I celebrated my 39th birthday last week and now I’m really looking forward to my 40th and the start of a brand new decade.
My 20s was about making two big life choices and having my first baby. My 30s was all about having four more babies and having a lot of the assumptions I’d held from my teens and 20s corrected for me.
I was hoping to do something special in my 40th year, and then my mother-in-law pointed out that in fact this is my 40th year!
So I decided to think of 40 things I’d really like to do (and could reasonably achieve) this coming year. Things that would be fun, or challenging, that I might have thought of doing but always put off. Things that I’ll be glad I’d done when it comes times to blow out the candles again next year.
All enthused, I grabbed paper and a pen…..and could only think of five things! How boring am I?
“Bridge Climb?” offered my 10 year old, cheekily. I’d just turned down my mother’s offer of a guided climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To me it seems like a lot of expense and effort to get an admittedly gorgeous view of the harbour city, which is equally gorgeous from any angle. Maybe another time.
“Write your children’s book,” said my husband. Ok, that’s six.
“Go on a cruise, said my eight year old. ” I’d love to but that’s more of a five-year-plan kind of goal right now.
It was harder than I thought to come up with a list. But the next day I had it. I’m going to need help with some of these, but I think this challenge will be really fun and with some creative approaches hopefully I’ll cross off a couple of major things I’ve always wanted to do.
Here it is:
My list of 40 things I want to do before my 40th birthday next October.
(Updated with a status as I’m working through the list)
1. Make a large donation to charity DONE
2. Host a dinner party DONE (We’ve got lots of young kids, and our so do some of our friends, so I’m counting all the extra BBQs we hosted instead)
4. Make a carrot cake from scratch
5. Co-host a retreat for mothers DONE
6. Write a letter to Pope Francis DONE
7. Try pilates DONE CORE STRENGTHENING EXERCISES A FRIEND TAUGHT ME – SAME THING!
8. Start wearing my scapular again DONE
9 Spend a weekend with my eldest daughter DONE
10. Spend a weekend with my husband
11. Write a children’s picture book
12. Makeover my wardrobe DONE
13. Go to the Sydney Observatory at night to look at the stars
14. Grow more vegetables and herbs (I’m currently inspired by our first home-grown snow peas) DONE
15 -17. Set aside a day to do something with, or for, each of my god daughters (I’ve got three so that’s three things)
18. Paint an artwork I’d be happy to put on the wall. It will have to be very abstract! DONE
19.Try for a monthly date night with my husband (we tried this last year and missed a lot) DONE 🙂
20. Make more podcasts DONE
21. Get a new hairstyle DONE
22. Ride in a hot air balloon
23. Invite the neighbours over more often DONE
24. Go to monthly confession and reconciliation GOING WELL!
25. Have family portraits taken DONE
26. Take the kids to the speedway or a monster truck event
27. Invite our parish priest to dinner
28. Get a big trampoline
29. Create a better prayer space in the house DONE
30. Start going to at least one weekday Mass regularly DONE
31-34. Arrange to meet up with some old friends DONE
35. Take the kids to visit Canberra DONE
36. Learn to juggle DONE
37. Watch Anne of Green Gables and The Sound of Music with my older children DONE
38. Buy a dining table that will comfortably seat all seven of us DONE
39. Upgrade my blog DONE
40. Throw a birthday party! DONE
I’m breaking my own rule here of not writing myself long to-do lists, but this is different.
** UPDATE: Why not make your own list? I’ve written a follow-up post describing how I came up with mine and how I made sure it reflected my values and helped me move towards my biggest and most cherished life goals.
PS. This worked so well I’ll making 12 month goals more regularly. We can support each other if you want! Subscribe by email using the box in the footer section below and you won’t miss a post.