What are ten things you want to do before you turn 60? (or 70 or 80?)

by Travis Richardson

This was a question posed at the end of a yoga class taught by Joan Moran a couple of weeks ago. She told us to think about it and write them down. Usually I jet out of the class as soon as it is over, heading for the restroom to change and get back to work, thinking more about food than the class. (The classes happen during my lunch break on Tuesdays and Thursdays.) But something about that request stuck in my head and I made a list as soon as I sat down at my desk. I’ve heard similar questions asked about what one wants to do with their life or what do you see written on your tombstone, etc. And there are the goal setting questions too: where do you want to be in a year/month/week from now? Hearing the word sixty for some reason struck me as more concrete than the other abstract timelines. Perhaps because a “year from now” is fluid, always moving forward as now passes into tomorrow and the next day. Sixty is a solid number that is immobile, even though we move towards it, picking up speed, and then pass it, leaving it behind. I’ve still got nineteen years to go, but for some reason it seems so much closer than how I looked at thirty when I was twenty-five. The instructor is over sixty herself, though the majority of the class is not. I missed the next couple of classes due to work, so I’m not sure if she ever concluded her point. I think it’s safe to say it that it was about defining and then following through on your goals. Sixty was the number she used, but if you’ve passed that mark that doesn’t mean you can’t use seventy or eighty as a mark to achieve new things.

Here are my ten:

  1. Make people think, see things differently.
  2. Sell enough books to make a living off of it.
  3. Have a family.
  4. Make a positive impact in the world.
  5. Financial independence.
  6. Hike in the Andes.
  7. Have books translated into foreign languages.
  8. See more places (countries and US cities).
  9. Write bestsellers.
  10. Win a prestigious writing award.

So those are mine, what are yours?


You can find out more about Travis at: http://tsrichardson.com

His book about a disgraced steroid using ex-baseball player, Keeping The Record, is out now.
Lost in Clover  is the coming of age story set in a small town in Kansas.
He also reviews an Anton Chekhov short story daily at chekhovshorts.com  


15 thoughts on “What are ten things you want to do before you turn 60? (or 70 or 80?)

  1. Hey, Travis, you need an 11th thing to do before you turn 60. Insert a photo or two into your Writing Wranglers blog post. Sorry. I couldn’t resist. Seriously, I’m 62 and have done quite a bit in my life, except travel overseas, so that would be one priority before I’m 70. Another? Live long enough to actually see astronauts leave the Earth/Moon system and explore an asteroid and/or Mars. I’d be happy if they just parked in Mars orbit, landed on one of the small moons and sent robotic craft down to the Martian surface that they’d control from Deimos. A final thought? Perhaps get a quarterly royalty check for $1,000.


  2. Good question, Travis. My to-do list also includes travel (in and out of the US), writing, and making a positive impact. I’d like to do some teaching/speaking about writing and spirituality, create more art with my hands (I used to do pottery), and living wholeheartedly/with an open heart. Stephanie


  3. Great post Travis and an introspective one. I believe goal-setting is important and by listing them you’re one step closer to making them come true. Since I’m in the “over 60” category I have definitely looked back at things that might have been had I had more confidence and foresight to try new things. My list includes learning to find that “quiet place” in my soul and sharing it with others in a peaceful way. I also want to write a NY Time bestseller, have enough money to give to charities and people who need it, travel more, share my creative talents through teaching and make writing my living. I want to do my part to make the world a better place to iive and enjoy every day to it’s fullest. Thanks for making us think!


    1. Yes, I’d love to go back in a time machine and redo (or retake) missed opportunities. I try not to live with regret, but if I have an opportunity for a do-over, I’d take it.


  4. Travis,

    A wonderful and necessary post. I had just made my list of what I planned for the next 20 years. After that time, I will still be very active, but will I want to travel, perform and speak as much. The next 20 are devoted to creating the income and career that will sustain me when I ‘slow’ down. The list is still in transition, but at least it is in process.

