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Goals for a 40 year old woman

Goals for a 40 year old woman
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I’m a 40 year old woman who has battled feelings of a midlife crisis periodically over the last few years. In the last article, I shared how I overcame being depressed about turning 40. Today, I’ll share some goals you can have as a 40 year old to positively change your life. 

In the last article, we left off with a changed mindset. Embracing your 40s is the first step to creating positive change.

Once you’ve changed your mindset, you’re ready to really begin charting the course for the rest of your life. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from the first 40 years it’s this: You need to have dreams and constantly remind yourself of them.

Therefore, I’ve come up with a list of life goals that I want to work towards from here on out. I’ve printed out a copy of them and pasted it on a vision board that sits just above my home computer, where I’m typing this article now.

It’s so, so important to remember that your goals at 40 don’t have to be the same types of goals you’d have at 20. Your goals can be both meaningful and appropriate for your stage in life.

Anyway, here are my lifetime goals for now:

1. Get back in shape

I know I said that I’m not worried about my body aging, but I feel that a toned, lean body reflects your attitude towards everything in life. It shows that you’re disciplined and strong willed enough to get into shape.

It also doesn’t make sense to me to be out of shape when I still have the capacity to move around and do exercise!

I know, approaching this in a haphazard fashion is a recipe for failure, so I’m looking at some affordable fitness programs that I can follow to get back in shape.

It follows that I don’t just want to exercise more, I want to start eating much more healthily as well! That means more salad days and less Mcdonalds. As a woman, I know I need to get my calcium in to fight osteoporosis when I’m older, so I’ll probably start setting aside some money for supplements.

2. Take control of my finances

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I had battled a shopping addiction over the last 10 years. While I’ve made significant strides in cutting back on my spending habits, I still feel that I want more control over my life.

Firstly, I want to make full use of cash backs and rewards when I shop. I know that I’m leaving lots of money on the table by not using free services online. For example, I just signed up for Ebates and it states that it can give me 25% on Amazon purchases! I’m not sure whether this applies to everything or if there’s a threshold, but I plan to investigate this further.

Secondly, I want to track my finances more closely. Saving is great, but it’s really unfocused saving. I want to save for a purpose (read: retirement). I’ve signed up for Personal Capital, which many other personal finance bloggers are recommending online. The great thing about Personal Capital is that it has a retirement planning spin on tracking your finances. So it tells you your net worth, and how much you should be allocating to certain investments to reach your goals. Super useful stuff!

3. Learn a new skill

I’m thinking picking up a musical instrument like the violin. It’s not a bulky as a piano and can fit right into my apartment. I’m really grateful for this TED talk that shows you only need 20 hours to pick up a new skill.

I just hope my neighbors can put up with my scratchy playing until I get good!

Otherwise, I’d be happy to maybe learn more about theoretical physics (all that geeky stuff about time travel and other dimensions) or photoshop or something!

4. Get an annuity (plan for retirement)

I’ve been putting off retirement planning for way too long. If there’s one thing that you could run out of time to do, retirement planning would be it. I did some calculations recently, and I know that our current savings will not be enough to fund the lifestyle we’d want to live when we retire in about 25 years (or sooner if we can!)

I believe the easiest way to do this would be with an annuity. In fact, I’ve already applied for one.

Basically, we’ll make regular payments to a fund until we retire. Just a small amount that we won’t miss. The fund will be managed and grown by a professional. Then, by the time we retire, we’ll get a regular payment back to fund our living expenses.

It really takes a load off my mind knowing that our future is secure and it didn’t cost us any inconvenience really!

5. Meditate (be more mindful)

Meditating can be a great way to be more mindful. It took me almost four years to take stock of my life and realize why I had resented turning 40. I wish I had been more aware of my own feelings and thoughts.

I’ve started meditating recently (on and off, because it’s difficult to get up early and sit still for even ten minutes!) And in that short time I’ve started to feel more calm and more self assured. I’m more self aware too, and I find that I’m able to rationalize why I feel a certain way. That has definitely helped me express myself to my loved ones.

