10 Things I’d Like To Achieve In My Lifetime

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You know me, pal, I like a list.

I like a to-do list, I like a relatable lol-to-read list, I like lists of goals, lists of places to eat, shopping lists, cocktail lists and so obvs, I was always going to love an ultimate life goal list.

Like yes alright pipe down, I totally get that maybe by doing this I’m taking the fun and spontaneity and sense of adventure out of my life, but it’s nice to dream and to remember where the world could take you if you just pushed yourself a little harder. If you just stepped out of your comfort zone, took risks, faced fears and accepted challenges, you could have everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

So here’s a personal list for days when the sofa and Dumbledore seem like the only answer. A list to motivate and inspire and to stand as a reminder that ridiculously bright and shiny and OMG MUCH HAPPINESS things are just around the corner if only you keep on moving forward.

 

1. BALI

I would like to go to Bali. I know, wild. Ground-breaking. So unique and original of me. But mostly I’d like to go to Bali with Chris. I had such an intense and incredible time in Thailand with my Gale siblings earlier this year and I want to share that with him, I want him to understand and have his own piece of the adventure. I want to show him the world, a different world. I want to drink beach cocktails and eat noodles and just forget about our world, our minds, our pasts and our futures. I want to just be.

 

2. KITCHEN ISLAND

This isn’t the name of some cool, off-the-beaten-track island that was made for Instagram porn, it is in fact just me referring to a kitchen island. Y’know, those places for food preparation rich-ish people have in the middle of their large kitchens? I want one, in my dream home, like really, really badly.

Mostly as a place to drink red wine and chop herbs to use in dinner recipes from Jamie Oliver’s books. Oh man, the absolute dream. Right, right?

3. MARRIAGE

I feel like children of divorce either head off in one of two ways – they either freak over marriage and declare it’s not for them, or they pine after a solid marriage, a marriage that doesn’t ahem, follow the mistakes of the older generation. And I guess I’m the latter, I so want to get married, but at the same time I’m not in any rush.

I’m also not entirely sold on the big white £30,000 wedding. I look at all the other things I would rather spend that money on, cough Bali and a kitchen island, and I’m like just bring me pizza, an ASOS wedding dress, some Tesco prosecco, some £2 fairy lights from B&M, all of my fave people and I’m good to go.

4. WRITE A BOOK

You’re probably bored of me harping on about this, but my book-writing obsession comes in weird waves.

If I read someone else’s memoir I feel possessed, utterly possessed by the idea that I must write my own. I have chapter outlines and two book proposals and about 10 chapters saved on my old laptop but I’m not convinced by any of it. But finding time and inspiration to write book material is SO much harder than writing blog posts. I have so much to say, so many stories to tell, so many thoughts and ideas whirling around my brain. Tales about love and depression and feeling broken and feeling lost. Tales about the internet and growing up and feeling lonely, about losing friends, and about parents and siblings. They’ll be told, one day.

If someone could send me an envelope of glitter and motivation in the post, that’d be dandy.

5. GARDENING

I mean, I’m not saying I’d like to get into bird-watching and bee-keeping and spending every evening pruning my plants, but I’d like to have a garden that doesn’t look like no-one’s lived in our house for a century.

I want a place that has beaming peonies and hydrangeas and roses every summer, and maybe a hefty barbecue, a place that was made for food and drinks shared with friends and family <3

6. WEST COAST

Another travel cliche but something I’m totally despo to do is a road trip along the West Coast of the States.

We’re currently saving to do this next summer as a way of celebrating the end of Chris’s five-years of part-time studying for a degree. Oh and the degree obvs.

The plan is to cover LA, Vegas (which I’m sure will be 102% better with Chris and not just spent sitting on my own in my room watching One Tree Hill and eating Chipotle) and of course – San Francisco. Oh and ideally Yosemite too. So yeah, any recommendations would be much appreciated.

7. BABIES

I want three. I think. I dunno. I’m convinced I’ll only have boys, but in a dream world I’d have a mix.

I’m one of five, although my two older brothers never lived with us and I loved there being three of us all super close in age to build dens and play N64 and hide and seek and generally annoy each other.

