Birthday wishes: Goals before I turn 30

A year is a long time, yet the first 29 years of my life seem to have flown by so fast. I feel like 30 is just around the corner (and, it pretty much is), so I wanted to do something significant for my 29th birthday.

A celebration didn’t seem fitting. Instead I took the day to reflect on the things I have and haven’t accomplished thus far. It occurred to me right away that I haven’t done anything like this in years, and as such, it seems long over due.

So, without further ado, here is a brief list of some of the things I’m going to accomplish before turning thirty.


Cultivate appreciation

Ryan Engle has been posting something he appreciates every day on Facebook and it caught my attention. It’s refreshing to see and it highlighted an area of my life that I haven’t been paying enough attention to.

My goal is to start an appreciation diary of sorts and log in it every day. Said log must also be communicated verbally else via some platform like my blog or Facebook.

I appreciate your appreciation, Ryan : )

Quiet the mind

I used to have a daily sitting practice in place and it was great. Starting now, that is re-instated. Period.


Triple my passive income

Right now my passive income is meager at best. In a year, I earn enough to cover 4 months of living expenses in Taipei, Taiwan.

My goal is to establish a passive income that covers all of my living expenses starting no later than my 30th birthday.

I don’t know how to accomplish this, but promoting existing products and aiming to increase interest/dividend yielding investments seems like a good start.

Health and Fitness

Lead climb a 5.10a outdoors, top rope a 5.11b indoors

Climbing is all about trust. The moment you leave the ground you have to trust your own skill to ascend the wall or cliff. You have to trust said wall or cliff to support you. You have to trust your equipment and the engineers/designers that created it. And, you have to trust your partner with your life in more ways than one.

To be honest, it all kind of scares the shit out of me. But, I like that. It feels healthy.

Run 10k

I know this isn’t a lot, and probably not a big goal, but I don’t want to get into long distance running for a number of reasons. That being said, 10k is a nice round number and seems standard enough that I want to feel comfortable running it.

Get Six Pack Abs

Yes, a six-pack is more vanity than fitness. But, a large part of it for me means eating better. It’s otherwise hard to set a quantifiable goal for “eating less gut-fattening food”. Plus, visible results are pretty satisfying.

Pistols & Strict Muscle Ups

I’ve been “working on these” far too long. It’s time I actually put the effort in that it takes to develop them and get them down once and for all.


Studying and speaking Chinese is a big challenge for me. It requires me to get out of my comfort zone every time I have a conversation. It also takes a lot of time and effort to cultivate speaking and listening skills. I love it.

I don’t know if these goals are at all realistic, but this is what I’m aiming for at the moment.

Read a magazine, without looking up any characters

I’m somewhere between 1000-2000 characters shy of doing this. Also, there are a lot of chengyu and sentence structures that I still don’t understand.

The real goal here is to increase my reading comprehension, significantly.

Watch a movie, without reading the Chinese subtitles

At the moment I rely heavily on reading Chinese subtitles to fill in the gaps when I watch tv/movies. I want to get my listening skills to a point that I no longer need this crutch.

Feel confident talking about… everything

Right now there are a few topics in which I can have a semi-fluent conversation, but said topics are incredibly limited. Whenever it comes to unfamiliar grounds I start to stumble and speak even slower than I speak in English.

My goal is to really own the chinese I have now. That is, be able to use it without having to stop and think whenever I’m explaining or talking about something new.

Bigger goals

I want to set some bigger goals this year. And, when I say bigger I mean, more significant. Like, world changing. Or at least, world changing for some people.

Said goals are likely going to revolve around something like Chinese-learning or Taiwanese culture, but I don’t have anything too concrete just yet. Either way, I’m want to set at least one of these goals by the end of the year and be on the path to meeting it.

Comments 2

  • awesome !! .. really enjoyed reading that and have faith you’ll accomplish every goal you set before 30.

  • Hi Steven,

    Did you write the “How to use Pinyin to Type Chinese (iOS, Mac OS X, Android)” on Pinpin Chinese?
    It’s really well done.

    Can I please have your email address?