We must each lead a way of life with self-awareness and compassion, to do as much as we can. Then, whatever happens, we will have no regrets. – Dalai Lama
When you look back on your life, how do you feel? How will you feel in another 20 years? Will you be sitting on your porch in your rocking chair reminiscing about all you’ve accomplished — or thinking about your regrets?
End-of-life planning isn’t only about creating a will and determining how you want to be remembered. Changing attitudes toward death also have us engaging in self-reflection. We start wondering, “Did I live life with no regrets?” The good news is that whether you’re wondering how to live life without regret after 50 or you’re much younger, it’s never too late — or too early — to start.
What does it mean to live life with no regrets?
To live life without regrets doesn’t mean you never make a mistake. It doesn’t mean you never fail. It means that you live life to the fullest and learn from your experiences.
We all have things we regret doing — or things we regret not doing. We stay in unfulfilling jobs and unhealthy relationships. We pass up opportunities out of fear or uncertainty. Yet regret can also be a powerful driver for change. When you shift your view from “living my life with no regrets” to “living an authentic, purposeful life,” you’ll discover endless opportunities for personal growth.
How do I live life with no regrets?
No one wants to reach the end of their life and not have achieved everything they wanted. No one wants to have “if only's” and “what ifs.” Here are 15 tips for how to live life without regret at any age.
- Reflect on your experiences. When you think about your past regrets and find the lesson in your failures and mistakes, you can avoid repeating them.
- Take ownership of your life. It can be tempting to blame other people or outside events for your regrets. Yet you have the control to grow from adversity and express gratitude for what you have.
- Become more self-aware. What do you really want from your life? Be in tune with yourself to learn what will make you truly happy.
- Think for yourself. When you know what you want, it’s easier to go against the grain. To live life without regrets, you must prioritize what you need to make this one life worth living.
- Let go of the past. Understand that everything happens for a reason. Find that reason and let your past experiences shape you into the person that you want to be.
- Forgive. Forgiveness isn’t something you give someone else — it’s something you give yourself. When you truly forgive, you can let go of the past and move on.
- Do what you love. Life is too short to waste your time doing things that don't make you happy. Spend your time with your loved ones, find a fulfilling hobby, and give back through volunteering.
- Discover your purpose. What makes you feel complete joy? What gets you out of bed each day? Your purpose is deeply connected to your fulfillment in life.
- Take care of yourself. It’s difficult to have the energy to live without regrets if you are exhausted and run down. You can’t give to others when your own tank is empty.
- Practice gratitude. A sense of abundance in your life can help lessen feelings of regret. Instead of regretting the things you don’t have, try to be grateful for all the things you do have.
- Be open. Learning how to live life without regret after 50 (or any age) can be difficult. You may feel set in your ways, but being open to new experiences is essential.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Comfort is the best friend of regret. Seek out new experiences. It’s never too late to overcome your fears.
- Be present. Many people go through life stuck in the past or focused on the future. But why not put down your phone and enjoy the here and now?
- Work toward your goals. Goals equal growth, so make a plan to achieve something — no matter how big or small it may seem. It’s never too late to go after your dreams.
- Plan for end of life. Waiting too long to take care of your end-of-life planning is a common regret. Evaluate all of your options and begin to make a plan that is right for you, so you can enjoy your later years, worry-free.
Everyone wants to live life without regrets — and can. All you have to do is live boldly and dare to be your authentic self. Use these strategies to help ensure that when you reach the end of your life, you can be confident you did everything you could to make the most of it.