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11 Regrets You Can Avoid Before You Retire

11 Regrets You Can Avoid Before You Retire

Ever do something — or not do something — that you regretted later? Ate that one last slice of pizza, or drank a little too much and maybe slept with someone you didn’t know? Of course you have; everyone has. It’s all part of the learning process, right?

However, there are some regrets that can stay with you until you are dying. Many, many people have these regrets. But the good news is, you can start taking care of them today.

1. Caring too much what people think

It’s an absolute given that, no matter how many different ways you stand on your head, you’re going to let people down, make them mad, or break their heart. If you’re going to upset people sooner or later anyway, you might as well upset them while doing something you love.

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2. Staying in a bad relationship

If you are miserable in a relationship, you can’t offer your partner what he or she deserves, which is your best. Let him or her go so he or she can find happiness, and let yourself go so you can find your own.

3. Holding grudges

“Holding” is a verb – an action. It takes effort to hold a grudge. If a grudge were a great big rock, you would be waking up every morning, picking the darn thing up, and carrying it around with you all day. What good is that doing you? Are you trying to punish the person who wronged you by depriving him or her of your company? That’s silly – what if he or she doesn’t even like you? Just put the rock down; it’ll make moving forward much easier.

4. Not taking risks

Yeah, you could fall on your face and make a total ass of yourself. Your business might go belly-up, or your “friends” might laugh at you. But you’ll survive. In the meantime, you’ll learn a hell of a lot… and the next time you take a risk, it won’t be nearly as scary.

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5. Staying in a bad job

In 10 or 20 years, will you be more likely to remember all the bills you kept paid by staying in this job, or will you remember how utterly and completely miserable you were?

6. Spending too much money on “golden shackles”

Buying that fancy car or nice house feels really good at first… until the mortgage payments and repair bills kick in. Those costs stick around a long, long time after the newness and fun has worn off – and can keep you locked into that bad job.

7. Not taking care of your health

By the time you go to the doctor and get that prescription, it’s too late. Take care of your health up front by eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest. It won’t cost you anything except a little effort – and it’ll save you a ton in medical bills, which can also keep you locked in that bad job.

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8. Not finishing what you started

One of the saddest things in the world is a musical instrument that sits on a garage shelf collecting dust while waiting for “someday” to come. Turn “someday” into “now.” In five years, you will have fulfilled a dream. If you don’t, those five years will have passed anyway.

9. Not telling your loved ones you love them

Even the act of taking a few seconds to text or phone someone with “I love you” puts you in a place of appreciating them, and it brightens his or her day, too.

10. Not choosing to be happier

Are you really going to let the things going on in Washington or that rotten person at work keep you from being happy? Well, okay. It’s your choice. But if you’re waiting around for the world to be perfect before you can get happy, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.

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11. Not sticking up for yourself

You are a child of God, and God doesn’t make garbage. If you think you’re garbage, you’re insulting God, and if someone else thinks you’re garbage, THEY’RE insulting God. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

A final thought:

Whether you’re in your 20’s or your 80’s, it is never too late to start making choices that will free you and make your life bragworthy.

Featured photo credit: Regret / Neil Moralee via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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