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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

30 Before 30


A few days ago, I admitted that my 25 Before 25 list had been a bust. I'd made the goals in a hurry, more for the sake of having content for the blog than creating a list of things I genuinely wanted to achieve. As a result, I only did nine of 25 things on that list because most of the goals just didn't resonate with me. I'm not going to go out of my way to do something I don't really want to do.

Despite this, I am still very enthusiastic about the idea of having a 30 Before 30 list. I only gave myself two years to complete my 25 Before 25 list, whereas as I will have five years to complete my 30 Before 30. I have also thought very hard about what I want to include on this list to ensure it's something I will genuinely look forward to completing and thus, increase my chances of success.

In due course, I will be creating a dedicated "30 Before 30" page on my blog so people can keep up with my progress and I also intend to do monthly check ins this time round to keep me motivated and on track. I've worked out that I need to be ticking these off at a rate of six per year; this sounds more than doable to me!

1) Pay off my credit card and Very account then cancel them both
My real goal here is to get rid of my debt and learn to live within my means but that's a little too vague to be a real goal. I am currently on track to have got rid of these two sources of credit by January 2017. I am hoping that by getting rid, I will find it a lot easier to live within my means. I'm 25 now and I want to start taking a more grown up approach towards my finances.

2) Pass my driving test
This has been on my To Do List for a very long time. In September last year, I started lessons again and made a really good go of it; I even passed my theory test again after I let my first certificate expire. Unfortunately, I had to stop lessons in January so I could focus all my finances on moving to Reading instead. Now I've moved I want to start lessons again and get this done and dusted. I think I will wait until next year though as I want to focus on removing my debt first.

3) Get a car
I'm a very, very nervous driver and I know that if I don't have a car immediately after passing my test that I use on a regular basis, I will end up becoming so anxious that despite having a licence, I will never drive again, defeating the whole point of passing my test in the first place.

4) Save £5000 
Traditionally, I have been terrible at saving money and when I moved out of my mum's house for good in 2014, my financial situation got so bad I no longer had money to try and save. If my first 30 Before 30 goal is successful, I should have some extra money kicking around by 2017. My real want is to have a house deposit saved but I know what I'm like, so I went for a more realistic goal of £5000 instead.

5) Visit Asia
The only two continents I've ever set foot on are North America and Europe. I really want to change this! I could have gone for Australasia or Africa but Asia is the one I've researched most and so the most likely to happen before I am 30.

6) Go to somewhere in the USA that isn't New York
Despite having a degree in American Studies and naturally, a huge interest in the USA, I've actually only ever been to Manhattan. There are so many other places in the US I'd like to visit - California, Oregon, South Carolina and North Carolina for a start, that it'd be great to aim to do this within the next five years.

7) Visit somewhere in mainland Europe that I haven't before
I've now been to Paris 3 times, Lake Garda/Verona/Venice twice and Benidorm more times than I can possibly count. It's about time I saw somewhere different in Europe! I am thinking Prague, but we will see.

8) Go to Versailles
As mentioned above, I've already been to Paris 3 times, but, despite my huge love for Marie Antoinette, I've never been to Versailles. What am I playing at?!  

9) Go abroad alone
I am definitely a bit of a loner. Don't get me wrong - I love socialising but generally I am much happier doing things alone. For example, I always go to gigs on my own because that way I get to see whatever bands I like on whatever terms I want. I've never been abroad alone though, but I would really love to.

10) Visit 10 new places in the UK
While travelling the world is such a tempting prospect, there are so many great places on my doorstep here in the UK. I would love to explore more of my homeland in the next five years. I will make a list of my top 10 soon.

11) Go to Stone Henge
Despite living in Swindon for like, a year, with Stone Henge a stone's throw away, I've never been. Last time he was in the UK, Wednesday 13 was posting Instagrams from there which naturally, made me realise I had to go too.

12) Go to the Natural History Museum 
Since moving down South, I've more than quadrupled my number of visits to London. I've done a fair few touristy things now, but still not enough. I really wanna go see the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum and if I put this on my list, I might finally get round to it.

13) Go to a theme park
OK, this is on my list every damn time. I think I need to make friends with some thrill seekers and just get this done. I'm terrified of rollercoasters but also really enjoy them once I'm on there and I do wanna experience it again some time.

14) Spend a birthday in Aberystwyth 
I spent my 19th, 20th and 21st birthdays in Aberystwyth whilst I was there for university and I also went there for my 24th. I was desperate to go back for my 25th as well but unfortunately my funds were too low. Even after all this time it's still my happy place and where better to spend your birthday than in your happy place?

