I should let you know that my birthday is December 30th, so I have practically the whole calendar year to be my age. I used to hate having a birthday right by Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but these days, I love being able to reflect on the calendar year and my year at that age. It’s all in how you look at things.

 

31 is going to be my best year ever.

 

30 was actually a pretty good year for me. It was a milestone and a kick in the butt to change my life. Before 30, I had no big goals that I wanted to accomplish. I just lived life, went through the motions, and kept quiet. But turning 30, I celebrated with some very un-Jaclyn like things: I had a GOLD party for my GOLDEN birthday. I bought a short and sparkly gold dress and very maturely and lady-like did my first keg stand. Sorry mom! I went to a small college and had never done one. It was a great way to end my 20s and start my 30s.

How adorable is my boyfriend?

How adorable is my boyfriend?

Ricchio girls!!

Ricchio girls!!

Yes, 30 started out just as I wanted it to. It was a celebration and a loud start to the year. At age 30, I decided I would become a runner. Yup, one day I spent $400 and signed Paul and I up for a bunch of races.  I ran an 8k, 2 half-marathons, and a marathon! (I guess 2015 was a pretty good year for Paul too.)

When you're the World's Okayest Runners like us, you're allowed to take selfies during your marathon.

When you're the World's Okayest Runners like us, you're allowed to take selfies during your marathon.

At age 30, I quit my teaching job and started working at a tech startup in downtown Chicago. I went on 4 mini trips to different states. I completely changed the way I ate and went extreme paleo on Whole30. I started my own company being a lifestyle and wellness coach and began sharing my journey with others.

I did more at age 30 than I ever imagined I’d be able to do. When I look back on my 20s, sure, I did some great things like finishing college, getting my masters, and working at some pretty great schools, but I never did anything out of the ordinary. I kept quiet and went about my business in my 20s. 30 was the year that changed everything. Someone called it my "Eat, Pray, Love" year, and it was, except for that whole not traveling the world thing nor did I break up with my boyfriend (thank goodness. Love you Paul.) Yep, 30 was amazing. 

 

But 31 is going to be my best year ever.

 

How can being 31 top being 30?

Because I want it. I want this year to be my best year ever. I am going to make it my best year ever. I started 31 living my life with intention. I set goals for myself, and I helped others with their goals.

It's crazy, but it all kinda started with running. When I started running last year, I did it because I wanted to see if I could actually do it. I had no real goals other than to just finish these races. I started streaking, running 1 mile every day, just to say that I ran 31 days in a row for my 31st birthday without quitting. I took something I was really bad at and hated and made it something I was good at and loved.

I decided to stretch my 31 day streak to 100 for a few reasons:

1. Goal: I wanted to improve my mile time. I hadn’t really been focusing on time in December because running 1 mile was still pretty difficult for me. Once it became easy, I knew I needed to focus on something to make me push myself. I’ve always called myself a slow runner, so why not change that? I was never a runner but decided to become one. If I can do that, then I can make myself a fast runner. I am not destined to be slow unless I allow it. My best time is 8:34, almost 3 minutes faster than when I started in November. My goal is to get under 8 minutes before my 100 day streak is over.

8:34. Working on getting 7:59!

8:34. Working on getting 7:59!

 

2. Inspire others. People started messaging me in December and telling me that I was inspiring them to do daily runs or walks. What? Awesome! I missed helping people as a teacher. Now I can do things in my life, share with friends and family, and hopefully help a few people with their lives. Crazy. Love it.

3. 31 is such a blah sounding number. See for yourself:

 

Me- I ran 31 days in a row.

Person- Oh. Cool…

 

Ok, but 100? 

 

Me- I ran 100 days in a row.

Person- OH!!! COOOOOOOL!!!

 

See what I mean?

 

So I did it to show off? For bragging rights? For a “cool story, bro!!” Yeah, well maybe! But really, it is a great story! I actually just put a blurb about it on a recent job application. I want my running to be a story of ups and downs. I want to show people and myself that nothing is perfect but with intention, you can make things great. That small habits every day really do build up to HUGE accomplishments. That you have to work for what you want and eventually you'll get it. 

My journey with running is a microcosm of my journey being me. I began super uninterested and with self-doubt, started again but with no real plan, had bouts of excitement and mini-accomplishments but plenty of let downs, set some goals that I achieved and some that keep eluding me, but ultimately I WILL ACHIEVE MY GOALS. Running challenges me to be a better person outside of running.

 

Yes, 31 is going to be my best year ever.

 

At 31, I actually have goals that I tell people, goals that I work on, goals that I achieve, goals that I hold myself accountable to.

I have only 10 months left being 31. Here are a few things I am working on to make it the best year ever. Some are not fully planned out yet, but I have a rough idea of what I want to work on this year:

·        Run a sub 8 min mile

·        Finish running 100 days in a row

·        Shave at least 60 minutes off of my marathon time

·        Blog once a week

·        Follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating (learn to eat without being 100% perfect or having a horrible binge)

·        Build self-confidence, be proud of me, talk to myself in a positive way (**This one is huge for me, and inspired by my PiYo girl, Chalene Johnson.)

·        Develop closer relationships with friends and family

·        Inspire others to TAKE ACTION in their lives and not passively watch

·        Build a profitable and thriving coaching business

·        Explore Georgia and other southern states

·        Go on a real vacation

 

 31 is going to be my best year ever.

You are probably not 31 with a December 30th deadline, but you still only have 10 months left of your 2016.  If you are younger than me, bless your heart. Stay young forever and accomplish a million things. If you’re older, what are you waiting for? Age is just a number. It’s no excuse to not go after things you want. In fact, it should be a kick in the butt to get started NOW. Either way, stop waiting. Live your life with intention and make this your best year ever. 

 

Even Jameson wants you to make this your best year ever!

Even Jameson wants you to make this your best year ever!

 

How are you going to make it YOUR best year ever? Comment below or write in your journal: what are 3 things you want to accomplish this year? How are you going to make them happen?


 

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