Why I want to experience 12 new things in the next 12 months

Nikki ParkinsonLife 42 Comments

Last week I attended a Thrive workshop.

The workshop formula is the brainchild of author Arianna Huffington (co-founder of Huffington Post) and based on her best-selling book of the same name. It was delivered to us by Arianna’s Thrive buddy and sister, Agapi Stassinopoulos, at a Business Chicks event.

Agapi Stassinopoulos and Nikki Parkinson | Unbinding the Heart | Thrive | Business Chicks

The key messages were not new to me – that success at the expense of your relationships and health is far from living a successful life and most certainly not thriving or winning at life.

But sometimes you just need to hear those key messages again, and again, don’t you?

By the end of the workshop, Agapi had has all committed to doing one thing every day for the next 32 days – one action that would make a big difference to our lives if we stuck to it because it would become a habit. (I’ve used this one thing idea to great success already this year)

We each have a #thrivebuddy (hello Caroline!) to check in with us each day and keep us accountable. I’m less than a week in but my Thrive “one thing” is already having a positive effect on me.

I’m not going to let you in on what my one thing is until mid-June because that one thing is going to be part of a 12-month personal challenge I’ve set for myself.

Why the challenge?

It’s my 49th birthday next Monday (there you go all those people who have Googled “nikki parkinson age” – and yes, there are a lot of you – my age reveal is my birthday gift to you!).

Not that it’s ever been a state secret. I’m happier and more confident now that I’ve ever been.

So, to keep things fresh and to take a thriving – not just a surviving – approach to life, I’ve come up with this personal challenge to shake things up a little during my 50th year on this planet.

You see, getting to this age is a privilege. EVERY day is a privilege.

Life is not about putting things off until some fictitious time in the future. Life is about doing stuff that makes you feel good. NOW.

My mum was 51 when she died in a tragic accident. My mother-in-law was 54 when she died following a battle with ovarian cancer. They were young women in their prime.

There are no guarantees in this game we called life but I do know this: I’d much rather be a player in the game than a spectator watching it pass me by from the sidelines.

Be a player not a spectator | #12before50 | Styling You

The challenge?

To do ONE NEW THING every month for 12 months.

The first month’s thing will be revealed in a couple of weeks and then I’ll roll out the others over the course of the year.

I’ve got a working list but don’t really want to set it in stone because I want to be open to new stuff – and that’s where you come in.

I want you to hit me with some ideas and suggestions, of things you have tried or done or things you’d like me to experience first and write about it before you decide to give it a go too.

No idea is a bad one and (ideally), I’d like to mix up the types of activities and things I’m committing to. I’ve got some physical activities on the list, some cultural, some curious and some just plain fun.

The “things” don’t have to cost anything (and my first one doesn’t!) but it’s ok if they do.

As, I said. OPEN to everything.

I also feel that by sharing the challenge with you each month (here on the blog and on Instagram with tag #12before50), you’ll help keep me accountable.

And should you feel the urge to join in with your own 12-month challenge to embrace and try new things, that would be wonderful. We can keep each other accountable.

A wise woman told me recently that the key to discovering and embracing new ideas was to start with your current daily routine and find ways to mix and shake it up.

Now excuse me while I pour myself and my routine into a giant cocktail shaker. Let the #12before50 challenge begin.

So, over to you. Please help me compile my list of 12 things. Share your ideas in the comments below. Do you want to join in too?

Comments 42

  1. Hm, yes. ’67 is a fine vintage. I’m about to turn 49 and this post came at the right time. Making a list (checking it twice!)… just need to find a ‘thrive buddy’ to keep me accountable. Happy birthday and good luck to us!

  2. Great idea. You are an inspirational person to so many of us.

    I have 9 months until my 40th so could adapt the challenge for me #9before40.

  3. I’m a ’66 vintage, so my 50th year on the planet has already started!
    This blog post has made me realise that in my own way I’ve started doing something similar, not one new thing every month but definitely looking at life through a different lense, conquering some long held fears and pushing myself to be more spontaneous and less controlling.
    It’s been an enjoyable, challenging and sometimes scary process but I do appreciate the opportunity to be introspective and reflective; and I have found that I actually do like and value who I am and what I am and I can see value in being ME … Nikki, I hope you find the same over the next twelve months 🙂 x

  4. I love this idea and want to share what I did. Try taking swim lessons and plan a swim trek to a wonderfull location. We’re off to Montenegro this month for week of swimming. I couldn’t swim 50 mtr now I can go for several km. It’s Hashimotos friendly and makes you feel great.