15) Go swimming in the sea
I love the sea and I love swimming but I haven't been for ages! I thought it'd be nice to put the two together and aim for it as a goal. Maybe not in Aber though...!

16) Have a professional massage
This too has been on my list for ages but my finances and lack of organisation have always stopped me. I am hoping this one comes sooner rather than later as my neck is messed up at the moment!

17) Read 260 books
This works out at one book per week for five years and considering I've been reading one book per week since 2016 began, I am already well on track to achieving this goal.

18) Sit on the Iron Throne
It is absolutely no secret that I adore Game of Thrones and I judge people based on who they want to see sat on the Iron Throne by the time it ends. At some point, I'd quite like to seat myself on the Iron Throne too.

19) Grow my nails until they sit over the end of my finger and keep them like that until at least the day after my 30th birthday
Ideally the goal is "stop biting my nails" but it is far too vague to say that - this way, I will know for definite if I have failed or not

20) Try out a high ropes course
When I was younger, I did a low ropes adventure course at Center Parcs and I loved it. Now I'm older, I'd love to go back and try the high ropes version out or something like Go Ape. I'm actually going to Center Parcs in October with a bunch of bloggers, so we'll see what happens.

21) Go camping
Some of my fondest holiday memories from my teenage years involve camping and well, it's been too long since I last went.

22) Go to a fireworks display on Bonfire Night
I cannot remember the last time I deliberately went to see some fireworks. I tried the past few years but for whatever reason, I've never managed it. Some time before my 30th birthday I will see a fireworks display dammit.

23) Attend a Halloween celebration in fancy dress
I haven't dressed up since 2013 and I don't even remember that because that devil vodka was involved. This is ridiculous as Halloween is my favourite holiday and it's positively outrageous I haven't dressed for ages. Although I did go see Wednesday 13 last Halloween so it wasn't so bad.

24) Take my youngest siblings on a day trip
Once I've passed my driving test and got my car, I'd love to take my youngest siblings, R + F, who are currently 5 and 6, out on a day trip, maybe to Whitby or Scarborough. My other siblings are of course welcome to come!

25) Go see a band/artist I haven't seen before 
The last time I saw a band that wasn't Wednesday 13 or Marina and the Diamonds was 2012. Shame on me!

26) Join a gym
I've decided that the only thing that is going to motivate me to get active is actually paying for the privilege - I want to join one with a pool and classes as I am far more likely to enjoy swimming and something like Pilates than I am slaving away on a treadmill.

27) Complete an Instagram photo challenge
This seems a lot better than "take more photos"

28) Try horse riding
The vast majority of my time in 2015 was spent playing an online horse riding game. It kept me sane when I was on sick leave from work. I loved it. Still do, I just don't spend as much time on it as I did. However, it's got me thinking that I'd quite like to try horse riding for real.

29) Go to the theatre
Preferably to see Dr Faustus with Kit Harington but I'm skint and time is running out! Either way, I really miss going to the theatre as I haven't been since A Level drama.

30) Take up a non-internet based hobby
I haven't quite decided what this will be yet, but it will either be colouring in (wow...) or cross stitch. I just need something that takes me away from screens! Reading doesn't count any more because I often have ebooks from the library on my tablet.

Phew! That's a lotta goals. Wish me luck!

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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Whatever Happened To 25 Before 25?


Long time readers of this blog will know that I'm a big fan of X Before X Lists. I used to do one each year on my birthday, before realising that they were slightly ambitious now I'm getting further into my 20s. Instead, on my 23rd birthday, I made the decision to write a 25 Before 25 list instead of 24 Before 24, giving myself 2 years to complete the goals.

It started off well, I ticked a handful of items off the list and gave a little update on my progress and then, I just stopped. I removed the link to my 25 Before 25 list from my navigation and never mentioned the damn thing again...until now.

You see, I wrote those goals for the sake of having content for the blog. A lot of them didn't even resonate with me as I wrote them, nevermind now. So, I shoved them to the back of my mind and focused my attention elsewhere. Today though, I want to have a look through them and see where I was going wrong before I turn my attentions to a 30 Before 30 list!

1) Pass my driving test - INCOMPLETE
I honestly made such a good go of this. I re-passed my theory test in November. In January, my instructor told me I was ready to take my practical test and I needed to book it. Unfortunately, this idea scared the life out of me and I suddenly decided to turn my attentions, and finances, towards moving myself to Reading instead. Must try harder.

