26 August 2008

The list: Things to do before I turn 30

By: Jessica B.
I get the majority of my really good ideas at the gym. And last night as I worked off birthday cake on the elliptical machine, I had another one.  
As I now embark on my last year in my 20s, I thought it was appropriate to make a list of things I want to do before next year’s birthday. Basically it’s a list of things to do before I “kick the 20-something bucket.”
I had some criteria in developing the list:
  • Had to be things that are achievable (not too lofty)
  • Could not cost too much money to fulfill
  • Must primarily include things I’ve never done before
  • Combo of serious and non-serious things
Without further ado…here we go!
The List by Jess:
  • Make some amends with my mom
  • Wear a bikini in public
  • Go out on at least two dates
  • Make out with at least three guys
  • Volunteer
  • Take at least 2 yoga and Pilates classes each
  • Do something totally selfless
  • Take a disco dancing class
  • Give $100 to charity
  • Take cooking lessons
  • Make a gourmet meal for my closest friends
  • Run a 5k
  • Go to at least 12 new restaurants (no duplicates)
  • Read 10 books
  • Go skinny dipping
First off, yes I have made out with a guy before and gone on dates, like I said, there are things I’ve already done on here. But dating hasn’t been a real priority for a long time so it’s time to challenge myself to get out there. Same with volunteering and donating to charity – I have done this before but as a single-income in the city, this hasn’t been a priority either so it’s time to give back finally.
So the goal of this list is to give a me a range of new experiences (and some not) and to help me to become a better person as I embark on a new decade. I’m not saying everything will make me better but if nothing else, I’ll learn something from it. And in one year, I’ll be back writing about what I’ve learned from my year of new things.
Time for birthday cake and research for tomorrow’s post. What do you guys think about “the list?”


  1. SpenceYvonne says:

    When you are in uncomfortable position and have got no cash to go out from that, you would have to take the personal loans. Because that will aid you unquestionably. I take bank loan every single year and feel great just because of that.

  2. [F]oxymoron says:

    Cool list…

    I’ve seen some interesting lists, and a popular idea is the 30×30 list… in case you’re in favor of adding a few more items :)

  3. Athena Valentine says:

    I love birthday list like this! ( And happy late b-day by the way!) I am positive your gonna kick ass at your list. And making out is always fun!


    Im a little exclamation point happy I think :)

  4. Princess Pointful says:

    Apparently you should not take skinny dipping lessons from me– just in case you were thinking about it.

  5. Gretchen says:

    Awesome. I love the subtle difference between two dates and three make-outs.

  6. Honeybee says:

    Hi, stumbled across your blog on my reader and I too am going to be turning 29 in the next couple months. I panic a little inside everytime I think of it. Good idea on the list…perhaps I will make one of my own as I turn 29.

  7. Jess says:

    I think it’s FANTASTIC. You have a GREAT list and I think that’s because you came up with really good criteria.

  8. SF says:

    good luck with the list! :) and im sure making out with 3 guys wont be a problem for you beautiful! :)

  9. Jamie says:

    This is a fantastic list!

  10. G+D says:

    Great idea! I’m on the tail end of my 20s as well–I might have to consider doing this! And I love that your goal is to make out with 3 guys, but only date 2, lol!

  11. Kate, RD says:

    Love the list – you knew I would! I think we should pick a 5k and run it together. And, get on my case if you find I don’t do that Polar Bear club thing:-)

  12. EP says:

    What a great idea! I love this list, and so many things on it sound like a lot of fun! I cannot wait to hear about your adventures achieving these.

  13. NikeRun says:

    SOooo love the list. It’s great to have goals…have you read The Next Thing on my List. It’s a good read-it puts in perspective this list and was a very quick read.

  14. Katelin says:

    okay that list is awesome. i love it.and it all sounds pretty doable too, i have faith in you :)

  15. thatShortChick says:

    fantastical list and I predict that you will be very successful.

    I love that it’s all stuff that’s actually do-able instead of listing things like: “climb to the top of mt. kilamanjaro (sp?) and sing koom-bi-ya.”

  16. Reese Johnson says:

    im feelin this list, ive been tryin to do somethin similar for the LONGEST, good luck with your list..

  17. Jenn says:

    I love this. I think you’re going to accomplish most, if not all, of your list. If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know! Particularly a disco dancing class. Um…I’m all over that if you need a buddy!

  18. megkathleen says:

    Good list! I like the disco dancing class idea.

    I have a similar list and I have found it to be very motivating.

  19. RebeccaC says:

    Love it. Maybe I should make my own list before tomorrow? Hmmmm.

    Okay, so for the yoga thing, I’ve got a couple of 1 week free gift cards for the Ruby Room in Wicker Park. If you ever want to go with me you can have one of them. Also, I visit http://www.yogamazing.com — fab yoga podcast.

    Oh, and if you need a cooking class partner (or sous chef for your gourmet dinner) lemme know…

  20. Deutlich says:

    ha! i love your list


    kill all debt before age 30

    student loans don’t count, but I want the majority of those paid off by then too.

  21. LJ says:

    Damnnnnn I should of done a list like this….now I’m five months into my 29th year….shoot! Good list though! I think you can do it!

  22. Angela says:

    I really like your list! AND, I think it’s totally do-able. I think you’ll get every thing done on your list.

