37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old

old regret mindfulness


Written by: Kat Gal

37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old

Imagine that you are in your 90s and sitting in a rocking chair looking back at your entire life.

How did you spend all those years? Were you happy? Did you spend your time with wonderful people and creating meaningful experiences?

Most importantly: do you have regrets?

You only get one chance in this lifetime. You may as well live it in a way that you don’t end up having regrets later in life.

regrets, decisions, mindfulness old

Use this list of 37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old as a guide to a happier and more meaningful life.

#1. Not Traveling When You Had A Chance

If you want to travel, don’t wait until later. Trust this world traveler (me). Traveling is possible at any age, but it can get more difficult when you have more family and job obligations or perhaps health problems later in life. Besides, if you start now and continue throughout your life, imagine how many amazing things can you see in you lifetime?! Just one new country a year can add up to 10 new countries in 10 years and 30 new countries in 30 years.

#2. Not Learning A New Language

Learning a new language is not only useful, but also joyful. Speaking more than one language can, of course, help you communicate easier during your travels abroad and with tourists, expats and immigrants in your home country. But learning a new language can also activate new areas in your brain and make you smarter.

Not to mention that that your personality, emotions and attitude can change when using a different language. For example, I am way more optimistic and kind when speaking English than in Hungarian, whereas in Spanish everything just feels like a music or a dance.

#3. Forgoing Natural Sunscreen!

Nobody likes sun damage. Wrinkles and moles are not fun and skin cancer is definitely not something you want to deal with. Make sure to protect yourself.

Use natural sunscreen though. Conventional varieties are full of chemicals and can damage your health more than the sun. Natural options will protect you without any harm. Coconut oil is an excellent natural sunscreen alternative.

#4. Being Scared To Do Things

Moving beyond your fears and getting out of your comfort zone can bring the biggest magic to your life. Do you want to go on a trip alone? Go, it may just change your life. Are you afraid to talk to a magical human being? Don’t be, they may be your soulmate or turn out to be your best friend forever. Are you terrified to let go of sugar or gluten? Think about the clean bill of health it can bring you.

Remember, F.E.A.R. is only False Evidence Appearing Real. Your dreams are beyond your comfort zone. Go for it!

#5. Staying At A Dead End Or Joyless Job

Yes, yes, you have to pay your bills. I get that. But you should also love what you do. You spend at least 40 hours a week at work. That’s more than what you spend with your friends, family and yourself. Enjoying your work and having a purpose is important. I am not going all, ‘go digital nomad,’ ‘create your business’ or ‘quit and travel’ on you. Do what works for you, but make sure you love it.

#6. Not Learning More

Perhaps it was cool not to pay attention when you were in school, but just think about how cool it would be if you actually learned all the cool things presented to you instead of daydreaming? School is cool. No, LEARNING is cool. Formal education can be awesome and if you are into that, go for you PhD. But if you don’t care for a degree or don’t like formal schooling, you are still in luck. There is so much to learn from online courses, videos, podcasts and yes, good old-fashioned books! Become a lifelong learner. Learn new skills and expand your knowledge.

regret, mindfulness, old

#7. Being Afraid To Say “I Love You”

Love is the most important thing in life. When it comes to romantic love, it’s inevitable that at times your love will not be returned. Yes, that’s heart-breaking. But you will never know until you’ve tried.

Expressing your love is always important and it will touch the other person’s heart, even if they are not in love with you. And then there will be that special person who will return your love… and that’s just beautiful.

#8. Not Saying “I Love You” Enough

Whether it is a romantic partner, a family member or a friend, you can never say “I love you” too many times. You never know what happens tomorrow, so you better say it now, tomorrow and everyday. Don’t just make it a casual habit either, but make sure to say it with your full heart.

regret, mindfulness, old

#9. Not Realizing How Beautiful You Were

Spending your life talking badly about your looks and wishing you were different is a waste of time. Look around you. We are all different. We all come in different shapes and sizes at various heights and with various skin, hair and eye colors. And we are all beautiful.

You are unique. You are beautiful. You are enough AS YOU ARE. And you will be just as beautiful as you age. Stand in front of the mirror now, look into your eyes and say, “You are beautiful, I love you” and smile.

#10. Not Making Exercise A Priority

Physical fitness is a very important part of your health. I am not talking about running a marathon, getting a six pack, winning a bikini competition or benching hundreds of pounds. I am talking about breaking a sweat, taking care of your cardiovascular health, moving your muscles and being able to enjoy life without breathing heavy.

