The year of living 40

I’ve never been much into New Year’s resolutions. Maybe it’s because my A-type personality means I’m always looking ahead, making a plan, and setting personal goals, so I don’t feel the need to do it every January 1st. Or maybe it’s because I know that annual resolution to exercise more and eat better will be tossed out the window within 2 weeks.

Either way, I did not feel compelled to make a list of resolutions this week just because it’s the start of a new year. However, I have been thinking about 2017 a lot lately. Actually I’ve been thinking about this year for most of 2016…because it’s going to be a bit of a milestone year for me.

This is the year I turn 40.

The gateway to middle-age.

Surprisingly, I’m not afraid of the number. I fully enjoyed my 30’s and every new life lesson and experience they brought. I did a lot of growing and discovering in my 30’s and I kind of like this 39 year old version of me…she’s definitely got a much better handle on what’s really important in life than the 29 year old version did. So I’m kinda looking forward to seeing what my 40’s will bring. However, I do see it as a milestone year and there are some things I would like to focus on as I leave one decade and pass through that gateway to the next.

So for the last month I’ve been compiling a list…a list of goals, habits, adventures, and achievements I wanted to reach by 40. It started as 10 items and quickly grew. By the time it hit 28 items I thought, “what the heck, might as well make it an even 40!” Of course, I turn 40 in May and once I finished my list I realized I can not realistically accomplish all of these things before said milestone; and I want this list to be achievable. So I’m giving myself the full year to get through the list. Making 2017 the year of living 40.

So here it is, in no particular order:

1. Get rid of 40 personal items
2. Bring total number of US states visited to 40
3. Write 40 blog posts
4. Write 40 letters/cards to friends and family
5. Lose 40 pounds
6. Read 40 books of the Bible
7. Read 40 other books
8. Serve/volunteer 40 hours
9. Run 40 miles (cumulative, not at one time)
10. Try 40 new things
11. Give up 40 minutes of TV per day
12. Add 40 minutes of sleep per night (11 and 12 go hand-in-hand)
13. Do 40 push-ups at one time
14. Make a list of my favorite 40 movies and watch them
15. Write my husband 40 love notes
16. Study scripture/pray for 40 minutes per day
17. Call my Grandma 40 times
18. Drink 40 cups of tea
19. Save $40 per week
20. Make a playlist of my favorite 40 songs and listen to it regularly
21. Limit social media to 40 minutes per week
22. Exercise for 40 minutes 3x per week
23. Take 40 naps
24. Count to 40 when I start to lose my patience
25. Do 40 nice things for myself
26. Write my kids 40 lunchbox notes
27. Hike 40 miles
28. Try 40 new recipes
29. Meet 40 new people
30. Minister to 40 different women via the women’s retreat
31. Go on 40 dates with my husband
32. Snuggle with my kids for 40 minutes every week
33. Read 40 poems
34. Spend 40 hours watching live music and/or theater
35. Get rid of another 40 items
36. Make at least 40 mistakes
37. Forgive myself at least 40 times
38. Write the first 40 pages of my book
39. Forgive others 40 times
40. Laugh, dance, and/or sing for 40 minutes per day

In addition to my list of goals/adventures/habits above, I’ve also decided to chose a Bible verse that represents where I want to keep my focus for the year. The last two years I’ve ended up with bible verses that sum up my year quite accidentally, and I’m sure God will bring a me a few this year that I don’t plan or expect. But in the meantime I’m going with “Peace I leave with you; my peace peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

I chose this verse because if there is one message God has been pursuing my heart with over the last year or so it’s that true peace comes only through Him and not the world. I’ve spent so much of my life looking for peace to come from relationships, jobs, vacations, things, etc. and always wondering why it was so fleeting. So for 2017 — and my 40’s — I plan to work on pursuing peace from my Creator and Savior, and doing so without fear or worry.

As you can see above, one of my year of living 40 goals is to write 40 blog posts — which if you do the math equates to roughly one post every nine days. So I’ll be keeping you updated on how it’s going and you can help me be accountable. I’ve already got the spreadsheet for keeping track of this stuff (remember, I did say I have an A-type personality). And no matter what age you’re turning this year, let me know what goals/habits/adventures/achievements you are pursuing in 2017.

Hello middle-age. Let’s do this.

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40 photo credit: Leo Reynolds East Of India House Number 40 via photopin (license)
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