In 2016 I turned 30 years old, concluding another decade of life and continuing on to the next adventure. I recently wrote a 40 before 40 list and can’t wait to get started.
40 things to do before 40
How I started my Things to do Before 40 List
When I was 23 I took a group of college students to a leadership conference. While at the conference we all made lists of 30 things we wanted to do before we turned 30. I finished 17 of the 30 things on my list, not as many as I wanted, clearly, but I’m proud of the things I did. A few examples are:
- Go to 20 different National Parks
- Run a 5K
- Do something you didn’t think you could do.
- Ride the tallest roller coaster in the world
- Catch a fish a Seattle’s Pike Place fish market
- Take a hot air balloon ride
- Be in a flash mob
- Log 100 Geo-caches in 10 different states
- Go to the Smithsonian
- Get a mug at a local bar
My 40 Before 40 List
Soon after I turned 30 I sat down and wrote my 40 by 40 list. This will be a work in progress until I turn 40. So here’s my list, items that have been completed are in italics and may or may not have a corresponding blog post with a link. I try and create as many blog posts as I can for items I’ve completed, but some I can’t really write about, cause let’s be honest, you don’t want to read a blog post about me dying my hair.
- Visit all 7 continents
- Write letters to the 5 people that have most impacted my life.
- Explore the Galapagos Islands
- Take a pottery class
- Go Skydiving
- Take a helicopter ride
- Visit all 50 U.S. States
- Cross the Golden Gate Bridge
- Go to Disneyland
- Write a children’s book
- Learn how to surf
- Climb Mount Washington in New Hampshire
- See Angkor Wat
- Fly a plane
- Go camping in Antarctica
- Visit a region famous for wine and drink to my heart’s content
- Try sailing
- Climb Mount Fuji
- Explore the Sahara Desert
- Dye my hair a funky color
- Go bungee jumping
- See the Northern Lights
- Sing at an open mic night
- Swim in the Dead Sea
- Make my own maple syrup
- Hike to Everest Base Camp
- Hike the Appalachian Trail
- See the Pyramids at Giza
- Ride a gondola in Venice
- Spend a night in a castle
- Go volcano boarding
- Go scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef
- Hike on a glacier
- Shower in a waterfall
- Visit Alcatraz
- Go Hunting to get closer to my food source
- Hike the Long Trail
- Go dog sledding
- Ride a camel
- Climb Sydney Harbor Bridge
How to create your 40 before 40 list
When making your own list start by doing a bunch of brainstorming. I recommend setting a timer for 10 minutes and continuously writing down things you want to do in your life.
Once the timer goes off take a look at your 40 before 40 list. Really analyze it, putting items into different categories; travel, personal goals, etc.
From there look at how many categories you have our your things to do before 40 list. I’d shoot for around 4ish, that way you can evenly divide up your list. For example: if you have 4 categories, your 40 before 40 list should have 10 items from each category.
Finishing up your 40 Before 40 List
It’s going to be challenging to pick what to put on the list, but now you have to. Think about how you’ll complete each one. Is it possible? Set yourself up for success! Do this by making SMART goals.
This means that each goal should be:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time/cost limited, time-sensitive).
Once you’ve finished your 40 before 40 lists write it out with gel pens or some other fancy way. For many people making a vision board is helpful. Then put it somewhere you’ll see it all the time. This way you’ll always be looking at it and won’t forget your goals.
But most of all, have fun! This list is all about you reaching your goals and living your best life. If you finish the list, awesome! If not, who cares! Put it on your 50 before 50 list.