Goals Before 40

I recently entered the last year of my 30s and my wife asked what goals I have before turning 40. As an initial matter, I felt flattered that she’d assume I had goals at all. Rudderless suits me just fine, frankly. But rudderless at 39 seems less flattering than at 19.

So my two goals:

  • Become a level-one certified sommelier.
  • Complete one sprint-distance triathlon.

Diametrically opposed goals, I know. But I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to my third decade.

Good habits

For most of my adult life, I’ve had two habits in a perpetually conflicting loop of affirmation and decline: fitness and writing. Every quarter or so, I commit to exercising more and writing more. And sometimes those brainwaves cross, leading me to moments like now, where I find myself writing this, but not exercising, at the gym.

Both have been important to me throughout my life. In high school, I ran speed chute drills for fun. I also wrote nonsensical entries on my now-defunct Geocities page. In my early 20s, shortly after moving to LA, I joined a marathon-training group that required religious devotion to Saturday 6am runs for a six-month period, an astonishing and arguably pitiful habit for any 23-year-old with an aspiring Friday-night social life. I tried compensating Saturday nights with one stone for two birds: through a blog about local bars and cocktail culture. And then in my 30s, I participated in the Lifecycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, a seven-day bicycle ride down California’s coast and farmlands. Then I became a father and most all else fell by the wayside.

But I wish it hadn’t. Because both corporeal and mental faculties, it seems, tend to atrophy with inactivity. So about that treadmill…