Friday, March 12, 2010

The 40/40 Challenge

Forty days ago, I turned 40, and to (somewhat belatedly) mark this occasion, I’ve decided to give myself a challenge, or rather 40 challenges. I got the idea from Diane at Diane’s Addled Ramblings (whose blog I found via Jenners’ personal blog, Life with a Little One and More)—Diane, in turn, borrowed the idea from the 2010 – 4040 Challenge blog.

The idea is to come up with a list of challenges, one for each year of one’s life—40 in my case—and accomplish them in the next year. I’m giving myself an extra 40 days past my birthday to finish them (so until March 12, 2011), since I’m starting this 40 days late.

The list includes a bunch of book- and blog-related challenges as well as many that are more personal in nature, so I thought I’d divide them that way.

My 40/40 Challenge list:

Blog- or book-related challenges:

1. Catch up on reviews before BEA.
2. Post at least one review a week, every week (minus the two weeks during the winter holidays).
3. Participate in a readathon.
4. Redesign my blog layout.
5. Go to BEA.
6. Organize my books (including my LibraryThing and goodreads catalogues).
7. Read at least two books in French (not graphic novels).
8. Respond to emails and comments within a week of receiving them.
9. Host (and complete) a reading challenge.
10. Make business cards for my blog.
11. Write reviews within a week of finishing a book.
12. Go to at least two book club meetings.*
13. Read and complete the exercises in the book Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued: A Woman’s Guide to Unblocking Creativity by Susan O’Doherty.
14. Write at least 6 book-related opinion posts.
15. Sign up for and complete at least 2 reading challenges (other than the one I intend to host).

Personal challenges:

16. Learn how to knit.
17. Finish at least 5 knitting projects.
18. Sort out/organize my office.
19. Figure out my finances.
20. Deal with my insurance.
21. Host the circle (a group I belong to).
22. Finish the writing course I abandoned last fall.
23. Plant a balcony garden.
24. Lose another 20 pounds.
25. Call my mum & sisters at least once a month.
26. Try swing dancing (go at least twice).
27. Give up TV for a month.
28. Make 3 new friends.
29. Do a book/clothing/etc. purge (and get rid of the stuff!**).
30. Make a collage.
31. Give up coffee again (except during the readathon).
32. Buy new clothes.
33. Do the MS walk with my friend Andrea on April 25.
34. Go on dates with my partner Mr. B every week.
35. Go outside every day.
36. Meditate at least 5 minutes every day.
37. Go into therapy.
38. Find opportunities to sing/chant with others.
39. Go on a silent retreat.
40. Document my 40/40 challenge.

Wish me luck!

* Both one of my local libraries and my university alumni association have book clubs I keep wanting to check out. I’d like to try each of them at least once.
**I purge but then all the stuff I’ve supposedly gotten rid of sits in a bag or box in my back shed...


  1. Avis what a great idea. I know you can do it. Well at least one will be super easy and that is go to BEA :) Good luck and we will be rooting for you :)

  2. Happy birthday 40 days late! Good luck with your challenges!

  3. Happy Belated. I think that the challenge is a great idea and i wish you luck. Keep us posted as you accomplish them : )

  4. Neat idea! Happy belated birthday and best of luck with all your challenges!

  5. I love the roundabout way you found this challenge. I loved reading about Diane's challenges, and I love reading about yours too. They are all so good ... and as a 42-year-old, I can tell that you the 40s are a great time to get stuff done!!! Good luck!

  6. This is a great idea! Good Luck! And see you at BEA!

  7. This is pretty awesome!! I turned 41 25 days ago...Welcome to the 40 club!! Good luck to you on your challenges...they're great and I loved reading them!! In fact, I may have stolen a few or 10 for myself!!! LOL!!

  8. Happy belated birthday! I love your challenge list, especially the personal challenges. Knowing my own weaknesses, I couldn't even make the list, much less accomplish anything on it, so I am very admiring already! Good luck!!!!!

  9. Happy Birthday! I think this is a great idea and hope you are 100% successful!

  10. Those all sound like worthy goals! I am rooting for you :)

  11. Welcome to the "40 somethings group." Good luck with your challenges.

  12. Happy belated birthday! Your list is ambitious and wonderful. I hope you have a great year completing it!

  13. Cindy, Kathy, Bookventures, Megan, Jenners, J.T., Staci, Jill, Tara, Lenore, Teddy Rose and Dorothy, as you can see, I'm already haven't trouble with one of my challenges, namely replying to comments within a week!

    Many thanks for all your encouraging words. I must admit I felt a bit shy sharing some of these personal challenges, so thank you for being so supportive. I'll definitely be keeping you posted on how I'm doing with them!