30 for 30

I just turned 30 years old yesterday it’s been on my mind a lot lately.  Normally I wouldn’t care much about my birthday, but 30 just seems significant so I want to celebrate this one and every birthday from here on out like it’s something important because it really is.  I’ve been asking myself lately what can I do to make this the best year and decade of my life?  With that in mind I’ve generated a 30 for 30 list of things that I want to do in my 30th year.  These 30 things are aimed to be a mix of fun stuff, challenges, goals, and just general self improvement.  Without further ado, here is my 30 for 30 list of things I plan to do in my 30th year of life!

  1. Buy a skateboard and go to a skate park – People might make fun of me for this one…oh well!  As a young teenager before I got my driver’s license I skated literally everywhere from Cincinnati to Florence.  Then I got my license and started working a lot and chasing girls.  Soon after high school I was focused on college and drinking.  There was no longer room for skating as a priority in my life. Well now I just turned 30 and skating sounds fun again.  With each passing day I care less and less what other people think about my activities and life choices.  After all they’re MY life choices, not theirs! Sk8 or die!

    Yes, that’s actually me in downtown cincinnati about 15 years ago!
  2. Get a Tattoo – I’ve always wanted a tattoo ever since I can remember as a kid, but I never felt I had any tattoo ideas good enough to justify putting on my body for the rest of my life.  That was until my daughter came along 2 years ago.  My wife and daughter are really the greatest things to ever happen to me.  Who knows where I’d be without them.  So I want to get a portrait of my daughter tattooed on my back.
  3. Run in The Thanksgiving Day Race – This is a 10k race around downtown Cincinnati and Newport.  This year marks the 108th annual Thanksgiving Day race.  I’ve participated in the Thanksgiving Day race a few times, but not since 2004 when I was 17.  My bonus goal would be to beat my time from 2004 which was a grueling 40:07.  I don’t think there is a chance in hell of even coming close to that time, but I’m going to try my hardest.  If any family or friends want to run in this with me let me know!
  4. Read 30 Books – I was never interested in reading books growing up and I didn’t even really get into reading books much until I was probably 25 years old.   Now I can’t find enough time in the day to read everything that I’d like to read.  The most books I’ve read in a year is probably 10 or less so 30 will be quite a challenge.  If you have book suggestions I’d love to hear them in the comments below.
  5. Buy less stuff – This is rather vague so let me explain.  I recently watched The Minimalists documentary on Netflix (which i highly recommend) and it made me realize that I have way too much junk and things I own that I’ve literally never used and likely won’t ever use.  So I plan to buy less stuff and when I do buy stuff I want to make sure that I buy higher quality stuff.  I want to focus on only buying stuff that I need and that I will use often.  Some advantages I see to this consumer approach are less spending, less clutter, and longer lasting higher quality things.
  6. Ride my bike 30 miles in one day – This may take some conditioning because right now I’d probably pass out if I tried to ride my bike 5 miles.  My commute to work is approximately 11.6 miles so If I ride my bike to work and then ride it home that would cover 23.2 miles, but I’ll have to add some sort of detour in there to get the leftover 6.8 miles.  Also the ride home will be brutal because it’s mostly uphill.
  7. Do 30 pull ups in a single set – I’ve always been able to anywhere from 12-18 pull ups in a set and since I’ve been working out a lot lately I can do 18 pull ups in a set right now, but 30 might be impossible.  I’ll try to get a video of it when it happens.
  8. Make $30 a month in dividend income – Here’s a financial goal!  In the past 6 months I’ve adopted a strategy of buying a variety of stocks in companies which pay dividends to their shareholders.  I’m making a little under $8 a month in dividend income right now from these stocks.  Each stock I purchase I try to make sure that I will get at least $1 or more average per month of dividend income from it and usually the stock needs to pay close to a 3% dividend for me to buy it.  My guess is that I will need to buy about 22 new stocks in the next year.  I doubt I’ll have enough spare cash to do that, but if I get close I’ll be happy.   If anyone is interested to know more on this subject don’t hesitate to ask me because I love to talk about it!
  9. Go 30 days in a row without social media – I don’t how many years it’s been since I’ve gone 30 days in a row without using some sort of social media app.  It’s probably been 10 years or more!  This will be a tough challenge and I’ll probably feel somewhat disconnected at times, but I know I can do it and I’ll probably be much more productive for those 30 days.  Until then add me on facebook, instagram, twitter, and snapchat!
  10. Write 30 blog posts – 29 to go!
  11. Make 30 new friends – How will I measure what defines a new friend?  I’m not quite sure yet, but I do know that I don’t even have 30 actual friends right now so I am going to actively seek out new friends. 
  12. Squat 330lbs – Another fitness goal!  Fitness has really became a priority for me in the past 6 months and I love it!  Also squats have went from being my least favorite exercise to my most favorite.  The most weight I’ve squatted to date is 6 reps at 225lbs which is kinda weak in my opinion.  330lbs is a lofty goal, but if I can stick to a regular gym routine like I have been recently then I’m confident that I’ll achieve my goal of 330lbs.  I’ll get a video of this when it happens, but just i’m sure my form will be really bad at 330lbs so don’t judge me.
  13. Take my daughter to ‘the park’ 30 times – My daughter loves going to any park and swinging on every swing the park has to offer as well as going down the slides at least 50+ times.  I will keep track of each time I take her to the park and which park we went to.  Sometimes my wife takes my daughter to the park without me and I might count those in the 30 times too.
