Many people dread the aging process. Turning 40 and seeing all of those “over the hill” birthday cards is enough to make 40-somethings want to hide out. But aging is inevitable. It can’t be stopped, so why not choose to embrace it?
Here are 10 things you should do before turning 40:
1. Spend Time With Your Parents
We get so used to having our parents around that we don’t realize they’ll be gone someday. Don’t forget to make time in your busy schedule to see them, talk to them and constantly tell them how much they mean to you. If you don’t cherish them now, you’ll never get the chance.
2. Embrace the Aging Process
Society tells us that with each birthday, we’re getting more forgetful, unattractive and incapable. Instead of dreading the process of getting older and buying into creams, laser treatments and plastic surgery in an attempt to stay young, why not try embracing it? Everyone ages. Instead of stressing about it, eat healthy, stay active and don’t lose sight of the real you.
3. Save Money for Retirement
While saving seems impossible at a young age, it’s important to establish a savings account as soon as possible. Starting early gives you more time to grow your account and better prepare for the future. If you wait until you’re older, retirement may seem further and further from your reach.
4. Find Your Passion
Some of us find our true passion at a young age, while others spend most of their life searching. Regardless of when you find your passion or your calling, once you uncover it, find a way to live it. That thing that makes you feel alive, happy and fulfilled — make it a priority.
5. Do Something You Love
In 2013, a report found that there were twice as many “actively disengaged” workers in the world as there were “engaged” workers who love their jobs, showing that the majority of people aren’t doing something they truly enjoy. While it may be necessary to work at a job you’re not fond of when you’re just starting out, don’t get complacent. Look for ways to improve your situation, and put happiness, passion and purpose above making money.
6. Practice Self-love
You can be your own worst enemy and your harshest critic, or you can choose to love and accept who you are. Self-love is a choice. By accepting yourself completely, you’ll feel lighter, happier, and you’ll be able to hold your standards high regarding the way you let others treat you.
7. Take Control
Don’t let life be something that just happens to you. Take control of your life and your happiness, and start making things happen for yourself. If you’re stuck in a rut, have the courage to make changes. If you want to travel, move or find a new job, do it! Make your happiness a priority and hold yourself responsible for your situation.
8. Accept That Love Doesn’t Always Last
Falling in love with someone can be exciting, overwhelming and wonderful, but that excitement doesn’t always last. Don’t consider yourself a failure if your relationship doesn’t work out. Try looking at it from a different point of view: be grateful for the time you had with that person, and be open to a new chapter in your life.
9. Realize That Not Everyone’s Going to Like You
There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like you, no matter what. Don’t waste your time bending over backwards to win others over. Be yourself. Be kind, thoughtful, hard-working and genuine. The kind of people you attract will be the kind of people you want in your life.
10. Make a Bucket List
Regardless of your age, if you haven’t made a bucket list, now is the time. Sit down and write out everything you want to accomplish in your lifetime, then make a plan to get each dream crossed off your list. With hard work, persistence, some sacrifice and a leap of faith, you might just be able to make your wildest dream come true.