Recently I challenged both myself and my wife to come up with 40 before 40 lists. This is 40 things you want to accomplish before age 40. I am 29, my wife is… let’s just say ‘close’. Our 30s are going to have a major impact on the rest of our lives – by 40 we’ll be more set in our ways, we’ll find certain things harder to do, we’ll have a family, etc. So this serves as an attempt to define what we would most like to do, as well as who we would most want to BE, and especially for the latter, this serves as a roadmap for the next ten years.

In my research, I didn’t see a whole lot of these (maybe any?!) from men. I’m sure there are those who have these – I think the avid lifestyle bloggers just tend to be women.

For every 5 or so of these goals, I’ll have a post explaining my rationale behind the goals (some might seem rather odd otherwise), any caveats or additional restrictions, and other notes (including updates). Then at the end I’ll make one post with the entire list.

1: Go to Japan

Simple. I’m a nerd, so I’ve wanted to go to Japan since high school. I probably want more of an experience of rural Japan, but of course I want to experience the bustling city of Tokyo too. As time goes on, though, and especially after getting married, I think this trip has gotten less likely. We’ll see, though!

2: Become a father to two kids or more

I got married at the beginning of last year, and we got a house at the end of last year. That’s a lot to happen in a year (especially when one of us first steps foot in the country they’re about to live in only a month before the wedding, and come to think of it, that merits a blog post of its own!). Next on the list is kids…

3: Memorize equivalent of 5 chapters of scripture

5 was really just a randomly, reasonably-seeming number with nothing much behind it. But I’ve wanted to start memorizing some scripture for a while, yet I’ve had huge problems trying to stick with it. The shorter psalms won’t count (at least, not as complete chapters). They don’t need to be consecutive chapters, or even complete chapters – going off of an estimate of 25 verses per chapter, memorizing 125 separate verses will work as well. Although it will be cool to memorize one entire book (James has five chapters…)

4: Run a mile in 6 minutes

I’ve been running for a couple years now, at first simply for stress relief, but I pushed myself to go faster and longer as I’ve found it’s something I have enjoyed doing. I’ve even run in some 5K races. Over 5K, though, I found that my right foot – minorly messed up from birth via a pre-natal stroke – hurt at the end of a workout. The farthest I got was about 12K, but the instant I stopped running, the pain rendered me unable to walk, and convinced me that I had a problem. The doctor I saw said there wasn’t much to be done, which was very demoralizing for a while because I was really enjoying it.

So I don’t run much above 5K anymore. I can’t improve distance without risk, but I have not encountered a problem so far with speed. My fastest 5K was an average of 8:39/mile. My fastest mile recorded on a treadmill is 7:53, which is a speed of 7.6 mph. Indoor is not subject to wind resistance, terrain, etc., so while doing this indoor would satisfy the goal, outdoor will be extra credit.

But, 6:00 is similarly just a number I threw out there, and there’s no reason I specifically chose it other than it’s a generally good time to beat. It’s just a goal.

5: Learn to mostly break my habit of self centeredness.

Being married tends to bring out parts of you that you didn’t know existed. I am a largely independent guy. I lived by myself for several years. But now, of course, I’m not living by myself, and find I get aggravated over the smallest things. Sometimes I just want to be with myself after work. Other times I just hate being told (or even offered suggestions) what to do. Of course, that kind of attitude can begin to cause problems in marriage.

I thought I was a patient person before, but that’s just because I never had anyone to rub against that bad part of my heart in that persistent way. Most of what I feel stays in me, and it doesn’t often spill out (at least, my wife still knows me as the more patient one of the two of us), but it is nevertheless something that humbles me far too often, and I am trying to address.

This is not a specific goal like many of the others – it doesn’t offer a particular way that I can look back and easily say for certain ‘oh, I did this’. But I offer it here to have it on the record as something to stick to.

6-10 in the list are coming soon.