Our lives here on Earth are an incredible journey full of exciting opportunities, grand adventures, and life-changing decisions. However, have you ever stopped to consider what future you would think about the choices that you are making today?
Let’s take the idea of reincarnation off the table for a second and consider that you may only get one shot at this thing called life. If that’s the case, are you making the most of the opportunity, or are you allowing your best days to pass you by?
Beware these 34 things you are going to regret when you’re older if you don’t pay attention today:
#1 – Get Yourself Moving
Today’s society sets us up for some serious physical health concerns due to our highly sedentary lifestyle. More jobs than ever before are done sitting at a desk or standing behind a counter, while many of the most popular pastimes are conducted while sitting in front of a screen. We require far more physical activity if we aren’t going to suffer the long-term consequences. Find a way to get yourself up and moving. This may mean joining a local fitness class, hitting the gym, or simply making a point of scheduling in regular walks. You will thank yourself someday.
#2 – Truly Connect with Your Relatives Before They’re Gone
It is a common regret that many people face later in life. When we are younger, we fail to reach out and connect with our older relatives, after all, they aren’t that ‘cool’, right? By the time we realize how precious these people are in our lives, it’s often too late. Take time to spend with relatives like your grandparents and parents while you still have the opportunity to.
#3 – Defining Yourself by Stereotypical Gender Roles
There is nothing wrong with embracing your feminine or masculine nature, however, don’t allow this to define you or hold you back from your full potential. Far too often people write off their goals and dreams because ‘that’s just not how it’s done’ or ‘it wasn’t traditionally handled that way’. Screw traditional gender roles! Follow your heart and do what feels right in your life regardless of what you have between your legs.
#4 – See Your Favorite Musicians Live
We all have at least one band or performer that we simply can’t get enough of. These are the artists who cause us to crank the volume the second we hear their music on the radio. However, hearing your favorite artist live is a unique experience that everyone should have at least once in their life. In fact, studies show that attending live performances has such a profound impact on our sense of well-being that it may even extend our lives!
#5 – Not Learning How to Cook
It is amazing how many young people head out into the world today without even the most basic knowledge of how to make a homecooked meal for themselves. Take the time to learn not only how to boil an egg or make pasta, but also how to make some fancier, more elaborate dishes. This will allow you to make something special for those important occasions.
#6 – Staying Trapped in a Terrible Job
I understand the bills aren’t going to slow down just because you’re unhappy or feeling unfulfilled in your life, but you also need to recognize the importance of your personal happiness and mental health. While every job is going to have aspects that you dislike, if you are in a job that leaves you feeling completely unhappy it will actually have a lasting negative impact on your mental health. It’s worth the effort to find something better.
#7 – Avoiding Experiences Out of Fear
We have all been there at one time or another. You have grand plans of the things you’d love to try or experience, but when the moment comes to pull the trigger and put your plans into action you are gripped by fear. What if it goes wrong? What if you miscalculated? The only way to succeed in life is to step out of your comfort zone into this frightening unknown. Embrace the idea of failure, as it will provide you with an opportunity to learn and grow.
#8 – Failing to Exercise Gratitude
If you have a roof over your head, food on your table and clean clothes to wear, then you are among the blessed. Rather than focusing your attention on the many things you don’t have, or would like to have, take a moment to step back and take note of all the things in your life that you have to be grateful for. Keeping a gratitude journal can help you to keep this all in perspective.
#9 – Slacking Off in School
This is one that SO many of us are guilty of, to be honest. When you are in the midst of your school years it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that school is just a waste of time, or grades aren’t important. After all, what does the generation that came before us actually know, right? While you may not use trig in your daily habits, there will come a day that something will come up and you will wish you had paid better attention to the knowledge that your teachers were sharing!
#10 – Avoiding the Words ‘I Love You’
Three little words that carry so much meaning. It’s amazing how something seemingly so simple can have such a profound impact on our lives. For this reason, many people become so fearful that they are going to be hurt that they avoid saying them at all. Whether you are referring to a family member, friend or a romantic partner, remember that you each are only here for a limited time. Don’t miss your opportunity to tell those that you care about how you feel.
#11 – Not Following Through on What You Start
Many people have great plans and dreams, ideas of how they are going to change the world, improve their lives and accomplish great feats. However, none of this is going to do any good if you never actually finish the things that you start. Instead, it will erode your self-confidence as you begin to doubt your ability to accomplish anything. Make a list of all the things you currently have on the go and start tying up loose ends.
