I’m getting ever close to the grand old age of 40. Here are 10 of the most important life goals at 40. How many have you accomplished?
At 33 I can feel the big 40 slowly creeping up on me like a stranger in the night. I see a shadow of myself as a 40 year old. I’m not there yet, but soon I’ll look in the mirror and say “Well, here I am, 40.”
Eh. It’s not that big a number. My nan’s a 102. But 40 is definitely an age at which we should have achieved at least a few pretty serious life goals.
And so I’m writing this post as much for myself as for you, because I need motivation just as much as everyone else.
So, in the hopes that this list will fire a belly in all our hearts, here are ten of the most important life goals to achieve before 40.
10 Life Goals at 40
1. Love your parents and let them know
My father past away last year. It was the end of a difficult relationship. He was a good man with a weakness: alcoholism. That led to a lot of pain for me. It also led me to make the mistake of not telling my father that I love him enough times.
I wish I could have one more chance to say “Dad, I know you’re not perfect but I forgive your errors. I love you.”
My advice is to forgive your parents of mistakes they’ve made and let them know you love them.
2. Accept the inevitability of aging
It’s easy to ignore the fact that time is slipping us by. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the simple fact of the matter is that we’re all getting older. Soon enough you’ll look in the mirror and say “Wow. When did I get so old?” It’s going to happen.
The best strategy is to accept the aging process right now. Accept that you will get old, you will go grey, you’ll probably go bold, and you will look old. But while you’re facing time square in the face, tell yourself “By the time I look old I will have amazing memories to look back on.”
3. Live your purpose
You live once (depending on your beliefs). You want to make life count. You want to fulfil dreams and ambitions that truly matter to you.
What’s important in your life? What’s that one dream that you lie awake at night thinking about? Whatever it is, work for it. Let passion lead you. Let your dreams illuminate your waking life. Live with purpose.
4. Plan your retirement
The sooner you start saving for your retirement the easier it’ll be when you get there. Get some savings in the bank, let that compound interest grow, and when you get to the promised land known as retirement you’ll have an easy ride.
5. Do work you love
When you count up all the hours and days you spend at work over the course of your career, it adds up to a giant chunk of time. In fact, the average person spends 90,000 hours working in their lifetime. That’d be fine, were it not for the fact that 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs.
Do work you love. It’s not easy. It takes dedication and a lot of smarts to succeed in a job you actually love. But it’s oh so worth it. Imagine spending those 90,000 hours doing something you truly love. Wouldn’t that make life so much better?
6. Accept every part of yourself
You probably like quite a lot about yourself. But there’s almost definitely one or two aspects of yourself that you dislike. Self judgment will hold you back if you let it. Accept every part of yourself, even those parts you like to keep hidden under wraps.
7. Keep your life headed in the right direction
It’s very easy to lose control of your life. One setback after another leads you down the wrong path and sooner or later you look at your life and wonder just where you are and how you got there. Check in with yourself regularly and make sure that your life is the one you want and that you’re heading in the direction you want to be going in. If you’re not quite on course, take the opportunity to change your direction.
8. Learn when to let go of love
Love is not infallible. Even the very best relationships evolved over time and can end up transforming. Marriages fail, friendships end, life changes. The simple fact of the matter is that you’re not going to help yourself by clinging on to a relationship which is over. Know when to let go, and have the bravery to do the right thing.
9. Accept the fact that some people just won’t ever like you (it’s not a big deal)
You can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time. There will always be some people who don’t like you. That’s just the way it is. And it’s not really a big deal. Just focus on the people who do like you. There’s more than enough of them anyway.
10. Make a bucket list
A bucket list is a fantastic way to motivate yourself to do amazing things. Write a list of 100 things you’d love to do before you die, then aim to get two or three of those things done each year. By the time you get to 40 you should have done around half of your bucket list goals. So get cracking!
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