On each of my last four birthdays, I have set a goal for the year to come. Today being my 29th birthday, I thought it might be appropriate to look back on what I’ve accomplished before talking about what I’d like to focus on during the last year of my twenties. Previous years have looked something like this:
- 25: The year in which I quit my job and had a really good time.
- 26: The year in which I traveled the world.
- 27: The year in which I went back to school and got really smart.
- 28: The year in which I got my big butt into really good shape.
Each of these goals were achieved with the help of an array of people – I couldn’t have traveled the world without first sleeping on my mom’s couch. I couldn’t have had fun in Greece without the help of my American posse. I couldn’t have successfully finished my MPA without the guidance of my advisors and mentors. My fat ass would likely still be fat if I hadn’t enlisted some fantastic personal trainers. And I certainly couldn’t have financed really good times without the support of my employers, who have rehired me four times.
As I embark on my 29th year, I am looking forward to achieving some pretty amazing things – I’m going to start traveling again, teach Blaze to roll over, launch a small business that gives back to its community, watch all eight Harry Potter movies in one day, hit the 14% body fat mark I’ve set for myself, and run one full marathon in addition to two half marathons. Some of these things can’t be done alone… and some of them probably should be done alone. But my real goal this year is one that will require teamwork and individual dedication. Should I accomplish it, this goal will make everything I want to do this year relatively easy to do:
29 – The year in which I master my trade(s).
Up until one month ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself after graduation. As happy as I am to have a great job at El Gaucho, I wanted more to commit to on a daily basis. I love helping people reach their goals and have latched onto wellness like I never dreamed I would. This year, I want to take VitalityNW and launch it into the community. Profit isn’t the motive with this venture – as the business grows, I plan to donate a higher percentage of its profit to nonprofits that battle childhood obesity. Rather, I want to educate the public on how to make better dietary choices for longer, fuller lives. I want to be a mirror for the lifestyle I preach in an effort to make Paleo accessible to everyone. It is important for me to watch people transform their lives through better eating and for people to become informed consumers that know the difference between what they’re being fed by corporate America and what the truth is about America’s food supply.
Meanwhile, I want to become the best steak-and-wine slinger that El Gaucho has ever seen. I want to slap on my tuxedo each night and smile/flirt my way toward independent wealth, all the while creating lasting memories for our guests – who rely on exceptional hospitality to build relationships, seal deals, romance significant others and celebrate all manners of things. I’m going to take time to brush up my knowledge of wine and food pairings and carefully tailor service to fit exactly what a guest wants and needs on any given night. Simply put, the better I become at my “day” job, the more I’ll be able to focus on VitalityNW and its overall mission. Once I have mastered my trades, I’ll be able to take time off to visit Bali and DC and Mexico. I’ll be able to sit on my couch for 22.5 hours and watch every Harry Potter movie without worrying that I’m behind on something or missing a deadline. I’ll hit (and likely blow past) my 14% body fat goal because I’ll be mirroring the lifestyle I want my clients to follow.
29 has the potential to be my best year yet. I’m kicking it off this morning with approximately 20 miles of pavement-pounding fun during my last seriously long run before the Portland Marathon. Next up is pickleball, followed by a tour of the Theo Chocolate Factory and dinner at either Kick’n Boots or AQUA by El Gaucho (you know, so I can sneak in a little bit of decadence before committing to the Whole 30 the next day). I didn’t think I would be looking so forward to 29 – a year in which I thought I’d loll about thinking about how lame and old I’m getting. But I’ve realized that I’m not getting older… I’m getting better. And that’s what it’s all about.