I want them sooner rather than later, but I feel like making that decision to just do it is the scariest thing. Like, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’RE READY? HUH?

8. FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER

I guess this kinda ties in with having kids, but I love the idea of dedicating one night a week to family time. I mean, Chris and I try to do this now. We try and put aside time to cook elaborate meals for each other and eat at the table with wine and candles, but sometimes the lure of the sofa and our laptops and Tesco’s dine-in-for-£10 gets the better of us.

I want there to be one night a week where I cook something fancy and warm and full of those carbs that feel like they’re giving you a hug, where we talk about the week, we play games, and *maybe* there’s a fire burning in the background. I dunno, am I getting carried away?

And we’d invite our fave people to take part in our Friday night family night – parents and best friends and so on.

And yes, this might be 72% inspired by Friday Night Dinner on Channel 4, don’t judge me.

9. SELF-EMPLOYED

I know I take the freedom that comes with being self-employed for granted. I guess it’s with anything in life, once you get used to it, once it becomes your routine, your new ‘normal’, it stops being so wonderful and exciting.

But I adore that I can make money, enough money to live and do the odd ASOS order, from just doing what makes me happiest – writing. I literally get paid to write about my life, I’m not sure I’ve ever let that sink in before. Oh man, that’s crazy. I want to go back to my secondary school and tell teachers like look, look, look what I did.

Anyway, I’m not sure how blogging will evolve and change in two years, let alone a decade, but I hope I can keep on adapting and making content that excites people and interests people. I hope that I can keep this self-employed girl boss thing up, ‘cos you know what? I bloody love it.

10. HYGGE

This is a bit of a weird one, but something Chris and I have become a bit transfixed with over the past week. Basically, hygge a Danish word with no English translation – it’s essentially a way of life, and corr, it it one way of life I would like to include more of in my own.

It’s about comfort and cosiness. It’s about reading a book whilst wrapped up in a blanket and drinking a hot cup of coffee. It’s about fairy lights and sitting around the fire sharing stories. It’s about quality time, both with yourself and with good people. It’s about stepping away from your phone and social media, about feeling safe and secure and warm and good and content.

I hope that makes some sort of sense. Maybe Google it.

I’ve always suffered with a sneaky touch of SAD, so I’m hoping this new way of looking at the colder weather and darker days, will make them seem a whole lot sparklier.

What’s on your bucket list?

 

  • Katie

    One of your best posts; you are really killing it at the moment. As a long term reader it has been amazing to watch you grow into your original writing style and voice. I come back to your site again and again. It always makes me feel better.

  • Great post. I did the west coast, we started at Hollywood and ended at San Francisco. I wish we had done it the other way round as it was so cold in San Fran compared to Vegas/LA that it was a shock to the system and felt so much colder with sunburn. Yosemite is a must! <3 Oh and Alcatraz was amazing.

    I must write my own bucket list!

    http://www.christieslifestyle.co.uk/2015/07/hollywood-travel-diary.html

    • We did West Coast road trip, was awesome. LA, San Diego, Palm Springs, Lake Havasu, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Monteray, San Fran. We didn’t much like LA, San Diego and Palm Spings were wonderful and San Fran became our favourite place ever! Vegas bored us and Grand Canyon hotel room was haunted…

      • Ps I heard a programme on R4 yesterday about Hygge, it’s all the rage apparently. There are cafes in London dedicated to it, books coming out. a Danish guy interviewed said its rough translation is cosy. There is generally no Hygge without a candle and cake! Sounds fab ❤️

  • I first learnt about hygge when I went to Copenhagen in March and I am obsessed with it as a concept! In our hotel they had a cosy hour every night where they served free wine and handed out blankets and everyone chatted about their day and it made me so happy! x
    Sophie Cliff

  • Lozi

    “West Coast y’all!” *Gangsta hand signs*
    We planned and went on our dream US vacay earlier this year; so I have a couple of bits of advice for you:
    1. Spend more time in San Fran than LA. Yeah I know LA looks all glam, but that’s basically just Beverly Hills and the rest is, truth be told, a bit of a dump – whereas San Francisco is all kinds of awesome 👌🏼
    2. Don’t use the LA subway unless you want to end up getting off a broken down train in Compton. Not joking…😐
    3. Monterey is totally worth a visit if you’re doing the whole West Coast road trip thing. Very chilled seasidey vibes. 🐬

    • Totally agree. We did a bus tour in LA and I remember watching a guy going through a dumpster and the tour guide explaining the economic situation in the city. Monterey is seriously wonderful and it’s on my bucket list to move to San Francisco. What a town!

  • I love this so much! Sophie x

    sophiehmstewart.com

  • Absolutely love this post! I hope you get to achieve every one of them. 🙂

    http://www.ashrealasitgets.blogspot.com

  • I love love love this post! My friend introduced me to your blog and I literally have not looked back since. I can totally imagine reading your book whilst doing a bit of gardening in Bali feeling hygge as hell whilst I play games infront of the fire on a Friday night! Thanks for the lolz! Alice x

  • Love it! I’m also pursuing the dream of writing a book. Very much determined right now but issues with depression can interfere and set me off track for months at a time. I was a huge admirer of Mat Haig’s book too. Good luck with your list!

  • gardening is one of my goals too 😀 thought it was just me being old! xx

  • I’m definitely going to start compiling a ‘things I’d like to achieve in my lifetime’ list…

    …compared to our usual to-do lists, new years resolutions and monthly/quarterly/mid-year goals it has so much more longevity about it – something to ultimately work towards that makes everything else fall into perspective.

    Thanks Hannah!

    K
    http://www.thelifedegree.com

  • Sarah

    We went to Bali on honeymoon and did the West Coast of America last summer – best 2 holidays ever!! We started in San Fran which is amazing – so much to see, went to Sonoma for some wine tasting, Yosemite (breathtaking) and then drove down the coast and flew out of LA. Highlights would be Alcatraz, Monteray Aquarium and Carmel. Xxx

  • I loved this post, so fun and refreshing to read! Your blog always makes me happy! Might do a similar post on mine inspired! Lydia Eve | http://www.lydia-eve.blogspot.co.uk xx

  • Mel

    Brill post! I like how you’ve outlined some realistic things that we’d all like to achieve like marriage and babies yet there’s also the want for something totally random like a kitchen island. I feel ya!

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

  • So many of these things are on my bucket list – especially going to Bali! There is so much I want to do and I’m hoping that if I have a list now I might have more of a chance of doing some of it!

    Rachael at broomfie.blogspot.com

  • Hi Hannah, I returned yesterday from a Month long trip along the West Coast- from San Diego to San Fransisco. I have blogged the trip every day. My biggest tip is to ditch Yosemite. So many people and to head into the Sierra Mountains where there are hardly any people at all!!! We drove along Ebbet’s pass and Lake Utica is outstandingly beautiful to kayak and picnic at. I’ll leave the link to my blog as it could help with planning! What a really wonderful list

    Sophie X

    http://www.sophieblunt.com

  • We have hygge in Norway toooo! And it is THE best.

  • han

    Loved this so much. I’ve never heard of the word hygge, but I’d like in.

    xx

    Hannah | Oh January

  • Rachel

    Love this post!
    We have done the west coast trip twice once to LA and Vegas and once to LA and San Fran it was amazing but a lot of people are underwhelmed by LA however we loved it. Top tip is to make sure you have time to see more than just the main touristy stuff, a rental car is essential! We went horseback riding in the Hollywood hills (sunset ranch) amazing experience and hiking in Runyon kanyon. Griffith observatory also has amazing views in the day and at night. Santa Monica is a must nice seaside vibes (and the best Mac and cheese I’ve ever had at a restaurant called misfits) If you want to venture a little further afield head to Orange County ( about and hours drive from central LA) Balboa Island is the cutest little place (they also shot some of the OC here) lovely place to get coffee and go sit and watch the world go by, and about 20 mins from there is Laguna Beach lovely beaches and great food well worth the drive if you have chance! Sorry for the huge post but hopefully that was helpful x

  • I keep looking at West Coast trips to the US of A too! Currently lusting after the Trek America Canyons and Coasts trip (hotel/motel lodging all the way!) they’re running next year and just trying to pluck up the courage to book onto it…

    Loving a good life list post the H, good to know there are other people craving a Kitchen Island too 😉 x

  • We should SO be friends.
    I’ve ticked off 3, working on 4 and didn’t need to google Hygge.
    You can sit at my virtual kitchen island drinking wine anyday.

