40 Until 40 Update: The First Seven Days of Less

So I’m going to be 40. In 31 days. To celebrate this phenomenon (yes it is!) I decided to do a little less of something each day leading up to March 21st. You see, I live my life in one speed – fast. I needed a very clear and focused reason to slow the hell down and enjoy myself, give myself a gift each day and do a little less. You know what? I’m freaking loving it!


When this idea first occurred to me, I thought it was a little lame. I have to be honest. As I wrote and talked about it, it became a tad more exciting. When I actually started it, is when I became addicted. I know, me? Addicted? Weird.

Instead of inundating you with blog posts everyday, I post a picture each morning on Instagram with the #40Until40 hashtag and my “less” word of the day. Follow me and taunt me like everyone else.

So here are the rules: I picked one word at random for each day. I made a list with just a number for each day, not knowing if the day was a weekday or weekend. I don’t look at the word until my little peepers open at 5am. I like to be surprised and I want to focus on just one word per day, and not get ahead of myself. Live in the present and all that.

Day One, Monday Feb 9 – COMPLAINING

Right off the bat this was a very challenging word of the day. It was snowing again, my kids had no school, I couldn’t run outside or go to the gym and my husband was supposed to leave on a business trip for four days. My first thought was “what the hell have I done?” But, as the day progressed and I kept thinking about not complaining, it really changed my mindset. Was I annoyed at times? Of course, but I had a little reminder and I knew (much to everyone’s dismay) that it was just for one day, and I could do anything for one day!

By the end of the day, the kids didn’t drive me completely insane, my husband’s trip was cancelled and I made it to the gym. Presto.

Memories of the girls night I hosted the Friday before helped me complain less all day!

Memories of the girls night I hosted the Friday before helped me complain less all day!

Day Two, Tuesday Feb 10 – WORRY

I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out that I actually don’t worry all that much. It was unexpected and this is what this little experiment is all about. I didn’t think about all my deadlines, timelines or any “what ifs,” and tried to stay in the present, knowing everything would work out.

You know what? It did.

What is there to worry about?

What is there to worry about?

Day Three, Wednesday Feb 11 – WORK

I don’t have a 9-5 job. I have a 24-hour a day job. I actually have two jobs. Three if you count teaching spin at the gym, even though I haven’t in almost a month because of the snow, but whatever. I obviously still had to take care of the kids, house, meals and writing assignments but I didn’t do anything unless I absolutely had to. In my notes for that day I wrote “I’m loving this because it’s like a free pass each day to take some weight off my shoulders.” I believe that’s what the great Oprah would call an ‘A-ha!’ moment.

Day Four, Thursday Feb 12 – STRESS

As soon as I saw this word in the morning I was immediately stressed. And then I took a deep breathe and mentally accepted the challenge.

From my notes: “I thought this would be harder but it was a great focus for me and helped me remember to breathe, even when I had both boys in the grocery store, 3 x1 mile repeats (on the TM) and it helped me say YES to a burger bar night out on a Thursday! What? Unheard of.” I’m living on the edge people. Watch out.

This is the pretzel I ate on my crazy Thursday night out!

This is the pretzel I ate on my crazy Thursday night out! And yes, it’s as big as it looks.                        PS – I was in bed asleep by 10pm.

Day Five, Friday Feb 13 – MOVEMENT

So this is laughable when you have a six mile run and hour bike on your training schedule but, I made the most of it for the remainder of the day. And, when I was running and biking I tried to be lighter and to move with more freedom. It really, honestly helped. Later in the day I sat on my ass and read a book while the boys had soccer practice. It was magical.

I tried not to move from this spot. It didn't work.

I tried not to move from this spot. It didn’t work.

Day Six, Saturday Feb 14 – RESTRICTION (I honestly had no idea this would fall on Valentine’s Day!)

I did as I was told! I ran 14 miles on the treadmill with reckless abandon and then braved a snowstorm (otherwise you won’t go anywhere!!) to make it to dinner with my husband and another couple. We almost got a divorce on the drive because I thought we would be killed at any moment (and was very vocal about it), but we made it one piece to the restaurant. The Caymus, filet and dark chocolate velvet cake helped us get back together in the best way possible.

Day Seven, Sunday Feb 15 – YELLING

Another mishap on this one because my dad and stepmom had the boys almost all day. It was glorious. It also dawned on me that normal people do not yell all day. When did this become a thing I needed to do less of? Oh right, when my kids started talking.


