All the drama about turning 50 and entering the “second chapter” of your life is bullshit.
Your life isn’t over, it’s just getting started!
No matter how badly the first 50 years went, the next 50 are going to kick ass.
Don’t believe me? Here’s why.
Can you turn your life around at 50? Yes you can!
1) You can put positive relationships first
We all have relationships that drag us down. They can be family relationships, work relationships, romantic relationships or even daily life interactions.
These are interactions and connections that highlight all that’s bad and make you feel like disappearing and giving up on life.
They’re the kind of connections you may have built up over your first 50 years and which you may be tied to by various obligations that you feel you can’t control.
- A group of friends who don’t respect or appreciate you
- A partner who undermines and manipulates you
- Family members who try to control and shame you
- A workplace environment where you feel unwelcome
The good news is that 50 isn’t too late to start changing this.
I fully get that not everything in your life can just be scrapped, and it’s also true that there is a lot you can learn from “negative” relationships.
At the same time, you have the right and the power to start being more selective about who you spend time with and give your energy to.
You have the right to stop being a victim of other people’s bullshit.
Cut down your time and commitment to people who don’t appreciate you or use you.
Bulk up your time with those who value you and give back.
Your next decade will be much better!
2) You can start saying no
One of the biggest steps that you can take after 50 to turn your life around is to stop saying yes to everything.
We live in a culture that’s very focused on not rocking the boat.
Everything is about going along to get along.
But the problem with this mentality is that you can easily get lost in the process and forget who you are (or never find out in the first place).
It’s crucial to learn to say no.
Start small by saying no to an invitation or request and work your way up to bigger things like large favors or attempts to pin a huge workload on you.
You don’t have to say yes!
Many of us are raised from a young age to avoid all conflict if possible and try to smooth things over. But if you say yes too often you’ll end up with no time for yourself and low self-respect.
“The more I said yes, the more I got myself into situations I would later regret, and the more I let myself be used.
“When I reached my breaking point, I finally said no for the first time, and it left me feeling liberated.
“So I kept doing it, as much as I needed to. Life began to feel easier. I had fewer obligations and more time on my hands to focus on regrouping, healing, and the people I truly wanted to spend time with,” writes Michele Lian.
3) You can look after your mental health
Mental health matters. In fact, I would argue that it matters even slightly more than physical health.
If you have great physical health but poor mental health, you won’t be able to enjoy your body or an active lifestyle because your emotional and mental state will be too poor.
Furthermore, your likelihood of continuing to keep up an active lifestyle and maintaining your physical health is very low.
If you have strong mental health, almost anything is possible.
Even poor physical health can be worked on and improved steadily as you apply determination and grit to your situation.
Starting with an optimistic and stable framework is a recipe for success that can transform everything around you.
True, there is so much we can’t control even – to an extent – some parts of our physical health.
But with a focus on becoming mentally healthy, you are on a path to success.
Never be ashamed to seek help and learn about the various ways that mental illness and mental health struggles manifest.
By taking care of this part of your life you can ensure that 50 is the last time you hide from your problems or neglect your mental health.
4) You can find a spiritual path
It’s hard to find out which religion or spiritual path is definitively true.
But it is possible to find the path that speaks to your soul and begins to unlock the universe for you.
It’s not necessary that everyone agrees with you, nor is it necessary to find perfection.
In fact, finding a spiritual or religious journey that’s meaningful to you is often about finding meaning in the struggle and joy in the imperfection.
If you’ve had trouble with questions about life, love and meaning, 50 can be your turning point.
This can be the time at which you say: I am going my own way.
Stop thinking of what others want you to be, expect you to be or hope you to be.
Stop reflecting and copying the beliefs and values of those around you, if you have been doing so.
Begin to truly seek out and follow the paths that are meaningful to you in your spiritual life.
This could be Jainism, evangelicalism or atheism. It could be Zen Buddhism or Islam.
What’s important is that you don’t let the views of others be what pushes you towards or away from a path.
Follow your bliss.
5) You can safeguard your health
Your health is like a precious gem that you need to protect.
Often, we live our lives recklessly or with enormous confidence, sure that our health will stand the test of time.
But unfortunately, health is a very fragile thing and it can quickly be shattered.
