30 Before 30 (or the big things I want to accomplish before turning the big 3-0)


Maybe this is a cheat. Maybe it’s actually “3 Before 30.” But I was inspired when I found my old laptop from when I was in college. It’s cobalt blue, weighs about ten times what my current computer does, and has three inspirational NaNoWriMo pressed into it near the keyboard.

Hello ancient computer, my old friend.

To my surprise, I found several stories I thought I’d lost, and several more I don’t even remember. I also found this list, “25×25,” which I wrote about in a previous blogpost on The Other Website Which Shall Not Be Named.

(I’ll give you a spoiler now: I accomplished about 8 of the 25 goals on that list.)

So now that I’m older and wiser, I want a do-over. I’m going to try this whole list thing again, only I’m going to focus on three main goals I want to accomplish, and ten small subgoals that will act as benchmarks along the way.

You ready?

Goal 1: Be conversationally fluent in Spanish (and to celebrate this milestone, take myself on a 30th birthday trip to Argentina).

  1. Complete Duolingo
  2. Write a short story entirely in Spanish.
  3. Read an old favorite series in Spanish.
  4. Read a new novel or series in Spanish.
  5. Watch my favorite movie in Spanish.
  6. Watch a telenovela from start to finish.
  7. Reach out to (and watch!) some Spanish-speaking authortubers or booktubers.
  8. Make a video where I speak entirely in Spanish (and translate my own subtitles!).
  9. Translate one of my own published works into Spanish.
  10. Travel to Argentina and speak Spanish there!

Goal 2: Feel healthy and strong. (Maybe celebrate with a triathlon or one of those obstacle races?? TBD.)

  1. Complete Couch to 5K (….again).
  2. Complete Couch to 10K.
  3. Be able to hold a (freestanding) handstand for 20 seconds.
  4. Run a 5K under 30 minutes.
  5. Run a 10K under 1 hour.
  6. Easily complete 10 push-ups without stopping.
  7. Successfully run an entire half-marathon (without stopping to walk).
  8. Complete 1 unassisted pull-up or chin-up.
  9. Be able to touch my toes.
  10. Be able to do the splits (either left, right, or middle!).

Goal 3: Become a confident cook (and to celebrate, invite friends or family over for a six-course dinner party!).

  1. Finish working through the “Be Our Guest” menu items.
  2. Try one different type of food from each of my favorite cuisines.
  3. Trial and error to find a “starter” course that I love and can make without a recipe.
  4. Trial and error to find a “main” course that I love and can make without a recipe.
  5. Trial and error to find a “dessert” course that I love and can make without a recipe.
  6. Learn the basics of bartending.
  7. Create my own signature cocktail.
  8. Attempt a new recipe each week of 2021.
  9. Try at least 5 recipes from Nadiya’s cookbook.
  10. Invite friends or family over for a six-course meal that I make.

WHEW. Okay. I think that’s it.

It’s funny because if you could look through all the goals and resolutions I’ve ever made – scribbled in notebooks, taped to walls, saved onto Google Docs – you’d notice that these three have always been the theme.

This may be Too Much, but I like the fun of setting my goals high. Let me know if you notice a pattern in your resolutions or goal-setting! What’s something you want to accomplish by X age?

Okay, off to play around on Duolingo! Wish me luck! 🤞

Kate at computer, writing goals

The Year of Finishing


Welp. I finally did it. If you’re reading this blogpost it means I completed one of my big goals for 2020: publishing my new website. Did it take an entire year of trying, crying, failing, avoiding, and then trying again, only to not accomplish the task until the calendar year turned?

Yes. Yes it did.

But it got done! And that’s the energy I’m bringing forth into this New Year.

That’s right! I’m doth decreeing 2021 as the Year of Finishing.

Where I’ll be spending 85% of my time this year, if I hope to finish everything on my To Do list.

What, you might be wondering, am I hoping to finish this year? (And how much of it, like the website, was I supposed to complete last year? Okay, I’m not going to answer this one. Just know that I acknowledge your side-eye.)

  1. The Meridian Maps (Book 1)
    • I zero drafted the entire series so now I need to put what I learned from Books 2 – 5 into Book 1. Then, complete at least one more round of beta readers (maybe two!), then sensitivity readers, then it will be off to the editor with hopes of publication late this year!
      • Honestly, I’d like Book 2 (title decided but ~not yet announced~) and Book 3 (currently no title because I’m bad at titles) to be seen by beta readers this year as well. Fingers crossed.
  2. Project Death
    • My next book baby to be queried! Do I still need to remove the prince character entirely and finish my rewrite before this happens? YES. But I’m hopeful this will be accomplished this year.
  3. 52 Recipes
    • I’ve decided to take on the very exciting task of learning to cook. It’s been a goal of mine since I reached adulthood but I’ve mostly subsisted on baked sweets (I love baking…), grilled cheese, and fruit. NO MORE. The goal is one new recipe a week and, ideally, at the end of 2021, I’ll feel much more confident in my cooking chops.
      • Currently I’m working through the food from the song Be Our Guest! (I just made beef ragu yesterday and it. was. divine.)
      • A lifelong goal of mine is to be able to comfortably make a six-course meal. “Comfortably,” meaning that I don’t even have to look at a recipe! One day. One. Day.
  4. Achieve a pull-up. Lift my entire body off the ground unassisted.
    • What a long journey this has been. 2020 did see a wonderful year of fitness for me, but the pull-up is ever elusive. The work I put in last year will undoubtedly help but I still have a ways to go…

The route on these 4 goals has taken longer than expected, but it is happening. It’s the Year of Finishing and I’m ready.

(Plus, like, if I finish all these projects, I just get to add new ones! That’s the best gift I can give myself!)