30 Things For 30 Years


Three months ago, I set up a challenge for myself.  I wanted to run through a list of 30 tasks before I turned 30 years old.

You helped me build my list of tasks!  You started your own lists.  It feels like we’re all out in the world trying to do good, be better and share cupcakes.

Except.  Well.  Um…

I haven’t given you an update on my 30 Things list because well… I’ve already gone and turned 30… and I’m no where near done with my list.

So! The 30 Things Before 30 Years has become 30 Things For 30 Years.

It’s a work in progress.  I’m a work in progress.  So far, it all feels pretty good.

Here’s the list that’s going to keep me busy this summer.

Let’s be better to ourselves, for ourselves, to each other, for each other.  Let’s just do that, and be that, and make a list about that… now!


30 Things For 30 years:

Eat 1 giant birthday hot dog with sauerkraut, spicy mustard, and beer.

It was a pretzel.  There was coffee.  It was awesome.


Send flowers to 2 friends.


Buy 3 strangers their morning coffee.

1 down, 2 to go.

Take 4 new people to church on Sunday.

2 down, 2 to go.

Make 5 new friends.

Done!  But these people might not know we’re friends yet.  We’re friends.  This summer I’ll prove it!


Mail 6 hand-written letters.

Inspired by the PenPal Project… so far I’ve written 78 letters.  No joke.

Compliment 7 strangers.

I love this.  Mostly because it’s awesome to tell people that they look pretty.

Leave 8 lucky quarters on the ground.

Done.  Easy.

Send 9 of my favorite books to 9 of my favorite people.


Smile at 10 strangers.

I try to do this everyday.  It really does feel awesome.

Go in for 11 high-fives.

Workin’.  Awkward every time.


Give away 12 fresh cupcakes.

Mind blowers.

Send 13 postcards to 13 blog readers.


Tip my waitress $14 above average.


Leave 15 nice comments on 15 other blogs.


Make (at least) 16 coffee ice cream cream puffs.



Enjoy 17 beach sunsets.


Give (at least) $18 to my favorite charity.


Pick 19 super ripe figs.

Can.  Not.  Wait.


Ride my bike at least 20 miles.

Whitney!  It’s me and you!

Give 21 bits of advice to a new 21 year old.

I did this!

Make 22 beers.  Yea… make beer.

Andrea!  We’re doing this!

Stay up for 23 hours… just for kicks… and bourbon.

Who wants to play sleep-over!?

Take and develop 24 pictures… with film.


Take a 25 year old out to lunch.

I need a 25 year old LA friend… who is hungry.

Take 26 yoga classes.

Workin’.  I own you downdog.  (not really).

Clean my closet and give away 27 things.

Let’s be real… it could have been way more than 27 things.

Learn 28 new words.



Write down the beauty of the day for 29 days.


Tell 30 people why I am grateful they’re in my life.

All the time.  Super important.

185 thoughts on “30 Things For 30 Years

  1. I have a similar list but it’s all me me me! I LOVE how most of your list is about making someone else’s day better or putting a smile on someone’s face – it’s incredible! I’m going to take inspiration from your list (and by inspiration I mean blatantly steal some of your ideas ;p) and add them to my list to make it slightly more balanced. Thank you for being you and for proving that there are some wonderful people in the world!

  2. I love how u embrace life.
    And I’m so stealing this idea for my 30th! 5 yrs away, but im gonna get started on that list.
    Joy, u actually inspire people to be better beings. thought u should know. Hug.

  3. This is such a great post! I’m trying to set up some goals for myself right now and figure out some new big life steps and this is a great model of some big things and some little every day things. thaaaaank you!

  4. Joy what an awesome post and thanks for the progress report!

    Between all the letters, postcards, blog comments that you’ve been writing for people, your hands must be hurting :) It’s great that you wrote REAL letters, too, not just email/cyber writing.

    Donating more than 27 things, awesome
    Your 21 post, loved it
    High fives…so awkward for me too. I am NOT a high fivey kinda girl :)

    1. Hey those who have a problem with high fiving……I too was one of those people who felt awkward ….. Joined a bowling league….. We high five each other as well as those on the other team!

  5. I live in Rwanda, Africa…we are obsessed with your recipes here. Of course we have had to make due without some necessary ingredients, but determination for dessert leads to creative problem solving. And now I have decided I will be making such a list for my African adventures! Thanks for the awesome inspiration.

  6. I have such a kind of list, but it’s “Crazy Things to do before turning 25”
    Yours is so bright, and kind, and fun. We should always love each other more, and better.

  7. I like how this list is a mixture of stuff that’s fun to do and stuff that’s really hard to do (like smiling at strangers or buying them a coffee) but is really worthwhile. Although I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to pull off a high five…

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