I can’t tell you how much I’m loving this. I highly recommend doing this on your own, in whatever way makes sense to you. Not only is it great mentally, it has also given me some insight as to what makes me tick, how much time I waste and how grateful I am for each and every day no matter what my age!

Now get out there and do less of something today in my honor! I insist.

What would you do less of in your day if you could?

I still need more words so have at it…





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  1. This is brilliant! My mind is spinning with how to make this work for me. You’re likely to see an Allie inspired blog post in the near future 🙂
    jill conyers recently posted…5 Life Quotes That Will Inspire You To Live Your DreamsMy Profile

    1. That is GREAT!!! Please do it and make my year 🙂

  2. I loved this and I was so nodding about yelling as totally guilty of this more often then not with my gang! 😉
    Janine Huldie recently posted…50 Shades of Poop Obsessed For MomsMy Profile

    1. It’s so crazy how much quieter everything is when the little ones are out of the house!! It almost makes you feel like a normal person…almost.

  3. This is such a great project, Allie, and one we could all benefit from trying (I’m thinking yelling and worrying in particular over here!). Love that you have taken this on and I’ll be enjoying the updates!
    misszippy recently posted…Crawling to the finish line: heroic or stupid?My Profile

    1. Thanks Amanda! I really surprised myself with how much I’m enjoying it.

  4. I think this is such a meaningful project and I’m glad you are taking it on. I’m glad it’s going well for you as well. Stress would be a hard one for me as well. I feel like the thought of not stressing, stresses me out ha ha.
    Hollie recently posted…Feel the Love 5k (20:12)My Profile

    1. Exactly!

  5. What great aspects to focus on….I was gonna type attack…..but thats definitely a negative word hahah. These are great intentions Allie, and will help you a lot in your feeling about your life. I think you are such an inspiration of how to keep improving and trying to better yourself. I definitely need to back off a few of these areas of my life too!! By the way, new podcast today, you will hear about some incredibly inspiring women…..like a 70 something year old who still runs sub 4:00 marathons! amazing!
    Tina Muir recently posted…The Brands That Fuel My FutureMy Profile

    1. Thanks Tina! I’m going to download the podcast now…yay!!!

  6. This is fabulous. I would definitely do less yelling. The boys can be so difficult and I find myself doing it more often than I would like. Good luck with the rest of your challenge!!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…12 Race Etiquette Tips: for the Newbie Racer AND veteransMy Profile

    1. Isn’t it crazy?? Some days my throat hurts for yelling so much. Not good.

  7. I am so happy that this project is doing so well for you!! You are really taking it by the horns and making the best of it. I definitely ned to do less yelling in my household!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…Weekly Wednesday Workout: Hollow Rock ExerciseMy Profile

    1. It’s a common theme for moms…maybe especially moms of boys!!!

  8. I love this idea Allie! This is something I should start for myself!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…Half Marathon Training Week 4My Profile

    1. You absolutely should. It’s freeing and eye opening 🙂

  9. These are such powerful word choices- we could all benefit from this. Such a great idea!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…TreadmillingMy Profile

    1. Thanks Laura!! So far, so good.
      I was thinking of you while I was out running in 5 degrees today! 🙂

  10. I LOVE this! I definitely need to stress less. I am a stress case about even the smallest things. I need to work on letting go a little.

    1. I think I’ve mellowed over the years but my husband would probably disagree 🙂 This is helping!

  11. I love this idea so much! There is no way at this point that I could do less of yelling, even just for a day. I already feel like the worst mother in the world most of the time, but trying not to yell might make me explode even more. But everything else? This might be a good project for me for the last couple of weeks of pregnancy.
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted…TrailHeads Ponytail Headband – game changerMy Profile

    1. Don’t hold back mama! It was a total cheat day for me since the kids were away. I’m sure if they were home it wouldn’t have lasted very long. I always start the day thinking I won’t yell so much…and then 10 minutes passes and it’s over.

  12. This is SO brilliant. I love it. I am on a less social media kick and less checking email. Less judging myself. Oh, there are so many.
    Tara Newman recently posted…12 Ways to Focus on Your Goals (The Triathlete Way)My Profile

    1. That’s the thing – there are just SO many ways! Today is ‘judging’ so it’s going to be a tough one.

  13. Welcome to the 40 club!
    James Oliver recently posted…That Feeling When You Raise $100,000 For Your StartupMy Profile

    1. Thanks James but I’m not officially in until March 21st!

  14. Oh, and I love the concept behind this post. I laughed at the cause of your yelling b/c I’m constantly yelling at the twins to stop climbing on stuff.
    James Oliver recently posted…That Feeling When You Raise $100,000 For Your StartupMy Profile

    1. I remember those days! It then turns into yelling about not climbing on each other!! 🙂

  15. I’m not on Instagram, so I’ll just taunt you once a week. The worry one would be the toughest for me – it’s just part of my DNA.

