Celebrating My 25th Year with a Personal Mission Statement and Life List

Last week on October 14th yours truly officially turned twenty-five (eek!). Being the procrastinator that I am, I spent the latter part of September trying to decide what I wanted to do special for my birthday – other than celebrating with family and friends, of course. At first I considered knocking one of the bucket list items off my list, but between the traveling I’ve been doing the last few weeks and the late timing of the idea I had to scratch that.

Instead I brainstormed ways I could make my entire 25th year of life memorable, and not just my birthday. I ultimately decided that finalizing my personal mission statement would serve as a great start and compiling a 25 for 25 life list would guarantee a fun-filled 25th year.

The Personal Mission Statement

I got the idea of creating a personal mission statement from Rosetta Thurman. As she also shares on her blog, Dumb Little Man defines the personal mission statement as:

a concise representation of what’s most important to you, what you desire to focus on, what you want to achieve, and, ultimately, who you want to become. In its purest form, it’s an approach to your life, one that allows you to identify a focus of energy, creativity, and vision in living a life in support of your inner-most beliefs and values. Also remember that your mission will change over time as you and your life change.

So to kick off my year right, I’ve written a mission statement of my own:

I believe that life is a journey filled with amazing experiences, relationships and opportunities that will always exceed my wildest imagination; thus I will remember to enjoy the ride while in pursuit of my dreams. I want to wake up every day with the courage to bring my true self to every situation and the commitment to impact others by living authentically and purposefully. I will spend my life passionately advocating for women and girls. I seek fulfillment in my career and community ambitions and will accomplish this by releasing all fears and self-imposed burdens of others’ expectations of me. I will be bold, take chances and stand up for myself. I will take care of my physical and emotional well being while continuing to increase my self-awareness and remaining empathetic to those around me. Most importantly, I will never stop growing, learning, laughing or loving; and I will write, read and run to my heart’s content until my last living day. And when that day comes, I hope that I would have given the world a meaningful reason to celebrate my life

The 25 for 25 Life List

While my bucket list is a compilation of things I would like to do before I die, I decided to create another list, one with 25 things to do in my 25th year that would “give me life,” as I like to say. This list is a mix of things I’ve never done before, things I don’t do often enough and things currently on my bucket list that I definitely don’t want to put off for another year.

  1. Skydiving: I wanted to actually do this for my birthday. But I didn’t think about planning it so that clearly didn’t happen.
  2. Triathlon: I’ve decided that I no longer want to run a full marathon (so I'm scratching that off the bucket list!). Instead I want my next fitness goal to be to finish a sprint triathlon.
  3. Raise 2,500 for a cause: In March I was in shock that I had been able to raise $1,000 (twice my goal) for Girls on the Run. So why not shoot higher next time? And why not shoot for a number with a 2 and a 5 in it while I'm at it?
  4. Set a personal best under 2 hours in a half-marathon: My next race is in December and a girl needs a goal, doesn’t she? Plus, I finished my most recent race in 2 hours and 11 minutes.
  5. Spend at least 5 weekends with my nieces in NJ: I don’t have enough dance parties with my nieces, and I’m determined to fix that.  
  6. Go to a shooting range: I promise not to go on a bad day though.
  7. Take a creative writing course: I’ve never done creative writing, and it would be a great way to step out of my writing comfort zone.
  8. Go to Trinidad carnival for the first time: It's crazy that I've never been, especially since I've spent so many summers there. My grandmother is already excited that she will see me twice in less than a year (I was there in August).
  9. Step up my video editing game: Or learn how to, actually. But that’s just semantics.
  10. Take a self-defense class: I briefly learned how to kick some butt in my rape crisis volunteer training. I want to learn how to kick more butt now.
  11. Take a flying trapeze class: Because a friend suggested it, and it was a brilliant idea!
  12. Drunken karaoke: There just isn't enough of this in everyone's lives.
  13. Go fishing: This is something I’ve never done yet people seem to enjoy. I don’t really get it, so I figure I’ll just have to give it a try.
  14. Make pottery: I didn’t realize until recently that I’ve never done this!
  15. Learn how to make sushi: I cheated. I added this because I bought a Living Social deal for it. Nonetheless, I’ve wanted to do it for a while!
  16. Learn how to drive a stick: Except this time I won’t let an impatient boy try to teach me while on an incline. My sister is being tasked with this one, whether she realizes it or not.
  17. Go to Canada: My mother thinks this is a silly addition since I went to Canada when I was a baby. I’m sure you just had the same reaction I did: *blank stare*
  18. See an Alvin Ailey performance: Every year I say that I will see one of their performances. This year I must go... if only because I just said so in writing.
  19. Go to a rolling skating rink: Skating is so much fun, and I want to make an effort to do it more with friends.
  20. Start taking yoga classes: I’ve had coupon deals for classes for months now. I will not let them waste, especially since yoga will help with my running.
  21. Road trip with girlfriends: Even if it’s down the street. (Just kidding.)
  22. Learn how to cook one thing really well: I don’t even make an effort to learn how to cook - far less well - so I’m going to start with baby steps this year.
  23. Go see one of my favorite artists in concert: This is another thing I say I’ll do every year but don’t.
  24. Try skateboarding: First I’ll start with a few yoga classes to improve my balance. Then I'll probably pad myself from head to toe since these old bones aren't what they used to be.
  25. Take a dance class: I love to dance, and I’d love to learn moves other than those appropriate for my dance parties for one.

I think this is going to be quite an exciting year! Now to decide where to start...

How did you (or how will you) celebrate your 25th birthday?