Monday, September 9, 2013

30 At 30

As of today I am less than two weeks away from my 30th Birthday. It is my understanding that turning the "big 3-0" is a bit overwhelming to most. Believe it or not I'm actually looking forward to my 30s. I feel like it is a clean slate for me. New decade, new Sarah. I'm looking forward to trying new things and making big changes.

I've decided to make a list of 30 things I would like to do in my 30s. A bucket list of sorts and it ranges from small goals to big dreams. I figured I would share my list with you and I'll be able to check things off my list here.

Sarah's 30 At 30 List

1. Go back to school and start a new career.

For about the past year or so I have been thinking about what I truly want to do with the rest of my life. My current job is fine, but it's not my passion.  Part of the problem was that I didn't know what my dream was. Well, after some soul searching I've decided that I want to go back to school to study Geology. I'm not sure where in that field I will end up but there are so many different parts of the field that fascinate me and I'm looking forward to exploring it more. I'm planning on doing this within the next few years (assuming I can get in to a program!).

2. Move out of NY.

I LOVE NY. But NY is expensive and can be overwhelming. I don't know where I want to end up but I know that I want to start a new life somewhere else. My guess is that a move will occur with a new job but I've still got a few years left in NY as I wouldn't move until after I go back to school.

3. Travel.

Some of my most amazing life experiences have come from travel and it has been a long time since I've done any traveling and exploring. I'm hoping that I can do some more traveling in my 30s. I'm especially hoping to get to Hawaii... and who knows, maybe my new career will bring me there in the future ;) I would also really love to get to Scandinavia and fulfill that dream that I've had since I was 13 years old.

4. Learn how to REALLY do my hair.

This one probably seems silly but I don't know how to properly do ANY hair styles. I basically dry my hair and that's it. No style, no product, nothing. I've always wanted to learn how to do my hair and finally have some variety in my styling and I think now is the time to do it. I'm a big fan of beachy waves (pictured above) and I'd like to be able to do that whenever I feel like it :) Like I said, New decade, new Sarah.

5. Learn how to do makeup.

Along the same lines I really want to learn how to do my makeup. I rarely wear makeup and when I do it is very natural. I want to learn how to use makeup to flatter my features and so I can present myself in the best possible way. Plus, makeup can be fun!!

6. Reclaim my health.

The last few years of my 20s have been tough as I've been experiencing some health problems. I am going to turn this around and reclaim my health, my vibrance and passion for life through a balance of diet, exercise, rest and pursuing my passions. I am going to work on my physical, mental and spiritual health and on not sweating the small stuff. Positivity and optimism are key.

7. Positive Self Image.

I have a history of being unkind to myself in terms of how I view myself. It's easy to fall into a cycle of oh man I'm 30 and this is all I have to show for it. It's time to break the cycle and embrace the things I do well and what I love about myself.

8. Take More Risks.

Maybe it's because I'm a Virgo, maybe it's my anxiety, or maybe it's just because I think I know better, but I'm not a risk taker by any means. I think this also means I miss out on a lot beautiful experiences. It's time to take some risks and experience more.

9. Develop a personal style and buy a new wardrobe.

Rounding out the hair, makeup, clothing trifecta... I would like to explore and discover my personal style and build a wardrobe reflecting that style. Right now I'm wearing the same clothes year after year... casual and neutral pieces that do not represent any style or personality. I see clothes that I like all the time but never buy anything new unless I absolutely need it.

10. Learn how to say NO without feeling guilty.

I have a very hard time saying no to people. I end up doing things I don't want to do and taking time away from doing the things that I want to do. If I do say no I inevitably wind up feeling guilty. It's ok to say no. 

11. Get out into nature more.

Last year I went hiking with my friends and we had a beautiful picnic on the beach. It was a really amazing day and thinking about it makes me wish I would do it more often. It's time to stop wishing and to just go out and do it. I think a career in Geology will certainly help get me into nature as well and I'm definitely looking forward to it!

12. Create my dream home.

I absolutely can't wait to have to opportunity to create a home for myself. It is important to have your own space and I plan on making my space cozy and homey and the perfect place to relax and recharge :)

13. Maintain regular yoga practice.

Unfortunately I have not been able to consistently practice yoga but when I do I can feel huge physical, mental and emotional improvements. I feel open and balanced and happier. I love yoga and I want to make it a regular part of my routine.

