25 before 25: the why & how
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
I've started a journey recently of doing 25 things the 25 days leading up to my 25th birthday (oof we love a good number sequence). The idea really popped into my head about a few months ago when I was really trying to be more intentional about how I spend my time, enjoying the smaller things in life, but also maturing in my faith and aligning myself to what God's purpose is for my life.
So originally I just wanted to lose some weight by the time I hit 25, which isn't a bad goal plus I have been making steps toward a healthier and sustainable lifestyle. However, I wanted to do something more for my 25th birthday. I'm not one to place super heavy importance on birthdays (I mean its largely a social construct) but they are fun, I like parties, and I didn't really do much for any of my other "milestone" birthdays (ex. 21, 18, 16, etc)
With the pandemic being fully widespread at the time of me thinking about this, I also knew I wouldn't be able to really have a party even if I wanted to. Additionally, I wanted to make it more meaningful for myself---and when I truly asked myself what I wanted entering this new rotation around the sun, the answer was I wanted to live..and live intentionally. To put it plainly, I can be a bit....lazy. Not necessarily at my job, school, or with my family, on the contrary I pour so much energy in those spaces, but when it came to my personal life I didn't want to feel like I was just letting life sweep me away (which is wild considering I love to plan, I am a planner, but hear me out)
i had hundreds of pins on my Pinterest account of things that i eventually wanted to do, or different Youtube videos or saved Instagram posts of places i wanted to go, things i wanted to see, or experience but i just...hadn't... done them.
There were many things in my life that for whatever reason I was waiting on some unknown trigger to give me the go ahead to experience.
True, I had recently finished up undergrad and grad school--which took up sooo much of my time, then I was navigating a job search, then getting settled into a new place and town---but really deep down these were all just excuses keeping me from doing things I loved.
And many of these things were easy, super feasible things.....like baking a cake, for example.
i knew that if i didn't make a change now, there would always be the next reason keeping me from enjoying life more fully, there would always be a next major life step that i would completely devote my whole identity to--
but there was more to being me, being Bev, than what was happening to me. I am more than just a grad student this chapter and an educator the next, a daughter in this space or a friend over there.
I had all of these labels that I could only manage by compartmentalizing and devoting energy to an area at a time--- while who I was, my creativity, what I enjoyed and my spirit in God would often get the short end of the stick.
Thus the journey was born!
putting it into action
It was simple: make a list of 25 things I wanted to do--and do them.
Next, share it with others, not only as a form of accountability (discipline is lower on my strengths rankings lol) but because I genuinely like the art behind content creation, telling my story, and hopefully inspiring others.
Mind you, I'm completely aware that this idea isn't really unique, many people have done a series of things leading up to milestone birthdays--but the experience is going to be unique for me---because well, I'd be the one doing it plus I needed to find things that I could do responsibly during a pandemic.
So in crafting the list, I started by just dumping a whole bunch of ideas in the notes on my phone. What I found is the more I listed things I wanted to do, the more ideas came to me which is why you'll find my list is a bit more than 25 items:
Go on a hike + spend time with Jesus in nature
Attend a Pottery Class
Spa Day + get a massage
Visit Trader Joes
Get dressed, do your makeup and shoot photos
Visit a Tea Shop
Get a Tampa library card + read a book
Buy fresh flowers
Game night (Mafiaaa)/pj party w/ sister
Visit Sweet Buns Bakery
Shopping Spree (buy the things you've really wanted on your wish list)
Watch the Sunrise
Buy a sewing machine and make something
Watch the sunset from on top of a parking garage
Start a bullet journal + prayer in nature
Create a signature cocktail- "The Bev"
Go camping-even if it’s indoors (pillow/blanket fort?)
Bike to a picnic spot in nature
Make, cut, and color a new wig
Eat some good sushi
Make a 25 shaped cake
Wake up to birthday balloons
Spend time with family/people you love + recording videos
Actually work on/relaunch the Being Bev brand
the chart & planning
I then placed them into a chart similar to this, where I was able to organize the ideas I really wanted to do, to work with my busy work schedule with training season upon us in residential life (I work in higher education full time) and gearing up for the school season opening back up. (I know what you're thinking 'opening up?!...issa pandemic', but I live in Florida y'all, I don't make the rules ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
I planned my more high intensity or extensive activities for the weekends and left the simpler low intensity items for the weekdays because I'm usually tired after work and I have less time in my day.
I also used this chart to help me plan what items I needed to get (like baking supplies) or do (test out cocktail recipes) before the actual date that I scheduled to do the activity.
I've already had to switch some things around from this list ^^ and I will likely have to switch things up again with how life is set up and the unforeseeables (like rain) but it has been really helpful to ensure that I do at least something each day.
So if you're still reading this--hello, hi, this is exciting for me-- thank you for joining me on this journey! I welcome and encourage you all to plan your own lists, it's so much fun. I'll be posting recaps every week on this blog! (wow that exciting to say) but I also post every single day on my Instagram account @being_bev
love & blessings