Sunday, August 25, 2013

40 by 40 List

My fellow LTYM cast-mate Heather Sokol is an awesome-sauce work-at-home Mama to 4 kids.  She is hilarious, an expert over at Babble, and is always the center of attention in every room I've ever shared with her.  She's raucous and TALL and I <3 her so much that I wish we lived closer so we could hang out and drink copious amounts of wine and laugh together more.  Alas, she is 3 1/2 hours away.  Heather wrote this amazing list of 40 things she wanted to accomplish by the time she turned 40.  I was in awe just hearing that she did that, but then I read her actual list.  This girl is ambitious!  I love a girl with chutzpah, and Heather's got it.  I HAD to know more.  Luckily she was gracious enough to allow me interrogate interview her about the list.  She's like famous y'all and she has 4 kids, so her taking the time to answer my silly questions really means the world to me.  So without further ado, here's Heather in her own words.  

You can connect with Heather on Pinterest and Twitter @JustHeather too!

1. Did you know that if you google "40 by 40 list" that your blog is the first thing to come up?  You must be inspiring many of us 30-somethings going through our own identity crises.  How do you like being a hero? 

Wow. I actually didn't know that, but I'm thrilled if my list helps inspire others. It was a winding, arduous journey of discovering who I wanted to be when I grew up, and I am honored to think that I may have a small part in helping others do the same.

2. How did you come up with the idea for the list and your personal list? 

I can't take full credit. I found a 30x30 list on a now defunct blog, and I just loved the idea of a timeline for all those "someday" items. It took me most of a year to even come up with 40 items for the list. I was stuck in this rut of being nothing more than a wife and mom, but I knew that I had to be in there somewhere. The list ended up being a mix of things I've always wanted to do and things other people were surprised to find I'd never actually done. I tried to avoid things I felt like I should do because this was my chance to be a dreamer.

3. How do you feel about where you are on the list now?  Were your goals realistic, overly ambitious, insane, or perfect for you?  

At first, I was very task-oriented with the list. It took awhile for me to realize that as long as the spirit of the list was on track, I was successful. Now it's not really about goals so much as remembering to get out of my comfort zone now and then. I will likely never hit all 40 items, but I'm doing things I never thought I would, learning a lot about who I am and who I want to be, and that was the real point.

4. Did you post the list anywhere other than your blog, like in your house or on your desktop?  

I didn't, partly because I didn't want a list of things I couldn't accomplish staring me in the face when things weren't going well. When I'm working towards something specific, I might put a photo on my computer desktop. Mostly, though, I just check in on the blog page whenever I need a reminder or a feeling of accomplishment in seeing the crossed off items.

5. Now that you are closer to 40 than you are to 30, would you revise the list in any way?

I often revise the list, actually. Sometimes I'll look at an item on the list and realize it is there for the wrong reasons or I've outgrown the need to do it. Other times I'll think of something I should have added and it nags at me so much that I end up scratching something to include it.

6. What advice would you give to those of us thinking about composing our own lists?  

Before you think about what you want to put on your list, spend some time thinking about why you're starting it in the first place. That will help you compose the list, stay true to its purpose over the years, and feel more accomplished even when you aren't checking things off.

7. If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?  

I need some kind of super seeker power. We're always losing things around here - shoes, homework, car keys. I think I could about 2 hours back into each day if only I had the amazing power to find things immediately.


  1. You are so very sweet. I wish we lived closer as well! I would love to hang out with you and drink copious amounts of any given liquor.

    1. Perhaps a road trip is in order! :-)

  2. Awesome! This might put me over the edge to write a 40x40 list. Also, in terms of finding things, I just saw this:

  3. Awesome! I've seen 40x40 lists before, but I have enough to-do lists...but your approach might actually put me over the top to write one. Also, in terms of finding things, I just saw this soon-to-be-released piece of awesomeness:

    1. That looks AWESOME. I think I know what I'll be getting my mother's keys for Xmas!

  4. I absolutely LOVE the idea of doing this list. It is exactly what we all should have to keep motivating us to try new things!-Ashley

    1. I would LOVE to see your lists Ashley & Lisa!



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