30 by 2012: Stuff I want to do.

My parents have tried to instill in me the importance of setting goals but I am generally quite a foot-loose and fancy-free type of person. I’ve always floated through life content with pursuing knowledge and experiences organically because life has always seemed to be the sort of thing best served largely unplanned with a side of wondrous wide-eyed whimsy.

Photo of a page in a notebook that says "Goals." and a list. Click for full text.

For me goals have either been quite nebulous (see: be a rockstar and become Michael Jackson’s best friend) or fairly specific (see: learn to crochet, get my art in a gallery or oh-god-let-me-just-survive-this-awful-anxiety-until-I-can-get-home-and-hide-in-bed.) When I think about it I am pretty good at achieving the latter and quite okay with leaving the former filed under A for “As if”, but I’ve always shied away from goals that are imposed on me. I’m not terribly interested in buying a house, maintaining a stock portfolio or losing weight. Other people are, and that’s cool, but it really bothers me when they assume I’d be into the same sort of thing.

So I guess I wanted to try and formalise my goal setting because throughout my life I’ve always felt other people looking down their Rather Adult noses at me because I’m not Terribly Mature. As I mentioned above, sometimes my goal for the day is simply surviving and I feel these little goals are persistently overlooked as unimportant and if you’re like me and have disabilities, a keen disinterest in keeping up with the Joneses, and aptitudes that veer away from the mainstream, you can feel as if your goals and the passions that populate your life aren’t worth much.

I think that my goals should be worth a lot, especially in this recovery period in the wake of a rather bollocks few months. I want to feel like I have some measurable and realistic goals to cross off, and also some other slightly hard to measure ones too that I can be mindful of and work towards. If I can get to New Year’s Day in 2012 and reflect on this list and the stuff I’ve achieved, I hope to feel a stronger sense of confidence and self worth.

Things I want to accomplish before the beginning of 2012

  1. Ride down to the shops on my bike by myself.
  2. Make a padded headboard for our bed.
  3. Paint a mural on our bedroom wall.
  4. Go to an art gallery every month.
  5. Grow my nails long enough to do a french manicure.
  6. Design and sell a new piece of jewellery.
  7. Hold a nail painting party.
  8. Get my back tattoo touched up.
  9. Start my sleeve tattoo.
  10. Dye my hair turquoise.
  11. Hold an event for SEQ fatties.
  12. Sort out my recipe book.
  13. Finish my first scrapbook.
  14. Revamp my two bookcases.
  15. Sell stickers of my art.
  16. Write a business plan.
  17. Charge what I’m worth.
  18. Return the books I have that belong to other people.
  19. Make a new friend.
  20. Catch a train from the Gold Coast to Brisbane.
  21. Make new art.
  22. Finish my first cross stitch.
  23. Write ideas down in my sketchbook more often.
  24. Take action on the ideas in my sketchbook.
  25. Undergo Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
  26. Be nice to myself. Engage in positive self talk and commit to dedicated self care.
  27. Support other people more.
  28. Make a dress.
  29. Adopt a puppy.
  30. Write a zine. Gather all previous zine content and just do it!

It was quite nice sitting down to collect all the loose goals and ideas flinging around my head. If you’ve got 10 minutes I really recommend writing your goals down. Even if they “seem” silly, but are secretly really special and important to you, write them down. I bet it’ll make achieving way more achievable. And if you’d like to share, please do!


  1. I love you Natalie :) It was so nice to see the first one (ride your bike to the shops by yourself) because I could relate to it. In the middle of the worst part of my anxiety, my (silent) goals were things like walk up the road by myself and back, and even “go outside to get the mail”. I was always a big goal setter (that’s changed now) and it was once difficult for me to even set these small goals because to others it would seem so silly because they’re “supposed to be” everyday easy things (but they werent for me). Once I let go of what my goals would mean to others and focus on what they mean to ME, it helped me acheive them. Now my list has grown to “taking longer trips on public transport”, “take on another client” and “drive by myself again”. Goals are purely YOURS and no one elses :) xoxox

  2. Stickers of your artwork would make my life better.  OR MAGNETS JUST SAYING.

    Mainly I wanted to say I’ve been really reading your blog over the last couple weeks and it’s just terrific.  Thanks for sharing so much of your life and your art with the internet.  Love your style, your writing, your pictures, and your lovely art.  

    Good luck with your puppy…may I recommend the ever-mischievous, luxury-loving, constantly-staring Italian Greyhound?

  3. It’s a great list! There are so many achievable things on there. Just writing them down will help them come to you:) 

  4. That is an awesome list of goals! Looking forward to updates as you progress with them.

  5. That is an awesome list of goals! Looking forward to updates as you progress with them.

  6. You can make friends with me if you want to tick that goal off your list :) 
    I’ve been reading your blog for ages & never really comment, although I have to say you have definitely been a role model for me & made me feel a lot better about myself!Thank you for that <3

  7. Hiya Natalie!

    I’d like to give a bit of advice about goal setting, especially keeping 25 and 26 in mind. Setting goals is a great thing, however your list is large and vague. I understand the appeal for people wanting to write down all the things they want to do but for people with depression and anxiety, it can be a really overwhelming or harmful thing to look at. It’s a LOT, and I think we tend to beat ourselves up when we don’t meet our (unrealistic) goals. Yes?

    I wanted to tell you about SMART (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-sensitive) goals, go ahead and read up on it (especially pages that explain how SMART goals are relevant to depression)! Pick a few of the goals on your list and break them down into steps (shop for headboard materials, build frame, etc). Try setting three goals per week which are SMART and small (the steps). Your goal can be simply, “I will research a how-to guide on building a headboard online for 15 minutes on Saturday afternoon”. It may seem ridiculous but you have to do all the small steps one-by-one to attain the bigger goal.

    Just wanted to offer some advice. I had this type of goal setting taught to me and it’s been really beneficial, I wanted to pass on the knowledge. As a person with depression/anxiety, I have to celebrate the small victories to build up motivation. Motivation does not spring forth from nowhere. So give yourself a pat on the back when you accomplish what you set out to do, however small. And don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do what you had planned. Just examine the why and question whether you wanted to really do it in the first place.

    One last thing, never use the word ‘should’. It’s bad, it’s evil. Either you want to do something or you don’t. If you are doing something that you don’t want to do (only to please someone else, like thinking of impossible goals to make your parents happy) then don’t. :) Oh god, I wrote a novel.

    <3 Ria

    PS: You are awesome.

  8. Hey Natalie, Ria has given great advice, especially about the smart goals and not ‘shoulding’. In fact you can treat not ‘shoulding’ as a micro-goal ticked off in the bigger goal of Learning CBT.
    I would also like to add, prioritise what is most important to you and your happiness/emotional fulfilment now and put these items at the top of the list… then break them down into smart goals. Also remember to pamper yourself at least once a week and reward yourself for completing goals.
    It is only this year that I have really started making goals for myself and found it worth it.
    Good luck on your quest :)

  9. Wow – that’s quite a list!  Especially since it’s August already.  Don’t forget to be kind to yourself, okay?!

  10. Lovely post! I’m afraid of goal lists, but I’m already writing one in my head after reading yours. (Oh, and also, I love how fancy your mock-list is!) 

  11. that was such a great read natalie, and i had a real good giggle at the illustrated goals list. im definitely going to make time tonight to write my list! tiff

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