21 Things

Happy Monday AND happy first day of August!

One thing that always makes Monday better is the motivational Monday e-mail I get each week from Elisabeth Tavierne, an influential friend in my life and the founder of my favorite organization, CHAARG. This weeks topic was focused on a reflection of the last year of her life – August is her birth month and last year she came up with a list of 25 things to do at 25. This year, she reflected on these 25 things.

This really resonated with me as I have a “milestone” birthday coming up this month. In two weeks, I’ll be 21. The age that everyone looks forward to – the age where you can finally do anything, where you’ve hit the ultimate freedom. It’s exciting but nerve wracking at the same time. I feel like at 21, you’re expected to have adulthood figured out. When I was younger, I always thought everyone who was in their 20s had their life figured out and had accomplished so much. Now that I’m actually (barely) in my 20s, I know that that’s a HUGE misconception. While I have a “plan”, I definitely don’t have life figured out (and I don’t know if I ever will). I’m still learning new things about myself and the world around me each day.

In the last year, I’ve done so much more than I could have ever imagined – I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone in so many incredible ways! I’ve had two amazing internships, I’ve created a blog, I’m signed up for my FIRST 10k [it’s happening THIS Saturday!], I’m applying for graduate programs and so much more. 20 has been so great to me.

Being inspired by Elisabeth’s email, I’m going to commit to making 21 even better.

21 Things I’m Going To Do At 21:

  1. Conquer one of my fears – whether that’s leaving home, swimming with sharks, or jumping out of a plane, I WILL conquer one of my fears (my heart dropped at the thought of each and every one of those things…)
  2. Focus on what’s REALLY important to me – I’ve noticed that I get so caught up in what other people my age are doing, that I start to question whether or not I’m doing enough or what I should be doing, rather than what I WANT to be doing. After all, this is MY life & I have nothing to prove to other people. It’s time to start doing life at my own pace.
  3. Make more time for God – I’ll admit… I’ve been slacking. I haven’t been the best about going to Church, reading the Bible or praying regularly but I do have intentions to change and devote my life to God. The first step has already been taken – joining a Bible study group!
  4. Be more invested in the lives of those I love – I know I don’t spend enough time with my family, friends or boyfriend. But it goes much further than that. I’m not always fully invested even when I’m around. I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by social media, emails, TV… This year, I plan to be more invested in the time I spend with those I love.
  5. Help more – whether it’s staying late and helping clean up after events or parties, volunteering at a homeless shelter, carrying in groceries for my parents, I want to dedicate more time to helping others.
  6. Taking care of my health – sure, I make an effort to workout and eat better, but I could do so much better. I could try even harder to create a healthier lifestyle. And unfortunately… one thing I need to do is make an annual doctor’s appointment… *sigh*.
  7. Read more – I don’t think I’ve completed a single book at 20. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t dedicated time to get lost in some really good books. My goal is to completely read 21 books (not including textbooks HA).
  8. Visit another country – I’ve never stepped foot outside of the United States (unless you count standing in the Atlantic ocean) and I’ve been dreaming of traveling to another country for as long as I can remember.
  9. Live in another city – This one might be cheating a little bit… I’m almost certain that with deciding on a graduate program will come a big move. Whether that’s to Columbus or New Orleans, we’ll just have to see!
  10. Double my savings – This one is simple. I suck at saving money. I want to make it a priority this year, and every year after,
  11. Become more mindful – There are tons of things to be more mindful about, like what I fuel my body with, how I speak to others, how I breathe, and then there are tons of things to do to become more mindful like journaling, meditating, practicing yoga or reflecting.
  12. Go more natural – As you’re learning, I’ve gotten very into essential oils. Eventually, I would love to do things like transfer all of my body, skin and hair care to a more natural routine, eat more natural foods, and share more of my raw, natural feelings.
  13. Reduce my carbon footprint – It’s no secret that we’re hurting our Earth more than we’re helping. I’d love to do my part in making the Earth a little more “green”.
  14.  “Disconnect” for at least an hour before bed – I’ve heard incredible things about staying away from electronics for at least an hour before you go to bed. It can help with sleep, mood, vision and so much more. I’m ready to wind down the right way.
  15. Adventure more – I don’t just mean traveling or doing crazy things, although those definitely count, but I mean trying new things or taking a mini road trip to a hiking trail instead of binge watching Netflix. After all, adventure is food for the soul, right?
  16. Challenge myself – Whether this is mentally, physically or emotionally, I want to challenge myself to new extents. Who knows… my 10k may turn into a 15k or even a half marathon ; )
  17. Become a morning person – this might as well count for #16 because I’m the farthest thing from being a “morning person”. I’m that girl who says “I’m waking up at 6 to do X, Y & Z.” and then I set 13 alarms and snooze every single one until it’s 10:05 and I need to be out the door by 10:30. I need to cut this habit immediately.
  18. Learn a new skill or talent – I’ve told myself tons of times that I wanted to learn how to do X. I’ve wanted to learn how play the piano, to play the ukulele, to knit, to hand letter,  and everything else you can think of. But I’ve never actually made an effort to do any of them (except for learning the chorus of Yankee Doodle on the piano…).
  19. Master my own signature dish – Learning how to cook is so important. What 40 year old wants to eat Ramen and leftover pizza every night because they never learned how to cook? Not only is learning how to cook important, but I think it’s beneficial to master a recipe that can please crowds.
  20. Update my wardrobe – Don’t get me wrong, I love my gym clothes so much that I could live in them (okay… I DO live in them). But they aren’t appropriate for all situations. For working out, for running errands, for lounging around, sure! Sometimes they’re even cute for a quick coffee date with friends. But they aren’t the best for work, for dinner dates, or for girls night out. I need to update my wardrobe to fit all occasions.
  21. Get rid of excess – This could be clutter, toxic relationships and even belongings that I don’t use. It’s never too late for a clean slate.