#12 – Failing to Use Enough Sunscreen
Okay, I admit it, sunscreen may be inconvenient or ‘uncool’ at certain stages of our lives, but it serves an important role! We, as a society, invest a lot of money in anti-aging creams and treatments later in life. So, why not start by protecting your skin at a younger age? Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays will not only help you to prevent skin cancer, but it can also work to reduce the appearance of wrinkles fine lines, and moles.
#13 – Ignoring Your Parents’ Advice
When we are younger most of us had the impression that we knew everything. The source of all knowledge, there was no way that our parents could ever know more than us about any topic, right? If you’re currently in that age group, you aren’t going to want to hear this, BUT your parents might know more than you care to admit. It’s not about ‘intelligence’ per say, they have simply lived longer and therefore had more experiences. They were where you are once… don’t forget that.
#14 – Working Too Much
Much like I discussed in the above point about staying in a terrible job, I realize that you have bills to pay and they aren’t just going to go away. However, don’t spend your entire life working for some vision of a perfect future, because that future may never come. Take some time to enjoy and appreciate today, celebrate the moments, and do the things that make you happy such as spending time with friends and taking part in hobbies that you love. No one is promised a tomorrow, so don’t put everything on hold for a time that you may never see.
#15 – Spending Your Youth Completely Wrapped Up in YOU
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make yourself a priority in your own life. Your health and well-being should always be at the forefront of your mind. However, don’t fall into the trap of becoming so wrapped up in your own self-interests that you fail to see anyone else around you. Youth, in particular, are well-known for making incredibly self-absorbed decisions in life, and some experts say it’s getting worse. You’re only going to look back on this stage of your life with regret.
#16 – Failing to See Your Own Beauty
In a world that is constantly tearing us down, causing us to question our value and our worth, it is more important than ever to recognize and acknowledge our own beauty, both inside and out. You are a smart, talented and beautiful individual, bringing joy to those around you. Don’t allow society’s standards of ‘beauty’ define you. Hold your head high and know your worth.
#17 – Focusing Too Much on the Opinions of Others
When we are first establishing our identity and building our self-confidence we often turn to those around us for acceptance and validation. This need for validation can quickly cross into unhealthy territory as we start to lose our true selves in the attempt to be everything that we believe we should be. Don’t fall into this trap. While it’s good to hear differing opinions, don’t allow them to define your life.
#18 – Never Learning a Surprising Party Trick
This one may sound a little funny but humor me for a moment. How many parties will you attend over the course of your life? You may not feel the need to be the life of the party every time that you step out in public, not having some sort of party trick can leave you in the dark. There will come a day when you will want to entertain those around you, and you don’t want to be left empty handed!
#19 – Putting the Dreams of Others Ahead of Our Own
Your goals and dreams in life are important and demand your attention. This isn’t selfish or uncaring, this is the only way that you are going to achieve them. After all, no one else wants you to have them more than yourself. While you should, by all means, support those that you care about as they work towards achieving their own goals, don’t do so at the expense of your future. You deserve better.
#20 – Not Learning a New Language
It may not seem like something that is necessary immediately in your life, after all, everyone around you speaks your native tongue, right? You are never too old to learn a new language. Not only is this a great exercise to help keep your mind healthy and active, but it can also open doors that would be closed otherwise due to communication barriers.
#21 – Allowing Life to Be Defined by Cultural Expectations
I previously talked about the concerns associated with allowing yourself to feel boxed in by traditional gender roles, but cultural expectations can have a similar impact. Growing up in a specific cultural group does not determine what you can/can’t do, and it certainly shouldn’t limit your options in life. Make decisions based on you as an individual, not on the culture that you come from.
#22 – Falling Behind the Pace of Life
We live in a fast-paced, high-energy society. While trying to always keep up can lead to extreme stress and anxiety, you also don’t want to be left behind. The world is always changing, growing evolving. Be prepared to grow with it. Set your sights on the things that make you happy and chase them down, making the most of every moment. It’s all about determining the things you deem to be ‘non-negotiable’ and refusing to let hem pass you by.
