Announcing my 40 before 40 list

A black background with birthday candles and the words '40 before 40' superimposed.

I quietly turned 39 a week and a half ago so it’s about time I start my 40 before 40 challenge. As I’m late to my own party, perhaps the first item on the list should be to become more organised. I counter this suggestion by pointing out that my birthday falls at an inconvenient time with Christmas on the horizon.

Anyway, instead of very publically arguing with myself and becoming officially middle-aged a year early, let’s have a look at my 40 before 40 list.

I’ve divided it into four categories, namely Family-focused, Personal development, Me time and Just because.

I aim to stick to the listed challenges as much as possible but may change the odd one here and there. Why? Well, because I’ve learned that blogging opens many doors.

I’ve had all kinds of amazing experiences I would never have thought of thanks to sharing my ramblings on the internet, so it would be daft to rule out the odd surprise.

Speaking of which, if you represent a brand and have any suggestions or would like to collaborate on any of the challenges in my 40 before 40 list, please head over here!


  1. Go on at least five date nights
  2. Research my family tree
  3. Visit somewhere significant to my family history
  4. Watch 100 classic films with my wife/kids
  5. Learn to play the guitar with my sons
  6. Visit a new country with my family
  7. Go monster/ghost/legend hunting
  8. Visit a local attraction I’ve never been to
  9. Visit five castles in a year
  10. Learn to swim with my daughter

Personal development

  1. Confront a fear
  2. Have a driving lesson
  3. Be less of a Grinch
  4. Learn a new language
  5. Try a new sport
  6. Make a will
  7. Write a book
  8. Complete a DIY project from scratch
  9. Cook something notoriously difficult
  10. Learn how to use my camera properly

Me time

  1. Take part in a zombie survival game
  2. Achieve 100% completion on Red Dead Redemption 2
  3. Win the title with someone other than Spurs on Football Manager 2019
  4. Have something custom made
  5. Learn some tricky football skills
  6. Make some palatable homebrew
  7. Get my blog professionally redesigned
  8. Do a Facebook or Instagram live post
  9. Try paddle boarding
  10. Go to one more gig before I’m 40

Just because

  1. Participate in a world record attempt
  2. Have a pint in England’s oldest pub
  3. Learn to juggle
  4. Give blood
  5. Raise £1k for charity
  6. Perform a random act of kindness
  7. Climb a mountain
  8. Take at least 2.5 million steps during the year
  9. Take on the Crystal Maze
  10. Attend the premiere of a film

So there you go, my 40 before 40 list in all its glory. It seems I’ve got a few things to be getting on with. Wish me luck!


  1. John Adams

    Tom, I shall be really blunt, I hate this kind of list which is why I did a “things I didn’t do before 40” list. Your’s, however, is an exception. I really like your list. It’s incredibly positive and not self-centred. Great list indeed.

  2. Joanna Melia

    I’m turning 40 next year, and I’ll be lucky if I manage one challenge (getting to work without baby bodily fluids on me is enough of a challenge), but I love the idea of trying. Good luck with it.

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