14. Try new "workouts."

I'm sure that my friends that have been reading for a while now know that I am not really a weight machine kind of girl. I love workouts that don't seem like workouts. I trained in kickboxing for about 6 years and loved it but sadly the impact has become too much. I want to find new workouts in my 30s that are low impact but still high in fun and intensity. I've always wanted to try paddle boarding, indoor rock climbing and surfing. This will also bring me out into nature ;)

15. Contribute money and/or time to charity.

Charity has always been a big deal for me but sadly I've never been in a position to give sizable donations. I will figure out ways to give back by either volunteering my time and donating some money to people (or animals) that really need it. Even small things like paying for someone's meal in a restaurant or bringing hot coffee to people working outside in the cold can make a difference.

16. Get more organized.

Right now I maintain organized chaos.  I know where everything is but there is no rhyme or reason as to how everything is organized. I'm a Virgo, I am good at organizing... I'm just bad at keeping things organized. I also want to be more of a minimalist and really only keep things that I need.

17. Go to comedy shows.

I'm a huge fan of comedy and love watching comedy specials on TV.  For some reason it never occurred to me to go out and see comedy acts at comedy clubs and to see my favorite comedians when they come into town (probably because I'm a homebody). I think comedy shows are a great way for me to get out and enjoy a night out on the town while avoiding the typical bar/club scene that I don't like. I'm starting this in December with the Impractical Jokers live show :)

18. Unplug

I am VERY connected. I have Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and my blog. I check my e-mails more times a day than I can count. I answer texts immediately. It's completely unnecessary and causing me to miss out on being in the moment. I'm going to make a very conscious effort to be more unplugged and less dependent on technology in my 30s.

19. Pay off my student loans.

I'm still paying off my student loans and it seems like I will be paying them off forever. I will pay my loans back more aggressively once I am in the position to put more money towards it every month (after I begin a new career hopefully!). I will also be making changes that will cut other bills every month and that difference can also go toward paying off my loans.

20. Complete DIY projects.

I would like to save money by completing some DIY projects that I have in mind. Sometimes it is less expensive to do things yourself ;) It will also allow me to start putting touches of my style into my living space and work space.

21. Attend a beach bonfire.

Why not?

22. Host parties.

I love hosting parties. Once I have my own space I would love to host a party every month. 

23. Participate in a holiday cookie swap!

I've helped my mom bake for her cookie swaps but I've never participated in one on my own! I think it would be so fun to get together a group of friends to have a swap every year. I should get on that ;)

24. Overcome my shyness.

As I've mentioned before I'm a bit of a homebody and that can be partially due to the fact that I'm incredibly shy and an introvert. I've touched upon it in previous items of this list but I'm also planning on making an effort of overcome being shy and allowing myself to put myself out there to meet new people and put myself in new situations.

25. Take photos of things that make me happy.

Although I work in a photography studio I don't really do too much photography anymore. Maybe I'm burnt out or maybe I just haven't been inspired lately. Starting a photo project where I take pictures of things that make me happy is great for so many different reasons. I forces me to pay attention to what's around me and find beauty in my surroundings. I'll be consciously looking for things that make me happy which can never be a bad thing!

26. Participate in fun 5ks.

I'm not a huge fan of running but a great way to get into it is to train for FUN 5k runs like the Color Run and Run For Your Lives. I'd love to run in these at some point.

27. Start a podcast/YouTube Channel.

I've wanted to start a podcast for a while now and eventually would like to start a YouTube channel. It's just a matter of finding someone to be my partner in crime but it is a goal for my 30s for sure!

28. Get a new car.

My 1998 Altima has treated me well but I don't think it's going to last much longer!

29. Treat myself to a massage once a month.

It is nice to reward yourself with nice things and this will be doing double duty by helping relieve the insane tension that builds up in my neck.

30. Live a greener life.

In my 30s I'm going to make a greater effort to be more "green" and environmentally conscious.


So those are my 30 goals for the next decade of my life. I think it is a pretty good list and will definitely help me to be happier, healthier and more adventurous in my 30s.

What are some of the items on your bucket list?


  1. I loved reading your list Sarah! :) Thank you so much for sharing it. I can relate to so many of them.. pretty much 3-15, 18-26, 28-30 haha! I'd really enjoy hearing about your development with them if it's something you'd feel comfortable blogging?

    I could talk to all the above points but I'll keep it short and sweet and say I completely get the photography thing.. when I briefly worked as a photographer it sucked the fun right out of it... but when I take photos for myself, when I do it to make me smile and to make art it's still amazing. I really hope your project reignites that feeling in you xxx

    1. Thank you so much Claire! I will definitely keep you guys updated on my progress! There are long term and short term goals so I guess it'll give me some material for a while now ;)

      Yeah I have always said that it's difficult to turn a hobby into a career. It can suck the fun out of it for sure but I'm hoping that separating this project will help make it fun again. Thank you so much!

