Welcome to the 40s
Are you determined to begin living your best life after 40?
Have you spent the majority of your adult life catering to and caring for others? i.e. children, spouse, employer?
Have you hit the 40 mark and feel ready for life to really begin?
Yes, Yes and Yes!
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They say life begins at 40 after all…and what with 40 being the new 30, we have a ten year roll over so it’s all good.
Sadly a lot of people see this transition as getting uncomfortably closer to the top of the hill, but we aren’t about that life at all.
I actually looked forward to turning 40.
I’d be settled and comfy in my skin and the kids would be less dependent, I can concentrate more on myself. Of course everything wouldn’t magically fall into place on the stroke of midnight on the big day, but I’d made a conscious decision to DO ME.
Being a young mum, I spent (or sacrificed) my 20s and 30s raising my awesome offspring.
Living MY best life was not on the agenda.
Instead of travelling, partying and such, it was nappies to school runs, pocket money to overpriced footwear!
But now the heavy duty work is done, I’m trading ‘get your head outta there’ for ‘dinners in the oven, call if you need me’.
If like me, you are a mum with children who are now at a more independent stage of their lives, you may now feel that gaping hole which was filled with the parental responsibilities that come with young children.
No more school runs and parents evenings (Hallelujah)
I’m ready to live my best life, I think I deserve it! I’ve turned 40, kids are grown and even they tell me I need to get out there and enjoy life.
Still not sure how to feel when my 16yr old DD basically tells me to get a life…in the nicest possible way of course.
Time to Live your best life
Turning 40 is a significant time of life I think, a perfect time to practice some self analysis.
You can look back at your achievements, reflect, give thanks and plan for the future.
At 40, we can embrace this sweet transition and make the conscious decision to live our best life. After all we can’t press pause!
So where do we start?
1. ELIMINATE TOXINS
How much toxins do you have in in your life?
Remember toxins come in all shapes, sizes and forms.
Get rid of them all…
- toxic habits
- toxic foods
- toxic people
- toxic environments
Surround yourself with positive quotes, positive things, positive energy and positive people.
2. LIVE HEALTHY
How many changes have you noticed in the way your body works?
I celebrated a friend’s 40th a few years ago with a great night out. Partying, drinking and dancing all night. Nothing I hadn’t done before (years before, admittedly).
But OMG I experienced a hangover like I’d never experienced before.
Well that night showed me those days were well and truly over. After finally admitting to myself that it was my body screaming for mercy, not alcohol poisoning, I set myself a drink limit for those now rare occasions.
Your metabolism is another glitch. No longer will those excess calories burn off with ease. As you age, your metabolic rate decelerates, fair enough.
So if you feel you don’t already, it’s time to respect our bodies as such…if we want to remain healthy.
Processed and junk food may be convenient at times but you should cut it out of your life as much as you can.
If it’s something you haven’t taken too seriously up until now, you really should get on board ASAP. It not only benefits you, your family will reap the benefits also and will get into the habits for themselves. (Everyone follows Mum)
There are so much resources available to encourage healthy eating and living.
Get some inspiration for great nutritious meals from my healthy eating board and develop a meal plan to keep you on track. You can get my helpful template here, just fill it in and go.
Do you jump up in the morning ready to get that heart pumping and eager to slay your day?
Well I haven’t reached this stage…yet.
And that’s ok if you haven’t either, take baby steps. Why not take note of how physical your day is and make a conscious decision to bump up activities that you already do.
A smart watch is a great way to track your physical activity. For example, if you walk an average of 10,000 steps a day, why not set a goal of 15,000.
After getting a Fitbit watch as a gift (someone was hinting), I realised how little I walk when I’m not working, so I set my steps goal and make sure I smash it every day. It can do so much more than than count your steps. You can set challenges for yourself and challenge friends too, amoung other things.
The kids see how much fun my friends and I have trying to out step each other and now want one too. (See what I mean, everyone follows Mum!)
Gym or home exercise
Gyms are so much more flexible than they used to be. You don’t have to be tied into a contract if you don’t really want to. Pay As You Gym is an online fitness network that will help you find a gym and get flexible access.
If you prefer to exercise in the comfort of your own home, there are so many resources available to support and guide you in ways to get and stay fit. You can follow a DVD, use a fancy machine or just grab your mat and go.
3. TAKE TIME TO UNWIND
It’s so important to find effective ways to unwind, find peace in your day and just relax sometimes so you can enjoy life’s journey.
Yoga is a great way to unwind and focus, if you do it properly. Why not check out your local gym to find out about local classes and take the leap.
Too nervous to stretch in public?
I found an article listing the yoga videos you can watch on Youtube to start you off. So all you need to do is grab your yoga mat and stretch to your hearts desire in the comfort of your own home.
Meditation is another recommended method to unwind. One my goals is to make meditation a daily habit. It’s so easy to allow all the noise to take over sometimes, so it’s important to find calm in the storms of everyday life.
If you often find yourself feeling stressed or anxious, it’s important to pay attention to your feelings and address them. Self-care and good mental health are so important.
