Yesterday on November 12, 2012 I started a completely new project in my life. Or a whole bunch of projects. 30 to be exact.

You see, yesterday started the countdown of the 30 days leading up to my 30th birthday.

Inspired by my new friend Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness, I chose to develop a list of things I have not yet had the pleasure (or displeasure if I’m being honest) of doing. The goal is to achieve as many of these 30 things as possible in the 30 days leading up to my 30th birthday.

The list of 30 things covers a wide range of activities from fitness challenges, personal development tasks as well as fun and exciting adventures I’d like to live.

Normally I am in support of full disclosure and I would list out the 30 challenges below. However there are a few on the list that I cannot share until they are completed. You will understand why shortly.

Once my 30 days is up, I will be posting all about my journey – what went well, what surprised me, what I learned and even what I struggled with. I will be very honest about my results in a report card fashion and I very much look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on this adventure.

A few things to point out as this journey begins…

The first is that this will not be done alone. I’ve been blessed with a bevy of sidekicks to dive into these challenges with. These are my close friends, new friends, old friends, colleagues, clients and more. It is important to note that these individuals play a crucial role in these challenges and I look forward to sharing a bit about their stories at the conclusion.

Lastly, it was very challenging to develop this list of 30 things. To be honest, it took longer than 30 days to develop my list of 30 things to do before my 30th birthday. I would sit around with friends and colleagues to brainstorm. As so many things would not be put on the list, simply because I’ve already had the opportunity to do it.

I’ve been a part of a low budget horror film where I got to be the voice of the killer, I was part of a local TV show for two seasons, I’ve been featured on the radio before, I’ve spoken at a national conference, I competed in a men’s physique show, I’m a published writer and photographer in a bevy of magazines and newspapers, I managed a record store and got to listen to music all day long, I worked on a farm for a day moving literally hundreds of bales of hay, I’ve enjoyed a hotdog and a beer at Wrigley Field while watching the Cubs beat the Cardinals, I had a very short job selling caramel apples for six hours before getting fired for eating more than I sold, I chartered a club and have gone through most of the Toastmasters International program to be a better speaker and a better leader, I was a President of Ad2 Tucson, I worked as a marketer on various non profit organizations marketing campaigns, I took a comic book illustration course when I was a kid and then when I was in high school I had a small hobby as a cartoonist for the school paper until I realized that I could not draw, I used to interview musicians for publications, I hiked at night for 7 miles under the light of a full moon to a small water fall, and I’ve seen fireworks over Navy Pier during the Taste of Chicago one hot July summer night.

There have been plenty more amazing experiences, but the reason I point this out is that one of the most rewarding parts thus far in developing this list is the realization that I’ve had the opportunity to do so many challenging and different things in my nearly 30 years of life thus far.

I look forward to reporting back in a few weeks the results of this new course I’ve set!

James Patrick