January 27, 2021

The Goals I Completed On My Original 40x40 List

Since I posted a new 40 Goals by 40 years old list on my birthday, I wanted to look over my previous list to check off the items that I completed. I still had one more year, but a lot of them have to do with traveling, and I don't think I'll be doing much of that this year with COVID being an issue. 

I started this list in April of 2018, with just under four years until I turned 40. Plenty of time to get these done! And then COVID threw a wrench in my plans, so I had to revise. (You can read my new 40 Goals by 40 Years Old list here.)

Here is my previous list and the goals I accomplished (as well as the ones I didn't)...

Watch all of Tom Hanks' movies - I got through about half of them (this does NOT include the ones I'd watched prior to starting this list. I've probably seen about 75% of his films. I was keeping track on this page in a bullet journal, but I stopped keeping track on it so I don't have several of them filled in.

  Read 40 books - I definitely did this, thanks to buying a Kindle Paperwhite! If I'd continued for another year, I'm sure I'd have at least 10 more. I did not include audiobooks on this list. Here are the books I've read (you can find more details on my Goodreads page).

  1. The Catcher in the Rye
  2. The Wife Between Us
  3. Coreyography
  4. Chasing the Merry Go Round
  5. The Gender Game
  6. The Gender Secret
  7. Working Stiff
  8. The Great Alone
  9. The Naked Mind
  10. The Silent Patient
  11. Vox
  12. The Woman in the Window
  13. Behind Closed Doors
  14. An Ember in the Ashes
  15. A Torch Against the Night
  16. Unwasted
  17. Drinking: A Love Story
  18. Into Thin Air
  19. Call Me Tuesday
  20. Keri
  21. The Pillars of the Earth
  22. World Without End
  23. A Column of Fire
  24. Born to Run
  25. Reborn on the Run
  26. Fall on Your Knees
  27. I Choose You
  28. Underlying
  29. Dry.
  30. A Curve in the Road
  31. The Last Thing She Ever Did
  32. Unspeakable Things
  33. The Stillwater Girls
  34. The Gifts of Imperfection
  35. Where the Crawdads Sing
  36. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
  37. If You Tell
  38. Every Last Drop
  39. Delay, Don't Deny
  40. The Boy in the Photo
  41. One Last Second
  42. The Selection

  Pay off debt - Done! We paid off $14,000 of credit card debt in 14 months. And now we've built up a savings account of about $14,000. It feels SO NICE not to have to worry about money all the time.

Visit the 48 contiguous United States - No, I didn't complete this. I'd been planning to do most of the traveling in 2020 and 2021. Here are the states I've been to (flying over them doesn't count). I've hit 34 out of 48:

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Connecticut
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Illinois
  7. Indiana
  8. Iowa
  9. Kansas
  10. Kentucky
  11. Maine
  12. Maryland
  13. Massachusetts
  14. Michigan
  15. Minnesota
  16. Missouri
  17. Nebraska
  18. Nevada
  19. New Hampshire
  20. New Jersey
  21. New York
  22. North Carolina
  23. Ohio
  24. Oregon
  25. Pennsylvania
  26. Rhode Island
  27. South Carolina
  28. Tennessee
  29. Utah
  30. Vermont
  31. Virginia
  32. Washington
  33. West Virginia
  34. Wisconsin

Read the Bible cover to cover - No, I didn't complete this one. I read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. I took a break then, because I thought a lot of it was pretty disturbing. But I may attempt this again. Several people suggest that I read it in chronological order rather than cover-to-cover.

Get back to goal weight (133) - Nope, not even close, unfortunately.

Go to a concert (I've never been to one!) - No. I bought tickets and was SO excited about going with Jerry to a Korn concert (we loved Korn when we first started dating in 1999). It was even the weekend of our anniversary. But my anxiety was SO bad when the day came that we ended up not going :(

 Learn a new skill - I've learned several while working on the house--drywalling, woodworking, etc. But the skill I used for this item was to teach myself to draw. And this was the project I worked on.

 Watch Star Wars with Jerry - I did this, and it was the LONGEST couple of hours of my life. I even wore a Princess Leia costume because it was Jerry's birthday!

Handwrite a letter to each of 10 friends - No, I didn't do this one

Write letters to Noah and Eli - No, but I added this to my new list. 

 Watch a documentary to understand something I don't know much about - Yes! I watched The Many Parts of Jane, which was a docuseries about dissociative identity disorder (previously called multiple personality disorder).

See a movie at a drive-in movie theater - I came so close! My friends Andrea, Bonnie, Caitlin and I went to the theater and parked. Then we realized that the showing was NOT for The Sandlot, like we thought. It was for a young kids movie. So, we left before it even started (thankfully, we got a refund). This is on my new list, and I hope that the one that is being built nearby will be open this year!

 Complete a saved project on Pinterest - Yes! I made a festive skirting for a margarita table when we had friends over for Cinco de Mayo. I love how cute it was!

 Have my dad teach me to change the oil in my car - Done! It was a fun morning. He showed me all sorts of things that I should be checking regularly. But I changed the oil. I don't know that I would remember how to do it though, haha.

 Knit something - I finally finished knitting my hat!

 Crochet something - I crocheted a swiffer cover for my friend Emily.

Leave a very large tip for a server having a bad day - I didn't do this one yet, simply because we rarely go out to eat and I keep waiting for a server that really sticks out to me. Someone that seems like they really need it and is working hard.

