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My 40 Before 40 Bucket List


My 40 Before 40 Bucket List

In thirteen months, I turn forty-years old.

And I’m not at all worried, fearful or afraid of the aging process. This is life. And there is a time and a season for everything. I know a little more than I did in my 20’s and early 30’s but there is still so much to discover and wisdom to gain.

But it has made me realize how quickly time goes by.

And I want to head into forty, full of joy for the days to come but also celebrating what it means to really live.

I think bucket list’s are an amazing tool for us to use. And I encourage you so much to create your own. Whether it’s a Summer/Fall bucket list, a 30 before 30 or 20 before 20 or whatever … here are some tips to build your list:

  1. Be realistic. Yes, I want to travel the world, but that’s not gonna happen in a little over a year. Think through your budget and time restraints and be very rational with your list. The idea is to actually do everything on the list not just dream up ideas.
  2. Sit with it for awhile. I took several weeks to think through my list and asked others for their insight too. I looked at the practical and creative things I’ve always wanted to do but then all those things I’ve looked at over the years and thought, “That looks really fun! One day, I’m gonna do that.”
  3. Write it down. Don’t just say you want to do these things. There is so much accountability that happens when we actually write things down. But keep your list in front of you, read it each day and cross things off as they happen! That’s the fun part.
  4. Tell someone. I’m slightly nervous to release my list out into the world today because it’s making it VERY real. Will someone say something negative about things on my list? Probably. But you know what happens when you’re almost forty? Well, you get really comfortable with your own skin. So, let them have their opinion but know who’s opinions you really care about.

Okay, so are you ready to read my list?

Here we go!

40 Things I Want To To Do Before 40 

  1. Stay in a Historic B&B
  2. Loose 30 pds (process has begun!)
  3. Run a half-marathon at Disney (It’s booked & I’ve started training!)
  4. Read 20 books
  5. Own two smiling sheep 
  6. Write my 3rd book
  7. Master beach waves in my hair (TY YouTube)
  8. Speak at a conference in Hawaii 
  9. Swim with a dolphin 
  10. Sleep next to a waterfall 
  11. Master eye-make-up 
  12. Take a Hot Air Ballon Ride 
  13. Ride an elephant 
  14. Go to a concert 
  15. Do 40 random acts of kindness 
  16. Read the entire Bible 
  17. Plant a successful garden 
  18. See Niagara Falls 
  19. Host a fancy dinner outside for friends
  20. Stay in a Tree House 
  21. Go to Israel to study the Bible
  22. Finish the Fixer Upper Farm (We’ve got a list!)
  23. Take a fun trip with each of my girls 
  24. Go on a cruise 
  25. Own a Louis Vuitton Bag  (It can be used!)
  26. Get a Frenchie or another Pug 
  27. Lean to play a new song on the piano 
  28. See Mount Rushmore 
  29. Go to Yellowstone 
  30. See Hamilton 
  31. See Wicked 
  32. Be in the audience of a live taping of a game show 
  33. Visit Magnolia 
  34. Go Whale Watching 
  35. Clean and organize the attic 
  36. Get the Fixer Upper Farm Co. going strong so we can give more
  37. Learn how to fold sheets
  38. Learn how to do hand-lettering 
  39. Sing Karaoke
  40. Ride a bike around Mackinac Island in MI

Okay, there you have it.

And now … it’s REAL. Time to make this stuff happen!

I would love to hear your thoughts about all of this especially if you have tips/tricks/connections to make any of these things on my list happen and also to hear what you think about creating your OWN bucket list in the comment section here on the blog!




  • jill teamed with shelbee. tattooed cab driver licks busty babe.

    I think this is a wonderful idea and so many of the things on the list sound like fantastic experiences! Enjoy ❤️

    • My bucket list is fulfilling my mom’s list:) I get the most joy by surprising her with little adventures that she dreamed of!

  • I’m 42 now and didn’t have a bucket list but I’d put quite a lot from yours onto mine if I had one for 40+ things before 45!!

  • What a great idea and your list sounds so much fun.
    I am going to make a list, Experiences to have as I Recover from Colon Cancer and a visit to PEI seals the deal!

  • I love this! What a great idea! And these things on your list sound amazing my friend!
    I am 45 and at one time was bound by fear… but God is always good and doing great things!
    This has inspired me to do 50 things before I turn 50.

    Here’s to new adventures my sweet friend!

  • Oh!!! I’m already excited about reading book number three!!!

  • Oh my, I’m behind. At 57. Think I can do 60 things by 60?

    • Kari, I was thinking the same thing…I’m the same age – do I have the energy to complete 60 things before I’m 60?? I’ll have fun trying 😉

  • That’s an exciting list! I’m motivated to make my 50 before 50. Mackinac Island is beautiful!!! Make sure you hike up to the arch rock. It’s worth the climb!!

  • My favorite on your list is: own 2 smiling sheep. ???????? And I just realized your farm has animals two by two, so is that on purpose or just an awesome coincidence? 🙂
    I am inspired to know you have written 2 books without reading the entire Bible yet. So see, I can write that book.
    And Mount Rushmore is amazing. Make sure you visit Custer State Park (very close by!) to see the herd of bison (and the babies! ???? Oh so cute) and feed the wild burros aka donkeys. Let me know if you need a cute 2 bedroom cabin rental in Keystone. ???? We also took a day trip to thr first ever National Monument – Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Such a spirit filled place, I was really in awe.
    I am excited to see your list unfold in the next year! Get it!! (Yes! For book 3!!????????) ????????❤????????

  • #5 is my favorite on your list! Are there REALLY smiling sheep? ???? Is that a thing? Do all sheep smile? I’ve gotta google this now. I’ve never heard of a 40 before 40 bucket list. Maybe I can start a 35 before 35 list. 🙂 ✌???? Thanks for the inspiration. Happy Wednesday! 🙂

  • Oh Nicki, I love that you’re doing this! I made one for myself after I turned 50. I still have some to do. My next is get my first tattoo!!!

  • This is a fantastic list, and is very motivational!! I know you can do it, and I love the practicality of it. Now do one for 50 and add some long range items in there 😉

  • This is why I love you. I’m going to be thinking which one I can assist with. Mmmmm you are always inspiring. Welcome to the road to 40!

  • Oh my gosh, I love all of this! You’ve inspired me to do 35 things while I’m 35. My Birthday is next Monday and I’m borrowing some of these. Blessings and prayers sweet friend! I can’t wait to see you check these off in the next 13 months.

  • I can definitely see you doing these things. A great list for you.

  • Okay, so you’re my birthday twin! I’ll be 40 in 13 months also! We’re in this together girlfriend. I’ll get mine started and post mine also. We’ll hold each other accountable okay? I’m super excited!!!

  • you’ve inspired me to make my own list of things to complete by the end of this year

  • Great list! I did a 65 before 65 and accomplished all except two. It is a great way to set and achieve goals. My Facebook friends were my accountably partners. I had a huge birthday celebration in my backyard and invited everyone I knew and guess what they All came from near and far! Do it! Will be cheering you on!

  • Great list! I did a 65 before 65 and accomplished all except two. It is a great way to set and achieve goals. My Facebook friends were my accountably partners. I had a huge birthday celebration in my backyard and invited everyone I knew and guess what they All came from near and far! Do it! Will be cheering you on!

  • I will be 60 in 17 months. I have a mental bucket list ( not 60 things), but I am going to change that now! I love your tips. I am going to write my list down and “grow” it. Thanks for the inspiration! Blessings on your day.

  • This is a great idea! It’s good you’re thinking about this far enough in advance to be able to realistically get them all done. It inspires me to want to do this in a few more years when I am getting closer to the big 4-0…

    I like your #16, read the entire Bible. Can I suggest something that helped me read through the whole Bible? Have you ever heard of the Bible in 90 Days reading plan? Now before you freak out, like I did at first, hear me out! A few summers ago a group of women I knew from church said they were going to do this over the summer; we each bought the book that has the reading plan in it, as well as optional video study and other questions to answer. I thought this was crazy; I had been a Christian for over a decade at that point and had never even made it through the Bible in a year. It didn’t seem possible to read it all in 3 months. But, it is only 12 pages a day.

