from eating out of boredom and not having healthy snacks readily available, so this will definitely be a challenge for me. On the flip side, meal prepping will also help in saving me money by not eating out as much!

Travel

My husband and I have been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit in our dating life and well into our marriage. With the global pandemic putting most of our travel plans on hold, this year hasn’t been the greatest for checking places off of our list. With that being said, it has allowed us to dream for the future and has kept our bucket list growing.

GOAL: Travel to five new places in new year. I also want to travel internationally with Chandler at least once before we have kids.

**Bonus: We already have a weekend getaway trip to Dahlonega, GA booked for January, so that is a plus.
We are also hoping to get tickets to the Kentucky Derby in May. Fingers crossed!


Spiritual

Get plugged in to a local church.

Growing up in the church, I have understood from an early age the importance of being surrounded by a solid body of believers. A christian community is so important, especially in this day and age. Pre-Covid days, my husband and I visited a local church and really enjoyed the setup of its service. Once the virus hit and churches were quickly shut down, we weren’t able to really find that our niche. I am very thankful for technology in that we were still able watch sermons from the comfort of our home and still be connected to weekly scripture teaching. Now that churches are opening up again, we have made it a goal to get plugged in.

GOAL: Find a church that aims to teach scripture in its truest form and keeps the Lord at the forefront, always. We honestly haven’t done the best in making church together a priority in the past, so I want 2021 to be a spiritual awakening for my husband and I, allowing us to grow together in the Word as a married couple and also individually. I want to join a small group that keeps us accountable in our sin and to do life with weekly.


Social

Join a service group.

Now that I have been in Asheville for almost a full year, I feel like its the right time to invest more of myself into a group who aims to meet the needs of those who are less fortunate. Since my mom joined the Junior League of Spartanburg two years ago, I have watched her enjoy all aspects of the JL in grant writing, organizing food drives and so much more.

GOAL: Be invested into a group that invests its time and resources back into the local community. As someone who has has grown up with food on the table, a roof over my head and given countless ways to succeed, I want to help do the same for those who might not have the same opportunities readily available.

Above all else, 2020 has taught me to not take the small moments or the ones you love for granted. Difficult times affect everyone. Life doesn’t discriminate against social class, race or gender. Life is tough and can be relentless. Covet those who you love and make it a priority to let them know how much you care, as the smallest acts of kindness often mean the most. People appreciate being “seen” and knowing that they matter. Be intentional in all things and love your neighbor. This year has also taught me that in each day you wake up, you were placed on this Earth for a reason. Make every minute count and aim to make an impact for good. Do not waste the precious time the Lord has given you. More so than anything else, I aim to be more vulnerable. I aim to be a safe space for those who are hurting or need to talk. I aim to not put off for tomorrow what I can do today. We are not guaranteed the next moment, so why wait? Life is too short to simply go through the motions.


Stewardship

At the beginning of each new year, I typically find a word to claim as my mantra. Stewardship was what came to mind randomly during a busy day at work. By definition, stewardship means “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”

My previous operator at Chick-fil-A was really the first one I heard use this word regularly. I honestly cringed every time he mentioned it. I subconsciously knew I was not doing a good job with what I was being freely given.

In the last few months, however, I have caught myself pondering what it truly means to be a good steward. For me, being a good steward means a lot of different things. Personally, I want to be a better steward of my money by better investing in various aspects of my future and saving. I want to be a better steward of my tongue by speaking uplifting truth and not speaking in haste. I want to be a better steward in my walk with Christ and allowing him to //. The Lord has entrusted me with much and there is no reason I should take that lightly.

QOTD: Have you thought of any goals for the new year? If so, what are they? I’d love to hear what you’ve set for yourself and how you plan to keep yourself accountable.