40 Things To Do Before I Turn 40


Around my 21st Birthday, I decided to make a list of 25 things I wanted to do before I turned 25. While I didn't accomplish 100% of the items on the list, it pushed me to try new things and work to make the dreams a reality.

So I made a second list, my 30 by 30. This one was slightly overambitious, so I toned it down a bit before making my 35 by 35

And, though it's shifted a bit since I made it (just before my 35 birthday), here's my 40 by 40. Since I just turned 38, I've already checked off a few

    1. Learn ASL.
    2. Make a quilt.
    3. Read 150 books. (92/150 so far)
    4. Visit 8 never-before-visited states. (1/8)
    5. Visit 6 never-before-visited countries. (4/6)
    6. DIY something to make our rental feel like home.
    7. Get an Abe Lincoln tattoo.
    8. Take voice lessons.
    9. Read the Bible all the way through.
    10. See a counselor.
    11. Shake Tom Hanks’ hand.
    12. See 35 bands play live. (13/35)
    13. Be completely unplugged for one weekend each year.
    14. See Niagara Falls.
    15. Eat at a DiLallo Burger.
    16. Learn to use my sewing machine...or get rid of it.
    17. Record an audiobook.
    18. Finish the screenwriter’s MasterClass.
    19. Be credit card debt-free.
    20. Go camping for a weekend.
    21. Hike to the Hollywood sign.
    22. Host an outdoor movie night.
    23. Teach God’s Word to a crowd.
    24. Open an Etsy shop.
    25. Help MV care for families with children with special needs.
    26. Take a road trip with barely any pre-made plans.
    27. Watch every movie Sorkin’s written. (7/8)
    28. Host a regular home-cooked meal for friends.
    29. Be in a successful dating relationship.
    30. Get a tattoo in honor of Bum (my maternal Grandmother).
    31. Perform a set of covers in a restaurant or bar.
    32. Buy my own in-ears.
    33. Find a way to care for/build up my community through a local ministry.
    34. Blog about the big trips from the last few years: Tokyo, Australia, Midwest, Beijing, Scandinavia.
    35. Find a job I love.
    36. Cook a lobster dinner for two.
    37. Get Global Entry status.
    38. Sit in on a case hearing at the Supreme Court.
    39. Find a regular, enjoyable exercise routine.
    40. Buy a house.

Have you ever created a list like this? If so, what was included? If not, what would you add to your list? I'd love to hear any and all recommendations since I'll be making my next big list in just a few years.

P.S. While we were dating, I encouraged (more like harangued) Josh to make a list too. Hoping to post his soon! 


  1. The weekend of March 13th this year, Dave and I were out in Palm Springs celebrating his 57th birthday. While laying by the pool with a Margarita in our hand, we started our '60 by 60' lists. Of course, within a few hours...the world kinda ended and we never finished the lists. You've inspired me to pick them up again.
    Being debt free and having a job that you LOVE are two amazing goals that will change your life for the better AND enable you to do ALL the other goals on the list. Please know, too, that at 40--you have your whole life ahead of you. The best is yet to come!