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24th Birthday Challenge

This year I made my own 24th birthday challenge. The challenge was to complete a list of 24 things in 24 hours on my 24th birthday. Check out this post to see how you can make your own 24th birthday challenge!

This is a pin for the 24th birthday challenge. There are blue and pink dots and decorations on the win with the text, "24th Birthday Challenge" in the middle of the pin.

What should I do for my 24th birthday?

If you're one of those people who doesn't willingly tell other people it's your birthday, but you low-key still like to celebrate and do special things, then birthdays can be a little weird.

I didn't have high expectations for my birthday this year. I've had some really special birthday celebrations throughout college thanks to living in the same city with many wonderful friends.

Midnight surprise parties, lunch at the local Mexican restaurants, spaghetti nights at our shared house, and long nights at the winery (can it get better than a bottle of rosé, sweet desserts, and your best ladies?!); the birthday celebration bar has been set super high the past few years.

So two days before my birthday one of my coworkers asked me what I was doing to celebrate my birthday and I didn't have an answer (besides "well, I have to work...").

I knew my birthday was going to be different than ones in the past, but I decided I could still celebrate by filling the day with all the things I love.

The 24th birthday challenge

The night before my 24th birthday, I made a list of 24 things I want(ed) to do in 24 hours on my 24th birthday.

The list was filled with some things I do on an everyday basis (work out and drink coffee), some things I never do but want to do more (listen to podcasts and read for fun), and other random things that I just enjoy (eating a good breakfast, talking to friends on the phone, etc.).

My plan was to challenge myself to wake up and do everything on the list!

The list

So, here's the my 24th birthday challenge list. It was my 24 things to do in the first 24 hours of being 24!

Do a yoga video with Adriene (24 mins long!) (#1)

Yoga is one of the things I've been trying to more this year (I'm far, far from a "yogi"), and I have a goal to do it at least twice a week. I woke up bright and early (any other 5:45 a.m. risers out there?!) to get this yoga in before officially beginning my day.

Drink at least 24 oz of coffee (#2)

This task was completed before 8 a.m., as per usual. Special compliments to Taylor for buying me a cup for the unlimited coffee at HyVee!

Eat a good breakfast (#3)

I got to spend my morning before work getting HyVee breakfast with my accountability group! Breakfast was the special Asiago sandwich with my favorite fruit cup (thanks to Kelsey!) and unlimited coffee (thanks to Taylor!)

Watch the sunrise/sunset (#4)

I'm extra thankful because I got to watch the sunrise at exactly 7:42 a.m. with my accountability group at HyVee. I watched the sunset at exactly 6:05 p.m. from my porch.

Listen to 24 songs on my "birthday tunes" playlist (#5)

I made a Birthday Tunes playlist the night before my birthday and listened to it (on semi-low volume) all morning at work.

Take a picture of myself at 24 (pictures at the bottom of this post!) (#6)

Special thanks to Shari, my wonderful photographer, for helping me complete this task!

Go on a run (#7)

I loooooove running and I wanted so badly to go on a beautiful 5 miler because the weather was perfect. However, I've been injured and didn't want to make things worse. So instead I attempted 2 miles on the elliptical at the Rec, which didn't hurt my injury (!!) but was the closest I could get to going on a run.

Lift weights (#8)

I got this done during my lunch break! Since I've been injured and trying to stay off my legs, I've focused so much on arms and abs, so this lifting session consisted of upper body and core.

Spend time with my husband (#9)

I took a half day at work so Alan and I could spend some time in the afternoon together! We went out to lunch, spent time in prayer, and of course, got DQ blizzards.

Get dessert (#10)

I love a good Dairy Queen blizzard. You know I'm a part of the Blizzard Fan Club so I had a bogo coupon for a blizzie. (PSA: it's free to join the Blizzard Fan Club and you get sent bogo coupons for blizzards to your email)

Spend time in prayer (#11)

Alan and I had the opportunity to spend some time in prayer together in the afternoon. I'm super thankful to have a husband that is a spiritual leader for our family of two.

Read 24 verses of scripture (#12)

Alan and I read Psalm 139 together, which is exactly 24 verses! These verses left me in awe. It's crazy to think how the Lord knows us so well and how we don't come anywhere close to knowing Him as well as He knows us.

In these verses, the psalmist asks the Lord to “search him.” At this point in my life, I am no where near ready to ask the Lord to "search me" but I hope to get to that point one day.

Talk about Jesus (#13)

This was an extension of #6 when Alan and I talked about Psalm 139. The Lord is good!

Walk 24 blocks around the neighborhood (#14)

I love going on walks and am constantly thankful to live in a city where I can walk to most places I go, like Truman's campus! I walk to work everyday, but on my birthday I actually counted how many blocks it is from my house to campus and it's exactly 16.

So on my round-trip to campus and back I really walked 32 blocks, so just a few extra than what I was going for.