I can’t wait to see where I am in a year from now and look forward to reflecting on 21 next year! I know this year will be one to beat.

I hope you feel inspired to set goals for yourself and to reflect on your life – don’t wait until New Years to set goals, now is as good as ever!



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    1. So true! Although I’ve only been a “grown up” for a short while, I’ve realized that I’m more content as I get older. I used to always worry about what other people where doing and thinking but now I’m finally my own person and I love it!

  1. This is such a great list of things to accomplish!! And don;t worry about not having our stuff together in your 20’s…I’m in my 30’s and I still don’t have it all figured out!!

  2. This sounds like a great list of 21 things to do for your 21 years of life. It is my birthday next week and I may have to do this idea. I would have over 40 things to do so I might want to get on the list. Thanks for sharing the idea and your awesome list.

    1. Yikes! I’m nearly 3 months into 21 and I haven’t accomplished too many so far. I’ve definitely begun to focus on myself more and doing what I *want* rather than what I *should* do. A lot of times, these go hand in hand, but I’ve stopped doing things that I just didn’t want to do. I’ve also adventured a bit more – in the last 3 months I’ve gone to Michigan, Chicago and discovered new places in my own area. I’ve FINALLY started updating my wardrobe a bit, buying real people clothes (although I’ve definitely purchased some new fit gear) and I’ve also started to get rid of the excess (this one is a process though). I’ve got a long ways to go but checking back in with this list has helped me reevaluate!

  3. This is a fabulous list, and I can say there is many I still have never done. This is such a wonderful time in your life. Live everyday to the fullest.

  4. I think having goals is very important for your success. It helps to keep in mind what you want and I love that you are working on not comparing your success to others your age. That never worked for me, I moved out at 17, got married at 18, and had my first child at 21. All of my friends thought I was crazy!

  5. I personally need to focus on a few of the items that you mentioned on your list. It has been a while since I read a book.

    I started focusing on my own health in Feb. and have lost 38lbs. It is amazing feeling but I still have a long ways to go. You can do it too.

  6. It is always great to make a list to help you stay focused. You have plenty of time. I am 35 and I am still trying to figure things out.

  7. 21 things are quite a bit to have on a plate… but all of your 21 things are good ones to practice and make happen! I wish you luck and happiness while you conquer your quest! : ) make it happen!

  8. Hi Ari,
    I searched your site for the word sleep and found this post with this tip from you: ” “Disconnect” for at least an hour before bed – I’ve heard incredible things about staying away from electronics for at least an hour before you go to bed. It can help with sleep, mood, vision and so much more. I’m ready to wind down the right way.”

    I think that’s great. I find myself – unfortunately – doing the opposite, working on my laptop right up until bed. I appreciate the reminder to disconnect!

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