#23 – Refusing to Allow Friendships to End
When you make a good friend, it is obviously with the intention of keeping this person in your life for the days, weeks and months to come. However, not every friendship is meant to last for a lifetime. Some people come into our lives to teach us a lesson or trigger a necessary change, only to then leave when this time has passed. Trying to hold onto these relationships longer than they are meant to last will only lead to pain and heartache. Allow things to happen naturally and be thankful for the memories that you have shared.
#24 – Allowing Yourself to Hold Grudges
If someone crosses us or hurts us in some way, it can be difficult to let this pain go. Especially if this is someone that we once trusted or deemed to be important in our lives. However, the act of holding a grudge will only hurt one person, you. It’s like drinking poison and hoping that the person who upset you will feel the effects. Don’t burden yourself with this level of negative and toxic energy.
#25 – Settling in Your Relationship
Love is one of the great joys that we will experience in this life, and you shouldn’t rob yourself of all that it can bring into your life. Whether you are simply just ‘comfortable’ in your less than ideal relationship, or you are too afraid of being alone to be single for any length of time, it’s time to make a change. Envision what true love means for you and refuse to settle for anything less.
#26 – Not Play with Your Kids Enough
When you become a parent, you have been given an incredible gift. These blessings that we call children are so full of curiosity, joy, and excitement. Don’t take this time for granted! Sure, there are responsibilities in life and demands for your time but be sure to schedule in as much time as you can with these young ones, because they grow up fast. You’ll blink and discover you have teenagers in your home. Life is short, don’t miss out.
#27 – Failing to Stand Up for Ourselves
This is another point that reflects on our self-worth. You wouldn’t tolerate someone talking negatively to friends or family members, so why do you accept it in your own life? You deserve to be treated fairly, so don’t accept less. Stand up for yourself and demand respect from those around you. At the same time, however, be sure that you are also treating others with this same level of respect.
#28 – Not Learning Basic Housekeeping
Far too many parents are coddling their children, doing everything for them without enforcing the chores and rules that were once considered to be commonplace. As a result, many kids never learn how to do the most basic tasks. Before moving out on your own, be sure to learn how to do your own laundry and properly load a dishwasher among other tasks.
#29 – Missing the Opportunity for Travel
The world is an amazing, mind-blowing and exciting place full of new experiences and opportunities. Don’t allow this to pass you by! There is never going to be a ‘perfect’ time to travel. Rather than putting it off until you are more established in your career until your kids are older or until you eliminate all debt, make travel a priority today. No one to travel with? Traveling solo is an incredible experience!
#30 – Failing to Discover Your True Passion
Have you ever stopped to consider why you took the path you did in life? Are you chasing something that brings you happiness and joy, or simply doing whatever you felt you needed to in order to make the most money or find fame. The quest for money and fame is missing one key element, your passion, the only thing that can bring you true satisfaction. Take a step back, look at the things that make you smile, the activities that speak to your heart, and then explore ways to work that into your life.
#31 – Not Volunteering
There are so many great causes in the world, you are sure to find at least one that will hold some sort of meaning to you. Even if you are tight on money, make it a priority to give of your time. Not only will it help to boost your mood, it’s also going to bring happiness, light and hope to others that may be struggling. Don’t leave this life without making a difference in at least one life.
#32 – Failing to Learn Financial Wisdom
It’s a debate that I have seen come up on social media many times – our children grow up learning trigonometry, advanced calculus, and algebra, and yet many are completely lost when it comes to balancing their own bank accounts or creating a budget. These are necessary skills that should not be overlooked. Take the time when you are younger to open your mind to this type of practical knowledge.
#33 – Neglecting Your Teeth
Much like the above discussion about sunscreen, we spend a lot of time and money on trying to correct the damage that we have done to our teeth over the years including trying to remove stains, filling cavities, and, for some, the use of dentures and implants to replace teeth that we have lost. Rather than waiting to deal with the situation when it has started to deteriorate, invest some time and energy into avoiding the problem early on. Regular dental checkups, brushing, and flossing can all go far to prevent problems later in life.
#34 – Not Discovering Yourself
This is a point that combines many of the aforementioned items, but it is worthy of mentioning in and of itself. Have you ever stepped back to truly determine what makes you, you? This is your life, don’t forget that! Make it a priority to discover what makes you happy, what drives your motivation and what you genuinely can’t stand. Understanding this is the secret to happiness and success.
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