I know that it is a little past the end of my 21st year, but I figured better late than never when it came to writing a blog post that wraps up my 21 goals. Also, I am currently sitting in LAX and figure that writing a blog post is more productive than roaming the halls of the airport in search of a Jamba Juice.
It is crazy to think that I finally reached the point where I am finishing my first set of big goals and moving on to what I have planned for the future. But before I get all impassioned about this coming year’s goals, I should probably let you know how my remaining 21 goals came together.
Control my dessert consumption — This was a goal that I struggled with all throughout this year. I tried many different strategies to control my dessert consumption, but nothing seemed to work. I thought that I had found the perfect solution each time that I tried a new method, but I would consistently fail by falling back into my terrible habits. This was especially true in Colorado, where I was staying for work.
I enjoyed having my food paid for by my company, and was even happier to find a delicious burger and shake restaurant within a two-minute walk of my hotel. This combination was lethal, and it got to the point where I was consuming at least two milkshakes per day. It was an obscene amount of dessert, and I knew that it was becoming a problem when the restaurant’s employees began to recognize me in the drive-thru.
I knew that I needed to do something drastic to curb this unhealthy behavior, so I did the only thing that I knew would be foolproof: I swore off dessert completely. This time isn’t for a year (been there, done that); instead, it is for the duration of my time working as an admissions counselor at Cedarville University. I chose to base it on a specific circumstance instead of a time period, because doing so gives me less of a chance to dwell on a countdown to when I can eat dessert. I am not sure when I will have it again, but I know that I made the right choice to give it up completely.
Do a stringent diet for thirty days — Piggybacking off the previous goal was one to do a stringent diet for 30 days. I made this goal because I wanted to challenge myself with a difficult diet, but I ended up doing something completely different. Knowing that a crazy diet doesn’t really benefit you (since you often return to to your previous bad habits when the diet ends), I decided to find ways to permanently change my lifestyle.
I did this in couple of ways, but the biggest one was swapping food items. I found that merely choosing to have a healthier alternative is an effective way to begin leading a better lifestyle. I would choose to have a green smoothie instead of a bagel for breakfast, pack carrots instead of chips in my lunch, and opt to have apple slices at night instead of whatever leftover pasta was in the fridge. These were all small changes to my diet, but I believe that they are helping me create a healthier lifestyle. I didn’t exactly complete the goal as I originally hoped to, but I would say that it was successful nonetheless.
Help someone else complete a goal — This was a really enjoyable goal for me, because it gave me the opportunity to help someone else experience how amazing setting a goal can be. I ended up helping my Mom go without dessert, and she has been happy with the experience (even though it has been challenging). It has been fun doing it with her, and I love that the goal that I got to help someone else complete is the one that started everything for me.
See the Pacific Ocean — I honestly never thought that I would get to complete this goal this year, but I did! it turns out that my job entailed me flying to the west coast to do recruitment for the university, so I got to see the pacific ocean on an all expenses paid trip. Now that is something that I can live with!
Begin learning a language — This is a goal that I am not far along in, but I am working on it nonetheless! I regret how much of the Spanish that I learned in college has been forgotten, so I wanted to challenge myself to begin learning a language this past year. I thought that this might entail taking more classes or using an app, but the learning came in a very different way.
I told my coworker Bere, a native Spanish-speaker, that I wanted to begin working on my Spanish again, so she has been kind enough to help me. She will sometimes send me messages in Spanish (which I struggle to decipher), and she always encourages me to try words in Spanish. It is a small step towards learning a language, but it certainly sets me on the right path!
I got a chance to try out my child-like understanding of the Spanish language when I was presenting in a Spanish class during a recent school visit in California. Wanting to wow the students and the teacher at the end of my university presentation, I began cobbling a bunch of Spanish words into a sentence to convey my hopes that they have a happy Wednesday. Needless to say, my sad attempt at Spanish was met with many blank stares form the students and raised eyebrows from the Spanish teacher. I should probably work a little harder on the language before trying it out in a presentation.
Write a journal entry for every day as a twenty-one year old — This goal was incredibly fulfilling, because in the end, I wrote 205, 499 words during my 21st year. In case you are wondering what that would look like in the form of a book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has 198, 227 words. So be on the lookout for a massive tome of my yearly journal entries!
Take a photo that I am proud of — I hate how cliché I am about to be, but the photo that I was most proud of this year was the following:
I took this photo during my flight from Ohio to Denver, and it is so much more than a cliché out-the-window shot of an airplane wing. To me it signifies growing up and how many adventures are in store for my future.
That is the biggest takeaway from this year. I set many goals to push myself into the next stage of my life (i.e. staying alone in a hotel room, seeing the pacific ocean, doing something cultured), and I am happy to have accomplished that. It was a year full of transition and change, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In case you were wondering, here is the full list of the goals that I completed as a 21-year-old and a link to the full blog post detailing each experience:
1) Control my dessert consumption
2) Run a half-marathon
3) Don’t shave for two weeks
4) Do a stringent diet for thirty days
5) Help someone else complete a goal
6) Do something that makes me more cultured
7) See the Pacific Ocean
8) Stay alone in a hotel room
9) Write a journal entry for every day as a twenty-one year old
10) Do something that scares me
11) Use a weight room twelve separate times within four weeks
12) Complete a month-long positivity challenge
13) Spend a whole night in my hammock
14) Travel to visit a friend
15) Go to a job interview that is not in Ohio or New York
16) Hike to the top of a mountain
17) Take a photo that I am proud of
18) De-clutter my life
19) Begin learning a language
20) Use my phone only as a phone for a week
21) Stop biting my fingernails