Yesterday I turned 23! So, after having an awesome year of being 22, it’s time to compile a list of things to do for this year!
The goals on my Birthday Bucket List are to…
1. Travel Abroad
I’ve got my Paris trip for this fall all planned out, so this goal should come to pass right around halfway through my year of being 23.
2. Write the Sequel to My First Novel
After finishing my first novel, it only makes sense to carry on with the sequel. I have a total of four books planned and would love to have drafts of them all within the year, but in case that proves too ambitious, we’ll stick with at least the 2nd book for now.
3. Get One Story Published
It doesn’t have to be my first novel, or any novel. But it’s been awhile since I entered any kind of contest, so I’ll make it a goal to get at least one story, short or long, published somewhere besides my own blogs.
4. Continue Learning Spanish
5. Continue Learning Japanese
6. Brush up on my French
Since graduating, I’ve become a bit rusty. I’ll definitely want to brush up on all the French I’ve learned over the years. I’m going to need it in Paris!
7. Get Back to Singing
Not a lot of people know it, but I’ve actually been singing since the age of 11. 6 years of choir, a single piano/vocal performance of an original song at my senior talent show, and a few years doing vocal covers mark the extent of my musical career. I still sing, but in the car and when the house is empty. Recently, though, I’ve been revamping years’ worth of lyrics I’ve written. I’ve also created new songs in the last year that include instrumental compositions (though composing has never been my strong suit). So I think I’ll give it another go and we’ll see what comes of it. On that musical note…
8. Learn Guitar
My guitar has been collecting dust for the last year. Between work and everything else I was doing, I just sort of forgot about it…I think the best thing to do will be to pay for weekly guitar lessons if I can budget it. I tend to take things more seriously when I put money behind it.
9. Get Back to Yoga
Another incredibly beneficial thing I haven’t done enough of.
10. Travel to New Parts of the U.S.
I’ve spent most of my life in the Southeastern U.S. where I was born. I have traveled to Chicago, Washington D.C., San Diego., L.A., Virginia, and caught a connecting flight in Phoenix, but that’s the extend of my American travels. I’d like to see visit a new state or two, maybe some national parks, as well.
11. Cook More
I tend to do really well about avoiding sugar and processed foods, but I know I could stand to include more greens and fruits in my diet. But with dietary restrictions and just being a picky eater, I find I’m not very adventurous. I need to start cooking more to find creative ways to get in my veggies and to diversify my meals.
12. Learn More About Investment
I feel woefully ignorant of anything economics-related beyond what I learned in my basic high school course. I’m good with budgeting and fairly disciplined at saving, but investing is something I have no confidence in doing at the moment.
13. Practice Piano
This one is a request from my best friend. Vocals have been my musical passion more than instruments, but I took piano for many years as a kid. Maybe if I try playing music I enjoy I’ll get back to it.
14. Watch House of Cards
Also a request from the bestie. I’ve heard good things about it, so nothing to lose here.
15. Go to a Dance Club
Another suggestion from Qing Qing (the bestie). I can’t dance to save my life, but sure. Why not? And while on the subject of dance…
16. Take at least one Dance Lesson
My church started a monthly swing dance night recently. I missed the last 2, but have been wanting to go. I love swing music. As for swing dancing, I might have 2 left feet, but I’ll try it once at least.
17. Do Karaoke
I love singing, but have stage fright. I guess this is one way to get over it while having some fun.
18. Attend a Kpop Concert
I’m not sure if logistically I can make this one work, but I’ve been a Kpop fan for 7 years and a lot more groups are coming to the U.S. I can fly to Chicago or LA, perhaps. And I’ve never been to NYC, so that’s a possibility, too.
19. Go to Comic Con
I’ve gotten so much more into comic books this last year, and I was already geeky to begin with. It’s just kind of a given that I need to go to a convention at least once. Not sure which one I’ll go to (Nashville does have one now, but it’s rather small) but I’ll try to make it happen.
20. Attend a Writer’s Conference or Retreat
This just seems like a good way to meet new people, have some fun, and spend dedicated time writing. This will have to be a short weekend getaway though. Paris is consuming my vacation time.
21. Watch More Classic Films
Since watching all the Hayao Miyazaki films, I’ve done better about watching new and classic movies, but I’m definitely no cinema buff. I’d like to keep discovering unwatched classics, especially older films.
22. Play More Video Games
Most people would have the opposite goal for this, but I could actually use a little more stress-free time to unwind. I used to be a big gamer in middle and high school, but life happens. Just no first-person shooters. I can’t stand the controls. I’ll stick to 3rd-person mode.
23. Make time for myself, and don’t stress.
These two goals are basically one-in-the-same. While I’m thrilled to be doing more, seeing more, and meeting more people, I need to make sure not to overwhelm myself. If I need to take an afternoon for myself on the weekends, I should do it. I also shouldn’t stress about planning things. I tend to stay awake some nights researching what kind of career I should be aiming for long term, the cost of living in different states and cities, so on and so forth. It’s great to have goals, but you can’t plan you whole life. You just can’t. There’s too much in the world beyond our control. I need to remind myself of that sometimes, take a deep breath, and just focus on living one day at a time.
What’s on your Birthday Bucket List? Share your thoughts in the comments and thanks for reading!