24×24

Towards the end of my second year of college I realized how quickly my life had been passing me by; while it was a productive semester, I felt that I was stuck in a routine and had little control over what was happening.

One day while walking to class I looked up and noticed that the trees had full leaves… and the last I remembered they were still brittle and dry from winter. It felt as though I had been moving through life with my eyes closed, like when you accidentally take a nap and wake up three hours later feeling like you must have missed out on the world.

I wanted to change that.

A few months before my 20th birthday I created this list of 24 goals to achieve by age 24, also denoted as 24×24. Inspired by various similarly styled lists I’ve seen by other bloggers, it’s made me feel more purposeful and motivated while living my daily life. I have until July 10th, 2021 to complete the items!

I’ll update each goal as I achieve it and document my progress on this page. Putting it all online is a way of holding myself accountable, and I’m excited to see where these ambitions take me!

  1. Graduate with a 3.95+ GPA
    As of May 2017 I’ve had two 4.0 semesters and two 3.90 semesters, averaging to a cumulative GPA of 3.95. It’s my goal to maintain this 3.95 or above until I graduate in May of 2018; to do this I’ll need to earn almost all A’s from here on out, with the possibility for an occasional AB.
  2. Do 50 push ups in a row
    I’ve always had a small physique without needing to do much exercise, but at the beginning of college I decided that I wanted to become more physically fit and strong. I’ve come a long way, but my upper body is still quite weak (I can sadly only do a few pushups in a row). This is a hefty goal, but I’m determined to achieve it!
  3. Bike the entire Mountain Bay bike trail
    I live just off of the Mountain Bay bike trail, which starts in my hometown of Wausau, WI and goes all the way to Green Bay. It’s my goal to bike the entire 83-mile stretch in one day.
  4. Run a half marathon
    I’m not a consistent runner since I get bored easily and prefer short bouts of HIIT or strength training, but I’ve completed a few 5Ks (soon one with my dog!) and I’ve enjoyed feeling the accomplishment afterward. I want to train to actually complete a full, 13-mile half marathon.
  5. See abdominal muscle definition
    Despite being small, I’ve never been happy with my stomach; it seems that any body fat I do develop settles right above my waistline. I’ve been working hard to gain more muscle tone all around, but I really want to see more definition in my abs.
  6. Take Snort on an overnight hiking trip
    My Siberian husky Snort, who we adopted in February 2017, has quickly become one of the biggest joys in my life. She’s extremely active as her breed implies, and we love going on long walks together. I want to up the ante and take her on an overnight hiking trip somewhere in the state where we embark on at least a medium difficulty trail together.
  7. Save $24,000
    I’ve always been frugal with my money; since I was a little kid I’ve been known as a saver. I’ve been working in the summers and during the school year, and I’ve been so packed with classes that I barely have time to spend anything I make. It’s my goal to save $24,000 by my 24th birthday. Right now I have nearly $7,000 so this is definitely ambitious, especially considering that I’ll have more and more expenses to cover over the next years.
  8. Release a WordPress theme
    I’ve been working on learning PHP and creating my own WordPress themes from scratch, but they’ve all been for use on my personal websites or for a client (like my sister’s business website). I want to build a flexible theme that I’m proud enough of to release to the public.
  9. Use JavaScript on 10 different out-of-work projects
    JavaScript is the newest front-end language to me and definitely the one with which I struggle the most. I have a bad habit of avoiding it in my personal projects simply because I don’t want to deal with it, so it’s my goal to use it on at least 10 personal/volunteer projects. I need to hold myself more accountable for my knowledge!
  10. Get a full time web design/development job
    I will graduate when I am 20 years old, and I want to land a full-time position in my field as quickly as possible. I’m excited to do front-end web development or design work for the internet world that I love, and I hope to find a company I love just as much!
  11. Release an app on the App Store
    I haven’t dabbled much with app development since I’ve been focused on front-end web, but I want to push myself to publicly release an application on the App Store – even something as simple as a generic countdown or to-do list. I just want to challenge my abilities and see what I can do.
