Last year for my 24th birthday I came up with 24 goals that I wanted to accomplish by my next birthday. Now that my golden birthday year has come to an end, it's time to evaluate my success. On my half birthday in January, I did a quick run through of the status of my goals at the time, but now that I've turned yet another year older, here's my final assessment.
1. Run another marathon and ultra marathon.
Okay, so I didn't run a marathon or any race longer than that during this birthday year. I actually only ran two 10 mile races- one road and one trail. That being said though, I have run a lot more than I have at any other point in my life, which I suppose was the real underlying goal here. I did however run the San Francisco Marathon this past weekend, just two days shy of my birthday!
2. Blog at least 5 times each month.
I've easily accomplished this. This past year I've been so much better sharing recent news and projects on my blog, and I'm so happy about that. Initially, I needed to constantly remind myself of this goal in an effort to blog more. But now, thinking about blog topics is frequently on my mind and it's no longer a huge effort to get something ready enough to hit the "publish" button.
3. Sew every month.
I'm not quite sure that I sewed every month, but I have sewn a lot more (especially garments) this past year! I even worked up the courage to sew with knits which is huge for me. My handmade wardrobe is slowly growing, but growing it is!
4. Use up the majority of my stashed fabric (so I can buy more, of course) ;)
While I have been sewing a lot more, especially lately, I still have a ton of stashed fabric. I don't see myself needing to go fabric shopping for awhile. In fact, Lauren and I agreed to continue working through our respective stashes, and if we make large dents, then we can go on a Christmas fabric shopping spree at our favorite fabric store in San Francisco this Winter!
5. Knit and finish at least one project. (I must get back into knitting!)
I remember coming up with this goal and having a hard time wrapping my head around this one. Last year I was at the point where I didn't want to knit because everything I attempted wasn't working out. Luckily though, I needed to knit Marissa's birthday present. It turned out that I loved knitting that cowl so much that I couldn't stop knitting. Besides Marissa's cowl, I also knit: a cowl for Lauren; another cowl; and a shawl for myself. I even joined my first knit along and am currently knitting my first sweater. There's been so much knitting progress for me this past birthday year!
6. Mail at least one letter each month.
I sent a letter to someone most months. There were a few months where I just completely forgot. I do love receiving snail mail though, so sending random letters (and ones with real purposes too) is something I want to do forever.
7. Take lots of pictures with my big camera as a way of exploring my "neighborhood".
I've gotten a little better at using my big camera more often, but there's still much more potential waiting to be had with this goal. I crave pictures with people in them, and now that I've moved across the country away from my family, taking people pictures with just Lauren and me can get a little redundant.
8. Finish my Summer Sampler cross stitch pattern.
I finished my first cross stitch pattern in February and have been anxiously awaiting this trip to California to stock on more supplies for the next samplers. I still need to get my Summer Sampler framed, but that will have to wait a bit longer. It took awhile for me to get into cross stitching, but once I found my groove, it was hard to stop. I find cross stitching so relaxing, but I can understand how it's a nuance for others.
9. Read at least one book per month.
Check! With the help of my local libraries and insanely inexpensive books on Amazon, I've easily been able to read more this past birthday year than I think I've ever done in this time frame in my entire life. I even compiled a list of books to read, and I'm almost completely through it.
10. Sew at least two dresses, and actually wear them.
I did, I did! I haven't taken photos of them yet, but I managed to squeak out a striped woven tunic and a knit dress right before heading out to California a few weeks ago. I've worn both of them twice so far and like them enough to keep them. But even more important, I figured out what changes I need to make so that I love my finished dresses next time.
11. Try at least one new food item each month.
I'll be honest, I really cared about this goal at first. But then after a few weeks, it wasn't something I wanted to strive for anymore. So no, I most likely didn't follow through with this plan, although I wasn't really keeping track either. I did find myself needing to eat lots of garlic scapes though, so there's always that.
12. Read through all of the magazines I own to clear up some much needed space.
I didn't even get halfway through my stack of magazines. It was pretty ridiculous how many I had. Last Summer I was trying to read two magazines a day to tackle this goal, but when it was time to move to Philadelphia, I tossed whatever I had left and called this task done.
13. Catch up on all of the birthday presents I owe people.
I caught up on all of the birthday presents I owe people. In my mind there were so many presents I needed to still make and gift, but in reality, I actually only had to knit cowls for Lauren and Marissa. Once I got my knitting mojo back, this was easy.
14. Run under an eight minute mile.
I haven't actually timed myself on a mile run. I bet I can accomplish this, but I haven't tried.
15. Go through and clean up my room at my parents' house.
I mentioned this briefly before, but I tried pretty hard to tackle this while I was home for the holidays this past December. But, I soon realized this was never going to happen since my room has basically become a storage space for random family items and furniture. I did try though.
16. Create an art/gallery wall.
I was really excited about this one. I have all my frames and tons of ideas in my mind. But, I haven't managed to fill all my frames yet. I wanted to wait to hang art up until all of the frames are filled, so my wall doesn't have anything to show of my progress so far. I did create two pieces for my wall though: one out of paint chips, and an ode to my home state, California.
17. Keep plants alive.
I was doing great keeping several house plants alive while living in Sacramento. But when I moved, my plants had to stay back in California with Leti. I believe they're still alive though. Lauren and I also grew tomatoes and helped a lot with Leti's home garden. Once we moved to Philadelphia, I bought two new house plants and they're still both thriving.
18. Have at least one vegetable every night for dinner.
Like trying a new food item every month, this quickly became something I no longer want to try for. I'll be honest, I don't eat at least one vegetable every night for dinner. That being said though, I've been eating a lot healthier than I have in a really long time, and that's the most important thing.
19. Set a monthly budget and stick to it.
When I moved to Philadelphia I knew this task would become very important. I set a budget and I've been able to stick with it every month, expect December. I only went over by a few dollars, and it was because I needed to buy Christmas presents for other people. All of the other months I "saved" money, so I was okay with over-spending a little bit once.
20. Weed through my belongings and donate items I no longer need.
With a big move comes lots of donations. Last Summer in preparation for my big move, I purged a lot of clothing items (the big hoarded culprit!). I still have a ton of clothes in California, and my closest in Philadelphia could use a good clear out too.
21. Get a hair cut!
I love getting my hair cut, but I hate it at the same time. I love how lightweight my hair feels afterwards, but I've only ever had one professional hair cut that I really loved. It usually takes a few weeks post cut for me to like my hair again. So, I always put off getting a hair cut until I can no longer live with unruly hair. Speaking of, it's about time for another hair cut soon!
22. Make sure I get my daily 10,000 steps, but not make it a chore.
I definitely haven't gotten 10,000 steps everyday. But, I did make this one of my New Year's resolutions and have been marking off the days when I am successful. I usually reach my step goal six days out of the week, Friday easily being the hardest.
23. Try a new physical activity, like yoga.
I tried both yoga and zumba. Initially, I liked zumba a lot and would go several times a week. During the Winter though, I started having hip issues which were exasperated during zumba classes. So, I stopped going to zumba and started going to yoga a lot more often. It helped that Lauren worked at the gym. This gave me a reason to want to work out more, so it was easy to go to fitness classes. Now that Lauren no longer works there, I don't go to the gym nearly as much and haven't been to yoga in over a week. I should start going again when I get back to Philadelphia because it is a great way to get some stretching in.
24. Ride my bike often, while I have the opportunity.
I don't think I rode my bike at all this entire year, which is a bummer. I like going on casual bike rides but never made the time to do it.
Although I definitely didn't accomplish everything I set out to do this past year, these goals made me think about how I choose to spend my time and what's truly important to me. I'm still formulating ideas for my next birthday challenge, and I'm excited to try something different for this new year.