For all intents and purposes, 40 years is the halfway point for most. Actually, depending on where you’re from, the big “four-O” may be a tad more than halfway. In the U.S., the average life expectancy is about 79 years while in the U.K., it’s a tad under 82. (In case you were wondering, the Japanese live the longest coming in at a shade under 84.) Perhaps our average life expectancy explains why many of us consider our 40th birthday a big deal. We will be showing you a list of things you should before 40.
It’s not uncommon for someone to choose the age of 40 to reflect on their life, also. Often, at this phase, we tend to evaluate previous life choices that have led us to our current situations. Some people just turn their fortieth year into one big bash, and that’s that. Hey, whatever floats your boat!
But the bottom line is this: if you’re happy with your life, there are no regrets – the same applies to every age. Speaking of regrets, the funny thing is that they always seem to be about what we didn’t do. “Have I really been living?” is a common question people ask around their fourth decade. (And, no, work usually doesn’t make it into the conversation.)
Which brings us to this article. If you’re still breathing, you still have more life to live. And, with this mind:
Here are 40 things every person should do before 40!
“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” – George Burns
It’s not uncommon to conjure up some long-held guilt at this age. But remember, life is a journey – let that crap go.
You’re probably realizing that life is short – and getting shorter. Politely decline that which doesn’t contribute to your happiness.
Look at your 401k:
Listen, life is not about money. But the last thing you want is to quit working with nothing to show for it.
Do what you love:
Work plays a big part in our lives. If you’re miserable at work, prepare yourself mentally and make a change!
If you can, go on a week-long meditation retreat. The experience is so life-altering that you may just feel ten years younger. Silence is that golden!
See your favorite band live:
Live concerts kick serious butt. Few things are as thrilling, and you’ll remember the experience forever.
Okay, so this is more thrilling than a concert. Skydiving teaches you about managing your fears – and that’s not just for adrenaline junkies.
Scratch your entrepreneurial itch:
If you’ve dreamed about owning a business, perhaps it’s time to make it a reality (maybe start part-time?).
Before 40 is usually a time of more aches and pains, because this is simply part of getting older. If you want your future years to be vibrant, eating right and getting exercise is critical.
Right on cue. If you don’t regularly exercise, why not? Find something fun (yes, fun) that also breaks a sweat – and do it!
Those who volunteer experience camaradery, fun, and, of course, the deep satisfaction of helping someone (or something) in need.
Remember that thing about silence? It’s a great teacher – and the best way to experience it is alone.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t know who they are inside. And it’s okay! Just work on it.
Make a move:
If you’ve wanted to “get out of dodge,” make it happen. Hey, you only live once.
Conquer the stage:
Speaking in front of others can be a wonderful and exhilarating experience. Take the stage, whether you are a want-to-be actor, comic, or poet!
Try an instrument:
Few things fire up those brain cells more than learning an instrument. Make your own beat laboratory.
Sponsor a child:
Sadly, many children need help and are not getting it. Reach out if this is something that moves you.
Speak a second language:
Talk about an I.Q. booster! Learning a second language is about as cool as it gets too.
Visit your dream country:
If you start saving a little each paycheck, you’ll make it to your little paradise in no time.
Drive across the country:
Or just pack up your stuff and drive! (Really fun, by the way.)
Learn to dance:
Dancing really is a magical feeling. If you’ve been wanting to learn swing, tap, or salsa, just do it!
Take up martial arts:
Besides being great for your health, martial arts will enhance your self-discipline and confidence.
Face a fear:
Fears. We all have them. Pick one, overcome it, and feel your confidence soar.
If you’ve never been camping, it’s time. Borrow a tent or pack up a camper and head out into the wild.
Climb a mountain:
While you may need to train for a while, few things are more exhilarating than scaling a peak.
Have you ever watched a yoga master in action? It’s beautiful. A close kin to meditation, yoga will enhance your flexibility and increase your body strength.
Teach a course:
What do you do better than just about everyone else you know? Try your hand at teaching it. Search online for places you can serve as a volunteer instructor! Besides being a fun experience, you’re changing people’s lives.
Want to know the power of your mind? Google “firewalking” and see if that’s your sort of thing.
Ask for that raise:
If you’ve been kicking butt at your job and haven’t asked for a raise yet, maybe now is the time to do it.
Get a good savings account:
Okay, so “better” may be a more accurate word. Embarrassingly, the “best” savings account in the U.S. doesn’t even pay 2% interest. Anyways, get an interest-bearing savings account.
Minimalism is about having what you need – and a few things that you enjoy. Sell all that extra crap lying around (put the cash you gain in your new savings account!)
Or at least cut back. Your 40th birthday is a perfect time to kick this life-taking habit to the curb.
Try online dating:
If you’re single and ready to mingle, there are plenty of quality online matchmaking sites.
Visit a park or the zoo:
How rejuvenating is it to take a stroll through the park or feed animals at the zoo? Both are great stress-relievers.
Take Omega-3s on the regular:
Omega-3 fish oil is one of the best supplements you can take for your brain and heart. If you’re vegan, try organic flaxseeds or quinoa!
Get a Swedish massage:
By most accounts, the Swedish massage is the massage for achy muscles, relaxation, and stress-relief. Aromatherapy massages are great too!
Because your brain is finally getting the love it deserves, aromatherapy calms the brain’s amygdala and induces relaxation.
Revisit your childhood:
In a nostalgic mood? Revisit your childhood by looking at old pictures, flipping through the yearbook, or talking to your mom. This might serve as a good reminder of how short life is.
Take up reading:
If it’s been a while since you’ve picked up a book, find a topic of interest and get back at it! Reading is a great way to keep your mind sharp.
Celebrate life. Practice gratitude. Count your blessings. Do all of these before 40.