24 Things For My 24th Year

New year. New age. New goals. This year I’m going to try to be a little more systematic on how I create and keep track of my goals. The first nine were taken from my 23 Things and slightly transmogrified. So here are my 24 Things For My 24th Year.

1. Learn and practice Italian.
-This has been one of my goals for a while. I thought that I would get more into this as 23 year old, but obviously, the timing my motivation was not right. 
2. Read the Bible more.
-This year, Reality is tweeting daily Bible verses so that we can read the entire Bible in a year as a church. I’ve never been good about sticking to these plans, and while I don’t expect that I’ll be reading the verses for the day everyday, I’m still going to expect that it will help me at least read more than I normally do.
3. Read at least one book a month.
-I liked working on this for my 23 Things, so here it is again.
4. Practice the guitar.
-I’m a little sad to say that I probably have not even touched my guitar in the last year. OK, that’s not true. I did dust it once or twice. So sad. But I’m not giving up! I’m playing my guitar this year, with terrible strumming to come.
5. Attempt to sew something on a sewing machine.
-I didn’t try this at all this past year. Who wants to teach me? 🙂
6. Attempt to knit or crochet something.
-I’ll be petitioning Tiff Won for help on this one… 
7. Take courses towards a certificate through Berkeley Extension.
-One of my 23 Things was to get a better idea as to what I should study for grad school. I know that I want to go back to school because I like learning. The only thing I don’t know is what I should study. I know what I’m interested in, but I don’t necessarily know how I can use those interests or studies for advancement in a career. I looked more into certificate programs, and at this point, I think it would be wiser to pursue a certificate and go from there. Plus, it’s less expensive and not as demanding as a full on grad program.
8. Do at least three crafty projects.
-One of my 23 Things was to be craftier. The craftiest I got last year was when I bought all kinds of art supplies with the intent of making Valentine’s Day cards for my friend’s during the Super Bowl. That didn’t end up working out. Then, a few weeks ago with women’s group, Tanya inspired us to decorate journals. I really enjoyed it and love how my journal turned out. We also made Christmas cards for some girls. Then a few days later, Jeannie had a bunch of girls over for a last minute Christmas crafts night–we didn’t end up doing any crafts, but the thought was there. That’s why this year I’ve narrowed down my goal to complete at least three crafty projects.
9. Continue exercising.
-I’m liking the gym routine I’m getting into, so I want to carry that momentum over to 24. 
10. Get an apartment.
-This has been a goal since about March of 2011, and 24 is gonna be the year! And what a story it will be.
11. Do a shoe & clothes purge.
-I hate packing and unpacking, and once I do finally move, I’ll be doing a lot of it. Which is why my closet needs a good purge. 
12. Run a half-marathon.
-Jamba’s all about inspiring healthy living, and a lot of my co-workers made it a goal to run a half- or full-marathon this year. Inspired by them, I’m adding this to the list. Let’s hope I don’t regret it! Eek.
13. Bring my lunch to work at LEAST twice a week.
-I have such a problem bringing lunch to work, so I always end up either buying it from somewhere not so great or making myself some “smoothie stew,” which is basically just smoothie in a bowl. People always think it’s so weird because it looks like I’m eating pink soup. So much for inspiring healthy living. That’s why I need to start bringing my lunch. It will be better for my body and my wallet.
14. Floss everyday.
-A bunch of us made a floss pact for 2011 to floss everyday. I probably lasted through April and then fell off the wagon and would only floss randomly here and there. It’s time to jump back on board.
15. Get a haircut.
-This is kind of a silly goal, but I always have such a problem with making appointments, whether they be for the doctor or dentist, mani/pedis, reservations at restaurants, etc. My hair has gotten so long–I’m not even going to tell you the last time I got a haircut (even though I know the exact date because I’m a crazy like that). So yeah, I need a haircut.
16. Study the Book of James.
-To kind of bounce off of #2 of this year, I not only want to read the Word more, but I want to study it better. One of my 23 Things was to become a student of the Word. I mentioned in my Final Update that “becoming a student” would never really be finished, so this is a more tangible way to work towards that. So I picked three Books that I want to study more deeply this year.
17. Study the Book of Acts.
-See #16.
18. Study the Book of Philippians.
-See #17.
19. Read The Hunger Games Trilogy by March 23. 
-For my birthday, Christine sent me the Trilogy–hardcover. It was a beautiful surprise. The first movie releases on March 23, so I need to have these read by then. Totally doable. 
20. Blog at least twice a month.
-Once I started working full-time, I stopped making time to blog. The whole point of this blog when I started it in September of 2009 was to keep track of things in my life so that I have something to look back on.
21. Do a bookmarks purge.
-I’ve found that when I come across website or articles that I like, instead of looking at them right then and there, I bookmark them and put them off for another time. Well, I usually never end up revisiting those links, and get left with all these websites that I oftentimes don’t even remember why I bookmarked in the first place. And now with the invention of Pinterest, I have a better way to keep these organized and out where I can see them.
22. Find the perfect shade of red lipstick.
-I’m so not into make-up and really just don’t care about beauty maintenance, haha, but I love red lipstick, and would love to be bold enough to wear it. Which is why I need to find the perfect shade first.
23. Eat more bananas.
-Every now and then I get foot cramps–I’m not really sure as to why, but I think it’s due in part to a lack of potassium.

