It’s March 1st, in Japan anyway, which means that it is time to officially kick-off my goals for this year. It is a list I’ve made to celebrate my quarter century on this Earth and all the things I want to do to make it better and improve myself.
I was inspired last year by Joy the Baker’s 30 Things for 30 Years (note to self, start photodocumenting this stuff). A few months ago I started reading the helpothers.org Smile Stories and came across this awesome post by MixMingleGlow. I made a list of my own, and now I need your help to make all these things happen! Details below:
25 Things for Turning 25: A Quarter Century at it’s Best
1. Get 25 people to make a $25 kiva loan, or more!
Kiva.org is a way to lend directly, in small amounts or microloans, to alleviate poverty while knowing that your contribution really makes a difference.You make a loan, get updates from your lend-ee, and then get paid back! You can make more loans with that money or do a communal loan.
2. Compliment one person every day
Work in progress: I don’t always make a conscious effort to do this, but I make sure to always let people know how appreciated or thankful I am for what they do. Try it! It makes you feel good.
3. Take a walk and pick up litter at least once a month. (Twice a month is ideal)
Trash is unsightly. Don’t treat your surroundings like a garbage can. This also makes me feel really good. I wear thick gardening gloves and fill up several recyclable bags. Take a walk around your block and tidy it up for yourself and your neighbors!
4. Make a sweet potato and chestnut layer cake, dairy-free cream cheese frosting optional.
Working on it.
5. HOT AIR BALLOON. It’s happening.
It IS happening. Work in progress.
6. Send one care package per month.
How happy are you when you get something in the mail? Pass it on! It could be a friend, neighbor, family member cross country, or a complete stranger. I remember how much fun I had putting together a Red Cross package for flood victims back in 5th grade.
7. Inspire others to send more snail mail.
A handwritten note speaks volumes from the heart. And they usually have really cute stamps at the post office.
8. Reverse trick or treat
Knock on ten doors and present them with some homemade baked goods or a meal. I would never say no to a hot bowl of soup in the middle of winter. Two weeks ago I brought a crock pot of chili into my office and everyone was ecstatic. Not quite fulfilling the requirement, but I plan to do it before the year is out.
9. Be a Buddhist for a day.
I don’t really have this one figured out yet, but the idea is to try something totally new. Buddhism embraces loving kindness and letting go of all anger, fear, hatred, or jealousy. No one needs that in their life.
10. Volunteer at a nursing/assisted living home.
Turns out I live right down the block from one! Very excited to do this. I think I’ll go play my viola, bring some treats, or simply sit and chat.
11. Have a dance party.
Sometimes I do this by myself to get rid of a funky mood. But dancing with other people is a great way to celebrate life. Check out War Dance for an inspirational, uplifting film.
12. Laugh every day.
13. Have a spa day with Mom
Call your Mom and tell her you love her. Or call your mother figure. Or do something wonderful in memory of your Mom. Same goes for Dads. Tell people you love that you love them. You can’t say it enough.
14. Inspire 100 people to do better by the environment
Here is where I really need your help – spread the word! Recycle! Choose sustainable seafood! Conserve on water! Eat more greens! Share your thoughts on how we can integrate sustainable living and joy into our every day lives.
15. Sing more among friends and family
I may be making myself go to karaoke on my actual birthday. But singing makes people happy. Check out this video! (By the way, I think he was a busker, not homeless)
16. Get my family together for Grillsgiving 2012
Being together with family and appreciating good food and company is one of my highest priorities in life.
17. Eat sushi for breakfast at Tsukiji
Adventure tiiiiime! Sustainable seafood only.
18. Teach a legit cooking lesson
Share your love of the kitchen with someone else. Or seek out someone to show you!
19. Do 25 things from the Natural Living Test each month
Act on your priorities.
20. Go to at least one of Jake’s sporting events
Kids are important. Playing with them is super important, especially if you are an adult. Kids know how to have fun.
21. Leave quarters/change in a sandbox for kids to discover.
Day maker right here, for everyone involved.
22. Have a “date” with each member of my family
Big family living an ocean away. Time with them is valuable and precious (even if you live on top of each other).
23. Start training for the next marathon
Exercise. Endorphins. Not producing carbon dioxide in a car? Big bonus. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, but believe in yourself. You can do whatever it is that you want to do.
24. Get rid of one thing cluttering my life every day, be it tangible or intangible.
This is one of the BEST things I have ever committed to doing. One thing per day, big or small, means I’m never scared out of doing it. (I routinely assume any household chore is going to involve hours of labor and intensive tests of strength and character. I feel like Samson when I finally take the paltry 15 minutes to clean my toilet) I feel so much better having less stuff and bringing less stuff into my home. Check out this short documentary, based on the book “The Story of Stuff”:
25. Get 25 genuine bear hugs from 25 different people in ONE.DAY.
I love hugs. Don’t you?
(26.) Do something totally crazy, unexpected, off-the-wall, bonkers awesome, aka surprise myself.
So please! Write a comment, send an email or picture, share with us what you are going to do to celebrate life this year! I hope you find as much joy and inspiration from this list as I did making it. I’m really looking forward to accomplishing all these and having some fun!
More great ideas: