40 things before 40 – help needed please! #40thingsbefore40

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?

I’m not going to be doing anything dull like loosing weight or giving up TV – I prefer my resolutions to be a bit more positive, and about trying new things rather than depriving myself of existing ones. My resolution this year is to crack the hell on with my list of 40 things to do before I’m 40.

When I made the list on my 35th birthday, it felt like I had all the time in the world, and yet here I am, turning 38 in a few months, and I have only so far completed 13. In my defence, some of them were big ones, like visiting every county in the UK and drinking a milkshake in an American diner, (actually in America), but I’m still going to have to put some effort in to catch up with myself a bit.

drinking a milkshake in an American diner - 40 things before 40

What’s more pressing though, and what I really need your help with, is finishing the list – at the moment I only have 32 of the 40 items. This was deliberate at first, because I knew that extra ideas would come to me as I went along, but I feel that nearly three years in, I really should have finished compiling the list at least.

So, I’m after some ideas. 

I have some pretty big things left on the list still, so what I’d really like are some smaller, cheaper, more unusual tasks, more along the lines of making my own lemon curd or sending a message in a bottle. I’m thinking new skills, unusual but UK based places to visit, fun challenges – basically things that would make a nice day out, and nothing scary or tough, as it’s meant to be a fun challenge.

Do you have any suggestions?



    • Jo Middleton
      8 January, 2016 / 2:04 pm

      I do have ‘sing in public’ on the list already, and ‘tell a joke at the Edinburgh festival’ – perhaps my own magic show is in order though?

  1. 8 January, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    Learn how to salsa dance, do a 5k park run, visit all the capital cities in the UK, learn how to belly dance, take a surfing lesson, learn how to sing your favourite song like a professional singer. Just some to go on :)

    • Jo Middleton
      8 January, 2016 / 2:03 pm

      Some great ideas! I’d LOVE to have the European capitals as a long term goal. I don’t think I can afford it at the moment though! I’d have to skip the surfing as I can’t actually swim… (probably should have that on the list!)

  2. 8 January, 2016 / 1:28 pm

    Oooo, such a great list but also surprisingly difficult to think of additions!! I’ve always wanted to go on Orient Express but you’ve already got that so another thing I have always wanted to do, that would be really easy to achieve, is visit a bluebell wood. I always see beautiful pics of them but never get organised enough to visit at the right time of year x

    • Jo Middleton
      8 January, 2016 / 2:02 pm

      A lovely suggestion, but I’ve actually already done that one! I used to live near one when I was small and we were always doing school trips to it!

  3. 8 January, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    This is very random but a couple of the things I want to achieve this year are learning how to crochet and learning how to make a macrame hanging plant pot (told you they were random!). Maybe you could add those to the list?!

    • Jo Middleton
      8 January, 2016 / 7:09 pm

      I’ve actually thought about adding crochet Molly, so that’s not random at all! I can knit pretty well but for some reason have never learnt to crochet.

  4. 8 January, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    I love your list, especially: sing in public (as part of a performance not just in the street like a madwoman). I’m not sure what else to suggest, how about running the Race for Life, seeing a ballet, opera or something you haven’t experienced before, painting in oils on canvas, going ballroom dancing….

    • Jo Middleton
      8 January, 2016 / 7:12 pm

      I did have opera on the list and I’ve done that one. I’ve seen the ballet already and wasn’t that fussed to be honest – I’m so uncultured! I do like trying new things like that though, so perhaps there is some other sort of performance I could see.

  5. 8 January, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    OK how about

    * Stay up all night to watch The Oscars live
    * Stay up all night just for the heck of it, or at least until dawn
    * Watch all the seasons of 24
    * Take an exercise or activity class that you currently think people like you don’t do
    * Make cheese

    • Jo Middleton
      8 January, 2016 / 7:11 pm

      I did stay up all night for the 2010 general election… I love the idea of making cheese though!! Ace one.

  6. 8 January, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    How about camp outdoors (tent) in the winter? Host a 5 or more course dinner-with paired wine? Look up and contact a friend from young childhoid that didn’t grow to adulthood with you?

    • Jo Middleton
      8 January, 2016 / 7:10 pm

      I love the idea of looking up an old school friend! I might add that one :-)

  7. 8 January, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    Afternoon tea in london maybe I went with my daughter is was lovely buy a gift have offers on that and loads of experience days x

    • Jo Middleton
      11 January, 2016 / 3:24 pm

      That’s a nice one! I have done London afternoon teas before but for some reason Belle is obsessed with the idea of tea at the Ritz, so perhaps I need to put that one on the list as a little treat for her :-)

  8. 8 January, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    Well, if you want to go splashing about in some Icelandic water, then maybe something else water-based? How about a surfing lesson in Devon?!

    I’m 37 this year, maybe I need to make one of these….!

    • Jo Middleton
      11 January, 2016 / 3:23 pm

      I’d need swimming lessons first! (Hence just splashing…)

  9. Becky
    9 January, 2016 / 12:20 am

    Join a WI – I did at your age – best thing I ever did ! I’ve just turned 40

    • Jo Middleton
      11 January, 2016 / 3:21 pm

      I love that one! There were some really funky WI branches where I lived in Bristol. I think the Taunton branch might be a little more traditional, but that could be fun!

      • Sarah-Jane
        16 June, 2016 / 10:07 am

        You ought to try the Wellington branch. Very young and active branch that do looooaaaads of stuff.

  10. 9 January, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    ooh you have some fab ones on your list already, so tricky to add any more. How about,

    – stay in an ice hotel (could be pricey though!)
    – see the northern lights
    – Run 10k race (I think someone has already put this)
    – attend a murder mystery weekend which could fit in with your Nancy Drew one
    -appear on TV in a TV quiz like Pointless etc
    -volunteer for a charity
    -stay in a bothy in scotland for a night

    Em x

    • Jo Middleton
      11 January, 2016 / 3:23 pm

      Thanks Em, loads of great ideas there! I’d absolutely love to be on a quiz show but to be honest, my general knowledge is appalling and I am terrible under pressure, so I think I’d make a fool of myself! I’ve done loads of charity stuff, but that’s definitely one to get back into. I’ve been on a murder mystery weekend, which was lots of fun, but I didn’t solve the mystery, so that remains on the list!

  11. Stacey
    9 January, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    I came across your blog whilst googling 40 things to do before 40. I am 38 this year too and can’t swim either
    I’m not sure if it is on your list but I’ve added glass blowing to mine.

    • Jo Middleton
      11 January, 2016 / 3:20 pm

      That’s a brilliant one Stacey, I’m going to pinch that, thank you! What else do you have?

  12. 10 January, 2016 / 4:50 pm

    Hmmm. Indoor skydiving? It’s pretty awesome and a lot safer than jumping out of a plane!

    • Jo Middleton
      11 January, 2016 / 3:19 pm

      Well, I have done real life skydiving, but passed out before I hit the ground, so not sure it would be one for me…

  13. 10 January, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    13 is still pretty good – this has reminded me that I need to make a list as I will be 32 this year and I know time will fly by – especially when you have kids everything takes longer. I have a few I would love to do that may work for your list? Watch a film at a drive-in. Take on a food challenge and win. Camp on the Isles of Scilly

    Good luck

    Laura x

    • Jo Middleton
      11 January, 2016 / 3:19 pm

      Ooh yes, I have always wanted to go to a drive in movie! Do you know where I could do that? Is there anywhere localish?!

  14. 25 January, 2016 / 10:13 am

    My goal was to find a man, a man that I was actually interested in keeping. I bought my latest guy a book entitled “How to make a woman happy” by Denis Hickey. So far, so good, but I’m still not quite ready to stop calling myself single

  15. ddb
    26 April, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    Fly a stunt kite.

    Throw a real boomerang and have it come back to you.

    Feed a baby lamb.

    Go on a geo-cache

  16. Zoe
    5 May, 2016 / 8:30 pm

    Wow – so many amazing ideas I wish I could do something like it!
    What about…
    Learning a skill that’s old-school / traditional like origami, calligraphy or smocking a dress (rather eclectic examples. Sorry!)
    Or it doesn’t look like you’ve got any spiritual challenges on your list yet. How about doing an Alpha Course?
    Tag line… Begin the greatest adventure: alpha.org

  17. 28 July, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    Love it; a great idea. My to-do is to learn to swim properly. Like actually look vaguely stylish rather than floundering around doing the one stroke I know – breaststroke. Have a lesson or two to learn front crawl and then actually benefit from it by being able to do lengths and improve fitness. Or take up running? theteacheronmaternity.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/lesson-6-30s-exercise-obsession.

  18. 28 July, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    P.s might see you in the new pool if you add it to your list – I’ve just discovered we both live in TA1……

    • Jo Middleton
      29 July, 2016 / 12:53 pm

      No way! Small world!

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