2) Go to a theme park and actually go on the rides - DIDN'T HAPPEN
This is on my list every bloody year. Note to self: make friends with some thrill seekers.

3) Read two books a month - YES I DID SOMETHING
If Goodreads is anything to go by, I am currently averaging one book a week, so I'd say I was definitely successful in this one.

4) Go a day without the Internet and my phone - OMG I MANAGED ANOTHER
Not by choice though. I went on holiday to Aberystwyth for my 24th birthday. There was no signal in the campsite I stayed at, so I just decided to forgo using my phone and the Internet for the few days I was there.

5) Go abroad - COMPLETED IN THE UTMOST SECRECY
As my 25th birthday got closer, I really didn't think this one was going to happen. Then I got whisked away to France in March...!

6) Watch a horror movie every day in October - NOPE
Why was this even a goal Emily, really? My interest in horror just isn't there anymore.

7) Write (at least) weekly gratitude lists - NAH
I made a good start, but soon got bored. I still think gratitude is important but I suspect I only wanted to do this so I could publicly brag about the great things happening in my life because the gratitude lists I did write all went on Tumblr.   

8) Complete the Blogilates beginniner calendar and follow it up with a monthly one - LOL
I think it's safe to say exercise took a backseat in my life in the past two years. 

9) Start roller derby again and pass my minimum skills - SAD TIMES
My attendance was shoddy and then I moved to a town with no roller derby team...

10) Visit Bounce Below
I wrote about this here, I'm so glad I managed to tick this one off. 

11) Quit smoking
I don't know what to say about this one. I started smoking again in December when my relationship ended after having around six months off. I then stopped again at the end of February this year. Recently my cravings have been back with a vengeance but I have yet to cave. So yes, at the minute I am a non-smoker but reluctant to say this status is permanent. 

12) Visit Scotland
Sorry brother! Maybe I'll get to visit the country my brother lives in before I die. Maybe. 

13) Redesign my blog
I did this one MULTIPLE times! 

14) Write an eBook
Here ladies and gentlemen, is an example of a goal I set for the sake of setting goals. No wonder I didn't complete it! 

15) Hit 500 BlogLovin Followers
I'm actually really sad I didn't manage this one. My blog has been rubbish since 2014 though so I'm not surprised. Hoping the second half of 2016 will see me turn this around. 

16) Book myself a professional massage
Lack of money it seems is behind the reason so many of goals fail! Will do this one day. ONE DAY.
  
17) Watch a sunrise
Emily, you HATE getting out of bed, why did you set this stupid goal?

18) Watch a sunset  
If I'm gonna watch anything, it will be TV. 

19) Get my nails done professionally
 Excellent, another goal I have succeeded in multiple times. I surprise myself every day.

20) Hit Regional Vice President in Arbonne
This is honestly the most stupid goal I set myself. I can't even be bothered to waste my time expanding on why it was stupid.

21) Get my tattoo touched up   
Although I have yet to let anyone near my with a needle and ink since the only time I've let that happen, I have found an artist I am desperate to sort my little elephants out for me. Watch this space...

22) GO TO LADUREE...IN PARIS
I DID THIS ONE I DID THIS ONE I CAN'T BELIEVE I MANAGED THIS ONE. See goal number five - I totally did not expect to get abroad before my 25th birthday. However, in March, I unexpectedly and very, very secretly went to Paris for the weekend. While I was there, I didn't even think of my 25 Before 25 list...until I noticed the gorgeous little shop with gorgeous little macarons in the window was Laduree. I spent 20 euros on Macarons even though I was £900 into my overdraft at the time. NO REGRETS. 

23) Stop biting my nails  
This was going unexpectedly well. Until yesterday. Old habits die hard.

24) See Lana del Rey/Marina and the Diamonds/Lorde
 I managed Marina twice. And as it turns out, Marina is more than enough. 

25) Stay out until the club lights come on  
I regretted this one as soon as I wrote it seeing as I hadn't been to a club in years when I wrote it. Then one Friday night I was out having fun as you do, when I realised the music had stopped, the lights were on and whoa, I'd actually done this goal.

All in all, there's nine out of 25 green items on here, which is more than I realised I'd done. What I've learnt from this exercise is that if you really want something, it will materialise out of nowhere, like my Paris trip did, and if you don't - well, you'll find better things to do with your time and laugh at your goals when you come back to them.

Stay tuned for my 30 Before 30 list...!  
 
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