  23. LBluca77 says:

    I think the list is great and defiantly achievable within the year. Plus you will get to have fun while completing some of the stuff on the list.

    I wish I had thought of that when I turned 29, or even when I turned 30. Maybe I will make a August 08 to August 09 list of things to accomplish.

  24. surviving myself says:

    Disco Dancing is an awesome idea. You have to wear an awesome outfit too, right?

  25. redstaplernation says:

    Wait a sec… 2 dates, make out with 3 boys? EXCELLENT!

    I should make a list. Stolen meme :o)

  26. Cheryl says:

    It’s a great idea! Let me know if you want someone to volunteer with. I’ve been wanting to do more of that lately myself.

  27. Lauren says:

    I want to make a list of goals like that as well. I really like yours because everything is feasible. None are crazy ideas like “hike three mountains!” That way, as you accomplish them, you can feel great about yourself. Yay!

  28. Dabby says:

    The list is awesome and kind of makes me want to make a list too. The only problematic one might be skinny dipping. I mean, isn’t the water freezing up there? Not that it gets warmer in a bathing suit…hmm…never mind.

  29. Ashley says:

    Fun list!

    I want to make a list of restaurants & such to go to in Cleveland.

    Because if I don't start doing it, I won't ever get out of my house!! :)

    I love how you want to make out with THREE guys, but only go on TWO dates. Bwhahaha! How great!

    (Also so glad you didn't put marriage or something on there. You know how I hate when girls do that!! Grrr.)

  30. Kyla Bea says:

    I like the gourmet meal and cooking lessons – I’m going to add that to mine!

  31. ToughGirl101 says:

    Lol I finally added you onto my google reader. It’s about time lol. I’ve got a 10 things to do before I turn 25 list… so yeah, those lists are awesome.

  32. Ashley D says:

    I love this list! Especially skinny dipping and cooking lessons. Those are two things I’ve wanted to do for a really long time.

  33. Heidi Renée says:

    I love the new restaurants one. I’m always so excited when we go to a new place and it turns out to be wonderful.

    One goal I have (not to accomplish before I’m 30, but just in general) is to try every mixed drink on The Cheesecake Factory’s menu.

  34. Liz says:

    I’ll have to share some of the list I created a couple of months ago to do before I’m 30. Except mine currently has 40 items on it–I think some cross with yours though. Interesting…

  35. Anonymous Amy says:

    This is a such a good idea! I am on your boat, you know the one leaving 20-something. I have a list in my head but I need to write it down and start it TODAY. Time is a tickin’.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  36. laurwilk says:

    I love how you aim to date two boys but make out with three! Funny how it’s so much easier to get the make out.

    I need to wear a bikini in public too. And remember that wearing a towel around my body the entire time doesn’t count!

  37. jamie says:

    Great list! I also need to get back out there and volunteer–last year I spent time at a retirement home, and then the schedule got busy and well…that went out the window..I should get back into it though. I would love to take cooking lessons, too! I’ll be excited to read as you accomplish these goals and check them off!!

  38. Confused says:

    Great list! You’ve got me wondering what would go on my list. What a good idea!

  39. wontletlifedefineme says:

    Well I’m compiling a small list of must reads – books which I bought and read over the summer. So maybe it’ll help you in reading those 10 books?

  40. About Jen, Domestic Goddess says:

    Jess, This list is excellent! I especially love that you are determined to make out with more boys than the number of dates :-) This sounds like it will be a very healthy and healthily challenging year, just as it should be! You go girl!

  41. Ben says:

    I really wish that I had set a make out quota in the past. That would have been AWESOME.

  42. thegoodnamesaretaken says:

    I think the list is a great idea! I’m always telling myself I want to do this or that but I don’t write it down and then it never gets accomplished. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures as you cross each thing off!

  43. Stephanie says:

    Great (and very attainable) list.

    Now lets talk about the birthday cake some more. Yummy yummy. :P

  44. brookem says:

    i think the list is great! that stuff is very realistic! can’t wait to hear about it all.

    (i steal beer glasses too!)

  45. Maxie says:

    I think you need to add one thing to the list.

    See The Colbert Report live.

    Just saying…

  46. Alexa says:

    i think those are some damn excellent choices and also extremely realistic!

    but i think you should make out with 5 guys instead of 3!

  47. Mandy says:

    That is a great list. Really, I love it! Cooking lessons, yoga, making out with guys, disco lessons–it covers the whole spectrum.

  48. Rachel says:

    I like your list, it’s healthy. You aren’t like some girls I know

    Find my future husband

    Marry him

    Get pregnant

    They get annoyed when I point out that they have less then a year to do that, but I truly enjoy watching the stress wrinkles appear on their foreheads.

  49. pomjob says:

    Mmmmm… birthday cake.

    I love your list and might steal it. It’s full of great stuff that I need to do, too. (Maybe minus the disco dancing, bikini and yoga.) Did you know you can do yoga (and Pilates?)in Millennium Park on Saturday mornings? I saw a flyer for it Saturday afternoon when I was in town.

  50. Vanessa says:

    I think it’s a great list. I love the part about dance lessons, I’ve always wanted to do that too. You may have inspired me to make my own list, thanks!