  • Lucy

    As someone who is going through a bit of a rocky patch right now in terms of general life admin, reading this post really motivated and inspired me. It’s something your posts always seem to ignite in me, so thank you Hannah, for knowing exactly what to say, when to say it and always staying humble. You’re bloody fabulous ❤️

  • I totally feel you with the kitchen island. I want a pretty and functional one so bad!

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

  • Just shows, you write a huge comment and then delete it in a marginally drunken state. Ohh feck. Right lets start again. Yes do LA but only briefly, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be! San Fran, Yosemite, Portland and Seattle are where it’s at. I did the west coast in 2013 for over a month and it was amazing. Get the train when you can, it’s cheap, double decker, on time and has ALL the leg room! Plus don’t both stopping in Sacrametno, waste of time! Only get the Greyhoundif you reallllllllly have to, it was an experience, but not one I’d jump at again. As for the other points, I am totally on the same wave length with every single one of them, so bring. It. On! Alice xxxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • Exact same as you, both kids of divorce! We agreed a big white wedding, but as I started to look at costs I was like “I am not down with this!” so after paying and losing a deposit on a big venue we decided to have a secret elopement. We had just 5 weeks to plan it as we already had a holiday to the Marrakech booked so we were like “lets just make that a honeymoon”, we invited 13 of our family and friends, I got married in an ASOS dress and he got married in a Next suit and we had some food at The Cosy Club after. We made DIY wedding decorations and favours and everyone said it was one of the best weddings they had been too because it was so intimate and sweet. It cost less than £1000 which included paying for a minibus and for people to eat! No regrets. A wedding doesn’t make a marriage!

    Georgina Clarke Blog x

    • This literally sounds like the dream. Well done you for just going for it and doing what YOU want rather the something that everyone else wants. And now you don’t have £49578476598 in wedding debt to pay off for the rest of your life xxx

  • Laura

    This is how I did my wedding two years ago, a £19.99 dress from ASOS and a big tent in the laws garden with fairy lights in the tree. Our only expense was 3k on catering and everyone loved how casual it was….lovely post Hannah, I hope you get everything on your list X

  • Hi Hannah,

    I read your blog almost daily and always enjoy it!

    Me and my boyfriend travelled down the highway 1 from San Fran to LA in April and it was just so perfect.

    I kept a travel diary online, it might give you some ideas of places you’d like to visit/not visit. I have added the link below.

    Do get in touch if you have questions!

    Best,

    Valeria x

  • Your pictures are amazing at the moment Hannah! This was a really uplifting list to read – I’d also quite like a few of the things on this list – I’ve always wanted to write a book but that kind of ground to a halt ever since I started blogging instead!
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

  • Chloe marie

    I love this so much! Sophie x

  • Emily

    Hannah, if you’re going to do a West Coast road trip you HAVE to go to San Diego. I’m a bit biased as I studied abroad there for a year but it is a much prettier, nicer city than LA. There’s an abundance of amazing Mexican food since it’s so close to the border, a cute Old Town that looks like something out of a western AND the city centre is right by the Sea. Plus there’s a tonne of gorgeous beaches, the Zoo and it is just a lovely lovely place. 10/10 would recommend and advise you add it to your road trip. (For Google inspo look up old town San Diego, hodad’s, sunset cliffs and mission beach amongst several other things)

  • So many life goals on that list, I dream of kitchen islands and log burners. I think next January I’m going to start a yearly bucket list and see how many things I can cross off, I like the idea of seeing all my goals/dreams down in a list. I don’t know why but it makes it seem more achievable.

    x

    Lady Law Student

  • i have so much love for this post 🙂 Hygge sounds like the word I have been lusting over. Your list is full of beautiful and wonderful goals. It totally looks like your priorities are straight and that you have your personal perfectly balanced with professional. I’m loving reading your blog at the moment Hannah 🙂

    http://www.englishgirlinnewyork.org

  • Nanna

    I’m a Danish girl and the way you descibe Hygge is spot on!

