Countdown to 30 :: One Month

One month from today I'll bid a happy farewell to my 20's and step into my fourth decade of life. Over the last few months I've shared lists of things accomplished, people that have impacted me over the last 29 years, and things that I've decided I do and do not like. While pondering what I wanted to write about this last month before my birthday, it struck me that I wanted to create goals to work towards in the next ten years - something to aim for and to be intentional about making happen.

I am not an over-achiever, but I think it's pretty realistic to set one goal a year (i.e. ten goals to work towards over the next ten years). With that in mind, here are my ten goals that I'm going to aim for and work on over the next decade. I highly doubt that I'll be blogging ten years from now, but here's my promise to you - if I'm still anywhere in the blog-o-sphere, I'll give you an update on my 40th birthday, okay? Okay. Let's get this thing started...

1. Write a book - I've been saying that I wanted to do this for years, and it's time to put some action behind the words. I don't know if it will be a work of fiction or non-fiction, for children or adults, a long book or a quick read, but it will be all mine and I want to see it for sale on a real bookstore shelf.

2. Owe no man anything - We've taken great strides in getting out from under our home mortgage, but I would like to be completely debt-free within the next 2-5 years, including the Project House and any future properties we might acquire. The bigger goal would be to pay cash for any additional investment property.

3. Travel Europe - Ever since I spent a summer in Italy (with a week in Switzerland) when I was 16, I have wanted to go back and take Peter with me. We have spent a grand total of four days in the U.K., consisting of layovers and stopovers on the way to work in various African countries, but never enough time to actually do any real sight-seeing. Needless to say, one of the things we would love to do is spend a month or two traveling around Europe together after our debts are paid off.

4. Find a job that I love - I have a feeling this is going to be easier said than done, but it's worth a shot, right? Who knows, maybe writing books with be "it" and I'll mark through two goals with one swipe of the pen! Wouldn't that be nice?!

5. Be as comfortable driving a 5-speed as I am driving an automatic - Now that we have "Vader", this may be a reality. At this point, if push came to shove, I could drive Peter to the hospital, but I'd be a nervous wreck the whole way. This is really more about building confidence than actually learning about how it works. Wish me luck!

6. Make a decision about having kids or not - I don't need to tell you how big this one is for us. We've been married eleven years and have had no desire to start a family. In fact, we still don't. However, we also know that we have about ten years left to make a decision one way or the other - believe me, it feels like a time crunch when you're talking about something that will so drastically change your life. It's going to require a lot of prayer and possibly a giant neon light in the sky...

7. Read one book a month - I've always identified myself as a reader, but the truth of the matter is, there are times when I just forget to make time to do it! I get busy with life, or my free time gets eaten up by the Internet (Facebook, blogs, and Pinterest come to mind) and the good, old-fashioned turning of the page is forgotten. I'd like to not just read one book a month, but I'd like to stretch myself and read books that not only entertain, but will also instruct and help me to grow as a person.

8. Develop discipline - If you've been reading the blog for any amount of time, you know this has been an ongoing struggle for me. To make this goal less general and more specific, I've created a list of the areas where I struggle and fail most often: cleaning the house, regular exercise, healthy diet, dealing with the piles,  filing documents without delay, and time management.

9. Practice more hospitality - I grew up in a household where it was a normal occurrence to have strangers, slight acquaintances, close friends, and extended family around the dinner table at any given time. However, I can probably count on one hand the number of times that my family was invited out to eat. Peter and I have attempted to open our home up for meals and get-togethers, but I know it's something that we could do a better job of and that we need to be more intentional about (see Sandy's post about this topic).

{Hebrews 13:2 - Source}

10. Be a bold witness - On December 10th, I will celebrate my 30th birthday, but on December 8th, I will remember that the Creator of the universe sent His only Son to pay for the sins of a little girl in East Tennessee who asked Him to enter her heart one cold December day in 1985. For the last twenty-seven years I have had the privilege of knowing Christ and being guided by the Holy Spirit. You see, it really doesn't matter if I cross off any of the previous nine goals, even though they are good goals, because if I don't point people to Christ and direct them to the everlasting life that He offers, everything that I do will be for naught. The greatest goal on my list is to be a bolder witness for the One who died to save a wretch like me.

Goals are good - what are yours?


  1. Thanks for sharing your goals as you approach 30! I needed to read this today. I will be 30 in February and a few of your goals really resonate me. Including the kids issue...my husband and I have had zero interest in having kids, and still don't. But I know our minds can change.

    It is a tough situation :) Thanks for sharing this Carrie!

  2. Yes, Virginia, it is. I think I keep waiting for some magic switch to flip and all of a sudden we just know we want kids and we don't think about the cost, pain, and total life change. I don't know if that's going to happen - we're both very rational, logical thinkers and I'm pretty sure that if we have kids, it will be because we just decide that we need to. Scary thought, though. ;-)


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