Pick the activities you love and make sure to move your body for 30 minutes a day at least. Walking, yoga, running, group classes, weightlifting, swimming, or whatever else you may enjoy can work. Just MOVE your body.

regret, mindfulness, old

#11. Missing Out On The Chance To See Your Favorite Band

You may regret later in life if you miss out on a lifetime opportunity to see your favorite band. The same can go for an important sports event, your favorite author coming to town on a book tour, a self-development workshop with one of the top leaders in the field, a famous ballet, musical or theater show, or anything else that is ‘once in a lifetime.’

#12. Not Driving Safe

Drinking and driving, texting and driving and breaking the rules left and right, even not wearing your seat belt can catch up with you. Don’t be sorry laying on a hospital bed or attending court for causing an accident. Be responsible now!

#13. Spending Your Youth Self-Absorbed

Or your adulthood. Be confident. Love yourself. But don’t be too absorbed in yourself. You are not above or better than anyone else. Stop focusing on only yourself. Stop blaming others. Take constructive criticism. Listen to others and practice empathy. Always come from love.

#14. Not Volunteering Or Paying It Forward Enough

How are you helping the world be a better place selflessly? Seriously. Even if you have a job where you are helping others or contributing to a better world, volunteering is important. Don’t get me wrong, money is important and you should be compensated for your work. Don’t take on volunteering full-time or anything, unless you are really fortunate to have the funds to back you up without a salary. But there is just something special about volunteering, giving back without a compensation, completely selflessly.

Small acts of kindness and paying it forward, such as contributing to a gofundme, buying coffee for the next person in line or getting groceries for the homeless are beautiful and easy acts. Volunteering for a cause – aside from doing a good deed – can also connect you with a like-minded community and help you develop new skills and live from passion.

regret, mindfulness, old

#15. Working Too Much

At the end of the day, what is most important to you? Spending time with loved ones? Going on adventures? Having fun? Or sitting at the office?

Even if you love your job and are in your passion zone when working, you should not live only for your job. Take time to be with friends and family. Go on trips. Spend time in nature. Develop new passions. Volunteer. Sleep more. Take care of your mind, body and soul. Work is only a part of your life – not your entire life.

#16. Learning How To Cook

In our modern world, you have the convenience of buying ready made meals and eating out. Most of these foods are processed and unhealthy, of course, but there are more and more opportunities to eat healthy without cooking. You can buy cold pressed juice at any grocery, order our Organifi Green Juice Powder, hop into a vegan restaurant and eat from the salad bar at your local co-op.

Still, there is a magic in cooking. Home-cooked meals are infused with love and made with creativity. Not to mention, you can impress your friends at dinner parties with your killer cooking skills!

#17. Caring Too Much About What Others Think

Spending your time worrying about what others think is a waste. You can never know anyway what they really think. Chances are they are not even thinking about you nearly as much as you tend to believe. At the end of the day, what matters is how you think of yourself, figuring out what you want, following your dreams, living from your heart, being happy with yourself and loving yourself.

#18. Not Going For YOUR Dreams

Are your fears holding you back from following your dreams? Check back on number 4, now! F.E.A.R. is only False Evidence Appearing Real, it’s only in your head. So go for it! Or other people opinions holding you back. Read point 17 and stop focusing on other people. Or perhaps supporting other’ dreams over yours is the issue. Supporting others is, of course, a beautiful thing. When it comes to a relationship or your children, it is particularly important to support each other’s’ dreams and to have mutual dreams. But it should never happen in the expense of your dreams.

You deserve to shine and live the life you want to live. Go for it! Reach for the stars and live your dreams.

#19. Not Forgiving People

Holding on to grudges and anger will only hurt you at the end of the day. Re-living your anger and pain is hurtful, stressful and consumes your precious energy. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the subject of your anger was right, it simply means that you are willing to move on and live from a place of love instead of anger.

Forgiveness is a major relief, a release of energy and mercy. When I finally forgave my father for over a decade of physical and emotional abuse, a black cloud lifted off my shoulders and I could finally breathe.

#20. Not Forgiving Yourself

Being angry at yourself is perhaps the most painful thing on the planet. But what is the point of dwelling over the past, being angry at or blaming yourself or reliving your past pain? You can’t change the past. You can only live in the present and move forward to your future with loving intentions. Remember, you are human. All of us, human beings, make mistakes. All you can do is try better next time.

