If you’re in your late twenties, or know anyone that is, I’m sure you’ve seen your share of 30-by-30 lists. Some people use it for big milestones they want to hit, some use it for adventures, others use it as an accelerated bucket list, and my husband used it to list things he is proud/thankful for. I turn 30 in July, and I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a 30 by 30; I’ve decided that my version will be 30 things I want to do to that will improve my life now and for the long term, by the time I reach 30. I remember reading something a while ago (I don’t know what magazine I saw it in or when, but I’m pretty sure I was reading it in a doctor’s waiting room) that stated that you should be in the best shape of your life when you hit 30, because it gets substantially more difficult from there to change your lifestyle and body. So, here’s to self-improvement!

I’ve split my list into a few main areas: Relationships & Connections, Organize & De-clutter, Future, Mind Body Soul (Balance), and In the Kitchen. I’m going to hit on the first ten 30 x 30 items in this post.

Relationships & Connections

I have a bad habit of not maintaining relationships unless they are right in front of me. Part of it may be my introverted nature; part of it may just be laziness. With that in mind, I am going to make more of an effort to stay connected with people and continue to be mindful of my handling of relationships.

1. Do something special for Nick 1 time per week. I am sometimes guilty of getting into the mindset that since I currently carry the household “burden” (making meals, cleaning, planning, laundry, etc.), that I am doing special things for my husband all the time. But really, none of that stuff makes him feel special. Cared for, yes, special, no. Nor should it. In the “real” world, when Nick would take out the garbage every week, it didn’t give me the warm-and-fuzzies. It was just his job. I’m making it a goal to do something extra for Nick, which will make him feel special, (at least) once a week. Whether it’s making his favorite meal, or taking him out for brunch, or planning a movie night (and staying awake for the whole thing), or booking a massage, I want him to know that I’m thinking of him and making an effort. He’s pretty much my everything, so naturally this is number one on my list.

2. Blog 1 – 2 times a week. I know that I already said that I was going to do this, but I’ve been failing miserably. In addition to being a good outlet for me, and the fact that it will serve as a great memory book later, it’s also a way for our friends and family to keep up with our lives.

3. Email, snail mail, and Facebook friends and family more regularly. As noted, I’m not always so good about keeping up with folks. I want the people that I love to know it.

Organize & De-clutter

If I don’t get serious about getting my life in order, I’ll be appearing on the show “Hoarders” by the time I turn 40. The lady that weaves her way out of the newspaper maze? Replace the newspapers with cooking magazines and that could be me.

4. Clean out the closet. Before we left home, I did a major purge of my closet and donated a few giant boxes worth of clothes, shoes and accessories. Even still, I know that I left way more than I needed to at home, and brought more than I needed to to Grenada. This summer, I’m bringing the clothing that I don’t wear regularly back to the States to wear over the summer and leave (because it’s still stuff that I like, but doesn’t make the clothes rotation. It’s mostly race t-shirts and really casual sun dresses – stuff I thought I would wear regularly, but  haven’t, since I need to dress up for work every day). At home, I’m getting rid of my “safety” clothes. I know everyone has their skinny goal clothes (I know I do), but I also kept some just-in-case fat clothes. They’re mostly items that would be expensive to replace – fancy cocktail dresses, suits, and the like – so I had trouble parting with them. Now that I’ve stayed at the same size for a year, I feel that the time has come to cut the cord and let it go. I want to start my 30s in a place where I don’t have a fallback and love all the clothes that I have (or at least want to wear).

5. Craft “junk” into containers and get rid of the rest. I want to get organized (more on that to come). I’ve been saving what some (Nick) may call trash, but I call project supplies. You know, a variety of empty (and cleaned) tin cans, empty cereal and cracker boxes, empty jars, empty wine bottles … so, when you put it like that, trash. But, I have pinned a ton of cool things to do with said junk, some of which only require a pair of scissors or some spray paint. I just need to schedule a craft day to sort out and make things, and then – gasp – throw out the rest. This, for a Class B Hoarder like me, would be a huge step. And would clear up a big ol’ box to use for other types of storage!

6. Organize stuff into bins/containers. Before we leave Grenada to go home for the summer, I want to get the rando stuff that fills up my drawers and shelves more organized. For instance, I just found a mini hairspray and dry shampoo – that I brought down with me when I came to visit Nick last April – in a drawer. I’d like to come back to a well-organized house.

7. Meal plan one month at a time. I started trying to do this this past month, and it’s helped a lot. This way, all I have to do is make my grocery list on Saturday and head to the store. When I plan for a month, I can buy the ingredients that are common across my recipes in bulk (or, the Grenada version of buying in bulk, anyway). Also, this way I’m not falling back on repetitious meals or themes (for instance, having chili and stew in one week, and then starting the next week off with taco soup).


Unfortunately, our time on the island won’t last forever. In less than two years, we’ll be back to the States and un-pausing our lives. I’m a notorious procrastinator, and if I let it sit, I’ll become increasingly stressed about the things that need to be done while still doing nothing. By having some items crossed off the list early, it will make our transition back to reality an easier one.

8. Update resume and make it kick-ass. I have a normal word .doc resume that I’ve maintained and kept up-to-date. As I have gained more relevant experience over the years, I’ve slowly dropped my college-era jobs off of my resume. On my “compilation” resume (the one that I keep all of my information on, so that I can copy and paste depending on job requirements) I still have my GPA and college honors/executive positions held, but at this point, those don’t need to go on my “real” resume. I need update my “real” resume to include all of the most relevant, important information and drop off the rest. Once I’ve gotten the information that I want to include updated, I want to make a more visually stimulating resume. I feel that the field that I’m in, I should have something with a more graphical, creative tone.

9. Build a portfolio. Over the years, I have designed tri-fold brochures, created advertising materials, and written, starred in, and edited videos, both for instructional and entertainment purposes (I know that sounds dirty, but it’s not). I need to create a portfolio that will show off my skillz.

10. Start taking vitamins and Folic acid. I am not the best at remembering to take vitamins. I’ll do great for about a week, and then forget. I feel like I need to cut that behavior out and get serious. While we don’t have plans for kids anytime in the near future, it’s time to start prepping my body to be the ultimate host a growing little life.

So that’s the first ten items on my list. Do you have a 30×30?