Recap of 30 30s and goals for 2017

I suppose it’s about time that I share how I did on my 30 30s. In short, it was a series of goals I set for myself to complete during 2016, the year I turned 30. I wanted to push myself to explore new hobbies, to grow in different ways, and to achieve things I may have previously thought impossible.

As far as completion of items, I did terribly. I only completed 9 of 30 categories. I came close in 6 others, but didn’t have the drive to push myself to finish them.

Part of my problem at the very end is that I only wanted to do the things just to check them off my list. It felt really inauthentic, which made it hard for me to push and do it.

However, I don’t see it as a failure. In fact, I learned more about myself through failing to complete things than I would have otherwise. I realized that I really don’t care for working out – either strength training or yoga. While I know these would help take my running to an entirely new level, I don’t have the patience or the drive to do it. At least not on my own. I found that to be very valuable.

I do enjoy writing on my blog, but I didn’t manage to eek out 30 posts in one year. Part of the time, I didn’t have anything to say and sometimes I really just didn’t have the time. However, I have learned that my blog is an important way for me to process through things and I really look forward to processing through some pretty deep and painful hurts over the next year. We are all a product of our experiences and choices and it is high time I let go of some things from my previous prodigal life.

The other thing I realized is that I have lots of hobbies that take time and cannot be done concurrently. I can’t read and knit or run and write at the same time. I also can’t write a blog post and a novel at the same time and each of these takes time. The important thing I’ve realized is that I just need to go with whatever creative whim I happen to be on at the time. It’s okay if I don’t write for weeks at a time while I read or knit a sweater. It’s okay if I give up knitting to write a novel or train for an ultramarathon.

Previously, I had thought I needed to find time during each week to participate in each of these hobbies, but I have realized that as long as I’m feeling fulfilled by the current hobby, it’s okay that I only engage in one or two at a time. I don’t see an uproar here when it’s days or weeks between posts, so it seems you all are living life just fine apart from my musings, though I do want to try to muse with a little more regularity this year. We will see, though.

Some of the goals I had set were things that weren’t actually important to me but I wanted them to be. I haven’t really played guitar for a couple years now and having a $500 guitar hasn’t changed that, even though I wanted it to. It sounds really nice, but I don’t know what to play on it. I don’t know when to play that doesn’t draw toddlers around to pull and pluck and poke and yank and hit it while I play.

I finally did read the entire Harry Potter series this year (actually, in a span of about two weeks…) and it was really enjoyable. I have a stack of other recommended reads by a friend to get through and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m really excited about the books and I’m excited about my growing list of other books to read. I am excited about writing my novel and seeing where the story goes. Maybe I’ll publish it, but maybe I won’t.

In all, I found the challenge to be a great success. I feel proud that I even tried to tackle something so huge. I did grow a lot and I see where I still have areas in which to grow. I have really accepted the things that make me happy, the things that I enjoy, that I want to spend my free time on. I have better learned who I am and I have deepened some relationships with friends that I really wanted to do. I’m being more honest, more encouraging, more open, more vulnerable. The best part about it is that my friends really seem to appreciate it. They aren’t scared off like I had thought they would be. They seem to like me for me and that was actually pretty surprising.

For the majority of my life, I’ve been trying really hard to be someone else – whether I tried to be Megan or Kristin or Katie or Cheryl or Alli or Jenna or Nicole or Katie (a different one) – I was always trying to be someone else and not myself. This year, I’ve learned that people like Cari. People like Cari because she is Cari. I have great things to offer if I would just give myself the chance to offer it.

So this year, I have some pretty specific goals, and far fewer. They are all important to me and they are manageable. They are direct, they are measurable, and all of them are either fun or fulfilling.

So, my goals for 2017 are as follows:

  • Finish writing Tamerna book 1.
  • Run an ultramarathon (paid race).
  • Watch all the Harry Potter movies.
  • Read Lord of the Rings.
  • Take the kids to the park more often than I did this year.
  • Purge more unnecessary stuff from my house.
  • Read to the kids from their Bible more often.
  • Read the entire Bible.
  • Finish reading the Sword of Truth series.
  • Engage more intentionally with my friends to deepen our relationships – check in via text message or calling, do more than just push ‘like’ on facebook, etc.
  • Finish knitting my sweater.
  • Play with the kids more AND let them play outside alone more
  • Date my husband more


I am always a fan of accountability so any time you want to check in on me, I am a fan of sharing how things are going.

How about you? Do you set goals for an entire year? Do you call them resolutions? Are you experiencing any success yet? I’d love to hear what you’d like to accomplish in 2017!


One thought on “Recap of 30 30s and goals for 2017

  1. Katie says:

    I do like you, a lot! And I’m super glad I’ve gotten to know you better over the last year 😁

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