26 Things I Need to Nail Down Before I Get Any Older

I should be better at ALL of these things by now! I want to be constantly improving, always working towards my goals!

Twenty-one days ago I turned twenty-six, and my life was forever changed.

But not much.

I’m still loving life as a mid-twenties girl who’s finally pretty much okay with living in the 21st century instead of the nineteenth. (Pretty much okay, not completely.)

I miss Michigan every day, I try to keep up with housework, and I cut hydrangea blossoms to bring indoors. But while there’s not much of a difference between twenty-five and twenty-six for me, I’m looking ahead to the next five years or so and planning some important changes. You see, there’s a few things I’ve been working on and off my whole life and have still not nailed down! It’s time I nail them down before I get much older.

In no particular order, here are 26 things I’d like to improve and get better at before I celebrate too many more birthdays:

For last year’s birthday post, I shared 25 random facts about me. You can read those here.

1. My haircare routine. I’ve been at peace with my hair for a while now, but I want to start incorporating deep conditioning routines, braid it, and pamper it a bit more.

2. Not complaining. It is so, so easy to complain, even when the circumstances of my life don’t warrant it. I want to let this language go.

3. Consistent quiet time. No more waves of consistency. Daily Bible reading needs to be as much a part of the fabric of my day as eating lunch.

4. Personal style. Simplifying my wardrobe has helped me to define my style, and Eric’s input is invaluable. But there’s more work to be done!

5. Eating more produce. More of it at every meal, and learning new ways to prepare fruits and vegetables.

6. Writing thank you notes. I love accepting gifts, but I need to show the giver just how much their gift or hospitality meant to me! A stash of pretty cards and an action plan of swift follow-up will hopefully help with this!

7. Calling friends. Although I know I could pick up with any of my friends after years apart, we could keep sharing life together now, and I want to make that happen.

8. Rocking a gorgeous pair of boots. I’ve kept my eye open for a quality pair of tall, no-heel, dark brown riding boots for years. I have the money all stocked up, but there are no boots to be found for my apparently abnormally skinny calves. Please, please, please, if you know of a style or brand of boots for skinny-legged people, would you do me the biggest favour in the world and tell me about it?

9. Keeping track of my fun money. Eric and I have budgeted a monthly “fun allowance” for each of us to spend as we see fit. But I forget what I’ve spent or not, and it’s frustrating for both of us!

10. Doing the dishes right away. Our cabin doesn’t have a dishwasher, so this one is vital for keeping things tidy and breathable.

11. Reading more. Somewhere in my college years, I became “too busy” to read books for fun! It is literally taking me years to get back in the bookworm groove, but I think I’m turning a new leaf.

12. Ethnic cooking. There are so many flavours to experiment with! I love that many of the basic dishes from other cultures are also very frugal to make.

13. Using essential oils. The proud new owner of several high-quality EOs, I’m ready to jump in and learn how to use these natural remedies safely and effectively! Keep your eyes peeled for more on essential oils here in the coming months (and a giveaway!).

14. Cutting back on virtual clutter. I’ve tamed the Email Monster, but I need to boldly go into desktop folders, online storage, and digital photos to seek out peace and order.

15. Wasting less food. Taking a freezer inventory was a good first step. I need to keep better track of what’s in the fridge, too, and make sure we eat everything we buy!

16. Learning HTML. I’ve always been fascinated by codes, and to me, HTML is a beautiful code landscape beckoning me to explore. I’ll start with the basics and just have fun with it–know any good books for self-teaching?

17. Memorizing more Bible passages. It’s important to have individual verses tucked away in your brain for different times of need, but I also highly value large chunks of the Bible. It’s neat to have a whole passage you can tell yourself, like a story, and then explore it in your mind–it adds a new dimension that you don’t get when you merely see words on a page.

18. Get better at losing. I’m competitive. I try to practice smiling when I lose, but it’s a struggle to convince myself not to be grumpy.

19. Know geography better. Of the dozens of subjects I’d like to learn more about, geography is near the top. I’m going to find some maps to study and then get travel books from the library. One of Eric and my life goals together is to travel far and wide. Learning geography will help me get the lay of the land before we set foot.

