Snappy title hey? This was inspired by Mandy’s great piece listing the 37 things she’s learnt in her time on earth for her 37th birthday. However *spoiler alert* this will be a lot less useful than Mandy’s really rather fantastic list, because, as I’m rapidly discovering, I really haven’t learnt all that much.
Instead, here are the 30 things I’m going to try and apply to my life as I embark on a new decade.
1. I will not say yes to everything first time round, just because it’s easier/politer/my natural instinctI’m totally one of life’s yes men. My instinct, especially when I’m face-to-face with someone, is to say yes to every suggestion, pitch, offer or question thrown at me.
I once took a full-time job when I was perfectly happy being freelance because I kept saying yes to all the interviews and by the end it was too embarrassing to turn it down. Who takes a job out of social embarrassment??? I’m getting better at being discerning, trusting my gut and just saying no, but I still need to do this more.
2. I will check my bank balance every single day, even when the thought of it is making me feel sickLast year, I talked about my horrible propensity to spank all my money, and then some, and how I was determined to pay off all of my debt. I’m still sticking to it, although not with quite the same single-minded determination I had back in November.
One thing that will vastly improve my chances will be if I’m actually honest about how much money I have in my bank account at any given time. So, I’ve downloaded my bank’s phone app and will be checking it EVERY morning on the bus from now until the end of time (or I pay off my overdraft, whichever comes first).
3. I will have five booze-free days in a row every month plus three dry days every weekMy no booze in January experiment made me feel so much better, it was revelatory, and I really want to keep it going. If nothing else, it’s only the 6th of February, and my skin looks like shit again.
4. I’m going to (try) to meditate three times a weekI got into meditating in a half-assed way last year, but I really think I need to do it properly if I want to see any benefits. So, not matter how tired I am, or how much I just want to watch re-watch "Game of Thrones" on my laptop before bed, I’m going to meditate for 15 minutes, three times a week. And I have to be completely sober when I do it.
5. I’m finally going to purchase (and use) the following kitchen utensilsA garlic crusher, a potato ricer, an electric blender, a really good frying pan and some champagne flutes. Ok, champagne flutes aren’t kitchen utensils, but I can’t keep drinking cut-price prosseco out of a mug. I was toying with getting a pasta maker, but don’t worry, I won’t.
6. After six years, I’m finally going to get to the bottom of why my gas and electricity bills are so expensiveSeriously, I’m paying £171 a month. It’s not that big a flat. This is clearly why I have no money. By my 40th birthday, I’m determined to have reduced my energy bills to a more palatable amount. Or at the very least, read the meter.
7. I’m going to travel more, more, more. I already travel a fair bit anywayI’m super-lucky to have enough disposable income to be able to do so, but I feel like I’m working against the clock. I feel like I’ve got to fit in as many amazing trips to amazing places, and as many fun experiences as I can in before my womb is filled with the leeching fruits of some man’s loins.
I’m not sure why I’ve just made having a kid sound like a scene from Alien (BECAUSE IT IS), but I definitely need to get some more trips in before I have children and holidays involving backpacks, exciting looking visas and potential malaria become a mere memory. Also, I had a bunch of annual leave left over last year, which makes me think I need to get a bit creative with how I use it.
Russia, The Cook Islands, Ecuador, Japan and South Korea are all big on my hit list. Any other suggestions?