While it is easy to look back on your life and see where you could have done things differently, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Your mistakes are there to teach you lessons, and your successes are there to remind you that your life hasn't been all that bad. With that said, everyone has regrets. Here are 10 simple things to try and avoid regretting later in life.
1. Taking that vacation
Whether it is Europe, Disney World, or Hawaii, there must be one place on the top of your list where you've always wanted to go. Make sure to take the time and go now. Ten years from now you still won't have money to go (or so you think), and you'll have even less time and more excuses.
2. Recording your life
I know, keeping a journal is so ninth grade, but it actually is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. One of my biggest regrets is that I did not keep a journal during my most craziest time of life — my teenage years. Make sure to keep a record of what you do. It doesn't have to be a journal, it can be a scrapbook, blog or even a YouTube channel. As more time passes it gets harder to remember the little things. Record them in some way, not only for you but for future generations as well. You may think your life is boring now, but 10 years from now you'll wish you remembered what it was like.
3. Getting your education
While it is never too late to get your education, there is a reason most universities are filled with 20 somethings. Being in school usually means living on a shoe-string budget, pulling all-nighters and spending hours in a study hall, something that is hard to do when you have a family and need a job that pays more than a student's wage.
4. Doing something really crazy
For me it was taking up rock climbing. I went with some people I barely knew and felt like a fool my first time climbing up those rocks. But after a whole summer of climbing, during my junior year of college, I became pretty good. Now I look back with fond memories and a feeling of accomplishment. Do I rock climb now? No. I have a husband and kids who I feel deserve my safety more than me having some thrills. Maybe for you it is sky diving or learning to surf. Whatever it is, do something that your kids would never believe you actually did.
5. Saying you're sorry
You may have been right. You may have been hurt. But holding a grudge or letting pride destroy a relationship is one of the biggest regrets you may have in years to come. Be the bigger person, say you're sorry and move on. Or accept someone else's forgiveness. Your relationship may never be the same, but at least you know you did everything you could.
The younger you start, the more you will have when you actually retire. It may be hard to agree to put $20, $30 or even $40 of your paycheck into your 401K, but you honestly won't miss the money (you never saw it in the first place) and your 65-year-old self will thank you.
7. Pushing fear aside
Is there something you've always wanted to do but were too afraid to try? Moving away from home? Quitting your job? Starting your own business? All of these things can be scary, but if you never try then you will never know what could have happened. If you fail, at least you know it didn't work. You can learn from your mistakes and do something even better. Don't let fear be your biggest regret.
8. Learning life skills
Learning to cook, clean, budget and sew on a button are not that fun, but they will help you throughout your whole life. Trust me, you will not want cheese quesadillas and ramen noodles forever. If you are a man or a woman, learn the basics of keeping a house while you can. It is a great skill for when you become a husband, wife, parent and even neighbor.
9. Falling head over heels in love
A lot of people are afraid to fall in love. Afraid that they are too young, too busy, too old, too picky, or even too shy to let someone into their life. Let go of your insecurities, and let someone sweep you off your feet. Give your heart to them completely and enjoy the feeling of being in love. Maybe you will spend the rest of your life with that person — maybe you won't — but sometimes heartbreak is the toughest, yet most important, lesson life can teach us. You will learn more about yourself and become a stronger person in the end.
10. Making a bucket list
Don't wait until you're rich and retired to make your bucket list. You can start today. Career goals, dream vacations, and secret desires are all things you can start achieving now. Take some time to decide what it is you really want in this life. Make a list of these things, and don't be afraid to go after the moment as it arises. The goal is to have to add more items to your list because you've crossed them all off, not to leave this life with your list still full.
Keep in mind it is never too late to begin embarking on any of these items. You are never too old, too poor or too shy. Take the time so start now, you will be glad you did 10 years from now.