birthday bucket list goals

10 before 28

I can’t believe it’s already that time again! For the last four years, I’ve celebrated my birthday by putting together a list of goals I want to achieve before the next one — a birthday bucket list! I mentioned in this month’s small goals post that I was about to start working on my 28 before 28 list when my dear friend Ariel gave me a great idea. Instead of setting 28 goals, of which I’ll probably accomplish only half, I’ve decided to focus in on 10 things I really want to do in my 27th year. (Plus, 28 is, like, a lot of goals!)
When putting these goals together, I looked back on what I didn’t get done from my 27 before 27 bucket list as well as what I did accomplish. These 10 goals are a combination of things I haven’t yet done and the next step forward from things I have. All that said, here’s what I plan on doing in my 27th year:
10 before 28

For record and accountability’s sake (and since there are only 10 this time around!), here’s a little more about each goal:

1. Get My Passport // I have had a couple of opportunities to take work trips out of the country that I had to turn down because I don’t have a passport. I just need to do it so I have it on hand if anything comes up! Any passport-getting tips appreciated because I was 11 the last time I had one?

2. Launch Phase 2 of Feel Good, Dress Better // Depending on how the initial launch is received, I have a couple of directions I’d like to take Feel Good, Dress Better for Phase 2. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out!

3. Speak On Intuition-Based Dressing // At the heart of Feel Good, Dress Better is a lesson in listening to your intuition. In terms of what I feel I could speak on in a workshop or conference setting, I think an introduction to that idea would make a cool presentation. I knew I wanted a speaking-related goal, and since I already have a handful of speaking events lined up for work into the next year, I want to focus on what I have to say as me.

4. Sign Up for a Consistent Exercise Class // Signing up for some form of exercise class has been one of my goals for years. Being that I’m finally comfortable with my body, I think I’m actually ready to do it. I had a more specific goal of signing up for Camp Gladiator listed originally, but made it more vague in case I end up falling in love with yoga (which I’m trying today for the first time in a group setting! Wish me luck!) or another form of exercise.

5. Take a Week-Long Vacation // This is one of those 27 Before 27 goals that never panned out that I’m dedicated to making happen this year. I’ve still taken hardly any vacation in the two and a half years I’ve been with my job, so it’s about time I do!

6. Upgrade Our Bed + Mattress // Again with a goal from last year, but now with the upped ante to include getting a new mattress. Hoping those workbook funds come through so we can celebrate with a new bed and mattress! I’ve pretty much decided on Tuft & Needle for the mattress, but if anyone has suggestions for nice and reasonably priced mattresses or beds, send ’em over!

7. Get My Second Tattoo // I’m excited to share an update on this goal! It’s been on and off my lists for the last four years and I finally figured out why. Back in 2014, I wrote a post called To Tattoo or Not Tattoo. That should have been the moment when I realized that the tattoo I wanted next — a fork on the inside of my left bicep — was just not something I wanted permanently on my body. The reason behind the tattoo is very personal; it was meant to be a symbol of eating disorder recovery and control over food. However, I just couldn’t picture myself at 40 still explaining that part of my life. A couple of months ago, it hit me that I was obviously putting off this tattoo for a reason. Since that post in 2014, I’ve also had a “third” tattoo that I wanted: a botanical piece on top of my right thigh. As soon as I determined that I was moving on from the fork tattoo, I got so excited to get the thigh one! I need to save a little bit of money, but I’m pumped to get it done this summer to enjoy during shorts season!

8. Find My Signature Cocktail // I’m not much of a drinker, but when I do find myself in a bar, I never seem to know what to order. I would love to have a go-to cocktail I can order anywhere and enjoy. I’ve been recently trying to branch out, only to find that I dislike most alcohols and end up handing my drink off to a friend. I like gin and tequila, and I like fruity. Lemon seems pretty safe? Anyway, this is my year to figure it out!

9. Build Relationships with Dream Brands // When I think about my goals for Writes Like a Girl, they are not monetary. Maybe this isn’t the place to talk about this, but I’ve just realized that I’m not all that interested in writing content I don’t care about to make some extra money. Which, by the way, is why I haven’t. I can count the number of sponsored posts I’ve done in the last six years on one hand. What I do want, however, is for this space to allow me to collaborate with brands I’m passionate about as well as to share those brands with you. Some of those dream brands are bigger retailers, but most of them are indie brands I care about and think you should too. I’ve always been sheepish when it comes to sending pitch emails, but now that I’ve decided money doesn’t have to be an issue, I’m just excited to reach out and see how I can work with people doing cool things on a consistent or continued basis.

10. Go Camping // I was supposed to go camping before turning 27 and it didn’t happen. Let’s make it happen before 28, okay??

So that’s it! If you missed the recap on my 27 before 27 goals, you can find that in yesterday’s post!

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  • Jen

    Ooh, I like this move away from so.many.goals to really focusing on the things that matter to you. It leaves room to work toward the big goals throughout the year and add new small goals to your monthly goals every month. Great idea! I’m excited to see your progress updates!

