If you’re in your 40s and still doing these 10 things, it’s time for a change

Just because you’re in your 40s, doesn’t mean you have everything figured out.

We’re all learning as we go.

However, there might be some habits you’re still holding onto that aren’t helping you. It’s never too late to make positive changes.

Here are 10 things you might still be doing in your 40s that suggest it’s time to shake things up a bit. 

1. Living Beyond Your Means

One habit that’s easy to fall into, no matter what your age, is spending more money than you make. In your 40s, this can start to really catch up with you. You might find yourself dealing with mounting debt or feeling stressed about not having enough savings. It’s time for a change.

Start by creating a budget. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just jot down your income and expenses and see where your money is going. You may be surprised by how much you spend on non-essential items. Once you know where your money is going, it will be easier to make adjustments and start saving.

It’s not about depriving yourself of everything you enjoy, but rather ensuring that you’re not overspending and putting yourself in a tight spot. Financial security in your 40s will pave the way for a more relaxed and comfortable life in the future.

2. Neglecting Your Health

In your 40s, your health should be a priority. If you’ve been neglecting regular exercise or eating a diet full of processed foods, it’s time to make some changes. Your body isn’t as forgiving as it was in your 20s and 30s, and poor health habits can lead to issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.

Start by setting small, achievable goals for yourself. Maybe that means taking a 30-minute walk every day or swapping out fast food for homemade meals a few times a week. As these small changes become habits, you can add more healthy practices into your routine.

3. Sticking to a Job You Don’t Enjoy

In your 40s, you might find yourself in a job you’re not passionate about or even dislike. You may feel trapped, thinking it’s too late to make a career change. But trust me, it’s not. I can tell you from personal experience.

I was stuck in a corporate job for years, feeling unfulfilled and dreading each workday. On turning 40, I realized I didn’t want to spend the next half of my life feeling this way. So, I took a leap of faith and quit my job to pursue my passion for writing.

It wasn’t easy, and there were many bumps along the way, but today, I am happier than I’ve ever been. Changing careers doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Your skills and experiences are transferable.

Life’s too short to be stuck in a job that doesn’t make you happy!

4. Ignoring Your Mental Health

In your 40s, life can get pretty hectic. Juggling work, family, and personal obligations can often mean that your mental health takes a back seat. However, neglecting your mental well-being can have serious consequences.

Start by making small changes like practicing mindfulness, meditating for a few minutes each day, or even seeking help from a professional if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Remember, taking care of your mental health isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. So, make it a point to check in with yourself regularly and take necessary steps to maintain good mental health.

5. Not Making Time for Loved Ones

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to let precious moments with our loved ones slip by. When we’re caught up in the daily grind, we sometimes forget to show the people we care about just how much they mean to us.

In your 40s, you might start realizing that time is moving faster than ever. The kids are growing up, parents are aging, and friends are moving forward with their lives. This is a gentle reminder to cherish these relationships while you can.

Make an effort to spend quality time with your family and friends. Have those heart-to-heart conversations with your parents, go for that coffee catch-up with your old friend, plan a date night with your spouse, and play that board game with your kids.

These moments of connection will not only strengthen your relationships but also give you a sense of contentment and happiness that no career achievement or material possession can match. After all, at the end of the day, it’s the love and relationships in our lives that truly matter.

6. Putting Everyone Else’s Needs Before Your Own

I know how easy it is to fall into the habit of prioritizing everyone else’s needs before your own. As a parent, spouse, or even as a friend, it’s second nature to want to take care of the people you love. But in doing so, it’s crucial not to lose sight of your own needs.

I remember a time when I was so caught up in meeting everyone else’s expectations that I completely neglected my own wants and needs. It took a toll on my mental health and overall happiness.

In my 40s, I realized that I couldn’t pour from an empty cup. I needed to prioritize self-care and set boundaries to ensure I had the time and energy to take care of myself too.

Whether it’s taking a few minutes each day to meditate, read a book, exercise, or even just sitting quietly with a cup of coffee, make sure you carve out time for yourself. Trust me, taking care of yourself isn’t selfish—it’s necessary. And it will make you better equipped to take care of others.

7. Ignoring Your Dreams

How many of us have dreams and aspirations that we’ve put on the back burner? Maybe you wanted to write a book, start your own business, go back to school, or travel the world. But somehow, life got in the way, and those dreams got pushed aside.

In your 40s, it might feel like it’s too late to pursue those dreams. But here’s a hard truth: It’s never too late. The only thing standing in your way is you.

It’s time to dust off those old dreams and give them another look. What steps can you take to make them a reality? It might be scary, and it won’t be easy, but the satisfaction of pursuing your passion is worth it.

Don’t let another decade pass with “what ifs.” Take that first step towards your dream. It’s time to live life on your terms.

8. Not Saving for Retirement

If you’re in your 40s and haven’t started saving for retirement, it’s time to start. Many people put off saving for their golden years, thinking there’s plenty of time. However, the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be.

Start by setting aside a small portion of your income each month for your retirement fund. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount; even a little can go a long way thanks to the magic of compound interest.

Your future self will thank you. The peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re financially prepared for retirement is priceless.

9. Not Embracing Change

Change can be intimidating, I get it. It’s so much easier to stick with what we know, even if it’s not fulfilling or beneficial to us. But in your 40s, you’ve got a wealth of experience under your belt – and that’s something to be leveraged.

I spent a good part of my life resisting change – sticking to routines, staying in the same job, and avoiding any kind of disruption. But then, I realized that by resisting change, I was also resisting growth.

Embracing change, whether it’s a new job, a new city, or even just a new mindset, can open up so many doors. It allows for personal growth, new experiences, and the chance to learn more about yourself.

10. Remaining in Toxic Relationships

Let’s face it, life is too short to spend it with people who bring you down or make you feel less than worthy. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or romantic partner, toxic relationships can drain your energy and impact your mental health.

In your 40s, it’s time to take a hard look at the people in your life and evaluate whether they’re contributing positively to your life or holding you back. It’s not easy to cut ties with someone, especially if they’ve been in your life for a long time. But remember, you deserve respect, kindness, and positivity.

11. Not Taking Risks

Playing it safe might seem like the best option – but often, it’s the risks we take that lead to the most significant rewards. Maybe there’s a business idea you’ve been mulling over for years or a trip you’ve always wanted to take but haven’t because of fear.

In your 40s, it’s time to stop letting fear hold you back. Take that risk. Make that leap. Yes, you might fail, but at least you won’t be left wondering, “What if?”

Being in your 40s is an incredible time of life – you’re experienced enough to make informed decisions and still young enough to enjoy those decisions. So don’t waste this time stuck in old habits or routines. Embrace change, take chances, and live life to the fullest.

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Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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