20. Figure out what I’m going to say in my children’s book. I know who the main character is, but I’m stumped about how to tell his story.

21. Improve my posture. Oh, this is a lifelong struggle! I don’t think I’ll ever find a comfortable reading position that would make my chiropractor Pop happy, but at least I can nail down proper dinner table posture and keep the slouching at bay!

22. Writing with my left hand. Eating left-handed: Check. Time to move on to the hard stuff!

23. Making water kefir and other homemade soda. Because it would be fun. And tasty.

24. Taking care of things right away. In the same vein as doing the dishes immediately, I need to deal with mail, boring phone calls, and everything else lurking in corners that needs attention.

25. Reading poetry. There’s a wealth of pleasure and enrichment waiting to be had in poetry books. But I rarely just sit down to read a poem! I wait until I come across them, which is a bad idea, because then they’re framed according to someone else’s perspective. I want to encounter poetry on my own, and take from it what I want, without anyone else knowing.

26. A vision for our home and family. We talk a lot about what we want our home and life to be like, but I think it would be fun–and beneficial–to actually write some of it down. Come up with a vision statement of sorts, or a set of values and goals that we want to be reminded of through the years.

[question]Care to share? I’d love to know what some of your personal goals are for the next few years! What would you like to nail down and get good at?[/question]


  1. Okay, here’s what worked for me with boots, because I know exactly what you’re talking about with having WAY too much room for your calves in most pairs–compromise, and instead of going for a true riding boot, look for something a little shorter, that is meant to hit around mid-calf. I got a brown pair of boots that are shorter than traditional riding boots at Macys–as soon as I altered the style I was looking for and wasn’t quite so invested in “riding boots” specifically, I was able to find a pair that fit and looked great, and had the same effect as riding boots!

  2. Good idea. I’ll be turning 25 in a month, and I think I should make one of these! Some things from your list should make it into mine (tracking fun money and sending thank you notes especially).

    While I don’t read many books while school is in session, I have fallen in love with audible books. It’s not quite the same, but it’s made me look forward to car trips – and it’s amazing how quickly those short jaunts around town can add up.

    1. Eric LOVES audio books, but I haven’t gotten in to them, yet. I know that Dr. Ralston was listening to ALL of Dickens via audio books on her commute to campus–which is quite a feat! I guess all the time adds up.

  3. re: the boots – check out the blog at YouLookFab, she also has skinny calves and so when she posts about tall boots she always gives options for different sized legs. Just do a search on her site for boots and see what you can find.
    p.s. – can’t believe you have posture issues – I thought band geeks always had great posture 😉 At least the brass players do, maybe woodwinds not so much?

  4. whoops, never mind about the band geek comment, got you mixed up with another blogger whose blog name is very similar! Sorry!! anyhow, the boots idea is still good!

  5. Interesting list! I love how you said you’ve become “pretty much okay” with living in the 21st Century instead of the 19th. This is me every day. I’m glad to know I’m not the only person who feels like they were born in the wrong era!

  6. Girl, this list is my life! Everything from wanting to live in the nineteenth century (it was my era, I firmly believe) to being a skinny legged girl who just swims in her boots. I LOVE this list. You have gained a new reader!

    1. That’s so cool! I’m glad to meet you! Heading over to check out your blog… And you know what I ended up doing about the boots? I finally found a pair! I took them to a cobbler! I bought a pair of Frye boots that I liked that the cobbler said he could work with. He took them in up the shaft and now I have BOOTS that FIT!! I also discovered that Blondo makes leather boots with a stretchable material that fits various calf sizes. I might save up my money to get a pair of black boots from them someday.

      1. You are sooo smart! I never thought about going to a cobbler! I am going to go check out Blondo now. I really would love to have a pair of boots that actually fit my calves. Ha ha!

        1. If you find a pair of boots you like that are too big, write down the specs first and take a picture to show your cobbler BEFORE you buy! There are some styles they can’t take in because of the construction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *