28 Things To Do While I’m 28

Tomorrow, I turn 28. Some of you are going to say “oh! You’re so young!” Go ahead… get it out of your system, I’ll wait.

Done? Cool. I don’t feel old – still waiting for that magic 3-0 that I’ve been longing for since I was about 12. Yeah, I was that kind of kid. But I do have a long list of things that I wish I would have accomplished by now.

No matter, no better time than the present, right?

This year is going to be one of the strangest and most exciting of my life. I can tell. I’m living my dream and making more things happen on a daily basis. The next logical step is to take that dream and expand it so that I can help more people, change more minds, and help form a new generation of creative citizens of this world.

So today, I bring you a list of:

28 things I will do while I’m 28

  1. Travel to 10 new states.
  2. Take 1 full week off work to reconnect with pen & paper, family, and friends.
  3. Book 15 speaking gigs on mindful spending, creative living, and entrepreneurship.
  4. Throw a great dinner party.
  5. Submit a book proposal.
  6. Write the book whether the proposal is accepted or not.
  7. Be on public radio.
  8. Travel to a foreign country I’ve never been to (that would be the vast majority of them).
  9. Visit my grandmother 5 times.
  10. Actually go to my 10 year high school reunion.
  11. Actually go to homecoming at my college.
  12. Keep my husband out of a soul-sucking job.
  13. Potty train my toddler.
  14. Host a live workshop on my own.
  15. Launch a website on changing the world with your money.
  16. Read 2 books a month. …a small goal, I know.
  17. Have a date night once a month with my husband.
  18. Have a date night once a month with Lola.
  19. See David Sedaris perform. …that’s cheating, I already have tickets!
  20. Write an article for a major magazine.
  21. Go to a concert. …when was the last time that happened?
  22. Start playing music again. …that will make my grandmother happy!
  23. Start teaching Lola about music.
  24. Not buy coffee for a whole week.
  25. Grow my mailing list to 10,000 subscribers.
  26. Choose your own adventure.
  27. Choose your own adventure.
  28. Choose your own adventure.

Okay, I got a little stuck. I need your help to complete my list! What fun things would you like to do this year? How will you challenge yourself? What am I missing? How should I stretch myself in my 28th year?

Leave your answers in the comments and I’ll add three more things to do to my list!

PS Don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity! Giveaway ends Friday, September 10th, at noon Easter.

{ Wild Air – original mixed media painting by maechevrette }

45 thoughts on “28 Things To Do While I’m 28

  1. Happy Birthday! I have always loved giving back, and since you mentioned your high school reunion, maybe you could setup a scholarship fund or a creative essay contest for high school seniors. I received many scholarships while going through school and was so grateful, and I knew I wanted to give back as soon as possible. Even though it wasn’t a lot, I gave $350 my first year and $500 my second year. I defined the criteria, and really felt satisfied when I could give back, even in a small way:) I hope to grow it to something bigger (like a 501c3!) but its on my list of things to do.

    Love the list & Enjoy your day!!

  2. Wow! That’s quite a list you have there.
    Lick a glacier. That’s my suggestion – and I would skip the not buy coffee for a week, unless you meant you would make it at home vs buy from a coffee shop!

  3. Such a good idea! I am about to turn 30 (that is seriously old…28 is nothing!) and am also entering into a life changing year. I might post something similar on my blog around my birthday.

    You have achieved so much that it is inspiring. Do you have any bad habits you wish you could break? Maybe that could be a goal.

    I want to stop biting my nails and it is a goal of mine in my 30th year (it is about time:)).

  4. Hooray! First off, a happy early birthday to you :) You’re only 2 years older than me & I’m already sick of hearing folks say, “Oh, you’re so young.” Uh, duh, I know that, thanks. πŸ˜‰

    Your list is very swank & they are some great goals to have for the next year. How do you plan on keeping track of them. Are you going to print the list and hang it near your computer?

    For your missing 3 goals, I really like Michelle’s idea! The first thing that came to my mind is a noticed you didn’t have many sporty ideas on the list. How about picking a sport or physical activity you’ve always wanted to try (canoeing, rock climbing, yoga, soccer, archery … etc.) and pledging to give it a shot, even if it means only trying it once?

  5. Spend some substantial time outdoors. It might mean an overnight camping trip, a day hike in the mountains, or a picnic once a month. Being outdoors is so refreshing and reviving – and it would be good for Lola too :) My husband and I don’t have kids yet, but when we do, I want to teach them to appreciate the wonders of the natural world.

    1. Ooh, I second Leyla’s idea!

      I went camping several times a year from the time I was 5 through the end of high school, and I haven’t gone since. I miss it, it was great to escape from everyday life and connect with friends and family in a way that is only possible when you’re surrounded by nature and away from technology.

      I just may have to make my own list (I’m turning 28 this year too!) and make a camping trip first on that list. :-)

      And last, but certainly not least, Happy Birthday Tara!!

  6. Being one of the oldsters around here I have to say it, yes you are sooo young, but you are older than your years in the way you express yourself. An old soul I suppose. At 28 I was as lost and clueless as any teenager, but I am excelling as a late bloomer :-) That said to complete your list I would include doing one thing out of your comfort zone. Maybe it is the physical challenge Victoria suggests, maybe it is learning how to paint. I don’t know, but you do :-) I know if I could go back in time I would do more of the things I was to afraid to try. Fortunately I still have time. Happy Birthday Tara!

  7. respect to you, love – you’re 10 years younger than me and rockin’ your biz in a way i’d never have done when I was 28.

    No. 26. Visit Bath, UK and have lunch with Susannah


  8. Do you garden? Why not try growing an herb garden – creatively, that is! Try reusing an old door or window frame to raise the bed and use a screen to keep any curious critters out of your little herb garden.

  9. What a great list! One thing that you’ve already done while you were 27 was inspire someone big time. I signed up for your inspiring emails and I can’t thank you enough for them… They’re really helping me move toward my ultimate goal of living a creative life. Happy birthday and thank you!!

  10. The first thing that popped into my head was something that pushes you outside your comfort zone. I can’t give suggestions since only you know what that might be.

    Or, is there something you started that is left unfinished?

  11. Tara — Happy birthday! You won’t get any “so youngs” from me, since I’m only a year older. πŸ˜‰ But I can relate to the sentiment, especially because I am cursed/blessed with a baby face.

    I love your list, and Michelle’s idea is one I’d never thought of before. I may add that to my own life list. In general, I think the idea of adding something philanthropic is a good one. Chris G wrote in AONC, “Where much is given, much is required,” and I very much agree.

    Or…you could commit to cooking a three-layer cake. That sounds pretty intimidating to me!

  12. Happy Birthday Tara! I’m so impressed at where you are at 28. I was totally lost at that age, and had *just* discovered the passion (calligraphy) that led to my current business.

    Now I’m totally reinventing myself again, and very inspired by youngsters (;-) like you who have it all going on.

    Keep leading the way, kiddo!

  13. you’re amazing and you’ll go far in life!! But you already know that!:)
    I would only add the following:
    -make time for yourself each day. This has helped me tremendously (to reflect what I did yesterday and what I’m about to do today/tomorrow).


  14. i agree with susannah.
    i could never have rocked my biz at 28 they way you have!

    come visit me in SF.

    i’m in need of more self-care …… so that’s what i’d put on my own list.

    how about leaving it open ended–

    give myself permission to follow the fun

    or let the universe surprise me beyond my wildest dreams

  15. My favourite in your list so far is no. 6! I like your ‘if you build it they will come’ attitude.

    To add to your list:
    Go down streets in my neighbourhood I’ve never gone down
    Visit new places within a 25km radius of where I live
    Buy a Skateboard :)

  16. If you’ve never had a Reiki treatment, I would recommend getting one. It’s powerful healing energy, and better than a massage.

    As for me, in this my 34th year, I’d like to finish the rough draft of my novel, visit Prince Edward Island, and find the perfect pair of jeans.

    Enjoy twenty-eight.

  17. Happy birthday, Tara! Congrats on all you’ve accomplished this year … it’s been a really big year for you. Top it off with whipped cream and a cherry!

    Don’t forget to do more free stuff next year! I’m sure you made some peoples’ lives change with that.

  18. First Happy Birthday! I also turned 28, on September 9th. I have not met many people that are the same age as myself and were born on the same day as me. Wohoo us!

    I would add come visit me in the St. Croix, U.S.Virgin Islands (It is a territory of the U.S. –it could techinically count as one of your states.)

    Eat at least one new thing a month- You will never know when you will find your new favorite.

    Do one thing that brings you out of your comfort-zone, like a new hair cu, a new food recipe, or new physical hobby like Tae Kwon Do or Belly-dancing.

  19. Happy Birthday~**~

    How about:
    ~Taking Yoga
    ~Learning a new or another language
    ~Cook something totally different or try a totally different food from another culture
    ~Learn something from another culture
    ~Volunteer at a nursing home or soup kitchen (good for the soul)
    ~Develope a program/class in your community center


  20. Tara
    Happy Life Day, there is so many wonderful suggestions here to add to your list. I too agree, I am reinventing myself at 57 and loving every minute of it. Finding my way, risk taking has never been scary. I signed up for your inspiring emails, and I could tell you have a gift, I needed the boost every time I read them. I would add to your list ….Go and listen to one of your favorite authors speak or go on a retreat with like people for a weekend. Someone that aligns very close to what you are doing is Tom Dooley, You remind me of him. His latest book Infinite Possibilities. P.S. His adventure club also does weekend retreats. They are people like you, pushing the envelope and believing in the Universe.

  21. i’m 28 too! yay! also, first time commenting here :)

    one thing i have on the list for the year (not resoultions, just things to keep in mind, i say!) is for my fiancΓ© and i to do some kind of art project together. we are both creative in different ways and love going to see art together but i think it would be amazing, not only to see what would come out of a collaboration, but also how our joining forces would grow our relationship. i’m thinking the work would take the form of an installation but who knows!

