Making 24 Extraordinary
A man named Charles de Gaulle once said, “Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so.” This Saturday is my 24th birthday. Since it comes relatively soon after the New Year, I often find myself still in a state of reflection for the year past and a mode of resolution for the year ahead. In preparation for my 24th year, I want to set some goals to follow. I decided to steal this idea from my good friend (and Thought Circus designer) Bre, who recently published a fantastic post on her blog titled ’24 Before 25′.
I’ve always been a big fan of sharing my dreams and goals publicly, because I believe it helps immensely with accountability. Sure, it can be a bit scary to tell people what you’re working on personally or professionally, but when you’re publicly honest, transparent, and enthusiastic about your goals, it forces you to actually work on achieving them.
In making my list, I tried my best to be as specific as possible. In my personal experience, it’s easy to come up with a bunch of goals to follow year after year, but unless they are very specific, it can be hard to actually keep up with them.
If you talk to any of my close friends (ask Jeremy), they’ll confirm that ‘extraordinary’ is a word I’ve been trying to use and think about in all aspects of my life. I want to have extraordinary friendships. I want to do extraordinary things. I want to feel and give extraordinary love. I want to be an extraordinary entrepreneur. Most of all, I want to be an extraordinary person. The list below is my way of ensuring that my 24th year will be extraordinary in every way.
24 Ways To Make This Year Extraordinary
1. Pray daily. Plain and simple. Tozer probably said it best when he wrote, “The man who would truly know God must give time to Him.”
2. Read three books each month. I got this idea from my very good friend and fellow Thought Circus Publisher Jeremy Anderberg, who told me recently that when he’s reading multiple books at a time, he tries to include at least one fiction book, one nonfiction book, and one spiritual book.
3. Write at least two handwritten letters each month. I’m currently experimenting with this idea with one friend, and plan on trying to write more handwritten letters to the people I care for in my life this year.
4. Take one class per quarter. I’ll look for local community classes first, but I’ll also likely sign up for a few classes on Coursera.
5. See at least five new places. Places I’d like to visit and explore: Philly, Maine, Seattle, Redwood National Park, and the Grand Canyon.
6. Launch Thought Circus Publishing (more on that later!).
8. Write 1,000 words each day. This is apparently what Jack London did almost every day of his adult life in order to constantly improve his writing.
9. Hit the gym 5 days a week. Essential if I want to be able to accomplish number 7.
10. Move into an apartment somewhere in the cities. I’ll hopefully move to Minneapolis sometime in the summer.
11. Save more and plan more for my first home. This is one of my biggest goals for 2013 in general.
12. Master the mandolin. Because the guitar is boring. I’d rather be able to do this.
13. Go to one networking event per quarter. Been meaning to do this, especially now that I am permanently living up in the Twin Cities.
15. Try to spend one day each week off the grid. No phone, no computer, no iPad on Sundays.
16. Make Thought Circus my full-time gig. Wouldn’t that be awesome!? I’m going to work as hard as I can to make it happen.
17. Volunteer once each month. I’ll search for local opportunities and opportunities within my church.
18. Plan and put together my meals for each week on Sunday night. Like this.
19. Take more video of my life and create my first ‘Year in Review’ documentary. I’m stealing this idea from another friend named Jeremy. Jeremy works for C-SPAN and travels a lot. He makes it his mission to document everything, which is great. I’ve seen his last two years of ‘Year In Review’ videos, and they are awesome. Check out the one he made for 2012.
21. Spend two weeks at my family’s cabin in Ely, MN. The property sits on Ojibway Lake. It’s where I spent many of my summers growing up. It’s my home away from home. My refuge.
22. Learn more about my ancestors. My grandparents on both sides passed away when I was still pretty young. As a result, I’ve always felt a sense of disconnection from my family’s history. My goal is to spend more time with my living family members and relatives in order to learn more about my ancestors.
23. Explore Minnesota with Jessica. We’re both natives who have been away living elsewhere for the past five years or so. We’re back now, and making a long list of everything we want to see and do togeher to help reacquaint ourselves with the state we love.
24. Put together my ‘Making 25 Extraordinary’ list. I want to keep the momentum going and make sure I continue living each year of my life to the fullest! So keep your eyes out for my ‘Making 25 Extraordinary’ list next February.
I’m going to do my best to stick to these goals! In a perfect world, I will have accomplished everything on the list by next March, but I think even if I made it through just half of it, I will feel confident that I grew as a person and lived pretty extraordinarily.
Stay tuned! I’ll try to give you updates here on Thought Circus regarding my progress (what’s been difficult, what’s been easy, and how I’ve grown as a person).
Have you thought about what you want or need to do in order to live an extraordinary life? What’s on your list? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!