  5. I really like this idea and will avidly follow along with you and try to do the same. Something that I came across this week which I’m very keen to try is relaxing in a floatation tank. A new business has just opened up where I live and I’m thinking it would be an awesome time out/meditation/relaxation technique to try. Something which others have already suggested and I agree with is the cooking class. Last year I did an asian cooking class which was so much fun and I make the things I learnt regularly. Also just at home I decided to make 1 new thing each week so I’ve been enjoying trolling through my recipe books and magazines and picking out new things to try. Some are winners and some aren’t but its fun trying. Another thing I’m trying to do is be more spontaneous. I’m a control oriented and organized person which is a bit of a spontaneity killer. Last week I had a spa with the whole candle deal on a week night!! (very out there for me) haha 🙂

  6. wow what a great idea. I have two and half years till my 50th so thinking 50 things to try before 50. Number 1 to watch a sunrise from Mt Warning. Number 2 to watch a sunset from the west coast. Number 3 ….. Thank you nikki for the idea.

  7. Also I aimed to do 50 fabulous things in the
    Year I turned 50 but I actually did so many more and one was to meet you !

  8. I’m currently reading through my stack of books written by inspiring women instead of too much technology time. I started with Lisa Messengers -daring and disruptive and also Marie Kondo – the life changing magic of tidying up -I probably have a dozen or so to go …

  9. Hi Nikki when I read your book I thought we may have been a similar age & we are! I also have my 49th birthday in less than two weeks. I endeavour to live my life with a positive attitude, spending time with family & friends doing things I love. Life is a precious gift. But wow! What a great idea your 12 before 50 challenge is.

  10. Such a very exciting proposition. I would love to join in dependent of course on restrictions of body becoming less flexible. Suggestions: try golf, learn to paint, daily meditation (does not need to be lengthy), learn about an eastern religion, volunteer in a good cause necessitating attendance, plant a veggie garden, learn about car maintenance, be able to cook a meal in a foreign cuisine, find something you fear and challenge that fear, learn to knit or crochet, study herbs and their beneficial effects, just get ready for the big 50 celebration.

  11. I may be among the younger demographic of your blog, but in my 29th year I decided to do a #30before30…what a whirlwind! Some items on my list included reading a new book each month, take a cooking class, eat at a Michelin rated restaurant, visit New York for the first time, learn to drive a manual car (because auto is all I’ve ever known), and my 30th birthday was capped off and celebrated in the amazing Maldives!! Lots of different things (and money spent!) but it was such a fun and memorable 12 months. I hope I may have given you some ideas here but even if I haven’t, enjoy the 12 month challenge!! It’s a really great time to re-group, re-focus and learn new things about yourself and the world.
    Daisy xo

  12. This is such a timely post & such a great idea. I’ve just lost mum-in-law and about to lose a dear aunt as she has terminal cancer (only 62!). I had this conversation with my own Mum about 6 weeks ago and my mum has decided to have a fantastic holiday every year from now on without fail. I love what Jo (below) has suggested and just adapting the everyday routine would be a change for me. The creative things float my boat and I can imagine you’d enjoy art classes, flower arranging etc, i immensely enjoyed those! What about seeing something at the Theatre you’d never have bothered to see before, having a beauty treatment you never would have entertained before, cook something different…well the list could go on! Thanks for posting this, it’s made me re-evaluate my next 12 months 😉

  13. I think this is a brilliant and easily adaptable to whatever you want to do. One of my workmates planned to do something new everyday for the month before her 40th birthday and she has just kept going since. Some days it as simple as walking a different route from the bus to work, buying lunch somewhere she’s never bought it from before, eating dinner alone in a restaurant or working significantly different hours. Through to trying new activities from fencing to pilates to snorkelling.
    Certainly it gets more difficult to come up with new things everyday, but she really seems to be enjoying the challenge and while something of these are things she’ll do again, at least if you do it once you have been open to finding new things you enjoy.

  14. Terrific idea. Here are a few ideas. Something arty – pottery, print making. Something foodie- making cheese, cooking course, Nature – a hike or kayak trip, Meditation.

  15. What a wonderful idea! I recently read the Artist’s Way and have committed to setting an artist date with myself each week. I’m taking is slow and small… but have done some colouring in, made a collage from images in a magazine and am planning a trip to the picture book section of my local library, along with a kite making and flying day. Finding that I’m more open to participating – instead of pushing my son on an awesome flying fox the other day, we took it in turns… forgot how much I love a good flying fox! Love your idea! Will be following with interest! ideas? What about paintball or one of those obstacle (mud) courses?

  16. I agree Ageing is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken for granted nor looked down upon! I’ll be following your challenge with interest and developing my own list of 12 things to do too!

  17. I turned 50 a month ago. My mother died at 44 with a sudden heart attack so my age is definitely a privilege. I haven’t really thought of this idea but have been thinking about my mortality and purpose of life. You have certainly given me food for thought…thanks!

  18. Nikki this sounds wonderful and you’re so right aging is a privilege,your Mum and Mother in Law so very young!
    I will have to think about this,but finding joy everyday is a great way to start Xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.