26 Before 26: a Retrospective

26 before 26

Last year I started a list of 26 things I wanted to complete before my 26th birthday. I thought if I had a finite list of things, I’d be motivated to cross the items off one by one. In the middle few months, life and work got crazy and I lost focus. However, I still was able to complete items I certainly wouldn’t have otherwise. With my 26th birthday come and gone, here’s a retrospective on my progress and how I plan to continue with my venture.

Things I completed:

Took a weekend trip to Sedona -- link
Read and returned all borrowed books -- link
Got a record player -- link
Saw Fountains of Wayne in concert -- link
Reconnected with an old friend -- link
Replaced master bathroom shower -- link
Watched The Godfather -- link
Organized the garage -- link
Digitally organized and archived all photos -- link
Lost 15 pounds -- link
Learned to properly cook a steak -- link
Created wedding books for my parents and in-laws -- link

Things in progress:

Replace guest bathtub -- Materials purchased and ready to be installed in May.
Host a poker night -- Poker chips and table are ready, interest has been shown, date to be set soon.
Reduce my private debt by one fourth -- I’ve set up a timeline and payment plan and have already made my first payment. I should be debt-free in a couple years.
Refresh and customize an old piece of furniture -- I have the piece already, but have been agonizing over what paint color to use.

Things I still plan on completing:

Paint the kitchen cabinets -- Just waiting for a long weekend so I can do it all at once. I may try the bathroom cabinets first as a test run.
Have a smores party -- We plan to put in some grass, a fire pit, and a nice seating area in the backyard. Then, smores for everyone.
Paint a picture for myself -- I have a few commissions lined up, but will soon after begin painting more for myself.
Learn how to change a tire -- Someday...
Take a city tour of Phoenix -- Of all the tours I researched, the Town Lake segway tour sounds the most fun. May have to wait till fall for the best weather.

Things I don’t plan on completing:

Build a piece of furniture -- Too many tools to buy and too much work. I’d much rather spend time browsing antique stores!
Try snowboarding again -- Last time I was in snowy climate, I found every excuse not to go snowboarding. Too expensive, too scary, and too much prep. I’ll stick to wakeboarding and warm weather.
Take a pottery class -- My dad and I are going to take a printmaking class instead. Fun!
Stay up all night and watch the sun rise -- I’m just too old for this, ha!
Buy a nice set of dishes and flatware -- I actually shopped around for these, priced everything, and then decided I’d rather spend my money on other things. Our IKEA plates and Target flatware are good enough for us.

While I didn’t complete most of my list, I still feel great about it. One of my resolutions this year was to complete more projects I start. I loved the process and now am considering some larger, more difficult items for my 30 before 30 list.