52 Things I'm Going to Do in 2014

52 Things I'm Going to Do in 2014

I should preface this by letting you know that these are not New Year’s Resolutions. Lose weight, eat more organic foods, etc. THOSE are resolutions. This is simply a list of things I’d like to do. It’s not necessarily about bettering myself, or expanding my horizons. It is also not just a checklist of big things I’ve been meaning to do, or a bucket list by any means. I’ve also tried to avoid things I know I’m going to do like “Visit California” or something.

These are meant to be one-off things that I could knock out in a day, or even in an evening. I may even be able to knock out multiple in the same day/night. All I wanted was a list that I could look back on at the end of this year and be like, “ya know what, I DID do all those things.” In a more recent light, I also decided I’m going to photo, or video, document myself completing every item on this list.

Why, Joe? Why make this list?

A friend of mine had told me how she was making a list of 26 things to do before she turned 26. I thought it was great, and thought one thing a week sounded pretty good. I’d also like to try to use social media more effectively by posting up tasks I need to complete and asking different friends to join in.

After deciding to make this list, I came across an article titled “6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person.” Fantastic article that I felt I could have written. The idea being, you can have the best intentions in the world, but it’s what you DO that actually defines you. Life is about living and living is about doing. With that, let’s get down to the list.


#1) Tell someone about a time I lied to them
Doesn’t have to be something big. Maybe I forgot to order their sandwich with no tomatoes and I told them it was just the drive-thru that messed up. Or a party I had at my parent’s house when I was younger. Not that I’m a huge liar, I just thought it was a cool idea.

#2) Volunteer for something
Anything. The idea is to also keep these items kind of open-ended and not super specific. Allows you to also think of creative ways to fulfill them throughout the year.

#3) Go camping
I’m a girly guy sometimes, this isn’t something I normally do.

#4) Go to 3 new bars in the city

#5) Randomly send someone flowers

So here’s the thing too, they don’t necessarily have to be new things. I’ve done this countless times before. I’ve also played guitar for over 15yrs, so it’s not about learning a new skill. “Learning to play guitar” would be a resolution, we don’t want resolutions. Just little things we can do. This can be an open mic, or maybe at the House of Blues with The Fold. Who knows!

#7) Write a song
In high school and college, this was my therapy. These days, I barely even pick up my guitar.

#8) Go for a bike ride

#9) Go to the Planetarium on a date

#10) Take Dexter ice skating
Dex is my 5yr old godson, and he’s pretty awesome. Time to start being the cool godfather.

#11) Take Emma to a movie
I also have the most adorable niece and nephew. Sammy will be 1 in February, but 4yr old Emma I think I could handle out on my own.

#12) Shadow someone at their job for a day
I am all about this. Now accepting volunteers to let me do this! Toews, Kane…I guess I can make time for you.

#13) Go to my father’s bowling league game

#14) Take a girl ice skating

#15) Be on TV

Never really been my thing, so why not!

#17) Have a dinner party at my place
This feels like an old person thing, but I also think it will be delicious.

#18) Take a dance lesson

#19) Go to the zoo with my niece & nephew 

#20) Snowboard
Again, done this before, but by the end of this year, I’d like to know I fit it in this year.

I play defense in hockey and I’m usually due for a few goals per season; just, want this in the back of my mind to be able to check it off one of these nights.

#22) Stay at a friend’s house

#23) Learn to cook a new meal

#24) Go to a small theater production
A friend told me “Too Much Light Makes a Baby Go Blind” is a fantastic production. And I’ve never even heard of it.

#25) Go to a big theater production
Saw “Book of Mormon” last year and loved it. I would like to repeat that event.

#26) Fight Ryan
He’s a guy who comes into the bar I work at who has also taken Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes. I’m about a year removed, but I’d like to get back into shape to fight him. He’s bigger than me, meaning I’ve just gotta be quicker.

#27) Leave a very large tip for a server

#28) Teach a class

#29) Go for ride-a-long w/ a cop

#30) Go to an auction
Never really been to one. Sounds fun. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

#31) Take a Chicago tour
This is another one that’s left open. Could be architecture, segway or an awesome Chicago Food Tour.

#32) Let someone pick out an entire outfit for me that I buy
A little different input on what style matches me. I’m game!

#33) Play a sport (other than hockey) with friends

#34) Take a cooking class

#35) Start my tattoo sleeve
Been putting this off for years. I just need to find a good tattoo artist.

#36) Go to a Blackhawks Road Watch party

#37) Stay in a new city

#38) Win an award
Any kind of award. Doesn’t matter. Like Wreck-It Ralph trying to win a medal.

#39) Surprise someone

I think the last time I pet an animal other than a dog was like 5th grade at the zoo. And why? Just to try and impress a girl.

#41) Learn to tie a new necktie knot

#42) Let a niece, nephew or cousin stay at cool Uncle Joe’s place for the night

#43) Go out for breakfast on a weekday 

#44) Go on a boat
I’m gonna rule Gambling River Boats out of this one. Be awesome if it was like a bad ass yacht. I just don’t know anyone with a bad ass yacht.


#46) Take a hike
Apparently you just walk.

#47) Play a board game

#48) Organize a competition


#50) Do something I’m afraid of
A friend suggested this one and I was rather hesitant about putting it on the list, but the last time I was scarred shitless about something is when I went skydiving. However, the only reason I went skydiving is because it scared the hell out of me and I wanted to get over it. So, let’s conjure up that fear again and say “$&%# YOU, fear!”

#51) Apply for a FOID card
I’d also like to apply for concealed carry after obtaining my firearm. What’s up, Illinois!

#52) Don’t talk for an entire day
Need a ruling on this one. Can I type? Like Facebook message, or email, or should it be no communication at all for a day? If you’ve ever met me, this one is going to be practically impossible.

And that is my list! I have a lot of friends I haven’t seen in years, and it’d be awesome to hang out with again. Get a little help completing these tasks or, hang with some new people and knock a few out.

If you’re thinking it’s too late to make your own list, you’re wrong. Can make your own list anytime. Steal from mine and feel free to post up some of your good ones in the comments section below. Will definitely be revisiting this article at the end of the year to build a new list for 2015.

Filed under: Tips for Life

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