There are obviously elements of our health that are not in our control: congenital conditions, terminal illnesses or sudden and unexpected crises.
But there are also various elements of our health which we can directly influence: our cardiovascular fitness, our muscle strength, our respiratory health and our flexibility…
When we put everything on a pedestal or make ourselves the victim of circumstances, we lose our personal power.
This includes in the realm of personal health.
But when we realize the impact we can have through our decisions and actions, we become empowered and confident.
As author Barbara Grufferman writes:
“The closer I looked, the more I realized that many of these health issues were in my control.
“The more I thought about it, the more questions I had.
“I began to wonder if there were tests I should be getting and asking what I could do to make sure that I lived a healthy life.”
As I said, there is plenty that will come your way in your personal health that wasn’t your choice.
But making healthy decisions about diet, fitness, lifestyle and schedule, can help lead you to a much safer and better future in which you feel at ease and energized in your body.
Sounds good to me!
6) You can redefine your career
Career is one of those things that can really hold us back in life or help us vault forward.
It can become the worst weight around your neck, or the wings that help you to fly.
If you’ve reached 50 with a career that you feel is holding you back, then you need to realize that there is still tons of potential for you.
The career which you’ve built your life around is not what defines you up to this point and it doesn’t have to be what you do in the future.
There are so many opportunities out there to study online, learn new skills, train for the jobs of the future and expand your skillset.
There is no reason you should feel pressured to limit yourself to your current career.
Even if there are strong financial considerations for staying in your current job, you can begin to explore alternatives and look around.
You have the right to do what fulfills you and to explore the skills you have and apply them to something new.
Even if it’s just a branch off from your current career, there’s so much out there that you can look into and consider. Never limit yourself by the past, and never judge yourself against others: judge yourself against the you of yesterday.
There’s nowhere to go but up!
7) You can claim your personal power
One of the worst things that modern life can do to people is turn them into victims and passive recipients of life’s slings and arrows.
The secret hidden under so many of the injustices and absurdities of life is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
While it’s true that there is so much you don’t control, there’s also so much you can change about who you are and how you approach life.
It’s all about realizing how gigantic your personal power truly is if you’d just reach for it…
So what can you do to find your personal power and stop being a victim of life?
Begin with yourself. Stop searching for external fixes to sort out your life, deep down, you know this isn’t working.
And that’s because until you look within and unleash your personal power, you’ll never find the satisfaction and fulfillment you’re searching for.
I learned this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. His life mission is to help people restore balance to their lives and unlock their creativity and potential. He has an incredible approach that combines ancient shamanic techniques with a modern-day twist.
In his excellent free video, Rudá explains effective methods to achieve what you want in life and turn things around.
No matter if you feel like you’re already over the hill, this advice is for those who know deep in their core that there has to be more to life.
So if you want to build a better relationship with yourself, unlock your endless potential, and put passion at the heart of everything you do, start now by checking out his genuine advice.
Here’s a link to the free video again.
8) You can write down your thoughts and feelings to find a new way
One of the best things you can do to start turning around your life after 50 is keep a journal.
Journals aren’t just for teenagers who are going through emotional angst, they’re an amazing way to crystallize your thoughts and feelings and gain clarity as you walk the path of life.
Journaling every morning helps you get your thoughts down on paper and notice patterns, thoughts and emotions that jump out.
These can then help you decode your path forward in life and find out where you’ve been going wrong.
Turning things around isn’t always about dramatic action.
Many times it’s about small changes you can make on a daily basis that will help you move forward and achieve a lifestyle and future that’s more in line with what speaks to your soul.
As Elaine puts it at Making Midlife Matter:
“The thing that really helped me change my life was journaling.
“Because honestly, I had no flippin’ idea what I wanted. I knew I wanted change but I had no idea what that change was.
“For me, I had to write it out to find my purpose, goals and focus.”
Journaling is truly a transformational process that I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s subtle, but once it starts building steam you’ll be shocked how big of a difference it can make!
9) You can schedule your time more effectively
There’s one thing in life you can never get back once it’s gone: time.
This makes some people frantic and panicked, but it can also be a motivation to sit quietly and focus on what your priorities are.
What do you really want in life?
What speaks to your soul?
What are your obligations and voluntary choices?
