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40 Things Every Woman Should Do Before Turning Forty


As a woman it is very easy to get so caught up in working to make a life for yourself that you forget to live your life. You think “I can do that later” or “One day I’m going to…”, and before you know it you are facing the big FOUR-OH. Although forty doesn’t hold the same dead end stigma it once did, there are still some things that can, or should, only be done when you’re young. Besides, the things you do in your youth will be the stories you tell in your not-so-youth. To ensure you have a juicy past to talk about in your grown-up years follow these suggestions:

1. Go skinny dipping

It’s naughty. It’s being nude in the open. You get to feel the water enveloping your entire body. What are you waiting for? If you’re feeling ill at ease with your body, it’s not going to get any better as gravity takes over, so take the plunge while you’re young. Skinny dipping alone doesn’t count. You take a bath everyday by yourself, so it won’t be the same. Throw off your inhibitions (and your clothes) and jump into the fun.

2. Learn to change a tire

Not as fun as skinny dipping, but this is a skill every woman should have. Not only will you feel great about yourself for learning something new, if you happen to get a flat tire on a road with no traffic and/or no cell phone signal you will be able to take care of the problem yourself.

3. Travel

Have adventures all over the world, or at the very least make it across the border into Mexico or Canada.

4. Fall in love

Fall completely and totally head over heels in love with someone. Hold nothing back. We never forget our first love, so make it count.

5. Learn to cook a gourmet meal

Just because a woman’s place is no longer in the kitchen is no reason to not know how to cook. Learn to make at least one signature dish or meal that is absolutely divine.

6. Have a savings account that’s only yours

Even if you are already in a relationship with joint bank accounts, open a savings account that is just for you. Every woman should have their own money.

7. Follow the 20 seconds of courage rule

The greatest line from the movie We Bought a Zoo is, “All you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery, and I promise you, something great will come of it.” How freaking awesome is that?? Incorporate this into your life, and by the time you are forty think of the amazing things you will have experienced.

8. Live alone

Take a year to live alone. You will learn so much about yourself during this time and when you do live with someone else or get married, you will be so much more prepared.

9. Find a career you love

Money is a necessity of life, but we have the freedom to choose any career we want. Granted some areas are more difficult to break into, but not impossible. If you love to sing, you don’t have to be a huge star to make a career out of it. There are several ways you can find to make a career out of one of your passions.

10. Learn to negotiate

Studies show that 57 percent of men will negotiate for their salary, while only 7 percent of women will, and that is only the salary aspect. Negotiating skills factor into several areas of our lives, and cost women a great deal of money every day. This is embarrassing ladies. We must do better than this.

11. Have a best friend

A friend will bail you out of jail. A true friend will be in the cell with you saying “Damn that was fun!”

12. Have a mentor

Every successful person in history had a mentor, someone who had the experience and knowledge to coach them along the way.

13. Be a mentor

Pay it forward and be a mentor to someone else. There are several reasons to share your knowledge and help others to become successful. Not only do you learn more when you teach someone else, but also, if you choose to mentor another woman, you are helping to create more women leaders.

14. Get your adrenaline pumping

Whether it’s skydiving, bungee jumping or rock climbing, do something to get your adrenaline pumping. You don’t have to become an extreme sport junkie, but do things that make you feel alive.

15. Wear fun clothes

Everyone has something about their body that they don’t like, but youth only happens once. When you are older you will want to slap your younger self for feeling like those beautiful legs should be covered. Enjoy your youthful body before gravity hits.

16. Preserve your skin

Most women wait until they see their first wrinkle to start a skin regimen. If you start while you’re young, you will preserve your youth for a much longer time.

17. Know how to kiss

Not just how to kiss but know how to kiss in a way that expresses exactly what you do or don’t want to happen next.

18. Have a fun hairstyle

Color your hair a bright color and have a fun, wild hairstyle for a while. You can be boring later.

19. Wear sexy underwear

Start a collection of sexy lingerie and wear it every day. Don’t save it for special date nights.

