11 October, 2016
girl celebrating her 30th birthday on the beach with balloons
girl celebrating her 30th birthday on the beach with balloons

Adulting: Setting Life Goals Before I Turn 30

11 October, 2016
girl celebrating her 30th birthday on the beach with balloons

It’s been nearly a decade, where has the time gone?!


I write this a few months shy of my 28th birthday, but something twigged in me this past week: I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20. I was chatting with another Sassy Girl who was feeling anxious about turning 25 – that quarter century life crisis – and it opened a can of worms in me. What have I achieved? What are my life goals? Did I have any to begin with?!

At nearly 28, I’m technically an adult, but how come I don’t feel like one? What’s the definition of an adult, anyway? Can I still be an adult without achieving some of the goals on my list? Does it make me any less of a grown-up? Once upon a time (okay, last year) I had envisioned myself a calm, collected, sophisticated Sassy Girl; was I there yet? Was anyone really there yet? Is this the definition of an existential crisis?

woman in pool with a drink taking a holiday

After chatting with a few people – some who are nearly 30 and some who’ve recently crossed over – I came up with my list of #goals to achieve before 30, and whether or not I’m there yet. It’s not an exhaustive list, and surprisingly, it doesn’t include travelling the world. I’m not mega keen on travelling to certain places – you’ll hardly see me reviewing a hotel resort in Bali or Phuket, or chronicling my experiences trekking through the Borneo jungle. Or journeying through the Gobi Desert. It also doesn’t include getting married and having babies. These are mostly practical, more in line with being a #bossbabe. Here goes…

woman stretch out on sofa in a home or a flat

Goal: Become a homeowner

Forget any other financial investment I’ll ever make (even a pair of shoes or that one awesome tube of lipstick). In my head, the best investment I could make is putting roots down and becoming a homeowner. I’m all about being financially stable on my own. But I do recognise I wouldn’t be able to achieve this without the kindness and generosity of my parents who have let me live at home rent-free for the last decade, allowing me to save, save, save!

Achieved: Not yet… I need to spend a day reevaluating my finances and counting my pennies and putting together some sort of “budget”, I believe that’s what the cool kids call it. And then figure out what I have for a deposit. And THEN start The Great Flat Hunt.

Read moreTips for Finding a Flat, Are Hong Kong Property Prices Falling?

Pouring black coffee into a mug

Goal: Learn to drink black coffee

There’s something so comforting about a soy-no-foam-chai-tea-latte from Starbucks across the road, but I should be able to hack the bitter taste of a tall Americano, right? Without all the added sugar and chemicals. With access to a coffee machine at our Garage Society home, I really had no excuse.

Achieved: Time to jump on the caffeinated bandwagon, and stop ordering coffee like a 12-year-old… maybe.

Read more: Four Out of the Ordinary Coffees To Try, Where To Get a Good Cup of Coffee in Sheung Wan

woman sat on a stairs wearing white jeans and platform shoes

Goal: Dress… better

It’s true: first impressions count. Even more so in your twenties and beyond. It was okay to rock up to my lectures at university in scruffy jeans and a hoodie, but if I were a “suit and tie” or worked a corporate job in ICC or IFC or I-whatever-C, my uniform of leggings, flip-flops and greasy hair definitely would not fly. Cut to Surmayee and I making plans each week to rock up to the office in hot heels…

Achieved: I’m trying. But the real judge of that will be the Sassy Girls in the office, so I might need to consult with them as the weeks go by!

woman looking at her daniel wellington watch

Goal: Be on time

I’m consistently late for work… by a minimum of 30 minutes. It’s become a joke in the office now. I’m fortunate enough to work for a company where I don’t get reprimanded for rocking up late (I make up for it by being one of the last to leave the office in the evenings), but I should be able to sort my life out and leave home at a certain time each morning to get into work, right?! Nope. I come out of the shower and sit around in a towel Insta-stalking until the last possible minute. The sad fact is, I’m not missing anything on the Internet by doing that. I need to train myself and break out of this bad habit. Maybe a short-term solution is to consciously spend a week coming in at 9.15am, and then the week after at 9am…

Achieved: Err…

woman chopping vegetables in a kitchen

Goal: Learn to cook an adult meal

Hong Kong is such a foodie city, there’s almost no need to learn to cook. Yes, it’s cheaper, it’s cosier, it’s more “homely”. But I’d rather spend my time inhaling dumplings at Din Tai Fung with my BFF than rustling up… ugh, I don’t even know what. Or scoffing down bites of The Notorious P.I.G. at Beef & Liberty on Star Street. Or sippin’ on lime sodas… anywhere.

That’s been another effect of reaching 30: my alcohol intake has drastically reduced over the last 18 months. The exhaustion and the hangovers just ain’t worth it anymore. Do I want to go for happy hour after work? No. Do I want to eat a fried chicken bao at Little Bao? Yes. So much yes. And then be home by 10pm so I can slip into something with an elasticated waistband and pass out with Friends going on in the background.

I digress. Time for some cooking classes. Hopefully ones that involve teaching me to do more than boil spaghetti, because I already know how to do THAT.

Achieved: Will have Sassy Girls over one evening for sophisticated dinner cooked entirely by me… by my 29th birthday. Preferably sans blue soup, a la Bridget Jones.

Read more: Sassy cooks at Umami Concepts

woman on a spin bicycle

Goal: Feel fit

Apparently, it’s a lot harder to get to a stage of feeling fit the older you get. The rules of physiology mean that as you age, your metabolic rate slows down. Do I keep putting off going to that spin class? Nope… time to hit up XYZ or Torq Cycle, to supplement my twice-weekly yoga sessions with Tracy at The Yoga Room (bonus that it’s about seven minutes from the office to the yoga mat so I don’t feel so bad taking an extended lunch break).

Achieved: Getting there, just need to maintain it and not let the yoga sessions fall by the wayside.

Read more: Sassy’s Guide to Yoga in Hong Kong


What’s on your list of goals, Sassy Girls?

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