#21. Neglecting Your Health

When you are young, it is easy to think you have superpowers. But disease can catch up with you. It may not be anything serious right away. You may only experience a somewhat sluggish digestion, some pimples, less upbeat mood, less energy or something small and subtle. But small things add up in the long run.

Take care of your health instead. Eat plenty of organic greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and whole grains. Exercise plenty. Use natural products. Get some sleep and drink lots of water. Don’t forget to smile.

regret, mindfulness, old

#22. Not Appreciating The Moment

You only live in the present. By spending every moment rushing around, worrying, complaining and obsessing about your past or future, you are missing the point. Stopping to take life in and appreciating each moment, all the small things, is a blessing that can cultivate more happiness in your life.

#23. Letting Yourself Be Defined By Expectations

Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations, societal expectations, expectations by religion, gender roles or any other outside expectations can be a mistake. It can be overwhelming. It can feel like living behind a mask and constantly trying to be good enough. Don’t let others tell you who you are and who you should be. Be courageous and unapologetically explore who you are. Live YOUR truth.

#24. Not Letting People Go

The truth is that people grow apart. Not all friendships last forever. During my travels, I’ve realized that some friendships may last for only a few hours, days or weeks, yet they are still meaningful. People change. You change. Circumstances change. Clinging on can turn into constant pressure and sadness. It is okay to let go.

regret, mindfulness, old

#25. Living Your Life On Social Media

Social media and the internet have their benefits. You can meet people from the other side of the world. You can keep in touch with friends and family living far away. You can work online. You can access information right away. You can be creative in new ways. You can share your passions.

But think about it, do you want to spend your days editing Instagram photos for 5 hours a day and checking out other profiles for another 5, or do you want to live your actual life, connecting with real humans in the flesh, going out in nature, playing with animals, running around, smiling and enjoying living?

#26. Spending Too Much Time With Drama And Gossip

Gossip prevents you from focusing on your life, developing your passions and living your dreams. Drama can be stressful, draining and painful. Who needs these?! Seriously! Focus on meaningful things instead.

regret, mindfulness, old

#27. Not Developing A Network

Networking can sound cliche when you are young and draining if you are an introvert. But having a network can really help you out in life. Getting a job, finding a volunteer opportunity, fundraising for a cause, getting useful tips and even getting inspired by others is so much easier with a good network.

#28. Never Taking A Big Risk

This goes back to not living your dreams, but letting your fears, other people’s dreams and outside expectations dictate your life. Remember, your dreams are outside of your comfort zone. Yes, you may fall on your face. That’s why it’s called a risk. But there is no such thing as failure in life, only gifts of learning experiences. Trying and falling feels so much better than always wondering. And some – or many! – of your big jumps will be successful and bring magic to your life.

#29. Worrying Too Much

Worry is time consuming, stressful and is unnecessary. You cannot control the future and cannot control the world around you. Consider what are you worried about? Is it in your control?

If you can’t control it – like the weather, politics, other people’s thoughts or your future – then there is no need to worry about it. If you can control it – like your thoughts, feelings and behavior – or at least influence it in one way – like your health and happiness – you may as well not worry about it, but think positive thoughts and take positive actions instead.

#30. Staying In The Wrong Relationship

If you are in an abusive relationship, get out NOW! You don’t deserve to be treated poorly. If you have realized that you are with the wrong person, heading to different directions, wishing to be with someone else, or despite real efforts can’t get through your difficulties, it is better for the both of you to say goodbye rather than drag it out for months or years on end.

#31. Not Giving A Chance To The Right Relationship

On the other hand, in today’s world, there is a pressure to have everything perfect all the time. Too many people leave meaningful relationships too quickly, moving onto the next person without making an effort to create magic together. But think about those people in their 70s, 80s or 90s right now who have shared their marriage for 50 years or longer. They will be the first to tell you that relationships are not always perfect honeymoon times. There will be ups and downs in life.

Relationships are commitments that involve mutual effort, conversations, adjustments, trials and error. Don’t run away the first time your partner has left a dirty sock on the floor, doesn’t call you back right away or doesn’t buy you the perfect birthday gift. Focus on the beauty you are creating together. Approach your relationship from love. If you feel stuck, but that your love is too important, don’t be afraid to ask for help, go to couples counseling and make changes together.