6. Travel

Who doesn’t want to travel? I’ve always been keen to see new places. However, I don’t just want to join a tour group and stay in hotels. I really want to get immersed in local life. It’s going to be uncomfortable, I know. But it’ll make travelling so much more meaningful!

So, does anyone have any good suggestions for a week/two week long tour?

7. Volunteer (make an impact)

This really addresses the part about me wanting to make an impact instead of just consuming all the time. I’ve got so much life experience and talent to give to the less fortunate. I’m thinking of taking up an overseas volunteer opportunity. I’ve decided that volunteering overseas is great for three reasons:

  1. It’s in another country, so I can experience another culture while giving back, Basically I’m killing two birds with one stone.
  2. Let’s say I go to a developing country, I might be able to leverage my knowledge from the developed world to provide a greater impact to these overseas communities.
  3. Each project is a one-off, self-contained thing. I like that because I can try different opportunities to see where I can contribute the most. Also, it’ll give me more flexibility as I won’t be tied to a weekly/monthly schedule to volunteer.

8. Care for something, like a puppy

At 40, I’m probably (actually, definitely) not going to have any children. I don’t think I would have children if given the choice anyway.

However, I do feel an itch to have something that I can care for. Something that depends on me and loves me. Something I can think about while I’m at work and can look forward to spending time with after work.

I’m really thinking of getting a puppy! It may just be a silly thought right now, but the other day I met a lady walking a corgi in the park and I just fell. in. love. I just loved its stubby little feet and how its tongue just hung out all the time!

I know, it’s a lot of work. With me wanting to travel and volunteer it’s going to be difficult to manage. I guess I’ll leave this on the backburner and revisit the idea in a couple of years!

9. Have fewer friends, but more meaningful relationships

I’m under no illusions. Our social circle gets smaller as we get older, but that’s okay for me! What I really want now is to go deep. I want to be able to share my aspirations, hurts and hangups with people who really care.

I’ve not only had fewer friends over the years, but I’ve also not nurtured the good friendships that I already had. I’m determined now more than ever to develop stronger relationships with a small group of friends.

I know that the only way I can do this is by being a friend to someone first. I want to be there for someone, and bring value into their lives. This is not something that can be forced, for sure, but I’ve got to be open to being supportive of people that matter.

Final thoughts

Growing old doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. In fact, it’s a cause for celebration. Taking stock in middle adulthood and having that “uh, oh” moment can give you the focus you need to achieve the things you really wanted in life.

As I turn 40 this year, I won’t be bawling my eyes out anymore. For the first time in years, I’ll be celebrating. I’ll be turning my face toward a new horizon and walking through life’s doors with gusto.

I hope my story helped you even just a tiny bit, and I’d love to hear any coming-of-age stories and life goals you might have.

Here’s to our success!

 

Comments (17)

  • I’ll turn 40 this year also. I already made a big change last year by quitting my job so I think I will be OK this year. 🙂
    Yeah, it seems like 40 is the time to reflect and think back a bit. See if you’re happy with the ways things are going. Good luck this year. I hope you don’t get emotional this time. IM me if you need to chat with someone.

  • Ha, ha! Turning 40 is not that bad – I am fifty and I LOVE it. Having the time of my life; seriously (all this mid-life crisis cr*p offers opportunities for nad behaviour that I simply can’t miss). And I always celebrate my birthdays, I glory in them – after all, this is the one day that repeats and I am allowed to be the centre of attention and bask in it.

    As to sorted – please don’t do it. Being sorted means equilibrium, staleness and no growth. Just keep to the ‘creative destruction’ :). And welcome to the ‘blogging running club’ – would you join dailymile so we can share runs?

  • I turned 30 a few months ago, and I typically don’t like the movement of time either. I did okay though! I am not sure what scares me about time moving on, but I do feel that I am growing more into myself as it does, so I should celebrate that.

    I hope you accomplish the goals that you mention. Even working towards them should bring you peace.