    You are doing great so far – I may have to do this myself! But I’d have a few more than 40…
    Dana recently posted…Down with bleu cheese and vaguebookingMy Profile

    1. Doesn’t matter how old you are…everyone can benefit from a little less of something everyday. And I’m guessing I don’t worry as much because the boys are 5 and I’m with them almost all the time. When they’re teenagers I’m sure my worry will be though the roof!!

  16. This is such a fabulous idea! I definitely am always trying to control my stress and worry. Focusing on one word a day makes it easy. Yay for burger bar nights and giant pretzels!
    Lauren recently posted…Sail Windward with Baltimore’s own Gundalow JuiceMy Profile

    1. I think that’s what made in manageable for me. One word, one day – anyone can do it.
      Oh and that pretzel was amazing!! 🙂

    • Kim on February 18, 2015 at 10:03 PM
    • Reply

    Love that your 40 days have been going so well!!! I used to be the biggest yeller (when the boys were little) but thankfully it has gotten better!!!
    Hmm…my less would be whining – plenty of that going on in my world these days!!!
    Kim recently posted…My MotivationMy Profile

    1. OMG YES whining is being added to the list ASAP. I like to think that I don’t whine that much (the kids do enough for everyone!) but I may find out that I do. Thanks Kim!!

  17. Yelling. So much less of that needs to happen. And rushing.
    I need. That burger bar. And that pretzel.
    (And your slippers)
    Tamara recently posted…Is This The Real Life Or Just Fantasy?My Profile

    1. RUSHING! Yes! Just added that to the list. I spend my entire life rushing from one thing to the next. Thanks Tamara!!
      And that pretzel was amazing. So worth it.

  18. I should do this although my birthday is coming up rather quickly (March birthday ftw!). I really need to work on the yelling part. Maybe you should try to be less Fabulous? Although I don’t think that’s possible. 😉
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Why I RunMy Profile

    1. Just when I think I can’t love you any more… Thanks Angela and I wish we could celebrate together with a nice, warm run somewhere tropical!!

  19. This is such a great idea! I would love if you told us your words at the beginning of the week so we (I) could try it too! I need to worry less and stress less for sure!
    Hayley@healthyregardshayley recently posted…What I Ate During a 3 Day RaceMy Profile

    1. That is a very good idea. Maybe I’ll include it in my weekly rundown on Monday so everyone can “play along” 🙂 Thanks for the idea Hayley!

  20. This is such a fantastic idea!!! So is the Caymus. Good call.
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Chasing My Tail + WIAWMy Profile

    1. Oh the Caymus. Always a good idea 🙂

  21. Farting.
    Yum Yucky recently posted…Medical Face Mask: Something gross happened when I wore one.My Profile

    1. HAHAHAHHA!!! My husband would especially appreciate this!

  22. I absolutely looooove this idea. What a great idea to challenge yourself and so fun to see how it changes your thinking and actions on each day!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…Treadmill Review. I have a Vision Fitness Premier, what about you?My Profile

    1. I had no idea what an impact it would have! So glad I decided to do it! Thanks Sandra.

  23. I love this! I would say add procrastinating to your list! 🙂
    I can’t wait to hear about rushing. I really, really want to stop rushing around 🙂 I just followed you on instagram – will be fun to follow the progress!!
    Natalie recently posted…Let’s talk about trail running – US National Park style…My Profile

    1. Yeah procrastinating is definitely something that needs to be on the list.

      This is a really good idea though, I don’t think it’s lame at all. I’ve seen a lot of things recently about doing less, so maybe the universe is trying to tell me something huh?
      Dominic Wells recently posted…Costs Of Home Workout Equipment vs Gym MembershipMy Profile

      1. Hahaha – maybe! Try and it and see what happens…
        Thank you for reading and commenting!

    2. Yeah!!! Thank you and YES procrastinating is a must for the list. Thank you!!

  24. Allie, this is truly a great idea. To live with intention (of whatever variety) really changes things up, doesn’t it? I definitely want to try this.
    Alison recently posted…Mom BabbleMy Profile

    1. It really does. I was so surprised by how MUCH and I’m loving it!

  25. This is awesome! I could definitely do less of all of this!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Cocktail Hour at #FoodieFriDIY no 35My Profile

    1. You should try it for a few days…you will feel instantly better!

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