Reaching certain milestones is a rite of passage, especially when we reflect on our lives and what we have or have not accomplished with our time on earth. Utilizing the Barney Stinson phrase “Challenge Accepted” is an almost everyday occurrence for me! With that in mind, as I inch closer to my thirties, I wanted to take a look at what I am going to attempt to achieve by then and what will be inevitably moved to my later years’ list. However, before I dive into those items, I wanted to pause and think about why I do these types of challenges.
I have mentioned a few times how I live by lists (hello ISFJ). There is something about having checkboxes or organizational systems where I can eliminate or check off something that I have accomplished – a weight being lifted off my shoulders. Unfortunately, that feeling of wanting to accomplish things does not go away, even when I did everything I needed to do that day. I feel antsy as I sit around and actually plan out my free time and relaxation so that I can cross those off as well. Also, I look to see what I need to do in future days/weeks and try to do them presently…and then create new lists for those future days/weeks. It is neverending, so when I have a long-term list like the 30 before 30 or bucket list, I know I am actively working towards those since they are supposed to take more time. On the flip side, as I am nearing 30, the list I created is barely a 1/4 crossed off. So the anxiety increases, even though I am the one putting the pressure on myself to achieve my personal goals. Honestly, it makes me feel significant and like I am living up all that this life has to offer, but in some ways missing out on the social and relational aspects – not that people need to be on a checklist. The experiences that are on this list are personal to me and fill me with stories and life lessons that are incredible to think upon. I feel that failure is something that looms over my head if I don’t accomplish the list in its entirety – which is pretty likely as I look at some of the things I want to do. Some of those items are financial base, others are location, a few confidence. That in and of itself is a life lesson – when I set my mind to do something and then realize it won’t happen – what happens then?
With a lot of my goals and checklists, I creep towards obsession. As I think about this along with people I know who are all in on one thing, I wonder if it is a type of protection or mask for ourselves. Not only does it pass time but it defines our lives – some healthy and some maybe not so healthy. I kept putting off this post since I knew it would be challenging to write and think about – since this is how I am known in my friend group, it’s an identity. The first time I went to London, I brought back a new found confidence and independence I never thought I had in me. This time, in my preparation for London, I mentioned wanting to step outside my comfort zone and let the experience be what it is even though I planned out almost every hour. That lesson has been carried back with me to the States. Planning things out is fine but allowing for spontaneity and things to happen as they come is freeing and also where I will lean into more as I think about the future.
With that being said, what I want to accomplish in life has no timeline and can be found within the themes of a healthy lifestyle (social, mental, and physical):
- Learn 3 songs on guitar
- Ride a horse
- Solve a Rubik’s Cube
- Attend an NFL game
- Write a book
- Pay for a stranger’s meal
There are several others that are more personal to me but again, time will tell for those as well as the aforementioned goals in life.
What do you think about goals and bucket lists?