Turning 29 – What I Want to Do in the Last Year of my 20s

Today I am celebrating my 29th birthday! The last birthday of my 20s!

Now that the big 3-0 is on the horizon (I can almost see it from here!!!) it’s funny to think back on how scary and horrible I thought getting older would be. Sure, I’m still “young” and have a lot of days ahead of me, but I no longer find myself dreading my birthday or turning another year older.

Looking back on my 20s is really kind of amazing and eye-opening. The things that seemed such a big deal at the time turned out to be small stepping stones to something better. The things that I thought would break me have turned me into a bigger, better person. And the things that I thought I wanted when I was younger turned out to be much different from what I have now. I think there’s such beauty in reflecting on life. In the last decade I have graduated from college and taken on a new job. I turned a hobby that I started in college into a full-time career. I have traveled to new-to-me places both near and far for work and play. I have made so many incredible friends, while also saying goodbye to other ones. I got engaged and married the love of my life. I have worn multiple hats and taken on all kinds of responsibilities. And I have failed. Some of those years were some of the most challenging and formative years I have had so far in my life. But each year has taught me a lesson and I have come so far each and every year of this decade. And there’s still one year left to accomplish a whole lot more! So instead of fearing 30, I plan on enjoying the last year of my twenties as much as I can and setting up my 30s to be just as great.

So how do I plan on doing that? I’m creating a list of ten things that I want to accomplish before my 30th birthday! They’re all attainable and nothing outrageous – but things that I want to do in order to make the last year of my twenties a great one!

Travel somewhere new

My travel list is about a mile long and I’m always adding new places to it. This year I want to cross off at least one new place off of my travel list. Whether it’s a quick trip somewhere in the U.S. or a trip that requires a passport, I’m ready to experience a new-to-me area and take it all in!

Take my cooking to the next level

When I graduated college I think I *maybe* knew how to make three semi-good meals…and one of them was probably Ramen haha! Being a picky eater, I never really enjoyed cooking. Over the years I have grown to expand my palate and truly enjoy cooking. Nick and I love cooking together and have a lot of meals that we can confidently cook now any day of the week. This year I want to take my cooking to the next level. I want to try more recipes, try foods that “scare” me, and learn more in the kitchen. Nick and I have talked about taking a few cooking classes so I think we just may make this the year to do that.

Learn how to truly love myself

I think most of us can admit that we are our own worst critic. I find that I criticize myself often, sometimes without realizing it. I used to be pretty confident, but over time I have worn myself down and critique every.little.thing. about myself. I think some of that has to do with being a blogger, taking photos of myself daily, and seeing changes in my body, etc. Overall it’s had a negative effect on my mental health, my self-worth, and my self-confidence. This year I want to stop pointing out my flaws and the things that make me feel insecure and instead focus on the things that I love about myself. To start, I think I’m going to keep a journal and write one thing down a day that I’ve accomplished or feel good about.

Up my savings

Nothing like getting older to make you freak out about the future, right?! As we plan to buy a house and start a family, it’s even more important to save as much as we can for our future. I want to strongly up my savings this year and feel more financially stable. I have a few plans in place to do this but any tips are helpful!

Get out of my comfort zone 

The saying that nothing good happens in your comfort zone rings so true! While I am extroverted, I can still be easily intimidated when it comes to trying something outside of my comfort zone, whether that’s joining a new organization, trying a new workout class, etc. I have been frustrated at myself before when I didn’t try something I wanted to and this year I refuse to let that happen! I think stepping outside of my comfort zone will lead to personal growth.

Learn that it’s ok to say no

I have always been the type of person that says “yes” to everything, even if my plate is already overflowing. Over the years it’s caused a lot of undue stress and left me feeling overwhelmed. This year I want to find a better yes-no balance. I need to learn it’s ok to say no to a night out with friends if I’m feeling tired, even though I may feel FOMO. It’s ok to say no to a partnership that’s not right for me. It’s ok to say no to something that doesn’t interest me. My world isn’t going to stop if I say no, and in fact, it might be better if I do sometimes!

Travel somewhere solo

I have wanted to take a solo trip for a while now, but fear has stopped me every single time. I have many friends who have done a solo trip and said it’s liberating and invigorating. Traveling solo allows you to do what you want when you want and on your own terms. This year I want to take a trip alone, check out, and just enjoy being with myself. While scary, I know it would do wonders for me. Has anyone traveled solo before?

Continue to read more

Reading is something I am passionate about and it’s something I don’t see myself ever stopping. While I know I may not always be able to read as much as I can now, I always want to take the time to pick up a book. There are so many benefits to reading and it’s one of the things I enjoy doing. I want to continue to read and also expand from the typical genres I gravitate towards.

