So, my news feed was flooded earlier this week with a post titled 23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you’re 23. Bless this girl’s heart. I was actually surprised that some of my friends were posting this, but I’ll let you make your own decision about her post by reading it here. As someone who got married at the age of 22, I, personally would not recommend anyone getting married until they are at least 25. Again, that’s just my personal opinion….and a totally separate blog post. So, I’m with this girl on that part.
Then, of course, there came a response post. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed it because I love me a little sarcasm, but after reading some of the comments, I could see that people had hoped for a more well thought out list of things to do, and this girl had created more of a list of things not to do and things to do with your spouse. Not quite what people were hoping for. You can read her post here.
So, here is my list. I like to call it 23 things you can do regardless of your age or marital status. Because why do we need to be so exclusive, y’all?! I like to be thorough, so I give you a little more than just a sentence. Read it or skip it. It’s cool. Here it goes.
1. Visit a new city/state/country. This is actually on my bucket list now. I hope to visit at least one new place each year. This doesn’t have to be extravagant or costly, if you’re working with a tight budget, as I am. Just get out there and start exploring!
2. Take a class. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? Learn to dance or how to make creme brûlée? Maybe you’d like to try your hand at art or learn how to play an instrument. What are you waiting for?! Get signed up! If you are married, this would be super fun for both of you, and if you’re single, it would be a great way to meet new people. If money is tight, check out YouTube! You can literally learn how to do everything on there!
3. Exercise. This is something I’m pretty passionate about, as my friends and family know. I am always trying to get someone to come to boot camp with me. In my town, we have a free boot camp that meets at 5:30am. It is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever been a part of. The confidence and strength I have gained is incredible, and I want everyone to experience it! While I’m at boot camp, my mom is walking 4 miles at the mall. That’s her thing. Find your activity, and be consistent with it! There are also tons of workouts on Pinterest! Check out my board for a little motivation!
4. Journal. So many options here! Bible journaling, prayer journal, gratitude journal, wish book, quotes journal (if you have kids who say crazy things all the time, like mine), a blog, journal of your favorite childhood memories, photo journal (project 365, monthly challenge), the possibilities are endless with this one, and it’s so fun to be able to look back and reflect down the road.
5. Share your story. This is something that I’ve really started doing over the past year, and it’s been huge. It’s easy to sweep our messes under the rug, and pretend like we’ve got it all together, but God doesn’t want our messes to go to waste. He wants us to share them, and use them to help others. While it’s hard, it’s also so freeing to be openly honest, and help others.
6. Be part of a gift exchange. I took part in two of these this past year, and had so much fun! Think pen pal, but with a gift instead of a letter. Hit up Instagram or do a google search to find one to be part of. There are so many different ones! Lovely package exchanges, ornament exchanges, mug swaps, handmade exchanges, etc. If you’re feeling brave, you could even host one of these on your own!
7. Volunteer. At a homeless shelter, filling a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, buying a meal for a homeless person, or giving them a coat, or a blanket, loving on the animals at the humane society or animal shelter. What breaks your heart? When you know the answer to this, you will know where to serve.
8. Dance in the rain. Okay, if you haven’t done this….umm, I’m going to wonder about you. And if you have done this…do it again. It’s just fun.
9. Do a 5K. Or a 10K, or half marathon, or whatever! There is something so exciting about being a part of something like this. The support from those around you, is like nothing else. Even if you walk the whole thing, just do it. It will be worth it.
10. Go paleo. Alright. This is another thing I’m pretty passionate about. We put so much junk in our bodies without even realizing it. We’re told things like whole grains and quinoa are good for us while bacon is bad. Get it together, folks! You’ve got it backwards! Paleo is the reason I’m no longer insulin resistant, why my hypothyroidism is under control, why my labs are amazing, and why I lost 30 pounds. And yes, I eat bacon and eggs every day. My doctor is a genius, and I’m forever grateful that I found him, and that he always takes a natural approach first. Give it try, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks or a month. You will notice a difference.
11. Do something that scares you. I was always a bit of a dare devil when I was younger. You know, the one who always had to go first because everyone else was too scared. It’s funny, but those are things we still talk about with family. So do something that terrifies you! Go skydiving, white water rafting, bungee jumping, ride a roller coaster, learn to swim. These are the moments you will remember.
12. Read. I’m working on my goal list, and have 4 books I’m wanting to read during this year. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but all of them are books that require journaling alongside, and I don’t want to be rushed, plus I’m planning to read through the bible again, but this time over the course of a year, and not 90 days, like the last time I did it. Find something that interests you and dig in!