24. Drink more green tea.
-I love green tea, and Tiff got me a box of the best green tea I’ve had outside a Chinese restaurant. Here’s to the benefits of green tea for 24!

And here’s to another exciting year.

23 Things Final Update

Today is my last day as a 23 year old. Every year I feel like saying that this year has gone by super fast, but obviously that isn’t true. I’m glad I kept track of some goals throughout my 23rd year (even though I didn’t necessarily complete them all), and I’m excited for 24 Things While 24! And with that, here’s how I did this past year.

1. Be able to watch a movie in Italian and understand 95% of what the people are saying. I.e., learn Italian once and for all!

2. Identify which is which in a Coca-Cola/Pepsi challenge.
-I failed at this, but it’s being crossed off nonetheless.

3. Become a Student of the Word.
-This obviously is a goal that you wouldn’t ever really cross off a list because you’re never really finished. I have, however, had really great opportunities for self-reflection where I’ve been able to hone in a little on where my relationship with the Lord needs to grow, and through that I feel that I’m becoming a better student. So I’m crossing it off to make room for the next “stage” or whatever for 24. (And because I’m slightly neurotic and need to cross things off of lists. But mostly the other thing.)

4. Read at least one book a month.
-You can read about my summation of this here. While I didn’t read exactly one book a month, throughout my 23rd year I read a total of 15/17 books–I never finished re-reading I Kissed Dating Goodbye and I just started He’s Not A Mind Reader… last night, so I won’t be finishing that as a 23 year old.

5. Create and stick to a budget and savings plan.
-Since my last update, I’ve definitely been saving better and really examining where and how I’m spending my money. Check.

6. Follow an exercise regime.
-Other than the little setback in December due to the craziness of the month and the holidays, sticking to the gym has been pretty easy. Especially since it’s within walking distance to the office, and since a lot of my co-workers workout there as well. Last night was the second Tuesday that I’ve taken spin class where 80% of the class was made up Jamba people.

7. Eat more fruits and vegetables.

8. Finally learn how to strum properly on the guitar.

9. Become a San Francisco navigational pro.
-And done. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll still need to Google Maps some things here and there, but for the most part I feel that I know the city and know how to get places without having to follow step-by-step directions. It’s funny how big something can seem when it’s unknown, and how it seems to shrink the better you understand it. I remember one time I had to get from the zoo to downtown and I thought it was so complicated and difficult and it felt like it took forever. If I had to do that now: easy peasy, baby.

10. Drink more water.

11. Disallow myself from putting off on removing chipped nail polish from my nails.

12. Attempt to knit or crochet.

13. Attempt to sew something on a sewing machine.

14. Go geocaching.
-This will forever remain on this list. I’m not moving it to my 24 Things because I’ve decided that I just don’t want to do this anymore. The appeal has vanished. And that’s alright.

15. Develop proper sleeping habits.
-While I’m still not necessarily getting the best amount of sleep at night, I’ve started monitoring it better so I’m more aware of how much sleep I’m getting. And the sleep that I do get is so fantastic that the quality almost makes up for the quantity. I love my bed. And my Disney Princess blankets. Yes, blankets. As in plural.