As you resolve on these matters, you can begin to structure your time in such a way that it leaves you with room to achieve your dreams and meet your obligations.
Learning to schedule more effectively and use your time is immensely satisfying.
Because we all only have a limited amount of time, and it’s within your control to begin managing your time more effectively.
We all have different ways of scheduling on our phones, devices, physical pads and so on, but the important thing is to start doing it.
No matter how busy and hectic and demanding your life is, you can take out a calendar and begin to pencil things in so that the future begins to clarify and resolve itself.
This is one of the best ways to start turning things around at 50.
10) You can embrace your discomfort zone
One of the worst things you can do in life is trying to stay in your comfort zone.
Sure, it feels comfortable, but I assure you it’s a trap.
The place where we grow, challenge ourselves and reach new goals is not our comfort zone, it’s our discomfort zone.
That instinct inside ourselves to shy away from the new, stay home, stay inside and be timid is our own weakest instincts leading us astray.
If you want to turn your life around at 50, you need to begin actively seeking out your discomfort zone.
The raw edge where you want to give up but don’t is where you will build the new you.
The extra set of weightlifting when you want to put down the weights is where a new you will be born.
The run where your breathing gets hard but you don’t stop is the extra mile that will take you into a new chapter.
Don’t try to be more comfortable or make your life easier: seek out the difficult, the challenging and the tough and embrace it head-on.
“Find ways to challenge yourself each day. It could be little tasks like starting a conversation with someone you do not know or not eating dessert every night.
“It could also be larger tasks, like exercising for an hour each day for three weeks.
“Regardless of what the challenge is, taking something on will allow you to accomplish more of what you would like and feel a greater sense of purpose in doing so.”
11) You can revamp your love life and find true love and intimacy
If you’re asking: can you turn your life around at 50, then one of the principal things you likely have in mind is your love life.
Love and relationships are tough for all of us, but if you’re getting to middle age and still feeling frustrated it can seem like the end of the line.
After all, if you’ve reached 50 and you still haven’t solved the love puzzle it’s probably too late…
Well, I beg to differ.
In fact, I know many people who’ve found true love after 50.
The truth is that you can still find true love and intimacy even if it’s eluded you your whole life.
It’s all about changing your relationship with yourself.
Whether you’re currently stuck in an unhappy relationship or you’re single and feeling miserable about the middle-aged dating scene, there is hope.
You don’t need to resign yourself to a miserable codependency with someone you can’t stand, and you also don’t need to desperately chase any whiff of romance only to be disappointed yet again.
As you begin to shift your perspective on love and intimacy, your love life will also start to change.
You’ll meet the person you’re meant to be with and your current relationships will begin to resolve themselves, improve or end, depending on what’s necessary for your growth and the growth of others.
12) You can reevaluate where you’re headed with your life
Your life at 50 doesn’t have to be your life at 60, or at 70…
You can reevaluate where you’re headed with your life.
Personally, professionally, even geographically, this is your time to make a clean break and decide 100% for yourself about what is best.
Have you always wanted to live in Las Vegas?
Are you considering stepping away from your career in law enforcement and becoming a holistic healer?
You have the power of the future in your hands, and nothing should hold you back.
It’s not too late to turn things around, and even one authentic moment pursuing your passion is worth more than a thousand fake moments playing a role for others.
“As we are definitely coming into our own, and potentially freer of family or work obligations, our fifties are the perfect time to evaluate our life:
“What are we really about?
“Are we doing what we want to do?
“Have we done in our life what we hoped to do? And what are we here to do, anyway?” advises Monica Castenetto.
These are great questions to ask yourself, and be 100% honest.
Nobody else can live your life for you, and it’s up to you to seize the bull by the horns.
(Please be careful while doing this, bullhorns can be razor-sharp).
13) You can start being smarter with your money
Our money mindset matters a lot, but sadly many people have big problems with it.
It can be because we were raised with negative views of money or a constant mentality that money is scarce, difficult and corrupt.
The truth is money is just a tool.
But if you never even get enough of it or find a way to make it flow, you won’t have any tool to use.
That’s why it’s important to be smart with your money.
Age 50 can be the dividing line between reckless spending and a new future with more financial responsibility and care.
It can be when you begin focusing more on savings, safe investments and sound financial decisions.
There’s no guarantee you’ll become wealthy or even that all your stress with money will end.
