My 40 By 40 List

40 by 40 List: Fourty Things to do Before Your 40th Birthday

Today is my 36th birthday, which means I have 4 years to finish my 40 by 40 list! A bit of a stretch, but totally doable. A few years ago I took on a 35 by 35 list before my 35th birthday and the results were pretty good, so let’s give it another go, shall we?

This time I’ve split my list into loose categories; Travel, Self, Family, Food, Work, & Life. I’ll add a blog post for each as I completed the item. Click on ‘done’ to read more. 

My 40 by 40 List

  1. Explore Paris –  Done August 2017. Blog post coming soon!
  2. Start a yoga practice
  3. Walk the Great Wall of China
  4. Watch the sunrise over Emerald Lake in Banff
  5. Splurge on Prada sunglasses
  6.  See the Northern Lights
  7. Watch a Broadway play in New York –  Done. Total transparency guys – I didn’t watch a Broadway play and chose to wander Times Square and see the Christmas lights instead when I was in NYC, but it’s my list so I’m checking it off. No one should be a slave to their bucket list, priorities shift. 
  8. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in a foreign city
  9. Take a cooking class
  10. Move my business to a creative studio space –  Done March 2017
  11. Read 52 books by South Asian authors – Working on it, see my progress here!
  12. Master hand lettering
  13. Sew a dress for Zara
  14. Make a 3 tier cake
  15. Commit to a weekly video series on YouTube for 52 weeks
  16. Perfect the art of making dahi (yogurt)
  17. Learn how stocks work [& maybe make an investment]
  18. Make scrapbooks of my kid’s art/school projects
  19. Visit Portland (and the bookstore everyone keeps telling me about!)
  20. Learn how to make a phulkari flower
  21. Get in the best physical shape of my life (not very difficult, since I’ve never worked out!)
  22. Camp in Pacific Rim National Park
  23. Treat myself to a designer bag
  24. Take a trip that requires a plane ride with Mr. T
  25. Buy a tea set I love
  26. Epic Canadian road trip with the kids
  27. Write [and submit] a book proposal
  28. Ride in hot air balloon
  29. Learn photography
  30. Grow fresh herbs
  31. Watch a movie alone – in a movie theatre.
  32. Wander a market in Morroco
  33. Commit to one family night each week and honour it religiously
  34. Take an intensive Ayurveda course
  35. Learn to make naan
  36. Spend a summer re-reading all of Shakespeare’s work
  37. Blog consistently for one year
  38. Record my family tree
  39. Organize my digital pictures
  40. Buy a home


Are you a bucket list kind of person? I also did a 35 by 35 list, which I thoroughly enjoyed working on. 




  1. October 13, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    Such a great list! Good luck with it and happy birthday <3

  2. October 14, 2016 / 5:27 pm

    What a great list! I too turned 36 earlier this year. Happy birthday!
    Been a reader of your blog for some time, but commenting for the first time. Love the desi vibes on your blog!

    • November 7, 2016 / 9:48 pm

      Hi Shuchita! Thank you for taking the time to comment & for the kind words 🙂

  3. October 22, 2016 / 7:03 am

    Wow Raj! Happy Birthday! And I LOVE this list! And you are doing No. 40 well so that’s one down =)
    Keep the pink chai spirit going!

    Aamna –

  4. February 9, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    Great idea – I turn 36 this year and I’m going to come up with my own list. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • February 10, 2018 / 7:03 pm

      Can’t wait to see what you put on your list! I love following adventures 🙂

  5. March 5, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    You go girl! I did a 40 before 40 and and 50 before 50. Because I decided to to take voice lessons, I’m now a singer/songwriter and cutting an album. I love birthday challenges and am so grateful that just by being brave and trying new things that scared me, I’m now doing and living my passion. ( All that being said, YOU GO!!! I always did mine the year before, but having extra years isn’t a bad idea. Be sure to add “Try 40 new things” in there too. I also had “see 50 live bands” but in Austin, that was not too hard! 🙂 Best wishes!

    • March 22, 2018 / 7:37 am

      That is amazing Sarah! I love how your 40 by 40 inspired such a big life change!

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