40×40

fortyInstead of making New Year’s resolutions this year, I’m adopting a ‘to-do’ list that has been in the back of my mind for a while–the 40×40 list. I saw this idea on Geoff’s blog (although his was a 30×30, the youngin’!) and I thought it looked like a positive and fun way to approach a looming “big” birthday. In my case, I’m giving myself over a year to complete the items on the list because, well, 40 is a lot of dang things to do.

Without further ado, the list:

  1. Go kayaking.
  2. Make a quilt.
  3. Take a monthly hike with my family.
  4. Sing in front of an audience.
  5. Submit a piece of writing for publication.
  6. Take my children camping.
  7. Memorize a poem.
  8. Learn how to swim (with a proper stroke technique, not just dog paddle).
  9. Learn to knit.
  10. Play a complete song on the mandolin.
  11. Visit Cumberland Island.
  12. Get my hair cut short *gulp*.
  13. Climb Stone Mountain.
  14. Create an original piece of artwork.
  15. Develop a daily yoga practice.
  16. Have a girls’ weekend with my best friend.
  17. Eat collard greens.
  18. Learn basic auto maintenance.
  19. Become comfortable driving a manual transmission car.
  20. Run a 5K.
  21. Spend the night at the Hike Inn.
  22. Institute a weekly family game night.
  23. Build something from scratch.
  24. Sew a piece of clothing to wear.
  25. Read a novel in French.
  26. Successfully complete a ‘No Spend Month’ challenge.
  27. Drink a martini.
  28. Bake a coconut cream pie.
  29. Write my will.
  30. Perform a headstand without support.
  31. Write a handwritten letter or card every month.
  32. Write in my journal at least once a week.
  33. Attend a Unitarian church service.
  34. Take a family road trip to Washington, D.C.
  35. Throw a surprise party.
  36. Call a family member at least once a week.
  37. Donate blood.
  38. Try a barre class.
  39. Plant something from a seed and watch it grow.
  40. See Chris Thile in concert.

My goal is not just to tick things off a bucket list, but rather to spend the next year or so being deliberate about how I spend my time, my main resolution in 2015 being to live more mindfully. I also want to try new things, be challenged, and maybe even surprise myself. Some of the things on this list are small and should hopefully be pretty easy to do, others are going to take some time, and some are ongoing, so I won’t be able to check them off until my birthday.

Because I wanted to start this list off right, I actually already accomplished one of the items on the list (yesterday!), number 17. I ate collard greens at my brother’s house as part of a traditional southern New Year’s day meal–ham, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. The collards are supposed to represent money, so hopefully I’ll get a little more of that in 2015 thanks to my consumption. One down, 39 left to go!

Happy New Year!

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10 thoughts on “40×40

  1. lindylit

    This is a fantastic idea. I have a few things I want to do before I’m 30, the main one being to travel outside of Europe and I have a trip to Australia booked for July so I’m making a start. I don’t know how well I would manage 30 things. Good luck. I look forward to reading about your progress.

    Reply
  2. Geoff W

    This makes me so happy and I can’t wait to hear all about them. I hope you do a before and after of the short haircut; it’ll be AWESOME!

    And you’re absolutely right about doing small deliberate things. It’s hard when you do them in the last few years, I’m debating on a big 40×40 including a few larger/longer travel trips, but we’ll see.

    Reply
  3. Bree @The Things We Read

    I love these type of lists. I love the thought people put into making them and how unique and different every one’s lists are. Whenever I read someone’s list, I’m always adding or tweeking mine. I like the quantifying aspect of your list.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Readers’ Workouts: Week One | Too Fond

  5. Ti

    What a diverse list! You picked some good ones. I visited a Unitarian church a few times trying to figure out where I fit. The group I was with was quite the group. All vegetarians and hippies. I didn’t quite fit in but the gatherings were a lot of fun.

    Reply
  6. Shaina

    What a lovely list! I admire the mixture of things you hope do with/for your family and the things you hope to accomplish for yourself. Balance is so important!

    Good luck. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Trish

    Happy new year Beth! Please ignore that it’s two weeks into the new year (hangs head in shame!). I love the idea of spending your time deliberately and love so many things on your list. Of course you know the quilt immediately caught my eye. 😉 I’m here to encourage you if you need it. LOL!

    Reply

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