It rarely does for any of us!
But you can – and will – improve your relationship to money if you become conscious of it and make a real effort to improve.
“For many, financial struggle can weigh heavy and be the cause of many problems.
“Without a change of job or career, changing your financial situation will take time and effort.
“Start saving with each paycheck to help build toward your future. Even if it’s a small amount each check, consistency in saving can help you change your path in the future.”
14) You can stop making excuses
There are so many excuses that each of us can find in life.
Many of them are valid.
Maybe you grew up with many disadvantages, had an abusive relationship, got financially wrecked or suffered horrible personal illness or injury.
None of this is your fault and it’s fair to feel awful about it!
But the problem with excuses is simple: they rob us of our power and make us victims.
And when we’re victims we cling to a false sense of security. We convince ourselves that our victimhood entitles us to certain outcomes, favors or consideration.
But it doesn’t: it just weakens us.
When we get drunk on the cheap wine of tragedy, we end up hungover and lost in some back alley surrounded by other people who are also victims.
It feels shitty and it leads to a vicious cycle of victimhood.
It’s time to stop making excuses.
Even if you have no arms and legs, you need to allow this mentality of being a victim to cease having a priority in your life.
I know that’s easy for me to say, but that’s the point:
Talk is easy, action is hard. Make action your priority!
“It’s natural to try to explain away why you may have messed up or failed.
“Excuses might help you save your pride (that is, assuming the people around you accept them), but they will do absolutely nothing to advance you toward your goals.
“Far better to simply own it and move on in a spirit of self-acceptance,” observes Lolly Daskal.
Let the excuses take a backseat for now. Focus on what you can do to improve your life.
The rest is coming to happen once you stop looking for excuses and stop caring about being a victim.
15) You can stop playing it safe
As I said earlier, often we seek out a comfort zone and get nice and settled in it by middle age.
This is a natural instinct, but it’s the wrong approach.
The reason it’s the wrong approach is that our growth and new horizons emerge from our discomfort zone.
The more that you play it safe, the more that your life will stay the same.
I’m not saying to go out and have unprotected sex or try heroin: I’m just saying to stop playing it quite so safe.
In your relationships, your work and your life, you can choose to become a bolder person.
Even if you’re shy, take the step of talking to someone new every day.
Listen to music that rocks your world even if it’s the last thing others would expect you to like. Don’t play by anybody else’s rules.
Wear what you want and turn over a new leaf.
The power is in your hands.
16) You can change your reality
One of the biggest changes you can make at 50 is to realize that reality is not static.
Yes, gravity is real. Yes, we need oxygen to survive.
But reality in the sense of the daily experiences you have, the people you meet and the opportunities that come your way, is very flexible.
It’s all about beginning to realize that you have much more power in your own hands than you realize.
First and foremost, you have the choice about what you focus your attention on.
Secondly, you can choose how you respond to what happens to you, even if you can’t control what happens.
Many of us are stuck in paradigms and frameworks that are stale.
We are replaying stories of childhood trauma, past disappointment and pain that’s stuck inside our body.
We find familiar pain and roll around in it, only to complain when we get burned yet again…
But as you become familiar with the paradigms you’re living in, you have the power to begin reshaping them.
It sounds overly simple, but it really is like that.
The key is that your changing beliefs and perceptions have to line up with action, not just mantras or thoughts.
You need to tell yourself that you will become a new and fitter person while actively in the process of working to do that.
You need to seek out positive relationships while actively discarding negative and draining relationships.
None of this is about talk, it’s all about action…
Award-winning author Robert Crown explains it well:
“For people who find themselves struggling with various things throughout their lives relating to relationships, finances, work, health, etc., and cannot figure out why they keep struggling, the answer is simple; your decisions are based on your paradigms.
“Changing the programming will change the paradigm, thus changing your reality.”
Yes you can!
As I hope the list above has demonstrated, 50 is not too late.
Not even close!
You can turn your life around at 50 and step by step you can build yourself into the kind of person you always wanted to be.
Finding and maximizing the power you have inside yourself is the task of a lifetime.
But after the years of hard-won experience, and the missteps in the past, 50 is the perfect turning point to enter a new phase of self-empowerment and fulfillment.
You can do this, I promise you.