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40 Before 40 List – My favorite accomplishments before I turn 40

I’m in the final weeks of my 30s which has me doing a lot of reflecting! Some of my thoughts wander to my new wrinkles while questioning why I didn’t appreciate my younger body more? Probably not helpful. And then there are thoughts of how I’d imagined I’d have done more…

And that’s when I stopped myself!

There is so much to celebrate, so that’s what I’m doing. I made a list of 40 accomplishments and blessings that I’ve gotten to experience thought out my life.

I want to celebrate becoming 40 instead of longing for a more youthful me who had way more time left with my kids in the house.

That’s why I decided to create THREE “40 Lists.”

  1. 40 Before 40, but with a list of accomplishments so that I could realize and see how much I have already enjoyed and experienced in this life!
  2. 40 Days to 40. This list is 40 things I want to do in the last 40 days of my 30s. I’m currently working on this one. I only have a few days till I kick it off.
  3. 40 After 40. So many of the lists that I saw were 40 before 40, but I’m going to be honest— I’m not feeling super thrilled about turning 40, so instead of making a list where it felt like all the magic was behind me, I decided I’m going to focus on a list where the magic is yet to come. (I’ll share that one when it’s ready).

Each list is meant to help me recognize how much more there is to come! That starts by looking for all the amazing I’ve already gotten to experience and recognizing that this list is proof that more awesome is on its way! And just in case, I’m going to bring the awesome with my “40 Days to 40” and plan for more awesome with my “40 After 40.”

It was actually incredible to think through my past (and my photos), looking for the good. I highly recommend it!

40 things I have accomplished before 40:

  1. I survived and overcame abuse
  2. I met the man of my dreams and got married at 19
  3. Joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  4. Raised 3 incredible kids to teenagehood (so far)
  5. Became a temple worker at the Seattle LDS Temple
  6. Grew into being best, best friends with my sister (she is my person! As kids, we would have never believed this was possible!!)
  7. Became a homeowner in 2002
  8. Learned to cook by watching the FoodNetwork with notepad and pen and became obsessed with entertaining (still can’t bake though)

  9. Lived in Hawaii (BYU-Hawaii)
  10. Built a 6-figure photography business at age 26. I stopped taking pictures years ago, but I’ve never stopped being a small business owner!
  11. Have been blessed with so many incredible friendships that keep me young and vibrant!

  12. Volunteered in each of my kids’ classrooms while they were in public school. And then homeschooled too.

  13. So grateful for all of the amazing adult-only vacations over the last 20 years (and the many more to come)!

  14. Bought a cabin in Leavenworth

  15. Got 5 passports and travelled full-time as a family in 2015 (England, Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Bali)

  16. Became a Volunteer Seminary Teacher (which was such a dream come true!)

  17. Built a business course (The Thriving Photographer) based on everything I wish I’d known

  18. Became a paid speaker

  19. Bought a Christmas Tree Farm

  20. Saw The Thriving Photographer bring in 7 figures!

  21. Helped hundreds and hundreds of women reach 6-figures

  22. Hosted Mastermind Retreats in 8 states to help incredible boss babe women thrive
  23. Learned to outsource (home and business)
  24. Pivoted my entire business several times!
  25. Created a course teaching kids how to start their own business (The CEO Kid)
  26. Hosted lots of parties (because it turns out, I love entertaining – see #8) including a black-tie New Years’ Eve party

  27. Moved over 14 times since getting married
  28. In 2013, I cut my hours from never-not-overwhelmed to part-time without losing income (I share every detail on how I did that, here.)

  29. Hosted a Mastermind Retreat in my dream city, London ENGLAND!!

  30. Had professional photos taken just for me and my brand

  31. Ran a ½ marathon

  32. Tried blonde, brown, red, long, short, bob hairstyles
  33. Travelled solo (and loved it)
  34. Read on average 50 books a year for the last 5 years

  35. Find myself more in love with my husband in year 20 than I was in year one

  36. Fell in love with family history and researched my ancestry back to before each line immigrated to the US. Found out I have 2 direct lines who signed The Constitution, came over on the Mayflower, and included some pretty incredible trailblazers like Amelia Earhart, Walt Disney, and Jane Austin. Turns out I didn’t come from a long line of black sheep.

  37. Overcame self-doubt around my dyslexia and turned it into one of my super-powers (as long as I don’t have to spell too much)
  38. Built a membership to help any female small business owners who feel like they’re drowning, to build systems and strategies that bring them back above water and beyond!
  39. Have been featured in every medium (I think): several magazines – including 2 covers, tv, podcasts, radio interviews. When I write that – 10-year-old-me would be very excited to know this! 🙂

  40. Learned to believe that 40 can be just the beginning for me


  1. Avika says:

    I love this!!!

you said:

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