20. Splurge on yourself

Save your money (don’t charge it), and buy yourself something extravagant like a piece of jewelry, designer handbag or artwork. Don’t wait for a man to “treat you nice”, treat yourself.

21. Learn a new language

Not only will it give you a good reason to travel to a country where the language is spoken, but it may also add value to your resume.

22. Practice meditation

Be able to sit quietly in your own head. Try it now. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Without counting, see if you can determine when a minute has passed. Most people will be surprised to find they open their eyes much too soon.

23. Have a sex buddy

Find a man that you simply have mind-blowing sex with on a consistent basis. This man doesn’t have to be the love of your life. Hell, he doesn’t even have to be all that interesting beyond the physical enjoyment he gives to you. *This is preferably done when neither of you are married.*

24. Keep a journal

Even if you don’t write in it every day, you will love reading about a younger version of yourself later in life.

25. Flirt with random men for no reason

There’s is absolutely nothing wrong with healthy flirting, and something about it puts a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.

26. Get rid of bad habits

Whether it’s simply biting your nails or something harmful like smoking, toss nasty habits out the window.

27. Pose for a boudoir photo

Get it taken by a professional, and not by the cellphone of the guy you happen to be dating. It doesn’t have to be for anyone else, but later you will enjoy looking back at your once perky breasts and smooth thighs.

28. Learn to put on your makeup

Most makeup counters will do free makeovers. A professional will teach you to choose colors that are best for you and how to enhance your natural beauty instead of hiding it behind a mask of makeup.

29. Take care of your body

This is a no-brainer at any age, but have you ever been shocked when you heard someone’s age? It is especially sobering when you think they are much older than they really are. Aspire to be the woman who hears, “Wow! I would have never guessed. You look at least 20 years younger”.

30. Appreciate the arts

See a Broadway play, the ballet or visit a famous museum. If a legendary performer is doing a concert in your area, make at point to go even if it isn’t your normal taste in music. Later on you can tell the story of when you saw Michael Bublè, Paul McCartney or Madonna live in concert.

31. Kiss a stranger

If you need an excuse, wait until New Year’s Eve.

32. Write your mom a letter

Write a real letter on nice paper thanking your mom for all the things she did (and still does) for you.

33. Create a family of your own

Not every woman has the desire to get married or have children, and that is completely fine. If however, you do want a family, don’t put it off too long.

34. Learn true forgiveness

Let go of any past grievances and forgive yourself for any mistakes you have made along the way.

35. Push your limits

Run a marathon, climb a tall mountain or do a long distance bike race. Do something that forces you to push yourself physically and mentally.

36. Have more pictures of yourself

Don’t stay behind the camera so much that you look back and realize you aren’t in any of the pictures.

37. Be in the moment

We can get so busy making plans, taking care of daily business or staying distracted by electronics that we are never truly in the moment. Put the phone or camera down. Turn off the television and computer. Be aware when you are not actively in the present moment, slow down your mind and refocus your attention.

38. Try something new

It is easy to get stuck in a rut or never reach too far out of your comfort zone. Make a conscious effort to try something new every year, month or week.

39. Go on a girls-only vacation

You don’t have to end up on Girls Gone Wild; just do something fun with the girls. There’s nothing more fun than being giggly and silly with your closest friends. Plan a trip to Vegas, the Bahamas or a spa retreat. Once you’re married and have kids, it’s more difficult to get away with the girls. Take advantage of the opportunity now.

40. Have fun and enjoy yourself

Growing up and making a place for yourself in this big world can be a stressful thing. Take time to enjoy your journey by taking pleasure in the little things in life.

Everyone has a list of things they would like to accomplish before they get older, but most of us wait until it’s too late. Unless you plan to be a politician, there isn’t much you can do that will be detrimental to your future. So, make time to be young and fun instead of taking yourself too seriously. By living an authentic life and you will face a future of no regrets. You can’t ask for much better than that.

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About Sheri Hosale

Sheri Hosale is a writer, former ballroom dancer and opinionated redhead. She likes British humor, Alabama football and picking through people’s brains like a knowledge-hungry zombie.

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