16. Stop saying “like” as often.

17. Get a better idea as to how I’ll get to grad school and what I want to study.

18. Be craftier.

19. Go to Disneyland in the fall.

20. Make pancakes more often.
-Even though I crossed this off in my last update, I just need to let it be known that I had a moment of motivation last Saturday and made some pancakes for only the second time as a 23 year old, and I was quite impressed with myself. Granted, these were still the pancake you make with mix from a box, but my technique has definitely improved, haha. Meanwhile, Sarah’s resolved to make 52 meals in 52 weeks, but who’s comparing.

21. Go shooting at a shooting range.

22. Visit more museums.
-This one is similar to #14. I didn’t complete it and it isn’t going anywhere. I don’t necessarily have no desire to visit museums–I just didn’t make it a priority. And I’m OK with that.

23. Imagine myself 23 years past 23 years.

And that’s that. Overall, I’m pleased with my 23rd year. I’m glad I made this list because I feel like it almost made me more intentional with living my life. Also, keeping track this past year has given me insight on how to make better goals this year–better as in more track-able and relevant to my life. When I first made this list, I was worried that my goals wouldn’t be realistic enough to meet, and I didn’t want to call myself to do something that I could fail. It’s refreshing to not have “completed” everything on my list, but to still feel accomplished. Here’s to 24, and to the bar being raised!

4. Read at least one book a month.

When I originally added this goal to my 23 Things, I thought it would be easy. I did, after all, read the first three Harry Potter books and Emily Giffin’s Someting Borrowed & Something Blue in about two weeks in December. Granted, I didn’t have a job at the time, but I hadn’t thought to consider that as a factor.

Come the end of January, and my progress was lacking… progress.

February was looking unsuccessful as well. I had been putting off finishing the fourth Harry Potter book since December. So since March was beginning, I decided to take a break from it.

March started off with me finishing Debi Pearl’s Preparing to Be A Help Meet. I don’t know what made me buy this book, because it was awful. I did glean some interesting insight from it, but overall, I felt like throwing it away. And I love books. But at least I finished it, haha. And then later that month, I finished reading Britt Merrick’s Big God. Which was an awe-full book. Haha. So great.

In April I actually finished Water for Elephants. Then somewhere in between the end of April and the beginning of May, I read Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino. Such an interesting book. It made me love Snow White even more.

I also finished books 4, 5, and 6 of Harry Potter in May. ♥

June and the beginning of July was when I read Lauren Conrad’s LA Candy series. Yup, all three books. 

Towards the end of July I started reading Martin Lindstrom’s Buyology (mentioned in this 23 Things Update), and finished it early September.

Simultaneously, after a long time coming, I finally read Jim Cymbala’s Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, and also finished that in early September.

After that, I decided to re-read I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. I really like that book but I never did finish it again because I realized that I still remembered a lot from when I read it the first time. Danny lent me The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey and I had been working on that ever since. I finally finished it early January.

For my last week as a 23 year old, I read Put the Seat Down and Other Brilliant Insights for an Awesome First Year of Marriage by Jess MacCallum. I’m currently working on the version for girls by Brenda Garrison called He’s Not a Mind Reader and Other Brilliant Insights for an Awesome First Year of Marriage. Haha. I think I need to be a marriage counselor. I love this stuff.

All in all, I would say: goal complete!

2. Identify which is which in a Coca-Cola/Pepsi challenge.

As I mentioned in this update of my 23 Things, I attempted to do this at Chris’ Super Bowl Party back in February.

And while I was able to tell the difference, I didn’t count it because the Coke had been open for longer than the Pepsi, which means the Coke had lost some of it’s bubbly-ness, making it easier to distinguish the two.

So tonight for New Year’s Eve, I decided to try again.

And I failed. Terribly. They tasted the same to me. So I tasted a couple different times and then cleansed my palette with water in between and still nothing. Finally I just made a guess and I was wrong. So Tiff tried it and guessed correctly, though she did say it was kind of difficult. Then Franklin tried and guessed correctly right away. Then Steph tried and she got it too. So I decided that I needed to try again. And I got it wrong. Again. So I failed. And that’s ok. I’m crossing it off my list nonetheless.

And I will still choose Coke over Pepsi–unless, of course, I can’t tell the difference anyway. Ugh.

23 Things Update

Since my last 23 Things update was in August, I figured it’s about time I got caught up (especially since I only have 58 days left to be 23). The italicized goals have been moved to my upcoming 24 Things list.