  • Anette

    Great post. I’ve followed your blog for a while. I’m from Denmark and you should definetly include more “hygge” in your life. And not just on your own, but with friends and family as well. We gather around with the people we love and “hygger”.
    For the baby question – you should do it when you can’t (and won’t) wait any longer. I just gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl 17 days ago. It’s definetly the most lifechanging thing to do ever, but I’m still me, and when your baby is there, you won’t question the timing because you will fall head over heels in love with him/her 🙂
    Thank you for a great blog!

  • Rose

    This is a great post. It has made me excited for things to come, thank you.

  • I think that hygge comes close to what Polish call przytulność. It’s about little moments that turn meaningfull because they make you and/or others feel warm inside. It’s a way of decorating a house, spending time and your own behaviour that emits all those nice feelings.
    One of the biggest things on my bucket list is to have a place where I feel 100% home. It’s not that I don’t feel at home at my mother’s house or anything, but I just can’t be myself the way that I want to be.
    I loved this post, it made me rethink my bucket list(mostly adding more things to it), and it also shows me that no matter how big or small my goals are, they are just as special as that of others.

  • Ah lovely you never feel ready for having children – I’m pregnant with my 3rd and still don’t feel ready! I just feel like I’m playing house.

  • gah you loveliness- you have put most of my own dreams into your list!! A big kitchen is my dream; to cook all the meals for people and to have that warm, homely feel. And I totally get what you mean with marriage and kids. A and I are getting married next year and I’m so excited but still feel down thinking but haven’t I just turned 16 (I really haven’t and I’m nearly a decade from that) and I want kids before I’m 30 but then take 9 months to bake and what if you aren’t good at making them and omg when is the right time and do I have the right body for them etc etc etc.

  • Love this.. if there’s one thing that helps make me feel better when I’m having one of those “my life is going nowhere days” it’s thinking of all the things I want to do/achieve.

    I also very much want a Kitchen Island! x

    Small&Blonde♥

  • I LOVE THIS – I feel you about the divorce/marriage effect, I’m staunch long-term solid happy ever after etc after my parents. And I’d love to go Bali, travel around Italy, have a successful career that I enjoy, and I’d also like to say I’d tried something new each month, or as often as I could. And learnt Italian again.

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • Ana

    You are such a cute girl with so authentic and simple dreams – I can totally identify with all of them. Most people are just talking about business, and cars, and money but you are revealing the simple so much more satisfying dreams: children, a home, a job on which you can thrive on. I think the same, so I loved reading that post! xx Ana // http://www.disasterdiary.de

  • I so want you to release a book – I would definitely buy it! And I can definitely relate with a lot of these goals but life is a marathon not a sprint, so I’m in no major rush! 🙂

    http://www.ohsobecky.com

  • You have totally inspired me to put together some form of bucket list! Be it a list of things I want to have done or achieved by the end of the year or by the end of my 30’s … There is a list coming!!!

  • PipJaggers

    Great bucket list! I thought I had lots on mine, but after careful thinking I cast off most of them. I realised I wasn’t actually going to regret not having done most of the stuff on my bucket list…all except two. There were two that I really knew I would regret on my death bed, if I had not done them: 1) See ancient South American temples, 2) See the northern lights. Number 2 is in the pipeline; number 1 needs loads of planning. Do you think your bucket list is a list of things you want to do, or a list of things you’d genuinely be distraught about having not done them?

  • Liv

    3 and 7 were both on my bucket list, and I’ve done them both the past few years, along with a few other things that once seemed unlikely, I think your list is good for anyone to aspire to.

    In terms of the right time to have a baby, you’re right; the decision to actually say ‘ok, let’s do this’ (heh heh) is very scary. We thought trying for a baby in my final year of a degree would be a good idea, as surely it would take ages and then I’d have it after I finished. Nope, baby arrived in February, 10 weeks before dissertation was due! Basically there is no perfect time except when you feel like you can let go of worrying about it.

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