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Status Update: 40 Things To Do Before 40

A few days ago I celebrated my 33rd birthday.  This year has been life-changing.

Not because it was easy.  At times it was extremely difficult.  Going from fulltime over-achiever administrator workhorse, to all-in doctoral student working from home.  My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  We rescued a very sick (and what became an expensive) puppy.  I changed my dissertation topic.

And then there was the awesome, some of which I will feature here.

Last year I wrote about being a thirty-something, picking out 40 things I hope to do in my 30’s.  This is a status update on this progress.  I’d like to highlight 10 items that I get to add to my “Done It List!”

Done It List

  • IMG_0096Be a Blogger.  {This will be my 115th post this year, so I think I am fully on my way!}

  • Give a keynote.  {April 2014, ACPA Pecha Kucha.  Video will be posted soon!}

  • Have my palms read.  {July 2013 with my mom, she says big things are heading my way}

  • Be an author.  {December 2013, The Handbook for Student Affairs Administration.  Technically won’t come out until 2016, but I’m counting it!}

  • IMG_5302Rescue a Dog.  {September 2013 we adopted Parker, now 9 months}

  • Become an expert at something.  {Really a lifetime of work, but social media within higher education and student affairs is my second language}

  • Make new friends.  {Not only do I have a few more local Los Angeles close friends, but I have cultivated colleagues who I consider friends across the country, developed from NASPA and ACPA}

  • IMG_1894ccrt-2750787236-OGo on a last-minute trip.  {June 2013, Napa Valley Wine Getaway}

  • Get head shots.  {August 2013, Thank you Molly Hawkey, I love them!}

I also take on with zest more items to this list.  Some of these additions are inspired by Erik Qualman’s Digital Leadership text, who wrote we should all have ‘laughable goals’ in our life.  The type of goals that someone may laugh in your face about.  Bring on the laughter.

To Add

  • Release one book per year.  Sharing the results of two research studies I am conducting this year should give me momentum.
  • Produce a YouTube Channel.   It is hard to be married to a YouTuber and not think about my fit in this space.
  • Purchase a customized road bike.  This to-do goes along with #12, complete a triathlon.
  • Present at every conference I attend.  The more I get my research out there, in addition to work through faciliation and speaking experiences the better!
  • Learn Graphic Design Skills.  This competency is becoming more of a requirement not only in formal university roles, but work toward my own branding/business.
  • Have a backyard.  Having a dog now brings this one to the forefront.
  • Develop Digital Student Leadership Orientation and Student Leadership Development Curriculum.  If you have read any of my blog posts, you know I have a few ideas and opinions about developing digital student leaders, but also supporting new students through the orientation process in how to thrive in the digital space.
  • Take Stand Up Comedy classes.  This will provide great practice and methods for feedback on my writing, speaking and comedic timing.
  • Learn how to code.  Specifically giving me the independent ability to make my website more user friendly and relevant.
  • Orchestrate an online training program for digital leaders.  This will first be for students both in high school and college, as well as educators.

Here is the list still in the works from the last year.  I have even made some of these more specific, added in RED.  I have also italicized those on this list I am going after in the next few months.

Still To Do

  1. Travel to Australia and New Zealand: Seems like the most magical place on earth, the adult version of Disneyland.
  2. Learn how to do my make-up: Let’s be honest, who really knows what they are doing.
  3. Gain confidence in cooking: For shame, I am domestically challenged.
  4. Drink more water: For all the benefits of staying hydrated, a goal such as this is a requirement.
  5. Take a cross-country road trip: But specifically up the coast of California into the Northwest then heading east through Montana, Idaho, Yellowstone and Wyoming.
  6. Run a half marathon in another country: The perfect mix of fitness, fun and travel.
  7. Learn to edit photo and video: A skill set becoming more and more relevent and required.
  8. Own my own {Consulting} business: Even if I have another fulltime job, I’d love to have a project completely my own that I can foster over time.
  9. Become Dr. Ahlquist: One year to go!
  10. Be a mentor: If and when someone is out there that may need some guidance, I hope to give back as previous mentors have done for me.
  11. Renew my vows with my husband every five years.  I love him a lot.  Maybe this can happen at the same time as #2.
  12. Complete a triathlon : I’m not talking an Iron Man here, but three of my favorite activities in one race sounds awesome!
  13. Be more than a volunteer.  I am more than willing to volunteer for a few hours here and there, but what I really yearn for is to be fully emerged into a nonprofits’ fabric.  I hope this type of goal would lead to a role on a board of directors.
  14. Send my parents on a trip.  No explanation really needed, they deserve it.  Maybe we can all do #1 together.
  15. Improve my Spanish.  Even with three years in high school and college, I am far from conversations.
  16. Learn self-defense: HIYA!!
  17. Take a Me-cation.  Me, myself and I.  Me time!  Well let’s be honest, probably a lot of writing time too.
  18.  Give back to my alma mater SDSU.  My undergrad experience was awesome, hopefully finances will allow to provide support to a student in need.
  19. Run or Bike a Race for Charity.  With a number of races under my belt, it is time that I race for something bigger than the bragging rights of finishing.
  20. Decide about kids.  Not going to get into it here, it would take another post.
  21. Throw a surprise party for a friend.  SURPRISE!!!
  22. Instill a daily practice of meditation.  I have only had meditation in my life for the past few months, but I hope to make it a essential part of my day.
  23. Expand social media research, publishing in journals twice per year.  This will go along with goal #11 as I work toward my doctorate.
  24. Be a LeaderShape facilitator.  I have had my eye on this organization for a long time, it is time to finally apply.
  25. Become an Aunt (Or Godmother).  Not to put all the pressure on my sister-in-laws, I’ll take the role of godmother too.  Is this my classified ad?!
  26. Go Parasailing.  I think this could also be accomplished while enjoying #2.
  27. Maintain a healthy weight/fit in my clothes.  It has been noted we gain at least one pound per year.  As I age I am not looking for skinny, I’m looking for healthy.  Rocking my same jeans and dresses I’m in now would be awesome (given they aren’t too out of style in the coming years).
  28. Teach for a higher education masters program. Really more of a job prospect I’m working toward.
  29. White Water Rafting.  Suit me up, let’s do this.
  30. Re-learn Piano.  Funny how hard I fought learning piano growing up, now I’m ready to try again.

Who wants to join me in one of these to-do’s?!  

What would make your list?  Whether you are in your teens or fifties, we each can dream and aspire to make the most of every day, month, year, decade and lifetime.  Start free-writing a list, right now!  Don’t judge yourself with what you write down.  It can be 10 things or 100, whatever inspires you.  

Then…start doing! 

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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