40 before 40

A 40 miles per hour sign.

I’m hurtling towards the dreaded big ‘four oh’. It’s not something I’m happy about but, rather than hide away from it – like I normally do with each passing year – I’ve decided to make the most of it. I’ll be doing this by completing a 40 before 40 challenge.

Starting on my 39th birthday in November 2018, I’m aiming to try 40 things that are completely new to me in just 52 weeks.

Why? Well, I like a challenge and, to be honest, I didn’t come up with the idea until I was well beyond 38.

This isn’t just a personal mission, however. I’m also hoping that it will inspire others to get out of their comfort zones and try new experiences that are a big deal yet achievable.

I’m allowing for some flexibility as, thanks to blogging, I’ve had all kinds of weird and wonderful experiences I would otherwise never have thought of.

So, if you represent a brand and have any suggestions or would like to collaborate on any of the following challenges, please email me at tom@diaryofthedad.co.uk.


  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. 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 Premier League with someone other than Spurs on FM2019
  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. Make 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. 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