40 Things To Do When You Turn 40

40 years old? We've got you covered with the ultimate to-do list

Please stop calling it the new 30 or 20 – it’s 40, and it’s coming for you. While this milestone birthday is often accompanied by groans and complaints, turning 40 doesn't have to be a bad thing. This new decade might be just the catalyst you need to improve your life.
40 Things To Do When You Turn 40

How this decade treats and changes you will depend on how you approach it. So, to make sure you make the most of your 40th, we've put together a list of 40 things you should do when the big day arrives.

You don't have to complete every task on your list, but if you can complete most of them, you'll likely be in good physical, mental, social, and emotional shape by the time you're 50.


Not only did your ancestors navigate a harsh and unforgiving universe so that you could survive here, but you've managed to survive for 40 years. You deserve a big celebration, so go all out.

Change Your Career Path

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
If you're lucky enough to find your dream job, feel free to skip this one. But if, like many of us, you're curious about doing something else - then go for it! You no longer have enough time to try something, so if you're half interested in doing something else, give it a try.

Go On Adventure

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
People almost universally value experiences over possessions, so make sure you get some that matter. Skip the pool bar and sun loungers and go somewhere truly exotic on your next vacation. Try trekking in the Himalayas or dog sledding in the Arctic Circle.

Give Up Your Resentment

Life is too short to carry around unnecessary anger. It’s time to let go of any lingering disdain you have for people from your past, especially if they don’t belong in your present. If so, it's time to find a way to eliminate them. No matter what, holding a grudge will hurt you more than anyone else.

Make A Will

The youthful ease you pretended would never die is disappearing. It's time to get your affairs in order. Make sure that the fruits of your life's work end up in the right hands after your death.

Establish A Family

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40

Biology doesn't shut out men as much as it does women when it comes to raising kids, but chasing little ones takes a lot of energy, so don't wait too long if you want something like this. Do you want to deal with an unruly sexagenarian?

Having Your First Colonoscopy

Overcome the mental hurdles and make an appointment. It's not as unpleasant or uncomfortable as you think, and it might just save your life. As far as going to the hospital goes, it doesn't get any easier than this.

Create New Traditions

Create an event that people look forward to every year. It can be anything! Chili cook-offs, scavenger hunts, family BBQs, country retreats...anything. Traditions bring family and friends together, and you can be proud to know that your event unites your loved ones.

Buy Property

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40

You may not be able to afford your dream apartment in your favorite city, but you may be able to invest in something that will grow and appreciate over the next few decades. Plus, you can eventually choose to rent out your space or sell it for a tidy profit.

Don't Worry About What Other People Think

This tends to happen naturally, but just in case, turning 40 is your cue to stop caring about what other people think of you. Take charge of your identity and run with it. Do what you want with abandon and let any haters waste their time hating.

Fulfill One Of Your Sexual Fantasies

Don’t go to your grave with a bunch of unfulfilled fantasies. Instead, find something that works and discuss it with your partner. As long as you're honest and willing to be flexible, sharing your fantasies can bring the two of you closer together.

Play A Team Sport

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
This addresses two of the biggest challenges for men in their 40s – making new friends and staying in shape. Find yourself a local dodgeball team or beer league you can join. Being part of a team, exercising, and meeting new people is the trifecta that keeps you young.

Spice Up Your Marriage

Don't let your marriage stagnate. It may happen naturally and slowly pull you and your partner apart. Instead, make an effort to go on fun dates, send flirty texts, try new things in the bedroom, and find ways to be considerate of your significant other.

Put Yourself Out There

This is great for not caring what people think. Have you always wanted to dress a certain way? Then dress up like that. Have you been single for too long? Get those dating apps running. Looking for a new career? Start showing up at networking events or reaching out to professionals in your field. Get out there and find the people who can help you get what you want.

Discover New Passions

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
Have you always wanted to play the piano, rock climb, or develop video games? There must be something you're curious about but haven't tried yet. Give it a try and make your life richer.

Reconnect With Old Friends

Many friendships tend to ebb and flow over time and eventually fade away. It's natural and nothing to feel bad about, but rekindling old friendships can be incredibly rewarding and all it takes is an email or Insta DM to get started.

Take Care Of Your Parents

It's hard to watch your parents grow older, but sadly, it can't be stopped. All you can do is actively cultivate your relationship with them and do whatever you can to make Mom and Dad's golden years happy and comfortable. Remember, they may not ask for your help, so volunteer your help whenever possible.

Update Your Wardrobe

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
As you enter the next stage of adulthood, you may want to rethink your wardrobe. Turning forty is a great time to reinvent your style and make it more age-appropriate. No one is saying you have to retire all your ratty concert tees, but as a forty-something, you'll want to make sure you have some great options for business, casual, and formal events as well.

Mentor Someone

By now, you already have some expertise in your particular field. Show your knowledge and experience generously by mentoring people who are just getting into the game. Mentors can have a huge impact on people's lives and can be one of the most valuable aspects of business. do not miss it.

Make Serious Retirement Plans

This point cannot be overemphasized. You need a retirement plan. The alternative is to hope you die before you run out of money - not a good way to end your life. Do some research to find out the best way to save for retirement, whether privately, through an employer, or a combination of the two.

