project 40

Project 40 | Getting to forty years old with some goals

Sometimes you need to just write from the heart and this is one of those moments. I woke up at a crazy time this morning, I think it was around 5am and my mind was full of so many questions and a real realisation that I was turning forty years old in 344 days! I hate to sound dramatic but technically I’d say that 40 years old is well and truly middle aged. I started to think about two things, what was I happy with and what was I unhappy with. So I’ll start with a list of what I was happy about:

  • My family – I have been married for coming onto 8 years this year and together with my wife for over a decade now. Whilst we have had some downs, our relationship as a whole has been rather amazing. We still have some work to do but don’t all relationships? We now have a gorgeous 2 year old girl, who well and truly keeps me on my feet and is somewhat a major influence in turning around some of the negative areas in my life. She has given me the perspective and the drive to achieve greater than I already have.
  • My career – Whilst I’m not necessarily satisfied right now with the current role that I have landed in. I have to say at this stage of life, I’m rather happy with what I have achieved with my working career. I went to university with no idea with what I wanted to do with life and then started down the road of finding a path that would suit me. With a few hiccups here and there, I finally found my feet within the world of digital marketing and that was all due to a combination of losing my job, having started a band and the will to continue to succeed post losing my job. I have now held several senior roles which have allowed me to increase my salary to a point which I am extremely satisfied with.
  • Real Estate (Our home) – We are currently in a transition in life and have recently purchased what we would describe as our forever home. Whilst it is not the ideal setting of a block of land with a home on it, we have found a beautiful 3 bedroom ground floor apartment in a spectacular Art Deco building. It has all the space we need for the next couple of decades and allows us to continue living the inner urban lifestyle we have grown to love.
  • Finances – Unlike many of my peers I am happy to say apart from the home mortgage we are debt free which I believe is fairly uncommon today. Ironically I got a Facebook notification about this of a ‘memory’ which was a post where I declared that after nearly 20 years of using credit like it was my money, I’d finally overcome my addiction to credit and was debt free. I am thankful that we have been able to maintain this debt free lifestyle.
  • Travels – Since meeting my wife, we have done a whole bunch of travelling and seen so many places. Being in a band and touring around Australia allowed me to see a lot of it as well. So I very much satisfied with where I’ve been and what I have seen.

This list could go for a while, but that’s probably the cream of the crop right there. Let me analyse the bad. As I mentioned earlier, waking up 5am with that realisation that I was soon to turn forty was pretty daunting. I’m a realist I know we get old and die, I have no problem with facing death. The question is how far away is that death, which brings me to my negatives.

  • My body weight – I’ve been on a perpetual roller coaster with my body. I kid you not at the age of 17 I probably weighed 75 kgs. By the time I was 26 I weighed 140 kgs. I then had my first realisation that this was not a great place to be, so I turned that around and got down to 85 kgs. I then gradually over time put weight back on and about 5 years ago I jumped on the scales and I was back to 117 kgs. This is when I decided I would quit drinking alcohol. I then dropped a whole bunch of weight that year and was down back under 90 kgs. Again the same thing happened and as time elapsed I just put the weight back on. I jumped on the scales this morning and to my disappointment I was now 115 kgs. As usual an indulgent holiday season and 2 week break to Bali has come back to bite me.
  • My anger – I have for years struggled with anger. Not many people know this but the weirdest and smallest things can trigger me into a juvenile outrage. I am unsure if its anxiety / stress related but after it happens I have the greatest sense of shame and find it extremely difficult to admit I have a problem with this. In essence writing this is kind of the first time I am really admitting that I have a problem. This is not something that is ok at the age of nearly 40. I don’t know what it is but somehow I need to find a solution to it.
  • My addictions / lack of will power – I am well aware that I have an addictive personality. Judging by point one on this negatives list it would seem apparent that my greatest addiction is food. I also think I am addicted to coffee and drink way too much of it. I’m not addicted to alcohol but I’d love to stop drinking again, I do have fond memories of my sobriety.


Interesting that when I analyse the positives and negatives. Is that the positives are a combination of life achievements and tangibles. Where as my list of negatives are basically things I need to fix up with myself as an individual.

So whats the plan of attack? What can I possible achieve by the age of 40?

  • Is a six pack possible in 344 days? Well I’d say at least getting fit is.
  • Quit my coffee addiction – I think this could help with both my anger/stress plus my dermatitis as well.
  • Practice some mindfulness and meditation – I kind of cringe at the idea, but the reality is I need to change for my family as they typically feel the brunt of it.
  • Start a gratitude diary – learn to be thankful for the things that I do have. I wouldn’t consider myself entitled or spoiled, but sometimes I need the perspective.

I need to get a little more organised with this so I think the best thing will be to devise a plan of attack on how I will get fit, drop my coffee addiction and find my inner peace and stop sweating all the small stuff. I am blessed to be in the position in life that I am in. I know that I have worked hard to get to where I am and can only imagine where I would be with some real discipline.

Project 40 is a work in progress but I think it was good to just get this all out on paper.