In November, I posted about a project that two of my friends and I would be working on throughout the next year -- 11 things we each want to accomplish in 2011. I loved this idea because instead of focusing on one ridiculous resolution, which I would inevitably break, this gives me the opportunity to try a bunch of different things that aren't necessarily life-changers. They're just goals to fulfill throughout the year.
As 2010 comes to a close, I have to say it has overall been a great year. Throughout the course of the year I moved to DC, found a full-time job, got accepted into grad school, went zip-lining, ran a marathon (and two half marathons), went to a huge family reunion, went to quite a few happy hours with my mom, and met a lot of really great people. Among those are some small daily items that have made me happy, and some really huge life-altering goals that I have met.
Last year around my birthday (which happens to be pretty close to the end of the year) I decided to make a goal and do something that I never thought I would do based on the fact that I didn't believe I could. I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I ended up choosing to run a marathon. This time last year, I had only run two 5Ks, and now it feels great to have two half marathons, a full marathon, and hundreds of training miles behind me. I also picked up a hobby that I happen to love. There will definitely be a lot of long distance runs in my future, that's for sure.
Given that I had a pretty big year, I did again want to choose one thing, as part of the 11 items, that I never thought I would do. However, I did find it a bit challenging to develop a list of 11 different things to do in 2011. But, I am pretty excited about my list. I think I have a good mix of serious things, fun things, and experiences that will stay with me forever.
Before I unveil my list, my friends and I put together some rules for completing our items throughout the year:
1. The honestly policy rules all. Some of these things are personal, and only we will know if we achieve them and when we achieve them.
2.We can substitute items up until January 1. Although, I highly doubt I will make any changes to my list.
3. For each item on our list that we do not accomplish by December 31, 2011, we must buy a drink of her choice for the other two. Obviously this could get pretty expensive pretty fast, so none of us want to get caught with two or three items we did not complete.
4. Each item must depend on us accomplishing it, not an external source.
5. We will check in with each other quarterly in order to be sure that we are still progressing with our list. Of course wine will always be involved.
6. Every accomplishment will be posted in our blog (so you also know we achieved it) and to track our progressing.
So without anymore delay, here are my 11 things that I will do in 2011. (These are in no particular order.)
1. Run Marine Corps Marathon. The Marine Corps Marathon is the big DC marathon, and it's supposed to be one of the best. Runner's World says that MCM has a reputation as the "People's Marathon" because of its goal to just have a good time. The race has over 30 bands playing throughout the course, and 100,000 spectators to cheer runners on. As the 4th largest marathon in the United States, MCM is going to be an amazing experience.
2. Travel through Europe. This is another item I cannot wait for. This summer, I plan to travel throughout Rome, Paris, Barcelona and possibly London. I went to Ireland once when I was 17, but this will surely be a different experience. I'm so lucky to have on of my college roommates, and one of the most fun and awesome people I know, joining me on this trip.
3. Maintain a minimum 3.7 GPA in graduate school. In five weeks I will be starting my Master's degree in history. I am so excited to finally be moving toward my career goal of becoming a college professor. This is going to be a ton of work, but I know I can do it.
4. Read the 100 greatest novels ever written. Ok, I know this is a multi-year project. This would mean I'd have to read a new book every three days, which is impossible when considering grad school and work. (I do have a head start -- I think I've read about 10 of them.) But I will be starting this goal, and only reading novels from this list published by TIME magazine. If you're interested in what is on the list, you can find it here.
5. Begin writing my own novel. I love to write, and I've always wanted to write a book. I plan to at least start writing, since again, this potentially could be a multi-year project.
6. Make a time capsule, hide it, and find it again in 25 years. In 2011, I will be turning 25-years-old, so naturally in 2036 I will be turning 50. I think when I'm 50 it will be interesting to revisit my 25-year-old self again. I guarantee this list will be in there. Hopefully it will give me some laughs.
7. Learn to play tennis and kick ass in a tournament. First, I want to thank one of my friends who agreed to give me lessons. I definitely have a competitive edge, and I think I'd be a pretty intense tennis player once I actually gain some skills. I played when I was younger, but it's been a long time since I've picked up a racquet.
8. Learn to paint. I always wanted to take art lessons and learn how to paint. I think oil paintings are so beautiful and so original. I plan to learn through lots of online studying and YouTube videos. And who knows, maybe if they're good enough I can start a side business!
9. Sit in a park in DC for an entire Saturday and just enjoy doing nothing. Every weekend since I moved here I've wanted to just sit and read in Georgetown, but it just never happened. So in 2011 I am determined to pick a day and just relax and enjoy my surroundings. Maybe I'll even do it twice.
10. Be more dedicated to my blog. Lucky you! I have a tendency to become lazy and slack on updating my blog. I promise to post at least once per week, and I will aim to post twice weekly. There will be a lot to read in 2011.
11. Go skydiving. Last, but certainly not least. I'm not afraid of very many things, but if there is one things that absolutely terrifies me it is heights. I hate roller coasters, high buildings, balconies, stadiums -- you name it. As I mentioned earlier, I started a tradition of doing one action every year I never thought I would do. This is certainly it. Now is as good of a time as ever to overcome my fears.
Honorable mention: Go to Panama. My brothers Sean and Brendan will both be living in Panama next year as they continue to work toward building the Solace Group. I want to visit my brothers so badly next year because I know it would be so much fun and so great to see them. The only reason this did not make the list is because I do not know if I can afford it next year. However, it is not out of the question, and I certainly would love to add it on.
So there you have it. The 11 things I am going to do in 2011. Please feel free to comment on my list and let me know what you think. Maybe you will consider making an 11 in '11 list of your own!
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