Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The End of the 30 Before 30 Challenge

I'm a year older! Have 365 days actually past since I set the 30 Before 30 Challenge? It must have because I'm 30 today. Where did the year go? Time flies when you're having fun...or procrastinating on challenges. This was the breakdown of the success/failure of the thirty challenges:
    Failed: 7 of 30 or 23%
    2) Memorize the Book of James
    3) Run 5km
    4) Jump out of an airplane
    7) Learn to crochet
    8) Finish my 2008 NaNoWriMo story
    14) Make a travel scrapbook
    27) Go rock climbing (indoor or outdoor)

    Started but Not Completed: 9 of 30 or 30%
    1) Read through the Bible
    6) Double the number of constellations I can find (I currently can locate the Big Dipper, Orion, Cassiopia, and sometimes the Little Dipper and Draco)
    20) Host a murder mystery
    21) Unpack all the boxes in my office/storage room
    22) Mail a letter every week
    25) Do something I’ve been putting off: like finish redoing my kitchen chairs
    26) Use 100% natural/homemade cleaning products
    28) Take a picture everyday
    29) Reduce as much debt as possible

    Finished Goals: 14 of 30 or 47%
    5) Learn to cook a new amazing “mouth-watering” meal
    9) Edit my 2009 NaNoWriMo story
    10) Participate in Nanowriomo 2010
    11) Take a class/seminar/course
    12) Study a second language (French, Hindi, Japanese?)
    13) Sleep under the stars
    15) Read 12 non-fiction books (14/12)
    16) Explore a new city
    17) Draw/paint 12 pictures
    18) Be thankful (52 weeks of Thankful Thursdays)
    19) Take photo booth pictures
    23) Take a whole day to hang out with my sister
    24) Watch a play/musical
    30) Eat local for a month or with monk like simplicity during lent -I'm counting my veggie month because fits within my reasons for including this challenge.
    *Bonus 31) It was suggested last year that I add a "go on a date" or "get married" goal. I thought (and still think) it was a silly idea but I have to thank a friend for more or less helping achieve a close to "go on date" goal and remind me I'm not totally hopeless when it comes to love and there is always hope.
I have mixed feelings about on the overall success of this years list. My first year long challenge list had 25 goals and I accomplished 20 (80%). This time I didn't even finish 50% of my goals, that makes me feel a little defeated. However, I recently read that in general people only achieve 25% of the goals they set for themselves. The author suggested we should set huge impossible goals bigger than we can accomplish in order to actually achieve the things we can and truly want to. If that principle is true than this 30 Before 30 project has been a huge success.

I am not sure the true merits of my goals can be assessed by either of those means. This wasn't a science project for me. A year ago I intentional choose of these tasks for a purpose. My overall hope was that in the midst of the day to day going to work, running errands, completing to-do-list, and sleeping that I didn't forget what life was about: God, people, and adventure. My motivation was to make sure I kept what matters to me at the center of my life.

This year has some huge twists and turns. I said goodbye to both my grandfathers which was sad, and difficult, but also gave me the chance to see family which was wonderful. I had the best family vacation ever! I made friends that are just awesome and I can't imagine my life without them, grew closer to friends I already loved and are blessed to have and had four unexpected reunions with missionary friends. My heart was twitterpated, crushed,healed and no longer afraid to risk love. I tried new things, been new places, and saw beauty. I sought God and He found me and not in "duty, habits, and spiritual disciplines" (which was what challenges 1 & 2 were all about) those things have helped they weren't were it started. He encountered me in the questions and the stillness, in the beauty and friendship, in the sorrow and the joy.

No matter the roller coaster of emotions this past year has given me (and there have been highs and lows and everything in between). Every task might not been completed but I believe I am better for attempting to meet my goals and knowing when the reason for the goal is met even it the "assignment" wasn't. This year has been one grand, amazingly, wonderoulsy-awesome adventure. The best one yet and I can only assume the next will be equally filled with joy and suprises.

This year was a 100% successful!


matthew said...

Great Post Liz! Happy Birthday!!!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Matthew!

Glo said...

happy birthday Liz!

Anonymous said...

beautifully written! You are an inspiration!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Anonymous, you've made my day!