  2. Wow, Sarah, excellent list! I think those are all attainable & reasonable goals, too. I only have a year and a half left in my 30's and so far I've liked this decade. I'm looking forward to my 40's as well! :)

    I especially love that you're focusing on things like being out in nature & being greener. So, so cool! You're got to be quite excited for your 30th!

    1. Thanks Molly :) I tried to make my goals reasonable because I feel like setting myself up for failure would be counterproductive lol! I am excited about my 30s, I think it will be a good decade for me. I think I'm finally really figuring out what I want and now it's time to go for it!

      Yes, definitely excited about it!

  3. This list is amazing! So thoughtful, and I feel like I've learned so many new things about you! Geology is super interesting, do you have a direction you'd like to go with it? I sometimes wonder if this is the career for me, and I know that I stay because I enjoy writing lessons, and seeing kids think for themselves and realize their own power. However, there are other aspects that make me question my choice. The problem with college at 18 is that we still don't know ourselves, and what we choose to study at the time might not truly be our calling! Okay, moving on! Ha ha!

    Moving away is so brave and I admire you for making it a goal. Style and self wellness are also on my list! I'm really loving yoga (and spinning! So much nicer to my body than running). Your picture of stand up paddling is absolutely on my bucket list!

    I will absolutely check out your podcast and YouTube channel once they are up! You are so talented at DIY projects, and cookie swaps! I want to comment on everything! Aaah! But I will end with this: you are amazing, these goals are awesome, and I might have to have a drink and toast to you on your birthday!! :)

    1. Aww thank you so much Ingrid! So sweet of you to say. I have learned my lesson from my past and have decided to go into it with an open mind in terms of direction. My natural inclination leans toward studying natural disasters because that is what I'm most interested in, but if I take a class that I LOVE with a different focus I'll definitely be willing to explore different things. I say all the time that it is incredibly unfair and unrealistic to expect 18-21 year olds to know what they want to do for the next 40 years!!

      I love where I'm from but it's also overwhelming and expensive to live here. Who knows, maybe my dream job will keep me here but I'm looking to get out of this environment. I have a feeling in my gut I'll end up out West but who knows. Then I can get into paddleboarding too ;)

      Haha yay thanks!! The podcast will happen one day, I will make it happen! Aww thank you so much. I really love creating things which is why creativity is a big part of my goals.

      Aww thank you so much, you are the best! Please do have a drink and I promise I'll have a drink and toast with you! Margarita anyone?! ;)

  4. Sarah, your list is awesome! I love how you're determined to push yourself out of your comfort zone and make big changes. I also like how you want to strengthen relationships (cookie swap, podcasting). You should totally create your own YouTube channel! You don't need to wait around for the perfect partner, and it would be a great way for you to get passed your shyness.

    1. Thanks Sage! Yeah it's definitely time to get out there and try new things. You can tell when I'm struggling with anxiety or depression because I withdraw completely so I'm working to really make an effort to get out there more and let my friends and family in a little bit more.

  5. Oh happy almost birthday Sarah! I'm in the midst of drafting a 25 in 25 post for my 25th this year and we have so many similar goals :) Wardrobe, yoga, travel, green life. SO on the same page!

    I think these are wonderful goals and I can't wait to see how you change and evolve over the course of this wonderful decade! 30 is so the new 20 ;)

    In your travels you should probably come to Canada....just sayin...

    1. Thanks Gabby, you too! I can't wait to see your post!! I think now is the perfect time to start focusing on these things :)

      Thank you! I agree, 30 is definitely the new 20 :) I'll definitely keep you all posted through this journey!!

      Yes, I definitely should!! That would be so fun!

  6. It is good to be goal oriented. I am the complete opposite and just wait for things to happen. Of course they never do.

    1. I agree! I'm usually goal oriented to the point of one track mindedness but I'm working on being flexible too which is crucial. I've waited for a long time for things to happen and sadly they haven't yet. Hence this list ;)

  7. I'm with Shen - I never know what I want so I'm always dissatisfied, ha. I really hope you achieve any and all of these goals! School for geology sounds amazing. A lot of these are relatable - shyness, not being able to say no, wanting to move or at least find a place you can comfortably call home...
    A lot of them also seem interrelated, so once you get started and one and realize how happy you are, the rest will start to fall into place. You deserve to be happy and not have to apologize for it!

  8. Hey Sarah! First of all, how exciting that it's almost your birthday. And then, wow! What a great list! I love all of your ideas. I would definitely watch your YouTube channel:)