    Best to you on your list. It really seems attainable and fun. Doris


  5. Sorry, I didn’t get a chance to go in and download the author photo or any other photos. Day’s almost gone now and I’m at the conference. But, I loved the writing part of the blog. I’ve thought about this most of the day and I also asked my daughter. Even though we are nearly 20 years apart our 10- things are similar. The main thoughts are about Family and then friends, after those two groups are secure and happy, we moved on to a cruise, deep sea adventures, fishing scuba diving. A helicopter ride for her and a best selling book or movie deal for me. But all in all, happiness. Cher’ley


  6. This reminds me of a post I put on my own blog at the beginning of the year about setting goals and affirmations. http://abbiescorner.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/goals-and-affirmations/ The publication of my first poetry chapbook will soon be a reality, and after participating in Robert Lee Brewer’s April Poem-a-Day challenge, I have thirty more poems that need to be revised and organized into another chapbook, but I’ll get around to that eventually. I’ve been working on my short story collection but haven’t done much with it other than sending a few of the stories to contests. Thank you for reminding me to re-visit my goals.


  7. Travis, I always love questions like this. Funny thing is, when you reach that magical age where you’ve set goals in a prior decade, your views change, too. I’ve learned not to set goals but to only have a goal of being happy with what I do at the moment and know that I will never be disappointed in myself if I don’t reach a goal that depends on a lack of experience at a younger age. Oh yes, I’m sitting smack dab in the middle of my sixties and I’ve learned not to be so crushed by expectations that don’t pan out. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work for a goal, but to let yourself be happy and experience as much as possible and the rest will follow. I believe in this writing business, we learn to take rejection with more ease than the average person. These little pin-pricks in my self-esteem I’ve learned to slough off and focus on what makes me happy, my writing. I’ve learned the happier I am, the more successful I am, as I define it, not as I think others define it. Good post!!!


  8. Great questions, Travis. I think I must be a true drifter because things have happened to me but not because I have willed it so. Like Sherry and others, I’m past the 60 mark by a couple of years but I have done a lot of overseas travel and for me, as a Scot that means travelling to the US a few times, and Europe and the Mediterranean countless times. I’ve no hankering to go to the far east but have been to the Middle East- to a lot of destinations in the Gulf of Arabia. My writing goals have recently changed though. I was enjoying my writing as a ‘recently stopped work’ person but now I’d like to have some books that become very well regarded and which win some nice accolades (and maybe some cash) – perhaps before I’m 70. But but those things will happen if the ‘time is right’. I’ll not lose too much sleep if they don’t. Enjoy your present time!


  9. Good things to think about. I’ve never been good at setting and achieving far off goals. So now I tend to focus on more immediate ones. The big one right now is getting out at least two books a year. Have to see how that goes. Otherwise, traveling and enjoying life.

    Nice post (but I do agree that pictures would be helpful.);-)


  10. I’m 62, and I can attest to the fact that the decade between 50 and 60 goes faster than all the ones before. The questions you pose are important, and I’m going to take some time to make a list. I did that about fifteen years ago, lost the list, forgot what I’d written, found it several years later, and discovered I’d done everything I’d said I wanted. And some of those things I’d originally thought impossible.


  11. Great post, Travis, and hits home for me at this stage of my life. I’m nearing 55 and my husband is one year from 60, so … we both have many things we want to do during these next 10 to 20 years. With his father’s passing and his 60th birthday around the corner, I think our “to-do”/”bucket lists”/goals are even more relevant. For me, that includes: (1) growing my freelance writing work; (2) buy an RV; (3) become a snowbird; (4) spend more time with family and friends; (5) write more books; (6) strengthen my faith walk; (7) grow as a writer; (8) do more for God’s creation; (9) help people more as I can; (10) win the lottery! Thanks for an insightful, thought-provoking blog post!


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