15 Things to Do Before 40

By September 9, 2016Relationship & Life

Most readers of Tiggley are people in their 20s and 30s, aka millennials. Most are working to reach financial freedom while making their vision for the world a reality. But your twenties and thirties are two of the most important decades of your life. We have about 20 years to figure out who we are professionally and personally. These are the years where we learn to be at peace in our own skin, and when we take real care of our bodies and realize the importance of strong authentic relationships.

In other words become, you know, a grown up.

There’s a new generation coming after us. Generation Z they call them. Whatever. We got the cool name. They only have to worry about their Snapchat accounts. We have more important things to worry about, like aging.

That’s why we want to give you some ideas to get the most out of your young adult years. We’ll focus on creating memories, sharpening your mind and skills, and strengthening your relationships.

Think of this as your new under-40 bucketlist:

Read at least 10 Classic Books

Reading a classic for the first time is a pleasure that never gets old. Rereading one is even better. You know those books you never got around reading in college? Most of them were great.

The best part is that some of them are public domain, so you can download them for free to read on your Kindle or buy the new ones with nice hardcovers and illustrations.

Here are a few:

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Run a Marathon (or Some Kind of Endurance Race)

Aiming for a hard physical goal makes your life align to get it. If you choose to run a marathon, you’ll wake up earlier to train. Your body will get exercise. Now you’re eating better. Next thing you know, you win the race and you start blogging/vlogging about it. Thousands of people start following you. You are talking with Oprah’s now. You get a book deal and launch your own brand of healthy snacks. You are the new shark in Shark’s Tank. They make a movie of your life and you start a Santana tribute band, just because you can.

Or you could turn 55 and wish you had taken our advice.

Travel Outside the U.S. and Stay there for at least a Week

Yes, America is beautiful. But so is the rest of the world. Go see Hallstatt in Austria or the endless fields in Tuscany and the vineyards in Douro Valley. Or go to Mexico and South America and visit Oaxaca or Peru. Meet the people, eat the food. Take thousands of photos and embrace it all.

It’s not expensive anymore. You have AirBnB, Uber in most places, or just walk.



Learn a New Language

Just because you never know when you’re gonna need it. Besides, it’s great for your brain.

Give Away Something Really Expensive

When I was 27 my wife and I gave my brother our car. It was the only car we had. We had just gotten married but they have 3 kids, and their car died and they were going through a rough season.

Was I glad I did? Yes. A lot. But I also missed our car. And that’s the point. Giving away something so valuable, showed me that stuff is just stuff. No matter how expensive or useful it is. We can always get more. And that’s a great lesson to learn before you’re 40.

In your case, it doesn’t have to be a family member. It could be the single mom or dad at work who has to take the bus everyday to get to the office. Maybe you and your friends can chip in some money to do it together. Everything counts.

Go on a Road Trip (at least 1,000 miles)

Let’s get philosophical for a moment and say that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. Get on your car, make sure it’s ready for the road, and drive.

Stop at whatever place interests you. Listen to music, read your favorite book, talk to people, or not. This road trip is about going somewhere.

It doesn’t matter where.

Take Time to Consider your Spiritual Beliefs

Some people are spiritual. Others follow one religion, and others follow a little bit of everything. Or maybe you don’t care.

Either way, take some time (maybe on your road trip), to consider what you believe. It could be about God or eternity. Or about your legacy and how your soul is doing.

Be ready for hard questions about what you believe and what you don’t believe. Don’t be afraid of facing doubt.

The point is not to change your faith, but just to make sure that what you believe and who you are still fit.

Start a Business

We’re not saying quit your job. We’re saying you need to see that you can make money doing your own thing. If you’re not sure where to start, Tiggley can help you figure your next career steps.

Understand How Your New Body Works

It’s important you understand that your body is no longer a teenager’s body. Educate yourself on how your body works. Learn how aging affects you, so you can make better food, exercise and sleep decisions

Not only will this help you, but you can also help your friends and family when they come to you for advice. Which will happen a lot now that you know everything.

Be in a Stable Relationship

People need stable relationships. When we were younger it was understandable when we went through breakups faster than a McDonald’s burger rot (180 days, in case you’re curious).

But we’re grownups now. We should know what we’re looking for. And most importantly, know how to work through disagreements. So before you turn 40, we want to see you share your life and memories with someone. You don’t have to get married if that’s not your thing. But aim for stability. 

Eat in a 3-star Michelin Restaurant

This is just for fun. I haven’t done it, but it’s on my list now. At least do it to see why that scoop of mac and cheese is worth $160 bucks.

Seriously, top chefs are amazing artists who will take you on an amazing journey of flavors if you let them. If you’re still not sure, check out Chef’s Table and see what these people can do with food.


Wear Top-notch Essential Wardrobe Items

How you look matters a lot. But it’s very expensive to dress high-end clothes and fast (cheap) fashion is destructive. Even if money is tight, you can improve your wardrobe easily if you invest in a few great items. You can wear a $20 outfit, but with the right accessories, you can look like a million bucks.

For men:

  • Watch
  • Shoes. Dress shoes. Sports shoes. However you dress, your shoes have to be great.
  • A good pair of dark jeans (unwashed).
  • A nice white button shirt that fits.
  • A nice tailored suit.

For women:

  • A nice handbag
  • A black dress. Good for work or cocktail night.
  • Nude shoes.
  • A nice trench coat
  • A good pair of dark jeans (unwashed)

Go get a Check Up

Yeah, we know. You are a miracle of genetics and you never get sick. Still, go see a doctor. In the odd chance that you have anything bad going on, it’s better to catch it while it’s early.

It should go without saying, but your body starts showing signs of age around 30 years old. TIME magazine even has it at 24 (!). You should take care of your body. It’s your greatest tool and you’ll need it for the rest of your life.

Save Money Aggressively

We’ve talked about learning how to use your money before. And while managing your spending and making new ways to make money is important, saving is an often overlooked habit.

There’s a very simple budgeting rule called 50-20-30. Basically, you use 50% of your income for essentials. Things like housing, food, and transportation. Then, save 20%. This is money you never touch until it’s absolutely necessary. And 30% for personal stuff. That’s eating out, videogames and coffee.

Eat New Flavors

I have a friend who doesn’t like most food. He doesn’t like onion, garlic, the texture of butter, tomatoes, avocados, and, check this out, bacon. Who the hell doesn’t like bacon? He does like cheese, meat and lemonade. Whatever.

I don’t know about you, but what’s the point of being alive if you can’t feel alive?

Before you turn 40, work on expanding your menu. Your palate is used to certain flavors. If you introduce new ones, you’ll love them. What’s that? You don’t like Indian food? You’ve never had real Indian food you lunatic! Go online, find the ‘Top _____ Dishes you gotta try”, write down the names, go to a restaurant and enjoy.

If you’re nervous, see the “How to” videos so you know what’s in it. Start with SORTED Food and Jamie Oliver.

Don’t Freak Out

If you’re freaking out about turning 40, we can help you figure out the best way to get ready. Just contact us and we’ll connect you with a professional coach, who will guide you to your best life and may or may not know the best places to try Ethiopian food. Either way, you win.