  14. Try 30 new restaurants – It seems there are hundreds of new restaurants popping up around the Cincy area these days and I can’t keep up.  I always say I want to try this place or that place, but then I never do.  If you have any awesome restaurant suggestions in the Cincy area please comment below!  I will keep track of a list of new restaurants that I’ve tried and perhaps a personal review of each.
  15. Go out of town more often – It’s always fun to travel.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an hour and a half away to Louisville or 12 hours away to Florida I’m always ready to pack up and go.  It’s the money factor and limited vacation time that usually hold me back.  So I’m going to research some more budget friendly weekend places to visit that won’t use up all of my vacation time or empty my wallet.  Suggestions are welcome!
  16. Start a new business – I started a woodworking hobby back in 2013 that turned into a business, but I have other ideas in mind.  I want to go through with at least one of my other business ideas in the next year.  You’ll certainly hear about this one if it happens.
  17. 30 days without spending money – Okay this one is gonna be impossible!  My Rule for this one though is no spending besides necessities such as bills, gas, diapers and food.  Nothing extra though!  I will let everyone know via a blog post and/or social media post when I plan on starting this so everyone can avoid asking me to go out for drinks during this 30 day period (unless you want to buy all of my drinks of course).
  18. 30 days without alcohol, pop, or coffee – The last time I went 30 days in a row without alcohol was probably about 14 years ago when I was 16 years old.  That’s pretty sad!  Alcohol will certainly be the hardest of these 3 for me to give up.  I may have went 30 days without pop in the past few years, but I believe that a craving for sweets is hardwired in my family’s genes so this one will not be easy.  I didn’t start drinking coffee until 2011 when I started my current job, but I was almost instantly hooked.  However, I don’t think giving up coffee will be all that tough for me.
  19. Ask more questions – Who? What? Why? When? Where? How?  Questions are one of the greatest forms of learning and I don’t ask enough of them!
  20. Start donating $30 a month to a charity – What charity should I donate to?  I have a few in mind, but I’m open to suggestions.  I might donate to the same charity all year or I might switch it up each month.
  21. Take a random flight on a whim – I’m just gonna go to the airport on a Friday after work with my wife and take a flight out of CVG to somewhere that sounds fun for the weekend.
  22. Take woodworking classes – Aside from watching some youtube videos and reading online I’ve never actually taken any woodworking classes.  I’ve wanted to for a few years, but I just haven’t had the time.  Not this year though, I’m going to make the time.
  23. Eat at 30 different pizza places – Pizza is my favorite food.  If it weren’t so unhealthy I’d probably eat it every day.  I might have to try every pizza place in Cincinnati to get to 30, but I’ll enjoy every slice.  I will keep track of each pizza place and my personal review of each.  What’s your favorite pizza place?
  24. Attend a Boston Celtics game – This is something I’ve wanted to do since 2007 when the Celtics added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.  This is going to be an expensive, but fun trip.  I really like the free agent moves and draft picks they’ve made this offseason so far. Hopefully they can make it back to the NBA finals soon!
  25. Go Skiing – Perfect North Slopes has been 20 minutes away my whole life and I’ve never been skiing.  Not once.  In my defense winter is my least favorite season, but I do love all sorts of physical activities and adventure so Skiing is a must this year.
  26. Take my wife on 30 dates – Because she deserves it!  That’s a date a little more often than every two weeks.  It only counts as a date though if our daughter is not with us.  Sorry Lena!
  27. Volunteer regularly somewhere – I’ve been considering volunteering some of my time recently, but I haven’t decided where yet.  Volunteering just makes me feel good and I genuinely enjoy helping others.  Not to mention it would look great on my resume.
  28. Work HARD on building better relationships – This might be one of the hardest things on the list for me.  To be quite honest I’ve always been terrible at relationships.  Hell, I went almost 25 years before my first serious girlfriend and Lord knows I’ve had my share of struggles and shortcomings in that relationship since, but I’ve worked hard to make it work and last.
  29. Care less about what doesn’t matter and care more about what does matter – What the hell does this mean?  To me this means don’t sweat the small stuff.  Focus on what’s really most important in your life first before anything else.  Shrug your shoulders and move on especially when it comes to petty nuisances.  Stressing over things you can’t control is very unhealthy and a waste of energy.
  30. Be more optimistic – I want to change my attitude to be more positive.  In the past my attitude has mostly been pessimistic or realistic as I liked to call it, but now I realize that attitude is unhealthy and will get you nowhere.  With an optimistic attitude anything you can imagine is possible and relationships will flourish because people enjoy being around others who are positive.

For anything on this list that is measurable I plan to keep track of my progress as a reminder of how I’m doing and also to share.  I am going to print off this list and keep it with me folded up in my wallet every day.  As I complete things on the list I’ll cross them off.

Now let’s get down to business and start living people!

via GIPHY

Thanks for reading!  I hope this will inspire others to create and share their own list.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

P.S. If you notice me being more social, positive, funnier, weirder, friendlier, assertive, open and more enjoyable to be around then just know that’s genuinely me working on being the best version of my true self.

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