10 Life Changes You Should Make After 40
If you’ve just turned 40 or are on the verge of it, you might feel a bit down about it. But the truth is, if you have a positive attitude and take advantage of your life experience, your 40s can be your best decade yet! This is the time when you’ve really settled into your career, have great confidence in yourself, and know what you want out of life. This doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to improve yourself. In fact, we’ve got 10 ideas on some of the changes you can make after 40.
Back in your younger days, you were probably preoccupied with fitting in with the crowd. As a result, you pretended to like the same music, books, and movies just so your friends wouldn’t think you were weird. But now that you’re in your 40s, who cares about the things that don’t matter? Use this time to be your true self, not what you imagine others want you to be!
Learn a new language
You are probably familiar with the saying “never stop learning.” It’s not merely about learning for the sake of it. Acquiring new knowledge will keep your brain sharp as you age. Learning a new language is a practical skill that benefits you in so many ways. For instance, when you travel, you will be able to talk with the locals and demonstrate your respect for their language and culture.
You might not have had much money when you were in your 20s, but if you have saved wisely, you probably have some extra money to enjoy yourself. Whether you’re thinking of exploring a quaint small town nearby or are eager to catch a plane to Spain, traveling is the perfect way to get more enjoyment in your life. In fact, studies have found that when people plan a vacation, they feel much happier because they have something exciting to look forward to.
Wake up earlier
Although we tend to wake up earlier as we age anyway, you should nonetheless make it a goal to do so once you reach 40. It can go a long way toward increasing your productivity. In particular, you can use the time to work out before everybody else wakes up, you have more time to make yourself an optimal breakfast, or you can simply unwind before your long workday. As a bonus, studies show that earlier raisers tend to have lower body mass indexes. So you might finally just lose that middle-aged gut of yours!
Zero out any debts
Although retirement is still at least 2 decades away when you’re in your 40s, paying off your mortgage and car loans now will mean fewer financial worries in the future. Most of us reach our financial peak in our 40s, so it really is best to take care of that since the circumstances allow it. Imagine being completely debt-free once retirement hits!
Steer clear of office drama
If you’re 40 years old, it means you’re still a good 25 years away from retirement. Instead of starting confrontations with co-workers over trivial matters, it is best to just not make a big deal out of things. When you look back on things, you’ll realize it was pointless to complain about others hogging the office supplies.
Making cooking your new passion
Now that you’re 40, you should forgo those daily trips to the fast food drive-thru just because you are either too lazy to cook or haven’t acquired the skill. In any event, it’s time to eat healthier than you ever have, and the best way to achieve this is by making meals yourself or as a family. Studies have shown that people who cook dinner themselves consume fewer calories versus those who regularly go out to restaurants.
Donate your time to your community
Do you want to make a difference, keep yourself busy and improve your health? Why not volunteer to walk the dogs at your local shelter, or spend a couple of hours dishing up soup for the less fortunate? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that having an active, satisfying life can increase your lifespan.
Life for yourself, not for the approval of others
When you were younger, you were probably more likely to seek the approval of your family or others who had certain expectations for you. As a result, you felt the need to constantly compare yourself to others, whether it’s a sibling or a friend who chose a path that seemed more conventional. You’re now at a stage where you should be proud of the life you’ve lived and not care what others think.
Learn to forgive and forget
Angry at somebody for something they did to you 20 years ago? Now that you recognize that life flies by, it’s time to stop holding grudges. Not just because it’s the mature thing to do, but because it can actually benefit your health. People who can’t let go of past slights have higher blood pressure and heart rates.