AUTHOR: Chris Phelan
For many people, life is about minimizing regret, and with some luck, some live their lives with no regrets! Recently, men and women met in an online discussion to reveal a handful of missed opportunities that they realized they'd regret later. Can you identify with any of these regrets?
Table of Contents
- 1. Not Exercising More
- 2. Having No Hobbies
- 3. Losing Touch With People
- 4. Not Taking Enough Photos
- 5. Not Stretching Every Day
- 6. Not Protecting Your Hearing
- 7. Ignoring Mental Health
- 8. Keeping Romantic Feelings Pent Up
- 9. Not Spending Enough Time With Your Parents
- 10. Not Preparing for Retirement
- 12 Life Secrets From 70-Year-Olds That Will Change Your Perspective
- 10 Things That Were Way Better Before Smartphones Took Over
- Which Fast Food Chain Serves The Best Burger?
- 10 Best American Foods According to People From Other Countries
- 10 Products That Used To Be The Best But Aren't Now
1. Not Exercising More
The most-cited regret for boomers is easily not exercising more when they were younger. Ignoring your physical fitness throughout your life can lead to a sedentary lifestyle! Often, older people are jealous of their still active peers, whether going to the gym regularly or other exercise methods. My girlfriend's father just turned 70 and plays basketball three times a week; how impressive is that?
2. Having No Hobbies
For many people, retirement doesn't just mean rest and relaxation; more often than not, it means being bored. It's surprising how many people don't have hobbies. "Find a creative hobby you love and dive in," reports one man. "I worked with older people and learned that the loneliest are those who can't fill their day."
3. Losing Touch With People
It's natural for friendships and relationships to fade over time, but that doesn't mean you must let it happen. "Failing to stay in touch with the people you care about and who care about you is a big regret," confesses one man. "I'm only in my 40s but have had a lot of loss. It is easy enough to forget that time does run out. Plus, social contact (within a healthy context) is great for mental health and well-being."
4. Not Taking Enough Photos
Hearing that the boomer generation regrets not taking enough photographs throughout their life made me realize I'm not doing the same. Many believe you most days should be documented, from the most mundane to those filled with nonstop adventure. Your memory will begin to fade when you're in the latter half of your life. Fortunately, pictures can be there to help you out!
5. Not Stretching Every Day
I can't tell you how often I've ignored my friends' advice to stretch every morning. It's easily overlooked; in my mind, I go to the gym every morning, so why would I need to stretch? I know I'm wrong, so I intend to start with YouTube stretching videos every morning for five minutes and go from there. I'm about to join the stretching community, and my body will thank me for it in the future!
6. Not Protecting Your Hearing
I'll be blunt about this: protect your hearing, people! Whether it's wearing earplugs when enjoying live music, keeping your earbuds at a moderate volume, or simply covering your ears with your hands when police sirens pass you, you're risking a lot of future hearing issues by not protecting your ears! Remember: hearing is something you can lose.
7. Ignoring Mental Health
It's never too early to start focusing on your mental health. Going to therapy or talking to professionals in the field goes a long way in ensuring a happy latter half of life. "I wish I didn't wait so long to go to therapy and take care of my mental health," admits one woman. "Just recently started to truly appreciate what that ripple effect really looks like and how it touches everything physically, consciously, and unconsciously."
8. Keeping Romantic Feelings Pent Up
Is there a bigger regret than not telling a romantic interest how you feel? Next to not exercising enough, an abundance of people often lament the fact that they've always felt their true love slipped away because they didn't verbalize their feelings appropriately. Nothing hurts worse than a broken heart — except perhaps realizing you made a mistake by never confessing your feelings!
9. Not Spending Enough Time With Your Parents
As someone who lives hundreds (and times thousands) of miles away from my parents, I often feel guilty for not spending more time with them. I've been on countless vacations and trips over the years, but none with my mom and dad. Numerous people, including myself, regret not carving out time with their parents later in life. If you ask me, it's time to make a change.
10. Not Preparing for Retirement
Investing in your financial future now means you'll be more comfortable in retirement later. I know it's hard to put away money for decades down the line, but if you're not planning for your future, you're being irresponsible. "I didn't start the 401k until my 40s but still managed to retire well," reveals one man. "Don't just invest, but learn about investing little by little and become financially savvy."
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