20 before 25 (and a kind of book review)

I recently completed The Next Thing on my List (amazon) by Jill Smolinski (I read it in a mere 3 days). If I had to choose one word to describe it, I’d say it was inspiring, which is incredibly surprising for a book about a woman who is in a car accident that kills her passenger.

The book revolves around a list written by the woman, Marissa, killed in the accident. The main character and driver of the car, June, finds the list. Feeling guilty for the death of a woman she only knew for the duration of a car ride, June finds the list and decides to complete it herself before Marissa’s 25th birthday. What unfolds is a life-changing story about realizing what you want in life and setting out to achieve it.

I knew even before I finished the book that I would want to make my own list at the end of it. I’ve spent a lot of my life setting out to complete things and somehow never managing (I couldn’t even commit to a daily diary). I now feel like I’ve reached a turning point in my life, and I realize that I’ve been holding myself back from a lot of the things I’d like to try in life. This book inspired me to make my own list of 20 things to do before I turn 25 (1 year 10 months from now):

  1. Go on a cruise
  2. Parasail
  3. Complete the P90X workout program
  4. Take a wine tour
  5. Learn to handle/shoot a gun
  6. Go ice skating (this ones for you, John) 🙂
  7. Lose 15 pounds
  8. Go hiking/camping with my little sister
  9. Donate to charity
  10. Go paintballing
  11. Learn to drive stick
  12. Go zip lining
  13. Think of something I’d like to buy, create a budget, and save up to make it happen
  14. Treat myself to a day at the spa (mani, pedi, facial, massage)
  15. Try an exotic food I’ve never heard of
  16. Host a party
  17. See a show on Broadway
  18. Make/Do 10 things I’ve seen on Pinterest (this one is silly, but it will be fun!)
  19. Go on a picnic
  20. Make money off of my photography

I’m excited to commit to this mini-bucket list and look forward to crossing things off and sharing the experiences with you. Oh and PS, READ THIS BOOK!

Do you have a list of your own? What kinds of things are on it? Have you completed any of them? Can’t wait to hear your ideas and experiences!

Photo source here.

37 thoughts on “20 before 25 (and a kind of book review)

    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I can’t wait to actually do everything and post about it along the way…that will be much more interesting than just reading the list.

  1. Danielleisms

    Sounds like a good book! I should check it out. 🙂

    I should write a list of my own. I have a small list at the moment, but they are big items like move to New York and live in London!

    I have a question I keep meaning to ask you or someone who had subscribed to my blog via e-mail. Are you getting notifications of my new posts recently?

    1. twenty-something Post author

      You definitely should. Its an easy read and I love the author’s style–it was super enjoyable to read. I have a bigger bucket list myself as well, but committing to something with a shorter deadline made me feel more likely to actually do the things on the list, which is why I like this one. Plus, everything on here is totally manageable! And to answer your question I haven’t–I just follow through wordpress. I have to go to danielleisms.com to see your new posts, they dont show up on the wordpress site. Hope that helps!

  2. heatherdawn

    Enjoyed reading your list! Sounds like an inspiring book! I’ve already been able to do a few of the things on your list this year that I had always wanted to do as well – sounds like I need to make my own and add a few. 🙂 Oh and the cruise will be a blast!

    1. twenty-something Post author

      It was a great book, and pretty cheap on amazon also so I definitely recommend it. What things have you done? And yes, my boyfriend and I live in FL so we can get pretty great off season deals on cruises, I think I’ll be crossing that one off the list soon (fingers crossed!) 🙂

  3. creamyclothes

    Love your list! I have all sorts of lists, I always make one for each season of things to do with my family and then I have a life bucket list. That book sounds like an awesome read.

    1. twenty-something Post author

      That’s an awesome idea! I saw another blogger who did a summer bucket list but as we’re nearly approaching summer’s end I figured a list to complete by 25 was a better deadline for me 🙂 Do you ever post your lists on your blog? I’d love to see them! And yes, totally awesome read, you should check it out. 🙂

  4. albucco10

    This book sounds so inspiring–I have to pick it up! I have a running list going in a journal…I feel like it grows more than I check things off of it, but I’m slowly but surely making progress. Love your list (number 12 is on mine too!)


    The Glossy Life

    1. twenty-something Post author

      Yes, please do and let me know your thoughts! Glad we have a common thing on our list…here in Orlando there is a huge zipline course that I’m dying to try out. I can’t wait to cross that one off my list!

    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thanks so much for sending me that link! I just checked it out — you’re right, very inspiring indeed. I love seeing what other things people have on their lists and even things our lists have in common. You should definitely make your own, and let me know if you do. I would love to see what’s on yours!

  5. mollystillman

    this is AWESOME. i wanna make a list! i’m way past 25… but maybe before i’m 30?? maybe i could do 25 things before i’m 30? or 30 before 30? that book sounds so good!

  6. Amy Patterson

    number 8 makes me happy(: i will make it happen before your year and 10 months are up! Also, i would be happy to help you with number 18, i love stuff like that! love you sissy, see you soon(:

    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thanks Rachel! Yeah, parasailing would be awesome. We have some great gulf beaches here in FL with really clear water, I’d love to do it at one of them so I could see everything in the ocean (although not entirely sure I want to know whats swimming out there). You should definitely make one of your own!

  7. Skylette of SequinsNStilettos

    Sounds like a great read! I love your list because it is very practical and thrilling too! I could teac you how to drive stick- and in stilettos too! 😉

    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thanks! I tried to make it practical but still exciting…more incentive and motivation for me to actually accomplish everything 🙂 And I love that — now I must edit “learn to drive stick” to “learn to drive stick in my stilettos!”

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