13. Go junking. I love to stop in little antique shops, especially when we’re traveling. Just go to look, or set an amount you want to spend, or if money isn’t an issue, buy whatever you want! It’s a great way to connect with the past.
14. Take a food excursion. I love food. Last summer, I planned our vacation around cupcakes. No lie. While I eat paleo, I do like to cheat sometimes. I also love to plan things around food. We have an amazing restaurant close by called Antebellums, and they are ridiculous. They have these fried green tomatoes with bacon jam and a poached egg, served with mimosa ice, that is to die for. It’s actually what brought us there for the first time because it looked and sounded so different. Another option is to order something new every time you go somewhere. Change can be fun!
15. Be part of a flash mob. This is pretty self explanatory. I had a blast doing this!
16. See a show. Or a concert. Make it a point to go see your favorite band, or experience a live theatre show, if you’ve never done so. See the symphony, or a ballet. Go in with an open mind!
17. Pay it forward. Buy the person’s coffee behind you at Starbucks. Pick up someone’s tab at a restaurant. Tape quarters on a candy machine. Tape scratch off lottery tickets to the gas pump. Have fun coming up with random acts of kindness!
18. Go on a hike. There’s something so refreshing about hiking. No noise or distractions, and you can take in everything around you.
19. Discover your passion, and work it. I have realized that I am very lucky. I knew what my passions were at a very young age, and knew they would become my job one day. I did open my own business before I was 23. I was actually still in college when I did it. I’m not suggesting that you should do that, but discover what you are passionate about, and do all you can to be involved in that area, so that one day, you can live your passion.
20. Ask strangers what they want to do before they die. I just like to start random conversations with people I don’t know, if the mood is right. I feel like this question tells me so much about them, and for whatever reason, people will completely open up to you. You can also ask them what’s on their bucket list, and maybe even help them check something off.
21. Celebrate the seasons/holidays. Umm, I probably should have worded that differently. What I mean is, do it up. Decorate your home or apartment for the different seasons. I love going to someone’s house who has done this. I’m really horrible at this, but hope to do better this year.
22. Spend a day doing only free stuff. Grab a coupon book and look for freebies. Do a wine tasting. Go to one of those shops that sells tons of food items and has them all out to sample…you know the ones I’m talking about, right?! You could literally have a very filling snack for free. Ride your bike. Pick wild flowers. Explore a park. Get creative.
23. Watch the sun rise or set. By the lake. By the ocean. In your front yard. From your car. There’s something magical about it.
24. Surprise someone. This is so simple to do, but I think a lot of us get caught up in the busyness of life and forget. Pick up your spouse’s favorite ice cream on the way home. Surprise your parents with a gift. Send a letter to one of your oldest friends.
25. Be on time. Make it a goal to be on time, and by being on time, I mean be there 5 minutes earlier than you are supposed to. Being late is rude, and it says that you don’t find the person or event important enough for your time.
26. Don’t wear make up. I hate make up. It’s such a chore, and by the time I get home from work at 10pm, I’m too tired and lazy to take it off, so I look like a raccoon as I sweat my mascara off at boot camp the next morning. I hate this, because I probably wear make up, maybe 25 days out of the year (probably less), but I feel like I should wear it everyday from a business standpoint. You know, because people are judgmental and crap. This item on the list is specifically for those of you who have mother’s who made you believe that you have to wear make up to leave the house. You are better than that. I’m sorry, but I go to the grocery store in my pjs sometimes, you better know I’m not putting make up on! If you literally wear make up EVERYWHERE, try to go without it, even if it’s just once.
27. Pamper yourself. Get a massage or a facial. Take a long bubble bath. Wear fuzzy socks. Wrap up in a cozy blanket. Whatever you like, take time for yourself.
28. Put your phone down. Lord, I have a hard time with this one sometimes. But there is nothing more annoying to me, than someone on the phone at the dinner table. Unless it is an emergency, or someone is lost….do not answer your phone. It’s so rude. Whoa. Sorry for the rant there, but put your phone away while you’re spending time with your friends or family, or when you are out to dinner, for goodness sakes! Just enjoy the time together.
29. Get crafty. With Pinterest, anyone can become crafty, even if they have zero artistic ability, like me. Pick a project and make it, or have a Pinterest party for you and your girlfriends, where you each pick a project and bring the supplies and create together.
30. Buy someone a gift that only costs a dollar. A lotto ticket. A small trinket or toy. A candy bar. Just a little something to let them know you’re thinking of them.
Okay, okay. So, maybe I went a little overboard with my list, but once I started I couldn’t stop! I hope this helps those of you who were looking for a legit list, and inspires you to try something new.