8 key choices to make now for a happier life in 10 years

There’s nothing worse than having regrets in life…Than looking back over your last 10 years of living and thinking, “Wow, I wish I’d done all those things differently”.

If you already feel that way about your life now, it’s time to make a change. Because it’s never too late to start living life differently to create a better future for yourself.

Keep reading to learn the 8 key choices you can make now for a happier life in 10 years.

1) Spend and save (we promise it makes sense!)

It sounds confusing, but spending and saving at the same time is so important for life. Whatever age you are now, your older self will thank you in 10 years’ time for making this decision.

We should all be doing our best to put some loose change away every month. But don’t push yourself too far.

The last thing you want to do is be in your thirties, forties, fifties, sixties (the list goes on!) and realize all you did with your life was save money and not spend anything.

For example, do you always say no to plans? Skip the coffee when you’re having a rough morning? Choose to stay in over going out on date night?

If so, it might be time to stop. Yes, do this sometimes, especially if you need to save for something important.

But don’t get so caught up with saving money that you forget to live. Because even though you may have more money in 10 years, you’ll have sacrificed so many memories and experiences.

2) Don’t stop dating (unless you’re not dating!)

Let me explain. When you’re single, you can put dating on hold whenever you feel like it.

There’s nothing wrong with being single and deleting the dating apps whenever you need a break.

In fact, did you know that by 2030, almost half of women will be single and childless, according to a new study by Morgan Stanley? Did you also know that, for the first time ever, almost half of women up to age 30 are childless?

Fun facts aside, if you’re already in a relationship, it’s important that you don’t ever stop dating each other.

It’s all too easy to slip into the routines of staying in, saving money, and experiencing “Groundhog Day” when you’re living with your partner.

But continuing to date each other is one of the best things you can do for your relationship (according to the love experts at MyTherapistNC).

Make time for each other now, and your older self will thank you for it.

3) Wear sunscreen on your face daily, even if it’s not sunny!

Just trust me on this one. Your fifty (plus) year old self will thank you when there’s not a wrinkle or sunspot in sight on your face.

It’s not about looking younger. It’s about looking (and feeling) fresher and brighter in your own skin, no matter how many birthdays you have.

And if you don’t want to “just trust me” on this one (no hard feelings!), The Bright Side ran a great study on the effects of wearing sunscreen daily.

Spoiler alert: the results were AMAZING and it’s totally worth it!

4) Do what you want, and don’t let the long timeframes put you off

personality traits that show youre a smart man 1 8 key choices to make now for a happier life in 10 years

This isn’t your standard “life is short so do what you want” message, but it kind of is.

How many things have you not done (or not done yet) because “it’ll take too long”? Think about it this way:

Life will pass you by whether you do that thing or not.

Here’s a weird example: I downloaded an app once that gave you $0.0001 cents for every step you walked. When you earn enough steps, you get $1,000.

I told a friend about it when I first downloaded the app, and she laughed in my face. She did the math and said it would take me 10 years to claim the money.

I said yes, it probably will. But those 10 years will pass anyway, and I’ll be walking every day regardless. So why not keep the app?

The moral of the story is, if you think a three-year degree is a long time, those three years will pass regardless of if you study or not.

The same goes for changing careers and starting at the bottom. And learning a new language. And getting good at golf. The list goes on.

Whatever it is, it’ll take time, and that time will come and go whether you start that thing or not. So, if you want to do it, do it, and don’t be put off by the “getting there” period.

(P.S. If you’re interested, I’m seven years in and I’m so close to claiming my $1,000!)

5) Change jobs if you’re unhappy

The last thing you want to do is look at your career in ten years’ time and wish you hadn’t spent so long in that dead-end job or a career you never wanted.

Like we said earlier, those five or ten years will pass if you change jobs or not. So why not go for it and be where you truly want to be in ten years’ time?

Not to mention…life really is too short to work with people you dislike working with, progress in a career you can’t stand, and support causes you don’t believe in.

We know changing jobs isn’t always as simple as it sounds. But, sometimes, it really is. And if that applies to you, do something about it. 

The version of you in ten years’ time will thank you for it.

6) Look after your body

We know it’s cliché, but this one has to be on the list. Many people will argue that there’s nothing more important than looking after yourself.

After all, you only get one body and one mind, so you need to take care of it if you want a long, happy, and healthy life.

Looking after yourself means exercising regularly (experts at CDC recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity and 2 days of muscle training every week), eating well, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep.

No matter what age you are now, your older self will thank you for your healthy lifestyle choices in 10 years’ time.

7) Leave a bad relationship

An eHarmony study revealed that 1 in 9 people are unhappy in their relationships, and that’s just the number of people that admitted to it (I know that’s a bit pessimistic, but I think it’s a valid point).

I’m sure many of us can relate to the feeling of being unsure about the future of a relationship, but not wanting to call it quits just yet.

Having doubts about a relationship can be normal, especially if you’re starting a new relationship.

But, according to experts, there are unhealthy doubts, too. And sometimes you can see the cracks in the rose-tinted glasses, and you know nothing will make them look new again.

There’s no use staying in a relationship out of comfort and fear when you know you’re not truly happy. So, do some inner digging, decide what you truly want, and make the decision that’s right for you.

The last thing you want to do is be 10 years down the line and have wasted those years in an unhappy relationship.

As the saying flying around TikTok right now goes, “Don’t let your current boyfriend/girlfriend stop you from finding your husband/wife”.

8) Spend time with friends and family, even if you don’t always want to

youre a great friend 8 key choices to make now for a happier life in 10 years

Research has long since indicated that not spending enough time with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying.

Many experts have said that spending time with the people we love boosts our happiness and improves our quality of life.

You never know what the next 10 years will bring you. So, even if you work long hours, are always tired, or frequently “aren’t in the mood” to socialize, try to put those thoughts aside and go out anyway.

After all, the only thing that really matters in life is the connections we make and the people we love (another insight from the dying).

Final thoughts

Even though many things in life are outside of our control, there are so many more things we can do that are well within reach.

No matter how old you are, the decisions you make right now will shape your entire future.

Depending on what you choose to do, your current decisions will impact your relationships, friendships, financial status, and (arguably most importantly), your overall satisfaction with life in the future.

There are so many things you can do to create a better life for yourself, even beyond this list. Start now and your older self will thank you for it.

After all, there’s no time like the present, right?


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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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