  • Yay! I always love these posts! I just have a few things to say:

    – my only advice for getting a passport is give yourself PLENTY of time before your trip. Sometimes they can take absolutely forever to come in.
    – yay for group classes! Just a reminder that you don’t have to love yoga (or regular yoga.) I have a short attention span and can NOT stay interested in a hour long class. I do love a “Power Yoga” (that’s a little more core/body weight focused) also I don’t know how you feel about Zumba/Dance Blast but those classes are always the most fun to me!!
    – have you tried a Paloma? Tequila + grapefruit + lime? So simple and tasty and perfect for Summer (and really easy to make at home, too!)

    Oh and HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, sweet one! Hope it was fabulous!

    Priya the Blog

  • I’m going to be 28 this year as well! This is a great list…I think 10 is a great number to hold yourself accountable to. πŸ™‚

  • I love this! Especially excited about FGDB and your new tattoo!

    I personally love Camp Gladiator because it’s so much better for me to have someone telling me what to do/how to do it. But I did a yoga class at Black Swan last week for the first time in years and I enjoyed it SO MUCH more than I had previously. I hope you like it!

    Also, now I wish I wouldn’t have done 25 Before 26 and done something smaller like this. Eventually you get stuck and have to put random things that really aren’t that important to you! I think I’ll do less next year.

  • Bees

    These are great goals, Nicole! My birthday is coming up soon, so maybe I should set some goals for myself, too. And for your cocktail, I suggest trying a French 75 (champagne, gin, lemon, simple syrup). It’s not too sweet, but still ladylike and classy AF. πŸ™‚

  • I always thought that making such a huge number of goals was great to consider, but sometimes impossible to accomplish in a certain amount of time. So I think shortening it to 10 is great! It makes it less scary and more flexible. Getting my passport is something I hope to do soon as well.

    Good luck on your bday goals!

  • I really love the idea of paring down goals to a few that you can really focus on. I’m up to 30 goals before my next birthday and it’s becoming a little unwieldy. I might have to focus on a smaller number next year. Good luck on your goals this year!

  • Katie

    For gin cocktails, my go to has become a bramble. Specifically the bramble at Weather Up since a coworker of mine turned me onto it – it’s the only reason I realized I really enjoy gin.

  • Moscow mules are my favorite summertime cocktail but I LOVE ginger beer so it is extra delicious to me. I also love cabernet for wine. And sour beers. And ok I pretty much like alcoholic beverages.

  • I love these goals and it seems like you’ve got such a good hold on where you want to go in the next year. As someone who has been working out regularly for just over a year now (before that, I NEVER worked out), I can tell you that it can really change your life. It’s such an amazing escape for me and such a good way to spend time that’s for myself and no one else. During that hour I’m at the gym, my phone is away, the computer is too and the tv is off. It’s just me taking care of my body, producing endorphins and working up a sweat. It doesn’t benefit anyone but myself. It’s selfish and wonderful and I love knowing I have that “me time” set aside four times a week. Now when I don’t work out, I find myself getting moody and uneasy. I hope you’re able to find something you love and that you can stick with! <3

  • Jesse Coulter

    Fun! I love mojitos and for a while was obsessed with Lemon drop martinis. I’m obsessed with group exercise classes. Barre, yoga, pilates, spin, whatever it’s always easier working out with others around you to motivate you not to give up. Plus fun music helps!

  • Nikol Moen

    I love Camp Gladiator a ton, a ton! I signed up with a friend, and we’ve been going consistently since January together. Having a buddy go with makes it less intimidating. HDB, Nicole!

    • Nikol Moen

      Also – you’re welcome to join us. πŸ˜‰ We go to the Hyde Park one Monday + Wednesdays from 6:10 – 7:10. It’s a great group!

  • I love these goals! Group fitness used to scare me. I tried a couple of things like yoga and spin, and really tried to like it, but realized they just weren’t for me. I felt disheartened, but then I tried Aerial Hoop and Aerial Hammock and LOVED it. Takes some experimenting sometimes to learn what you like, but it’s fun to try different things. OrangeTheory Fitness was also a great experience for me, I learned so much from them and can now lead myself through a great workout. My go-to drink at a bar is a Pornstar. It’s usually a shot, but just add some Sprite or 7-up and it makes a delicious drink!

  • Ariel

    Ahhh! I’m sick glad that my working through goals was helpful to you! Also excited for your thigh tattoo! I’m working on being most comfortable with my body. It’s…complicated. Exercise is helping though. No matter what you do, if consistent, you get stronger and you feel stronger. Good luck!

  • Happy Birthday Nicole!!! These are such great goals!!!

    I discovered Jazzercise a few years back thanks to Groupon, and I went from couch potato to working out 4 times a week! It’s so great when you find the exercise plan that works for you.

    I just listened to Rod and Karen on TBGWT talk about their passport experience, so I wish you the best of luck with that. Hopefully, getting a passport goes much smoother for you.

    I’m not a big drinker either, so I either order a white or a rosΓ© wine or a White Russian.

    My mattress will need replacement in a few years, and I’ve been looking into Casper and Boxed. I’ve never heard of Tuft & Needle, so I would love to hear about your mattress buying experience with them.

  • Cat

    for your signature cocktail, try a gimlet!