Again, if it doesn’t feel right anymore, don’t waste each other’s time. If you are in an abusive relationship, leave. But if you are in love and know that it is worth it, don’t call it quits when you hit a bump on the road.

#31. Saving Money On Experiences

Experiences are what make life worth it. It may be a trip abroad, going to your favorite band’s concert, visiting Disneyland with your kids, attending a personal development workshop, going on a retreat, going skydiving, going to a Broadway show, visiting family living far away, driving to see the solar eclipse, or anything else. Some experiences are free, while others cost money. Some may cost a lot. But if your heart says ‘yessss,’ then it worth it. Don’t get stingy when it comes to experiences. Live life!

regret, mindfulness, old

#32. Saving Money On Your Health

Grabbing a huge bag of chips at the dollar store or a meal off the dollar menu may seem like a good choice in the moment, but in the long run it won’t be. Processed ingredients and processed sugar will catch up with you and will lead to health issues down the line.

Looking at the state of our healthcare system, you will pay more for all the doctor visits, tests and medications (that may not even help) down the line than you are saving today. Take care of your health today: choose healthy foods, move your body, drink lots of water, sleep plenty and don’t forget to breathe.

And to let you in on a little secret: if you plan your meals well, shop at farmer’s markets, watch the sales at your local stores, buy bulk and cook your own meals, eating healthy can actually be pretty affordable and super delicious.

#33. Spending Too Much On Stuff

So you want to eat healthy, treat your body with a massage or go on a trip, but you can’t afford it. But why? I hear you about a potentially low salary, student loans, mortgage, daycare, gas money and all that. It’s true, life can be expensive. But look around you. How much stuff do you own? When was the last time you bought something just because it looked fun or cute, but you didn’t actually need it? When was the last time you impulse-bought something to fill an emotional void?

I am not suggesting that you throw away all your things and own one t-shirt only, but there is a lot to learn from minimalists. Instead of piling up more and more unnecessary things, spend your money on your health and meaningful experiences in life.

#35. Not Taking Care Of The Environment More

We only have one Earth to live on. We share this Earth together and we are all responsible for it. Unless we start taking care of it now, we will regret it and will have nowhere to live. Besides, you want to be part of a beautiful collective effort of saving and taking care of our Earth for ourselves and future generations.

#36. Not Spending Enough Time With Loved Ones

How many times have you said you will visit so-and-so later? How many times do you actually do that. Even if you live for a 100 years, life is short. Take the opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones. Quality is the key – make every moment count.

#37. Not Being Grateful

Life is a gift. We all go through ups and downs. There will be rain, but there comes the sun and the rainbow too. Eventually you will realize that every moment on this Earth is a true gift we all share. Don’t wait until you believe it. Practice gratitude now.

regret, mindfulness, old

If you use this list as a guide, you will have a greater chance to cultivate happiness, health and love in your life. It is less likely that you will end up with regrets later. Don’t use this list as a source of entertainment, but act accordingly now to live a magical life today, tomorrow, the day after and the rest of your life.

Did any of these points hit any pain-points for you? What changes will you make in your life after reading this list? What are the most important things in your life? How will you lead your life from now on to create a beautiful, happy, healthy and love-filled experience? Do you have other tips to create your best life? Share in the comments below. Remember, we are in this together, we would love to create the best life ever with you.

No juicer? No problem! Organifi Green Juice is a carefully selected blend of 11 different superfoods including turmeric, spirulina, lemon, mint, moringa and more. It was formulated for busy women and men who are looking for a way to super boost their health and support their lifestyle without spending a lot of time or money in the kitchen. Try it today!

If you’re looking to speak directly with a member of our team regarding your health concerns and how we can help, give us a call: 619-404-3133. We love hearing from you!


Kat Gal

Kat Gal

Health Writer & Freelance Writing Mentor at Kat Gal Writer / Freelance Writer School
Kat Gál is a holistic health writer who helps health, wellness, and nutrition businesses to market their products and services through quality online content. She is also a freelance writing mentor teaching wanna-be-freelancers how to make a living writing at freelancewriterschool.com. Reach out if you are looking for amazing blog content at katgalwriter@gmail.com or katgalwriter.com. Visit freelancewriterschool.com for freelance writing tips. Follow me on Instagram @freelancewriterschool and on Facebook at facebook.com/katgalwriter.
Kat Gal


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