Write a list of 24 things I’m thankful for (#15)

Year 23 was filled with so much goodness, from marriage to trips and visiting friends, that making a list came so easy.

A few highlight from the list were my husband, employment, a home that feels like a home, surprises, caffeine, health and fitness, long-distance friendships, community, and fresh flowers.

Drink at least 24 oz of Diet Dr. Pepper (#16)

Diet Dr. Pepper is one of my go-to's. I know soda isn't great for you, but I'm just not ready to give it up, so it seemed fitting to have one on my list.

Make a list of new recipes to try (24 of 'em) (#17)

What a task this was! I really enjoy looking for new recipes, but 24 was a high number to set for myself for one day! My go-to's for recipes (and where I got all of them on my list) are Minimalist Baker, Fit Foodie Finds, Ambitious Kitchen, and Bev Cooks.

I've been getting into the habit of adding recipes to my Pinterest page if you ever want to take a look!

Talk to a friend on the phone (#18)

Going into the day I didn't know who was going to help me accomplish this item, but Leah called me and what a good, long conversation we had! During the phone call we also committed to running a destination half marathon together this year...

Make a list of 24 goals for 24 (#19)

I won't share all 24, but here's a few of my goals for the upcoming year: visit a new National Park, get a real pair of pajamas, host a full-on dinner party, complete a destination half-marathon, and take a 24-hour solo retreat.

Spend time writing (#20)

I had a few hours in the evening by myself which was the perfect opportunity to spend some time writing and reflecting.

Read for fun (#21)

I read a few random articles about cooking healthy and clean in the kitchen and homemade edible holiday gift ideas (I couldn't commit to starting a novel).

Listen to a podcast (#22)

I downloaded an episode of Optimal Health Daily. I had never heard this show before but someone recommended it to me. I'll be honest that I wasn't super into it, but I still learned something new!

Spend time with my twin (#23)

My twin (Lindsay) came into town on our birthday!!! We haven't spent a birthday together since we were in high school (wow, so long ago) so it was super exciting when her and my brother decided to drive to Kirksville the night of our birthday so we could celebrate together for the last few hours of the day.

Play a game (#24)

It was 11 p.m. on November 3 and the only item left on my list to complete was play a game, but we were all so tired! We considered Mysterium, Warewolf, Catchphrase, and Taboo, but they all seemed like too big of a we ended up having a rock, paper, scissors tournament with the four of us.

That's not exactly what I had in mind for a game, but since there was only one hour left in my birthday and everything else on the list was accomplished, I went with it. Also, I was champion!

I split my list into categories that were important to me: fitness, nutrition, faith, relationships, and fun. Then I filled up those categories with different challenges, and quickly had a list of 24.

Make your own birthday challenge

I loved completing my own 24th birthday challenge! It was fun, intentional, and customized just for me. I encourage you to make a birthday challenge for your next birthday!

Make a list of things that make your heart sing. Put things on your list that you love, add things you wish you did more, add things you always do or never do, or maybe even the things you're scared to do. Fill that list with special things because it's your day. 

There is something magical about spending one day filled with things you love, while also reflecting and challenging yourself. I encourage you to live intentionally.

It doesn't matter if you're spending your day by yourself, surrounded by friends, with a family, or with coworkers. It doesn't matter if you're turning 19 or 57. 

Commit and work hard to complete your list, and ask people to help you. It's your birthday and you deserve to be celebrated and loved.

For my next birthday

This year was the first year I did something like this, but I will absolutely continue the birthday challenge in the future. (Here's one from when I turned 25!) Many thanks to those who cheered me on and helped me complete items on my list!

Of  course, thank you all for the birthday wishes and for celebrating and loving me well, on my birthday and every day.

This is a pin for the 25th birthday challenge. There are blue and pink dots and decorations on the win with the text, "25th Birthday Challenge" in the middle of the pin.


Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

Thank you for making this list! I’m big into angel numbers and I love the number 24. I’m turning 24 on 5/24/24. I’m can’t wait until my birthday!

Jordan Smith

Saturday 6th of April 2024

Happy early birthday CJ! I hope you feel so celebrated & loved <3


Tuesday 26th of March 2024

Crapiest list ive evr seen!

Jordan Smith

Monday 1st of April 2024

What a bummer to hear! Nobody is making you do anything on the list — make your own :)


Tuesday 20th of November 2018

Completely inspired, lol, I just googled what should I do for my birthday, I'm turning 36 this Sunday, and my birthday's haven't always been things that I wanted to do... (side note fact: Truman State in Kirksville was one of the first campuses I toured as a senior in high school and I loved the campus, but was overwhelmingly intimidated by how amazing all the art in the studios were that I opted not to go and have regretted not pushing myself harder, because I'm not where I wanted to be in my career now.) Thank u for sharing your list of ideas! Now if I can find the time to make mine, two non-stop kids and husband at home, hard to find time to myself most days.