  12. Speak at four different schools/community events
    I love public speaking and want to push myself to do more of it. I’ve spoken about my battles with insecurity to young girls before, and nothing made my heart happier than knowing I was helping and inspiring them. Whether it’s about web development, relationships, writing, or anything else, I want to get out there and share more positive messages with youth.
  13. Publish a poetry/writing anthology
    Writing has been one of my biggest passions for as long as I can remember (I’m sure this isn’t a surprise since the personal website you’re viewing right now is primarily a writing portfolio). I’ve wanted to be an author forever, but started to lose the dream when I grew older and the “real world” settled in. I want to revive this goal and at least publish a small anthology of my work.
  14. Participate fully in the next National Poetry Months
    Every April is a magical time in the United States: National Poetry Month. In the past I’ve participated fairly well, writing many new poems… but I’ve yet to succeed in actually producing a new one every day, without exception. It is my goal from here on out to do this each April, no matter what it takes.
  15. Perform four more spoken word poems
    The summer before my senior year of high school I performed my first spoken word poem at a restaurant open mic night in Washington DC. It was exhilarating, but since then I’ve fizzled out with actually performing my work. I want to perform at least one spoken word poem a year from here on our.
  16. Go skydiving
    I’ve dreamed of this for a very long time, and my mom and I have even made loose plans to do it – but it hasn’t happened yet. My goal is to simply follow through and actually make this happen within the next four years.
  17. Go on a cross country road trip
    I’ve been feeling like I’m not spontaneous enough lately, and I’m worried about living in a rut. Earlier this spring I decided, pretty much spur-of-the-moment, that I wanted to see the Redwood Forest. This summer Matt and I are planning to go on a two-week road trip out to the west coast and back, so if all goes well I can cross this goal off!
  18. Write a wedding toast that makes people cry
    My sister is getting married in September 2018, and I’m her maid of honor – yay! I’ve promised that she’ll have the “best wedding toast of all time”, and my goal is to elicit at least a few tears from the audience. I want them to feel the love.
  19. Go a month without social media
    I have a lot of insecurities and I make a lot of comparisons, and social media only facilitates my constant fear of missing out and feelings of not being good enough. I want to go an entire month without using any social media for any purpose, to see what it does for my mental state.
  20. Read 24 fiction books
    I’ve loved reading since I first learned how the letters sounded – my college application essay was actually about my passion for words. Unfortunately, school and work and general life have stolen my time to read for fun, and I want to push myself to read fiction books again just for the sake of doing so. I used to go through one or two a week and I’m down to maybe one a semester, so I want to get back in the groove and make time for personal exploration with books.
    Total as of May 16th, 2017: 2
  21. Read 24 nonfiction books
    Similar to the previous goal, I want to read some nonfiction books about topics that interest me that aren’t for school. I’ve read a lot of textbooks in college, and I want to branch out and do some of my own research that isn’t related to a class.
  22. Learn to cook 24 different healthy meals
    As I’ve become more fitness and health conscious I’ve found myself wanting to be a better cook. I want to learn how to cook some interesting, healthy meals that I can one day make for my family – my dad is an excellent cook who always supplied us with delicious dinners, and I want to be able to do the same.
    Total as of May 16th, 2017: 1
  23. Reach out to a friend/colleague/stranger at least once a week
    As someone with a multitude of introverted tendencies, sometimes networking is a struggle – even with my own friends. I want to challenge myself to reach out to someone at least once a week, whether that’s sending an email to a professional in my field, getting coffee with an old friend, or trying to get to know a work colleague better.
  24. Send a handwritten letter every month
    I love letters, and I love the personality of handwritten things… but I don’t actually send enough handwritten notes. Snail mail is becoming less popular as email and Facebook soar in popularity, and I want to bring back the nostalgia of opening up a tangible, hand-addressed envelope by sending at least one handwritten letter to a friend or relative every month.