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40 Things in 40 Days

Last week I turned 40! A pretty big milestone, right? And I was excited for it, not dreading it. Part of what helped was the “40 things in 40 days before I turn 40” list that I made for myself. I mentioned it a few times in Instagram stories, and some people wondered if I’d share the whole list. So here it is!

So the countdown started on October 11. 40 Days before my 40th birthday. I knew I wanted my list to be reasonable. This was not a crazy once-in-a-lifetime bucket list that would include things like “Walk the Great Wall of China” or “See the Northern Lights.” But that being said, there were some things that I put on my list that I had never done before.

I chose 12 things that I wanted to try to do every day. Habits I wanted to start, or improve, for example. I wasn’t perfect at this – not everything got done every day. But most days, and I was more aware of each of these things.

Daily before 40

  1. Pray
  2. Scriptures
  3. Smile
  4. Fruit
  5. Vegetable
  6. No phone in car (I never use my phone while driving, but I sometimes check it at stoplights. I stopped doing this, so I can really say I don’t use or look at my phone while behind the wheel!)
  7. No caffeine (I don’t drink much – maybe a soda a week, but I cut this out completely during the 40 days. I noticed that my mild anxiety was almost completely gone during this break.)
  8. Make bed
  9. Brush teeth (This one wasn’t hard to do – I already had this habit.)
  10. Floss (This one was one I worked on – but I did it every day! My dentist will be so proud this week when I see her.)
  11. Exercise (Whether a trip to the gym or just walking the dog, made sure I got out to MOVE every day.)
  12. Vitamins

Then for the other 28 items, I included a combination of things I have done before and wanted to do again, as well as things that I’d never done before.

Never done before 40

  1. Donate blood
    Donate blood at Red Cross
  2. Lunch and shopping by myself in Portland (I shopped at Powell’s Books, Anthropologie, and ate lunch at Little Big Burger.)Powells Bookstore Portland Little Big Burger Portland
  3. Get a facial (This was so nice and relaxing! If you’re struggling to put together a Christmas wish list for yourself, I highly recommend a facial.)First ever facial
  4. Learn how to use LightRoom 
  5. Try a new hobby (I learned how to use our scroll saw and I made these cactus cutouts, then painted them.)scroll saw cactus
  6. Learn smokey eye (I had to find a tutorial that works specifically with my eye shape)
  7. Watch Pride and Prejudice (The long BBC version. I had never seen this one, and really liked it. Except for that Colin Firth had worked so hard to keep Darcy from showing any emotion during most of the movie, that I felt when he finally should show some at the end I didn’t really see it – come on Colin, give us a smile!) Get an Amazon Prime Trial if you don’t have it already, and you can watch it there!

Do again before 40

  1. Attend the templePortland Oregon Temple
  2. Watch a documentary (I found one on Prime video about George Washington and really liked it!)
  3. Clean a closet (I did my half of our closet.)
  4. Refill the 72 hour kits (or really, they’re just our grab-and-go backpacks. They have a change of clothes, some toiletries, and snacks – one for each person.)
  5. Give more compliments (I’m really not sure how I did on this one. But I definitely noticed more often the compliments that people gave to me, so I’m trying to still work on this one.)
  6. Read a book (Proper Care and Treatment of Blood Stains)
  7. Read 2nd book (Carried)
  8. Read 3rd book (Wolf Hollow)
  9. Watch a movie outside
  10. Make smores
  11. Bake bread
  12. Go on a hikeWhipple Creek Trails Washington
  13. Meditate (This app called Insight Timer has tons of options!)
  14. Color my hair (I did my regular darker color plus red streaks.)
  15. Decorate a room (This one turned into more holiday decorating than regular decorating, than I had first envisioned.)
  16. Use reusable shopping bags (I’d like to get back in the habit of always grabbing these when I go out.)
  17. Buy new bras (Super easy way to feel like I was taking care of myself, and this was overdue!)
  18. Buy flowers
  19. Go to the pumpkin patch (It wouldn’t work for all birthdays, but for a fall birthday, it was perfect.)Joes Farms Pumpkin Patch
  20. Buy new red lipstick (Trying a new color is always fun.)
  21. Build something

And there you have it – all the things I worked on in the 40 days before I turned 40. It was fun to have some goals and adventures planned out for myself. Now to enjoy the adventure that will be my 40’s! Would you make a 40 Things in 40 Days list? What would you add to it?

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Heather Mowrer

Tuesday 27th of November 2018

Awesome job! I'm glad i got to come along on a couple of these. And you're totally right about Colin Firth in P and P.


Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Thanks for joining me! And glad you agree :)

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