Create a solid self-care routine

There are times I feel like I’m burning both ends of the stick and instead of allowing myself to rest, I continue to burn until I am completely burnt out and feel in a funk. It’s not healthy mentally or physically for me to do that. I need to remember to take care of myself and allow myself grace. I want to have a go to list of things I can do as part of a self-care routine so that when I do start feeling like I’m overwhelmed I can take a few minutes to take care of myself. Whether it’s reading a book, going to a favorite coffee shop or schedule a massage, I need to remember to take time for myself.

Learn to let things go

I am the kind of person that tends to hold onto to things and lets things fester before being able to let them go. It’s a character flaw that drives me crazy and something I want to work on this year. Nothing good happens when a situation is replayed in my mind as I analyze it again and again. Making the choice to let something go will allow me to not focus on things I cannot control. I have gotten better at this over the years, but I still have a long ways to go haha!

Thank you all for following along with me each and every day! I feel so grateful to have this space where I can share bits and pieces of my life with you. Cheers to another year full of fun, lots of memories & a lot of good things to share here!

Leave a Reply


  1. Kendal wrote:

    Happy happy birthday, Emily! I hope your day is as fabulous as you are. I love this list!

    Posted 4.10.19 Reply
  2. Cathy wrote:

    These are such great goals for your last 20’s year! Savings is the most important! Happy Birthday and cheers to your last 20’s year!


    Posted 4.10.19 Reply
  3. Amanda wrote:

    Happy birthday! These are all wonderful goals… I try to go somewhere new every year, and it’s what keeps me going all year long

    Posted 4.10.19 Reply
  4. Laura Adney wrote:

    These are all such wise points in your 20s. But girl, rest assured you will enjoy your 30s

    Posted 4.10.19 Reply
  5. Amanda wrote:

    Happy birthday!! This list is fantastic, I hope you can accomplish everything in the coming year! As someone who is past the 30-year mark, my advice is to definitely start a good skincare routine if you haven’t yet. It will make such a difference, because skin it literally going to be gong downhill from here 😀

    Posted 4.10.19 Reply
  6. Jamaria Johnson wrote:

    I LOVE this post! Happy Birthday girl, I hope you enjoyed it! xo

    Posted 4.10.19 Reply
  7. Megan wrote:

    I love all of these so much. It is so important to love yourself first.

    Posted 4.11.19 Reply
  8. Laura wrote:

    I’m still working on how to let things go. This is truly a great way to focus on creating a better you!

    Posted 4.11.19 Reply
  9. Love this Emily! Happy birthday to you! I will say year 29 taught me a lot and I am rounding it out feeling more confident than ever. I know this will be a great year for you and I am so excited to continue following your adventures!

    xo Laura Leigh
    Louella Reese

    Posted 4.11.19 Reply
  10. Liz wrote:

    Happy birthday , pretty girl! We sound like the same person because these are exactly the same things I did for myself as well 🙂 Good luck!! <3

    Posted 4.11.19 Reply
  11. Wish you a very Happy Birthday! Great list and musings lady. I hope you have a fabulous year and life ahead.

    ❥ tanvii.com

    Posted 4.11.19 Reply
  12. Darleen wrote:

    So many great things you have accomplished! Just wait…the 30s are some of the best years! You will love them.

    Posted 4.11.19 Reply
  13. 10 great goals to have for the next year of life!

    Posted 4.12.19 Reply
  14. Stephanie wrote:

    Happy birthday, beautiful! It sure sounds like you have an incredible outlook on growing older. You’re just going to make life all the more exciting as the years go on. I hope you enjoy every second of it.

    Posted 4.12.19 Reply
  15. Mei wrote:

    Loving all of these!!! traveling is definitely one of my faves 🙂

    Posted 4.15.19 Reply
  16. caleyjaderosenberg wrote:

    Happy belated Birthday special lady! Love this list, and cheering you on for the next year x

    Posted 4.16.19 Reply
  17. Kristina wrote:

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday!! These are all great goals- especially traveling and getting your first home, it’s the best!

    Posted 4.16.19 Reply
  18. Rosie wrote:

    Happy belated birthday Emily! I just came across your blog and this was inspiring! I’d like to answer one of your goals above. I’ve travelled solo before, couple times now. It’s nerve wrecking when I go to the airport and being on the plane alone but I always enjoy myself during the trip! Worth wild for sure though! So i wish you good luck if you are planning one soon! 🙂

    Posted 4.17.19 Reply
  19. Lindsay wrote:

    I’m over 30 but am definitely thinking of adding some of these to my before 35 list!

    Posted 4.18.19 Reply

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