1. Be able to watch a movie in Italian and understand 95% of what the people are saying. I.e., learn Italian once and for all!
-I’m determined to someday learn Italian, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen while I’m 23. Time to table this one for my 24 Things list next year.

2. Identify which is which in a Coca-Cola/Pepsi challenge.
-I still haven’t done this. I don’t know why–it’s not like it’s that difficult. Goal: complete this by the end of the month.

3. Become a Student of the Word.
-I think I just need to accept that I’m a bad student, whether it’s of the Word or somethine else. Although I have been making some progress on my sermon podcast catch-up, so that’s good. This is more of an ongoing thing anyway, so it’s not like I’ll be finished before I’m 24 anyway.

4. Read at least one book a month.
-Though I didn’t meet my August goal, I did finish Buyology and Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire in early September. I then started re-reading I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which I finished in October. I also spent all of October trying to get through Phillip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew, which Danny lent me. I’m still working on that one, being that it’s kind of difficult to get through. I’ve also started re-reading Jeramy & Jerusha Clark’s Define the Relationship.

5. Create and stick to a budget and savings plan.
-I haven’t quite established this yet. Though I have been saving more, I haven’t mastered a budget yet.

6. Follow an exercise regime.
-In September, some co-workers started going on “Fun Runs” on Thursdays after work. Sierra and I would walk, and then last month she inspired me to join the gym by work with her. We were doing pretty good with going, but then she went on vacation and I got sick. The gym-going will resume this week though!

7. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
-Sierra and I were on the paleo diet craze for a few weeks, during which our diets consisted mainly of meats and veggies. I started adding fruit to it, so this has been a success.

8. Finally learn how to strum properly on the guitar.

9. Become a San Francisco navigational pro.
-I’m almost at pro status on this, and I’m anticipating that once I live in the city, I’ll be even better at navigating it.

10. Drink more water.
-I think I’m good with this. Obviously it’s an ongoing process to always drink enough water, but I think I’ve developed a good enough habit of this to consider it “done.”

11. Disallow myself from putting off on removing chipped nail polish from my nails.
-I’m gonna go ahead and cross this off now because I’ve been so good at this. Although I may be a little obsessed with nail polish as of late, and have been changing my nail polish just about every week…

12. Attempt to knit or crochet.

13. Attempt to sew something on a sewing machine.

14. Go geocaching.
-I tried planning this a few weeks ago, but then some people flaked (ahemJAKEahem) and it was supposed to rain, so I canceled it. Upcoming trip soon though–and hopefully rain isn’t forecasted then as well.

15. Develop proper sleeping habits.
-I don’t know if I’ll ever accomplish this. Now that I’ve started a new position at work, my schedule is a little different, so I keep waking up at different times each day. So definitely not ready to cross this one off the list yet.

16. Stop saying “like” as often.
-I feel as though my vocabulary is slowly becoming more refined, so I’m going to go ahead and cross this off. Next, I’ll need to work on not saying “so” so much. Hah.

17. Get a better idea as to how I’ll get to grad school and what I want to study.
-I’m going to table this one for 24, because I don’t know that I want to go to grad school anytime soon. Well, that’s not entirely true; it’s not that I don’t WANT to go. It’s more that I’m not sure how to get in or pay for it right now, so I need some more time.

18. Be craftier.

19. Go to Disneyland in the fall.
-Yay for autumnal times at Disney!

20. Make pancakes more often.
-I’ve decided to cross this one off because I just don’t want to do it anymore. My love for pancakes has diminished, and I’m coming to terms with the possibility that I just may never be good at making pancakes. Maybe when I’m 24 I’ll work on making waffles. We’ll see.

21. Go shooting at a shooting range.

22. Visit more museums.
-I don’t think I’ve been to one museum as a 23 year old, unless you count visiting the gift shop at the Walt Disney Family Museum. That’s pretty sad. But I still have 58 days!

23. Imagine myself 23 years past 23 years.

And that’s that. It’s nice to keep track of my progress. I can’t believe that 2011 is almost over. New Year’s Eve really does not feel like it was that long ago at all. Weird. This past weekend Steph was home, which was very nice and I did not want her to leave. Tomorrow’s her birthday, and she’ll be back in a week and half for the best holiday ever. Yay for the holidays and goals progression!