 Create a vision board - I did this, and then shortly after, I was feeling really depressed. I stupidly tore it into several pieces and threw it in the garbage. Not at all childish! ;)

Build a bat house - Haven't done it yet, but I am going to this year!

 Write Jerry a love letter - Done! I don't remember much about it, but I wrote it and gave it to him.

 Read a classic novel - I read The Catcher in the Rye. I wish I could say I loved it, but I am just not into the "classics". I had to read several in school, but I don't remember them.

Cook a recipe with ingredients I've never heard of - I'm sure I probably did this, but I don't remember. It definitely wasn't intentional, so I'm not going to count it.

Make a time capsule with the family - Haven't done it, but this seems like the perfect time to do one with all of the changes that have happened in the last year.

 Go fruit picking - I did this with my friend Emily. We picked strawberries and made strawberry jam and strawberry margaritas. So fun!

Attend a murder mystery dinner - I still haven't done this. Hopefully this year!

Take a class of any sort - No, I haven't. This is way out of my introverted comfort zone, but I'd still like to do it.

Take each of the kids on a "date"--just the two of us - I think I did this, but I can't remember. So if I can't remember, I'm going to say no, I didn't. But I included something similar on my new list.

 Do an "Escape the Room" challenge - Yes! This was SO.MUCH.FUN. I did one in Kansas City with my girlfriends Andrea, Bonnie, and Caitlin.

 Try Thai food - Yes! I met up with a blog reader, Jen, who said she would take me to a Thai place so that I could check this off the list. It was delicious! I have a picture somewhere but for the life of me I can't remember when it was from! Found it! Thanks, Jen :)

Read a book out loud with the family - I haven't done this, but it's something I think would be fun. Unfortunately, I really don't think the rest of the family would find it fun, haha. Maybe I'll talk them into it.

Grow a vegetable or herb - I haven't done this yet, so I'll try this year. I included it on my new list.

Learn about (and start) and investment account - I did learn about them, but I did not start one. We had plans of meeting with a financial advisor last year, but again... COVID kind of messed that up.

 Go on a road trip - Yes! Jerry, the kids, Joey, and I all drove up to the upper peninsula (10 hours) to my sister's property. We stopped in Mackinaw on the way. It was fun!

Go camping - Still haven't done this! I write this as a goal every single year and I just never follow through with it. I want to have a camping memory with the kids, but I HATE camping and the outdoors and it just doesn't sound fun to me. However, I have great memories of camping with my family when I was a kid, so I want to take my boys this year. Noah will be 17(!) in July. I can't procrastinate any loner.

Go to a state fair - I haven't done this one, but it's kind of lost its appeal to me. So, I don't think I'll be doing this.

Develop one life-changing habit - I think I can call the walking I've been doing a "life-changing habit". I wrote a couple of posts about how much it has affected me for the better. Even if I don't continue to walk five miles every single day, it really has changed me mentally.

 Commit to a 30-day challenge - I committed to several, but did not finish them! Haha. However, I committed to giving up alcohol for all of 2019, and I completed that. I also committed to blogging every single day for all of 2020, and I completed that. So I'd say that I accomplished this goal!

Travel abroad - No. I had planned on doing this for Jerry's 40th birthday in September, but it was clear early in the year that we weren't going to be able to travel. We saved up quite a bit of money this year, however, so we might set aside some for a "vacation fund" and take the kids to Europe next year. I'd love to do that before they go off on their own!

See an orca in its natural habitat - This was something I wanted to do when we went out to the west coast. The next time I am in Seattle, I'm going to go on a whale watching adventure cruise and hope to see one!

I'm surprised! I've only completed 17 out of 40. Hopefully I'll do better with my new list! I only have 362 days left ;)


  1. I have a bible that is made to be read in a year. Since that was one of my goals and I did it I would be happy to send it to you!

  2. Katie, have you considered taking a cooking or other crafting type of class virtually? We have them in our area through some local boutique-type shops and even a major grocery chain. This might be a great option for you - especially during COVID. Good Luck with your list!

  3. Your list inspired me to make my own 40X40 list. I turn 40 this year and I am finding that the things that appealed to me 2 years ago no longer do, so I am also revising mine. I would say the good thing is I learned some things about myself in the process :)

  4. Love this list and all the things you've checked off! Pro tip. Read "Personal Finance for Dummies." That book helped me manage my (slim) savings for many years. Two years ago, I turned things over to an Edward Jones guy I adore (I'm happy to give you his name). I never thought I had enough money to invest. Turned out I was wrong! Even a teensy amount works. And the younger you start, the fewer regrets you'll have when you're my age!! Thanks for another inspiring post!

  5. You've read the 5 books of the Torah. I'd say you can check that one off. :)

    I'm so impressed by all that you've done! You've inspired me to do a "5 by 55" (I only have until May).


  6. Thai lunch was mid December 2019. Ahh, the before times... if you have any pics you find, please send! 😀

  7. Katie, I know I've told you before but it is all because of reading your blog and your own goal "learn a new skill: drawing, which is why I picked up drawing and have succeeded in that goal for myself. I have you to thank for starting me on that road. I should do a transformation Tuesday showing where I started and how far I have come in my art. You were my inspiration and I can't thank you enough for that! You inspire us out here even more than you'll ever know 👍


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