James McQuarrie

A collection of random links and thoughts curated by James McQuarrie

My “4 things to achieve before I’m 30” bucket list

In exactly one year from today I shall turn 30.

In an effort to stave off the inevitable “what am I doing with my life” moment that will accompany that day’s arrival, I thought it might be interesting to set myself some challenges to meet before the big day arrives.

Challenges that I can (hopefully) complete by then and point at and say “even if I’m not 100% sure what I’m doing with my life, I did those things in only one year!”.

The Challenges

Challenge number 1 – Drop my body fat percentage to under 10%

Having successfully lost 10kgs last year through exercise and healthy eating, this year I’d like to get fitter than I’ve ever been. I don’t really care how heavy I am, more how healthy I am and how much fat I’m carrying. So, challenge number one: achieve sub-10% body fat by the age of 30.

Challenge number 2 – Run in a 10k race (not fun run) and not come last

I’ve never been a runner. As a teenager I played a lot of rugby, but hated the running bit. In my post-rugby days I cycled as my main form of (very limited) exercise. Running is not something that comes easily to a 6 foot 5 inch tall, 16 stone + person. I’m not built for it. But, last year I forced myself to start jogging. I needed to exercise but couldn’t afford to join a London gym, and with Regent’s Park on my doorstep running seemed like the obvious choice. So that’s what I did. I’m by no means good at it, but I can finish a 5k training run twice a week and not collapse, so I figure a 10k race is something to aim for that will make me work harder and push myself a bit more on those training runs.

Challenge number 3 – Launch a web app

For years now I’ve said that I want to launch my own web application. I used to use working full time in a 40+ hour a week corporate job as my excuse for not doing it. But then last year I left the corporate World and set myself up as a contractor and couldn’t use that excuse any more. So I used setting my company up as my excuse. Then, once that was done, I used finding clients for my company as the excuse. On and on, there seems to be an endless list of reasons why I can’t get round to designing, building and launching an app. Hence including launching an app here. I’m not too bothered about how good it is or whether it takes off and becomes popular, for the purposes of this challenge I simply want to launch one. No more excuses.

Challenge number 4 – Launch an iDevice app

In the same way as I’ve found excuse after excuse after excuse for not launching a web app, I’ve managed to put off building and launching an iPhone / iPod / iPad app too. When Apple first announced the iOS SDK and support for the app store, etc I wrote down a whole host of ideas for applications that I would one day work on if I had the time. That time has never been found and will never be unless I force myself (through this public list) to just do it. So, that’s on this list too. I’ve no app coding experience and only a vague understanding of how an iOS app is built, but I’m sure I can figure it out, or muddle through. Again, the challenge is to launch something, if no one downloads it or uses it, or if it’s pretty useless, I don’t care. I simply want to get something made.

So that’s it. Those are the challenges I’m setting myself. I have 1 year. 12 whole months. It sounds like quite a long time, but it won’t be. The time will fly by. And hopefully distract me from the impending big three-oh.