    I did this that summer, and not only did we all make it through, we all got SO much out of it. Yes, some days it is hard to read 12 pages. And you’re not reading super slowly and studying every single word and sentence. What you’re doing is knowing that you read through the ENTIRE bible, and it really helps with the overall picture. Especially in the Old Testament, I saw it come together in a way I never had before. I realized that 1 and 2 Kings were similar to 1 and 2 Chronicles; you can’t notice re-occurring themes very well when you read one book of the bible over several months, then don’t get to another book under several months later. Going through more quickly really made stuff like that stand out.

    You don’t have to buy the study book or do it as a group. On the YouVersion Bible App, under plans, there is one that has the reading plan for the Bible in 90 days. Once or twice a year I still do that, and then the rest of the year I read through random books more slowly. I encourage everyone to at least try this; it was really life changing for me and my friends!

    • Very interesting! I have read through it in a year in the Bible app, but I’ll have to give this one a try! Thanks!

  • Amazing list, hope you get to experience all 40, especially #18 Niagara Falls. I live in Canada and yes ‘our’ side is the Best to experience. I go every summer and it’s beauty and power amazes me every time!!????☀️????

  • I love that you are doing this. I am 57 and I LOVE birthday time (except turning 30). For me it is a time to celebrate the gift of life, reflect & plan. I use my “birthday month” to take friends to lunch or take a small gift to someone who is struggling or just slow down & have family day. Enjoy each of the things on your list. And I say go for a NEW Louis Vuitton bag????

  • Come to Michigan for the Win Some Women Christian Retreat on Mackinac Island October 15-18 and I will ride around the island with you!

  • Great list Nicki! I’ll be turning 40 in less than 2 months. While I didn’t do a 40 things to do before turning 40 list, I did a 19 for 2019. Do you know who Gretchen Rubin is? I’ve been able to cross off 2 – traveling and payoff my student loans.
    It’s a lot of fun, and it makes me happy. Have fun with yours.

  • Oh wow ???? love the idea and what a beautiful list ????????. Inspired to do my list for when I turn 40 in exactly 12 months ♥️ Thank you for this and wishing you all the best for your list Nicki. Side note ???? my 11 year old daughter Nomusa Ngiba all the way from South Africa admires you Nicki , I listen to most of your podcasts with her and she totally adores you . She said to me “I love that Nicki is so herself mommy ♥️♥️, my favorite are her authentic giggles” yup you inspire both the young and old with your authentic journey of growth and development…????????

  • I absolutely love this idea! I’ll turn 40 in December, 6 months. I would love to do this. They might not all get done before 40, but definitely before 41 ????!

  • Inspirational
    I am going to work on 55 before I 55 (I am 51 now)

    I am going to use some of the things on my list from
    My One Thing ~Nikki Koziarz
    (3 places you want to visit – 4 things you would like to have or own-5 things you would like to accomplish ????
    One thing on my list would be to visit your fixer upper farm!
    Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • I have in Michigan all my life. Been to Mackinac numerous times but did not ride around the island until 2015. My husband and 26 yr old son said hey lets…. never one to back down from a challenge (even though I had not been one bike in 15 yrs.) It was so fun, but climbing the steps at all the scenic lookouts was brutal. Did I mention that was the year I turned 49. Go for it! Never let it be said that you missed out on any opportunities to see this beautiful world God created for us

  • I turn 40 two days before you (you posted about your birthday last year – I promise I’m not a crazy stalker!) . I’m definitely going to look into doing this myself! If I figure out how to make some of them happen, I’ll be sure to let you know! Good luck!

  • Nicki, My daugther, Nikki, can help you with that hand lettering thing! She’s taught herself and now has a small (but hopefully growing) custom sign business. She’s learning to do video teachings. It would be great practice for her to teach you!! ; – D


  • This is amazing!! I am inspired to do this now! I will be 40 in 16 months and this is how I want to go into it! You’re the best!!

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