10 life lessons from the one i love
handling disappointment: 5 tricks to get you by

wish list: 28 things to do before i turn 29


Tomorrow at 9:12am I will turn 28 years old.

Yikes. Though I'm creeping up on 30, I feel much closer to 20... or maybe even 16. My mom always says you're only as old as you feel. And though sometimes I do feel like I've learned a lot in these 28 years, making me feel wise beyond my 28 years, more often than not I feel young, alive. I'm excited to learn and experience and see more than I already have. There is still so much to do. I don't feel like there are enough years in my life -- or any life -- to do it all. 

So we must prioritize. We must choose what means the most to us and we must focus on that. Sadly, too many people don't do this. They take whatever comes along and then go with it. They allow their lives to be guided down whatever path suits the people or organizations around them, being pushed and pulled like some sort of seashell in the current. I don't want to be a passive seashell, floating along, bumping along the shore and being swept again back out to sea. 

I want to be steering a ship. Or at least my own tiny boat. I want to choose where I'm going. I want to point myself on my own course and have some control over where this life is headed. It's not always easy to take control, to choose your own path, but I'm taking it one day at a time. And one of the best ways I can think of to take control of my life right now is to decide what I'm going to do with this next year of my life. After all, I'm only 28 once. I better make it awesome! 

Some of them are small things, some are big, but all of them will push me in the direction I want to be going in life. Every year when I have a birthday, I always look back on the past year and forward to the next one. Often, I make grand plans and then find myself disappointed when they don't work out. This year I'm going try something different. I'm going to make 28 mini-plans -- things I really think I can accomplish in the next 12 months -- and I'm going to get to work on them right away. 

I might not love the idea of getting another year older, but I do love the idea of having another year to fill with the 28 things on the list below. 

28 Things To Do Before I Turn 29

1. Write a new short story (fiction!).

2. Visit the Kandinsky art exhibit. 

3. Discover amazing new music every Monday

4. Cover my wall with my own art. 

5. Volunteer at an animal shelter. 

6. Eat more fruits + veggies. 

7. Visit Portland, OR + ask about Portlandia

8. Learn how to take great photos with my DSLR

9. Get something (an article?) published. 

10. Keep adding money to my savings. 

11. Summit an entry to Postsecret.

12. Take Bella for more walks. 

13. Make this cool art for my apartment. 

14. Stop watching so much TV. 

15. Read at least 50 books on my list.

16. Make a digital scrapbook.

17. Finish reading + be inspired by The Spark Kit.

18. Make these polaroid magnets.

19. Say "I love you" more often. 

20. Learn to sell on Etsy + Ebay. 

21. Create a book with my Instagram photos.

22. Finish + share my ebook.

23. Plan a trip to visit my cousin in Hawaii. 

24. Make a new vision board.

25. Organize my art + wrapping supplies.

26. Participate in this Photo Challenge.

27. Find an incredible Halloween costume.

28. Be more positive + present (of course!)


Though I didn't expect this when I started making this list, I'm actually now really excited about my 28th year! I was feeling a little ughhh about it -- not really looking forward to feeling another year older -- but after making this list, I feel like there are so many fun and cool things I want to do this year and I can't wait to get started. Most people do the "before I turn 30" lists, but I say, why wait? Start a list on your next birthday and you'll certainly be excited for the year ahead. Or, if you can't wait, start a list right now! I'd love to hear what you can't wait to do. Share the things you want to do before your next birthday in the comments section below. 

What things do you want to do before your next birthday? 
What ideas, events, activities will inspire you for the next year?


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Great list! Happy Birthday, to the lady who has kept up such inspirational posts for everyone :)

Tiffany - Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the list and thank you for much for the compliment and the birthday wishes. I hope you have a great day!

i just posted my list for my 25th birthday today! we have a couple of the same goals. good luck & have fun achieving everything on your list - i'm looking forward to mine!

Lauren - Awesome! So glad to hear we're on the same page. I hope you have a great birthday and a great year too!

I love this! I started doing a birthday list when I turned 25 and I loved checking things off (even if I wasn't able to do all of them). I'm definitely making it an annual thing.

I especially love all of your photo-related goals.

Elizabeth - Thanks! I'm excited to start checking things off of my list. Thanks for stopping by!


I hope you and your family are safe and okay after the earthquake in DC today.

Great list...and great idea! I made a list recently on the advice from a Clearing the Clutter with Feng Shui book I found. We are have a few things in common on the list. Oh and let me say...I LOVE YOU GOT A NIKON!!! A new one is on my wish list...I love my D200 but in definitely want/need an upgrade.

I like the photo idea post you sent as well. A few on my list...take more photos, visit museums, read more, get my website up, eat healthier/exercise regularly, learn to roller blade well (I've had a few falls lol), organize and paint my office/second bedroom - really attacked that this past weekend and found a place that recycles paper, felt great to help the environment that way. I had 71 pounds in magazines and catalogs! Yoozah! I look forward to the organize goal though...I know I'll feel much better once it's done.

I hope you had a fantastic birthday...and many more!!!

Saggleo - Thank you!! I'm happy to hear you liked the list and that you're making a list of your own. Organizing is one of my favorite things to do because it feels so good when everything is in its place. Good luck with getting your office in order - and good luck with all of the other things on your lis too! :)

Happy Birthday Dani!
I want to do more music and art. If I do can I feel like 28 again!

Went to Portland in July, first time. If I was young and single I'd move there, even though I thrive on the sunshine. It's that awesome. xox

Tess - Thank you so much! You just made me even more excited about my upcoming trip to Portland. I can't wait to check it out! :)

Dani, I don't know you but you just gave me great inspiration! Today is my 28th birthday and I too was feeling rather "blah" about it. I googled "things you should have done by 28" to see where I stacked to other and stumbled upon your post. After reading through your list, I have decided to make my own. I'm instantly more excited for the next year than I have been for any full year in a long time. Good luck on your list!

Brandon - I'm so happy this article inspired you! I wasn't really looking forward to my 28th birthday, but making this list really inspired me to look forward to the upcoming year. I've already crossed quite a few things off of the list and it feels great. Happy birthday!!

A BRILLIANT list - can't wait to read about your adventures! :)

Corrine - Thank you! So far I've already crossed a few things off, which is very exciting!

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