2014: The Year of the ISTJ

Last year for New Year’s, I wrote an article about how I’ve been Negative Nancy towards the whole idea of New Year’s. I completely forgot about it until I sat down to write something tonight. I’m glad I re-visited it. It’s well worth the read. Check it out first, then come on back for this year’s reflection.

This year, I’ve decided to compile a list. It’s equal parts:

  • things that inspired me in 2013
  • things that you should do some time soon

I named my blog “An Alternate Route” because of the somewhat unique way I approach life. When I finally sat down to reflect on this past year, I realized I did some pretty cool stuff.

I’ve created an intro video. Warning: It’s late at night. I’m tired. I have a tendency to ramble. But hey, video adds emotion to the words on paper, and I’d like to actually say these things, not just write them.

I’m going to talk you through the list below, but if you’d rather read them, feel free to stop the video & just read on. There are links to previous posts I’ve written from this year, as well as shout outs to many friends (and some strangers) who’ve inspired me in 2013.

(Ugh. Photo Booth on Mac screws up the audio. Sorry.)


  1. Try a new hairstyle (inspired by Jo & JenJen)
  2. Say “I don’t know”… about a topic that people expect you to know about.
  3. Do a headstand. Better yet, a handstand. (inspired by CrossFit)
  4. Try a pole dancing class (inspired by Nia, Erin & StudioX)
  5. Say hi to a homeless person. Better yet, put yourself in his/her shoes. (inspired by Hilary & One White Face)
  6. Learn about a food allergy or diet that you’re unfamiliar with (inspired by all the people I’ve taught what it really means to be vegan :-))
  7. Replace one food item for a healthier option (inspired by my sister, Kim)
  8. Add something to your diet with 2 or fewer ingredients
  9. Go to a local farmer’s market. Outside. With actual farmers. And preferably live music. Ellwood Thompson’s & Tom Leonard’s don’t count. (inspired by Molly)
  10. Run a race, triathlon, mud run or obstacle course with a friend. Train with her, too. (inspired by MTT)
  11. Treat yourself to a massage. (inspired by Wil Johnson)
  12. Donate blood (inspired by Virginia Blood Services)
  13. Ride a bike. Somewhere. Anywhere. At least once, just use 2 wheels instead of 4. (inspired by Michelle Higby & friends)
  14. Dress up in costume… for an event where you’ll be the only one in costume. More points the more ridiculous you look. (inspired by Nick, Amy, E$, Bmass, Pugh, Summer & friends)
  15. Go talk to a life coach (inspired by Alix Miller)
  16. Go out on a date with someone you wouldn’t typically go out with. And if you’re already hitched, play matchmaker, and hook up your two “least compatible” friends.
  17. Do something you used to do when you were in middle/high school, but haven’t done since then.
  18. Become a “dog person.” Or “cat person.” Whatever you prefer, just play with some friendly animals. (inspired by Chloe, Parker, Baby Grr, Libbie, Sydney, Otis, Toby & Murphy and so many others)
  19. Take a cold shower, just because. Or take one every day for 30 days. (inspired by Stephen Lackey)
  20. Call a relative that you haven’t spoken to in a while. (inspired by my Grandparents)
  21. Write someone a hand-written note… just because. (inspired by Leah Dieterich)
  22. Let out your inner Zack Brown Band (or Katy Perry or Pitbull). And broadcast it to the world. (inspired by Hilary & One White Face) — You really don’t have to sit through the entire thing. It DOESN’T get any better.
  23. Tell someone the truth… even when you know it’s going to hurt.
  24. Guys: Give one of your guy friends a hug instead of a handshake. Not one of those bro-shakes where you lean in with one shoulder & do the manly back pat with the opposite hand. I’m talking a legit hug. Both hands. Full contact. For at least 3 Mississippis. (inspired by Michael Bumbry)
  25. Ladies: On your next first date, pay for his drink. Don’t take no for an answer. (inspired by my dwindling bank account and pursuit to find a girlfriend)
  26. Summit a mountain at least 3,000 ft above sea level (inspired by Janice Smith)
  27. Start writing. About anything. Just write. (inspired by WordPress & Seth Godin)
  28. Get to know your neighbors. You never know when you’ll get your car stuck in the mud, need a dog-sitter, or when the smile on their face on your way out the door will be just what you need to turn your day around. (inspired by my awesome neighbors)
  29. Cook/bake something… WITHOUT A RECIPE. (inspired by Veganism)
  30. Go after something (or someone) that you really want. And go after it (or her) hard.
  31. Write a haiku. (inspired by Colleen Clark)
  32. Stop cursing so dang much. (inspired by Mariah Carey)
  33. Speak with conviction. (inspired by Taylor Mali)
  34. Reach out to a famous role model/celebrity.
  35. Quit something. And be proud of it. (inspired by my parents, who ironically, also taught me to never give up)
  36. Go to church, regardless of your faith (or lack thereof). (Inspired by James & Jennifer)
  37. Take a personality assessment (Myers Briggs or StrengthsFinder)… and talk to a professional about how your results apply to you.
  38. Create a set of rules to live your life by… and then break one of them.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Or via email, Twitter, Facebook, however you prefer. Please share your stories with me if you should partake in any of these challenges.