  22. Great list! I’m only a little older than you, and several of your goals are on my list for the next year — potty train my toddler being at the top!! In the past year I’ve been inspired by people like you who are living their dream to completely rethink my business and goals. I’ve been on maternity leave with baby #2, and the time off has been amazing for thinking about what I really want to do…and why my old business wasn’t getting me there. So my big goal is to figure out something that will, and then go for it.

  23. Happy Birthday–September 10th is my birthday, too! I’m 43 today.

    That’s a great list–especially about visiting your grandmother. Mine died Saturday at 105, and I treasure the time I spent with her. She nurtured my creativity, and was a wonderful resource.

    I would add to your list a way to give time to yourself. If you don’t nurture yourself, your creativity doesn’t have room to grow.


  24. Tara– I am a HUGE Scoutie Girl fan and read up regularly, and it was an awesome surprise to see my painting right up top on such an inspiring post. Happy birthday!

    I love your list and love that you left some spots open at the bottom… there have been so many awesome suggestions that I want to start my own list for 25 :) In my own experience, if you want this year to be truly strange and exciting, I would say #28 needs to be “just go.” I’ve found that every time I’ve been unsure about doing something or going somewhere, monumental things have come from identifying moments of “should I…?” and taking a breath and saying “just go.” Take this exit, take time to talk to this stranger, explore this town, make this trip… just go. At worst you’ll lose a little time or money, but mostly it will just encourage you to do more and see more, and at best, one little “go” can change your life forever and make you feel free as a bird.

  25. Maybe use the last three to do something you’d never planned on doing..something wild? Do you check out Groupon, ever? I recently bought one for a trapeze class…now that’s something I’d never planned on!

    Maybe do something like ride in a bi-plane, go ziplining or take a hot air balloon?

    You’ve covered all the serious, career-related topics…time to enjoy those younger years while your body can still keep up! I’m 36..I know it starts breaking down quickly! haha

    Good luck!

  26. Happy Birthday. You’re SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO old. I had no idea. Don’t you wish I said the opposite.

    I have two suggestions for you:

    1. Write a letter to lola to let her know how she changed your life (i’m sure she did)
    2. Set aside 28 minutes every week (honestly, that is not alot) to do something for yourself.

    Hope it’s happy.

  27. Happy birthday! I turned 27 a little over a month ago, at the end of July. I’m always the youngest in my group of friends – I was one of those kids too, 12 going on 30.

  28. Happy Birthday!

    I actually was just thinking the other day that I need to get crackin’ on my list of things to do before I turn 20- I don’t have much time left! But some of the things on my list are: Develop a genuine yoga practice, learn photography, share an amazing kiss free of guilt, regret, or limitations…

    How about something really unusual, like…make your own pair of shoes from scratch, or try a dozen different cupcake recipes, or start correspondence with people from five different countries (could be snail mail, skype, teaching each other one another’s language, etc..)

    Or hot air ballooning or skydiving? πŸ˜‰ I guess I’m still at the age where I want more wild adventures. I love your ambitious goals, though, and can I just say that I’m insanely jealous of your Sedaris tickets?! Have an incredible time!

  29. I’m 33 and I still feel like I’m 5 years old…;)

    Hmmm, things to do?

    – Take a class on a subject that’s always intrigued you but that you’ve never had the opportunity to take. It could be anything related, sports, language, history…anything!
    – Go on a cave excursion…what a way to connect with the earth!
    – Go sky-diving/bungie jumping/something thrilling…:)

    Happy birthday to you! I hope you have a day filled with love, fun, appreciation and indulgence!

  30. oh…
    such great ideas here!

    how about learn to make chocolate? you can take chocolate lessons and become a chocolatier in a day!…

    really, I just wanted to wish you a beautiful day!

  31. Happy Birthday (yesterday)!

    I think a great addition to the list would be to join, or at least visit, your local chamber of commerce. I’ve preached the benefits of it before…I LOVE being involved with mine! It is something great you can do for your business, your community and you personally.

  32. Great list – I turn 26 Dec 3rd, and like you, I listen to everyone say “You’re so young”. Well, in the gay world anything over 23 is an old fart, haha! I’ve begun to embrace it and actually do appreciate the wisdom that comes along with age. This has inspired me to make a list for my upcoming bday.
    For the time being I think you should add “Compliment someone” everyday – even yourself.


  33. I think you should add a daring physical activity. Each year I try something new, such as roller derby or triathlons. This year will be horse vaulting, the day after my 38th bday. You have mentally, socially and professional goals on your list but a fun, crazy physical goal might stretch your senses a little, too. Keeps the body in shape, too, as you head toward thirty. Impressive list you have written!!!!

  34. Happy Birthday!
    Since I am an animal and nature lover, these are my suggestions….

    26. Volunteer at a local animal shelter to play with the animals (being around animals is good for your soul)

    27. Make a pallet in the grass, lie down, and stare up at the sky for 30 minutes and just enjoy being outside and with nature

    28. Pamper your toes with an at-home pedicure

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