30 Before 30: The final year

Published Categorized as Life

You know those idealistic (and perhaps a little unrealistic) sets of goals that you make, then put aside for future-you to deal with at some indeterminate time in the future? Well, that’s me with my 30 Before 30 list. Thanks, past-Chisa.

When I made the list initially at 27, it felt like three years was all the time in the world. I then promptly forgot about it, so as you can imagine I hadn’t ticked many items off by 28, and still have most of it to go now at 29. With less than a year to go, I think that a firmer approach is in order – a goal really needs a plan and a timeline to focus on. And as with my last update, some goals seem less important now and have been switched for more relevant ones. This is going to be a long post, so here we go!

1. Do the Perth City to Surf 12km run ✓

Previously: in under 80 minutes

The original goal was to just do the run at all, which I have done for the past three years. Due to injury my time didn’t go down last year, but I’m calling this one complete anyway.

2. Join a Pilates or yoga class.

Previously: Jog 5km in under 30 minutes

With my back problems, jogging has become a lower priority and increasing back and core strength a much higher one. My few months doing semi-private Pilates sessions with a physiotherapist really helped, though it’s a bit too expensive for me to do long-term. I’ve started looking into group mat classes closer to home, and plan to start in the next few weeks.

3. Do a hike or decent trail walk. ✓

Have now hiked in WA, Europe and Tasmania!

4. Be able to touch my toes ✓

I sort of need to stretch a little first, but I’m going to call this one done!

5. Be able to do 50 30 proper pushups.

Lowering the amount a little, because 50 is a lot! I’m planning to get back into the 100 pushups challenge in Spring.

6. Learn (at least) basic conversational Mandarin

Planning to find some podcasts so I can learn whilst walking! Will do this in September, once I’ve finished my letterpress short course.

7. Own a property ✓

I love our house!

8. Visit each state in Australia ✓

Now that I’ve been to Tasmania this is technically done, as Northern Territory is a territory and not a state. Cheating? Perhaps. I could probably squeeze in a quick trip to Darwin in the next year, but NT looks like it’s worth much more time than a stopover. It’s certainly on the must-travel list, but probably not before my 30th, and I’m fine with that.

9. Explore more of Western Australia

I think a road trip up north (maybe further than Jurien Bay this time) will tick this one off! Some friends keep inviting us to go camping with them, which will be nice when the weather gets a bit warmer. Hoping to tick this one off this Spring, so we can see the wildflowers.

10. Go to Europe ✓

I’d love to see more, but our trip in 2012-13 was pretty epic.

11. Go to South America Africa.

We’re heading over for a friend’s wedding at the end of the year, and squeezing in a safari and a coastal road trip as well!

12. Master the art of travelling with carry-on luggage only ✓

I’m not sure I’ll ever travel with checked luggage again.

13. Take a painting class.

I’m thinking a Skillshare class might be a good introduction! Maybe watercolour or acrylic.

14. Grow an edible plant from seed to maturity ✓

The basil that I planted in autumn last year has defied the odds and grown into a decent sized plant, and (without any encouragement from me) produced some baby basil plants in the neighbouring chilli pot. I think that having grown from seed it’s a much hardier plant than the basil seedlings I’ve bought and then killed previously, and now it’s quite big I’m hoping for a good crop in spring. Everything else I’ve tried to grow has died, but this basil is my one victory!

15. Learn how to make beautifully fitting pants and jackets

I think I’ll focus on this one this summer.

16. Set up some kind of modest passive income

I’m thinking stock illustration or icon sets would serve the double purpose of practicing my illustration skills and (hopefully) being something someone would buy. Even better if it’s some kind of weekly project that could gain some social media attention? I’m going to think about it this week.

17. Learn how to make cheese ✓

Who would have thought that ricotta is so ridiculously easy to make? The instant reaction also makes you feel like a wizard. Yay science!

18. Learn about canning, especially tomatoes

This summer I am totally doing a tomato sauce day, and no I don’t care that I’m not Italian. Hopefully I’ll be able to rope in all my friends.