  • I’m about a year and a half away from that milestone and man, it just seems like I hit 30. Goes by so fast as they say! I like your goals and your outlook. I think you’re welcoming the new number at the front of your age with a great attitude!

  • I always set really big goals for decades (30, 40, 50, & 60 years old). I no longer do that because I am 66 years old. I made plans for retirement (published this week) and I look at birthdays completely differently. They do not matter! I think it is my age and I no longer have really big goals left just small(er) ones.

  • Hey, my birthday is in May too! Are you a Taurus or a Gemini? 🙂

    I really like your goals Aloysa. The “running” goal is a good one. Let me know how you progress with that one, as I want to take up running too.

  • I think you are great and I am so sorry you get upset with birthdays! I love celebrating birthdays!

  • I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys-R-Us kids!

  • I turned 40 last year and it didn’t really affect me much. I also don’t have all my crap together – still working on saving, paying down debt (that I racked up last year), and eventually buying a house. But, I feel much more in control of my life – though I don’t think that has anything to do with the actual number 40. If anything, I feel like I have a whole lifetime ahead of me (of course, I have to remember that there is a limit up ahead and must save for retirement!)There’s something about getting around that birthday or number and feeling relieved.

  • I have a little ways to go before I hit 40 but I’m not sure what to expect to be honest. I think that setting short term goals is great especially if you like to sprint along as you say. I try to stay on schedule as much as I can with sleep and keeping fit. Life goes on, that’s what I say.

  • I’ll be turning 30 in 2 months… and the thought of it kinda freaks me out. In my 20’s I feel like I’m a “young adult”.. whee as the 30’s are full-fledged adulthood! We have plans to start our family this year, but I keep thinking “I’m too young to be a mom!” – but I know I’m not. it’s such a weird feeling.
    I think I’m going to set out some goals I’d like to accomplish in my 30’s… and make it something I look forward to!

    • Julie,

      I am 35 and never felt ready to be a mom till now. Do not rush it. If you are not ready there is no need to start pumping them out because you feel like you should be ready. I know far too many of my friends who followed the time line and are envious of the lifestyle i live being kid free. You will love your kids no matter what age you have them at and the only way to be prepared, I believe, is to be mentally ready to have them… If your gut says “no, not right now!” then listen to it. Biologically we are ready in our teens, so who cares what the trending age is. Go with your instincts. My sister loves her children, and I adore my niece and nephew, but I know that sometimes she wishes she didn’t feel the pressure to have gotten married (she is now getting a divorce) and honestly sometimes wishes she didn’t have children as much as she adores them!

      Live in the now because who knows how many tomorrows you will have.

      Goodluck and enjoy being you. If we all normalized being normal then we wouldn’t feel so much pressure to be perfect…because normal would be the new perfect.

    • I disagree with Julie a little. I am about to turn 40 and you know what live that is all I can tell you. If you want to have kids in your 30’s do it. It’s all good and not having kids you might regret. Everything else you can do, travel. So if you want to have kids go for it. Life has ups and downs and money comes and goes.

  • I am hitting 30 this year and I am looking forward to new opportunities. My husband will be 39 and he has a whole other attitude on his birthday..I have to tiptoe around it. I think you have great goals! I started running in October and I love it so much,I hope you do too!!!

  • 31 here. You must REALLY hate birthdays writing this post 4 or 5 months in advance lol. Do you think you enjoy your 20s or 30s better?

  • I will be turning 40 this year in November. My personal view is one reach an important milestone at. Yes, it is the beginning of middle life or adulthood. It is also the age of maturity. By 40 is supposed to have discovered their life purpose and Destiny. It is a significant age in the Bible and in Islam.

  • I will be turning 40 in October 2015 and I am dreading it. I have no friends to celebrate with just a 9 yr old and a 4 year old and my husband. I have been trying to climb the corporate ladder but keeps being stuck doing the same thing and getting passover. Depressed I am, lonely I am, scareda big fat YES.

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