Eat Healthier

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
Everyone knows that as you age, you should live healthier. The days of smashing cheeseburgers and beers with impunity are over. Not only is it easier to gain weight now as your metabolism slows, but threats like heart disease and diabetes are more real than ever, so start replacing fat with greens and hedging your bets.

Embrace Change

Your hair may turn gray and fall out, your reflexes may slow down, your memory may begin to fail, and the list goes on. The harder you fight it, the more miserable you become. Instead, embrace the changes we’ve all experienced and readjust your expectations to fit the new reality of aging humans.

Trim Any Excess Hair

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
Your hair follicles seem to be actively rebelling, hair is growing out of your ears, and your eyebrows are starting to grow as if they were on steroids. It's time to update your grooming habits to deal with unwanted old man hair.

Please Help Yourself

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the finer things in life. In your 40s, you may have a better appreciation for business class, luxury resorts, single malt whiskey, sports cars, etc. It's okay to indulge in some of life's business pleasures, as long as you're not plundering your retirement fund just for the sake of it.

Make Changes

No matter how hard we try, we all make mistakes from time to time. It's often easy to gloss over or wish they would disappear without a trace, but now is a good time to make up for those things you may have said or done that were never resolved. Not only will you feel relieved, but you may also save or rekindle an important relationship.

Stop Dawdling

Jack Kornfield famously said, "The problem is, you think you have time." The reality is that no one knows how much time they have left until they run out of time. Stop taking tomorrow for granted and get busy doing whatever drives you.

Back To School

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
You can learn a lot online, but it's better to have a live instructor to correct you and allow colleagues to bounce ideas off each other. Learning should be a lifelong endeavor, and going back to school in your 40s is a great way to add skills to your toolbox and keep your mind sharp.

Alleviate Your Bad Habits

Stop smoking. Stop gambling. Eat less junk. Watch less TV drink less. Set social media limits. Bad habits are fun, but now that you're in your 40s, they add to your age and pose serious health risks.

Take A Dance Class

I'm all for dancing like no one is watching, except that most of the time someone is watching. You can be like Elon Musk and bust out the Egyptians at a launch event, or you can learn a few lessons and have some solid moves in your arsenal the next time you're invited to a wedding.

If You Are Going Bald - Shave Your Head

Many men find that their hair is thinning, if not completely falling out, in their 40s. Once you get to a certain point, it's better to shave your head and be done with it rather than trying to use hats, combs, and topknots to give the illusion of a full head of hair.

Start Your Skincare Routine

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
Wrinkles may start to take root around your eyes and forehead. However, you can slow this down with a skincare routine that includes wearing sunscreen, moisturizing, and using products that don't contain harsh chemicals. This is also where cutting back on your bad habits can make a difference in what's left of your youthful appearance.

Take Dental Care Seriously

Your teeth are also slowly decaying. It’s not a big deal… until it is, and then it becomes expensive and painful to deal with. Do yourself a favor by flossing and brushing your teeth regularly. Another helpful tip is to rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee, soda, or juice.

Talk To A Financial Advisor

From now on, your finances will play an important role in your life. Your mortgage, your kids' college tuition, your retirement savings, your emergency fund—all of these things depend on you making smart financial decisions, and that's easier said than done. So instead of trying to fix the problem on your own, talk to a professional.

Relieve Stress

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
Stress is a veritable killer. It’s important to develop reliable techniques for dealing with life’s extreme situations. Find what works best for you and implement it diligently when you feel your stress levels rising. Meditation works wonders for many people, walking, reciting mantras, listening to music, resting, drinking tea... the list goes on.

Create A Profile Of Your Life So Far

Chances are, there are tons of documents about your life scattered throughout the real and online worlds. It's time to bring all these different threads together into an archive that you control. Keep all your photos and documents in one place and make at least two backups. This will make it easier for you to pass on your story to your children.

Keep A Diary

Memories fade, especially as we age. Writing things down allows you to forget about them while knowing that they are not lost. Keeping a journal can also be very helpful to ensure you make the most of each day and help you understand your emotions during difficult times.

Start A Business

You are 40 years old. You may have some expertise in a specific area. So ask yourself – do you want to spend the rest of your life making other people rich, or would you rather start your own business and make yourself rich? Even if you fail, the lessons you learn should help you on your next adventure.

Support A Cause

40 Things To Do When You Turn 40
You are entering a phase of life that rewards as much as it gives. One way to maintain balance is to take action. Giving a portion of your time and talents to improve the lives of others can make a world of difference and is the best legacy you can leave.

Learn Basic Survival Knowledge

You are now an authority figure. Whether you like it or not, people will look to you for guidance and reassurance, especially when things are not going well. Don't let them down. Know how to handle yourself in various survival situations. Learn how to make a fire and shelter. Keep emergency kits in your house and car. Learn how to perform CPR or create a splint. You are what they are looking for.

Master Some Recipes

Every 40-year-old man needs to know how to cook at least a few quality meals. Cereal or mac and cheese don’t count. We're talking stir-fries, shepherd's pie, roasted chicken, omelets, pasta sauce, or the perfect steak. Cook a few meals and people will go out of their way to ask you to cook for them.