19. Care for a smaller creature

As much as I would love a cat or a dog, I’m very allergic to the former and not home enough to properly look after the latter. They may not be as exciting, but I’m thinking of getting some fish after we return from the South Africa trip. But not just a regular fish tank – I want an aquaponics system! My parents have a large one in which they grow fish for eating in the lower level and a very prolific vegetable garden on the top. Not having to clean a fish tank or fertilise the plants sounds like a win to me. At this point I’m undecided about how big I want to go with it – a small goldfish tank inside, or a larger system in the courtyard?

20. Donate blood (and continue doing so)

Did you know you can book an appointment online? I’ve been putting it off, but have just made an appointment to give blood this week.

21. Learn some basic woodworking skills

Pencilling this one in for Autumn next year; I’m on the lookout for simple projects until then.

22. Knit or crochet something big (and not a scarf) ✓

I finally finished those gloves from ages ago, and they’ve really come in handy this winter on those cold mornings. I’m not sure I have the patience to make something larger than that!

23. Do a big group trip with my group of friends

On the cards for June next year!

24. Get something letterpressed.

Even better – I’m starting a letterpress short course in a couple of weeks, so I’ll be able to make my own letterpress plates!

25. Design and print our wedding album

I’m setting a deadline of our third wedding anniversary (oops), in October this year. Better get started!

26. Open an online store

Previously: Learn some basic car maintenance skills

I’m working on getting my lettering and calligraphy skills up to scratch so I can start creating products, just for fun. My aim is to get a few things up by November this year to get in before Christmas.

27. Do a first aid course.

Going to look into this for early next year.

28. Move towards an ethically and sustainably sourced (and still fabulous) wardrobe ✓

I think this will always be a work in progress, but I feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I’ve cut the number of items I have right back and done a bit of research into ethical brands and fabrics for future purchases – more on this soon.

29. Spend some time volunteering

I’m planning to volunteer at CoderDojo, but need to think of a topic or project to speak about!

30. Plan an awesome 30th birthday party

I’m thinking Harry Potter themed at this stage. There will be a golden snitch cake, butter beer and popping candy. Yes.

Currently: 11 out of 30 – 19 to go!

The closer I get to 30, the more arbitrary it seems to focus on it as a turning point. Being in my thirties won’t stop me from travelling, or learning, or making crazy lists of goals. In fact I’d say I’ll be doing even more of these things than I have in my twenties. Do you have a list of things to do before you reach some arbitrary age? I’d be curious to see it!


  1. Love it! You inspired me to do start one of these too :)
    I highly recommend the 100 pushups challenge, it is quite doable to get to 100!
    I’m also intrigued by 28. “Move towards an ethically and sustainably sourced (and still fabulous) wardrobe”, as this is something I really want to do as well.
    All the best!

    1. Thanks Misch! Coming up with the list is actually pretty tricky, I’m curious to see what you add to yours :)

      I’ve tried a few times to do the 100 Pushups program, but the most consecutive pushups I’ve been able to get to is about 35. I’m not sure I could make it to 100!

      I deliberately made #28 about direction rather than completion – I do think it will always be a work in progress, especially as I don’t want to just dump things that I still like and have to completely replace everything. It’s tricky and means some changes in habits for me, but I think I’m moving in the right direction! I want to post more on the subject as it’s become quite important to me, so will write more soon.

  2. LOVED THIS UPDATE! You’ve been to every state? well technically… but still, wow, that’s an awesome one to keep in mind to do myself. I’ve yet to come to Perth though, maybe in a year or two? You need to revisit Sydney :) But that aside, really did enjoy reading this, I felt like it was another similar version of me talking haha.. as bizarre as it sounds!

    1. Haha welll I only spent one day in Adelaide and was 12 at the time, so I’m not sure that really counts, but TECHNICALLY yes! I absolutely need to revisit Sydney, haven’t been since I moved away from Canberra. And yes please do come to Perth!

      And yes, I felt the same way reading your list!

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