We all have down times but continuous negative thoughts may be a sign of depression and for this you may need to seek professional help.
A soothing bath is another great way to unwind. There is a variety of products available to aid relaxation during your bath. If you are not fond of the store bought kind, how about learning to make your own.
4. BOOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY
Do you have trouble fitting everything into your day?
We all have 24 hours in each day. It’s what we do with those hours that determine whether they are productive or not.
If you were to do an audit of your day would you be satisfied with what you have achieved with your time?
There are so many distractions to prevent us from using our time productively.
Think TV, Netflix, social media The trick is to use these things smartly, don’t overuse them or you may end up wasting half of your day.
Make the most of your day and read great strategies to make you more productive.
Plan your time wisely
Does your day and week have structure?
I’ll admit, it’s been real hard for me to develop a daily routine that I could stick to, especially since I’m NOT a morning person. But I learned that having structure to your day and week is so important to fit everything in, especially when you have a family.
Create routines that will keep you on track and stick to them. Display them somewhere you can see them if you need to.
You can use planners, apps and printables to help you keep track of your day. There’s so much available, just find what works for you and tweak it if you have to
5. MAKE SOME GOALS AND SMASH ‘EM
We all have dreams and aspirations. Some little and some big.
That’s easy because it costs us nothing to dream.
But making your dreams into reality is going to take a lot more focus, determination and goal-planning.
WHERE TO START
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Ever heard that saying? So true.
You can achieve your goals no matter your circumstances, but you need to make a plan and stay focused.
My problem was I drifted in and out of productivity mode, and barely wrote things down. When I did, they’d end up in a notebook or pile of papers that didn’t get rediscovered for another 2 years.
Not productive at all.
There are so many ways to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind to ensure that everything you do is calculated to take you closer to achievement.
MAKE A GOAL CHART
Imagine your goal is a pizza cut into slices.
You’d eat a slice at a time right?
You’d have to take manageable bites to finish each slice. You will eventually finish your hypothetical pizza, be hypothetically full and totally satisfied. (with none of the calories)
Make a list/chart/table of your goals. The steps you need to get to them. Break them down into sizeable tasks you can deal with. Do not put your goals on that desk that you know needs decluttering. It’ll just get lost in the funk or end up a coffee coaster.
If like me, that tends to happen, decluttering should probably be one of your goals.
Some goal examples:
- Declutter your home
- Stick to a budget and save some money
- Start a blog
- Redecorate a room
MAKE A VISION BOARD
Oh how I love vision boards. I’m definitely a visual person and respond to images more than anything else.
They are not for everyone, the thought of cutting out pictures and sticking things to things may take you hurtling back to school day craft sessions.
Your goals can be sorted into short-term weekly goals, or longer term annual, 5yr and 10 yr goals.
Think of a map, if you see the destination, you can work out the journey.
Seeing them every day will keep them fresh in your mind and keep your spirit motivated.
If you have a family, they’ll also help keep you on track, especially if they know the goals will make you a better, happier version of yourself.
Put your goals and aspirations somewhere that you can see them every day to remind you to make sure all roads lead to success.
If you want to make a vision board, read my step by step guide to making your own vision board.
TAKE MASSIVE ACTION NOT PASSIVE ACTION
Now physically work towards your goals!
Take my goal to start a blog as an example. I’d taken so much passive action to make this blog a reality. I’ve read ebooks, articles and taken courses.
But the blog would only materialise once I started taking Massive action, by using what I had learnt, signing up for SiteGround and writing posts.
When making your goals and deciding on your tasks you need to do, think massive action.
6. DO THINGS TO MAKE YOU SMILE
I’ve been lacking joy in my heart because I haven’t done as much of the things I’ve wanted to do that are important, interesting and enjoyable to me. My fault I know, I’ve been one of those yes people who puts others feelings before their own. (Bad, bad idea)
If you have this problem, address it now! Don’t add anymore regrets, time is moving on and you can’t press pause on life!
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING?
Do you have any hobbies that may have been put on the back burner? Somewhere you’d like to visit? A movie or theatre production you’d like to see?
Don’t wait for company. DIBY…Do it by yourself
So what if no one wants to come along.
If you have to talk someone into coming along with you, it’ll probably ruin the experience for you anyway.
Spending even 2-3 hours a week doing something just for you, just because you enjoy it, can be so therapeutic.
7. CREATE A BUCKET LIST
What else have you put on the back burner, waiting for the right time?
We all have wild things we want to get done before we leave the Earth. But your bucket list doesn’t have to be wild, just step out of the box a little more than you’re used to.
Leave the comfort zone once and for all.
Make yourself a bucket list so you can check off all those great things you want to do or experience.
Maybe you’d like to…
TAKE A TRIP
Taking a holiday to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit, even if you travel alone, could change your life. Maybe you could find an organised travel group. Just be sure to travel safely and responsibly and let loved ones know your plans and itinerary.
If a holiday just isn’t on the cards right now. Stick it on your goal list and visit somewhere closer to home. Perhaps a museum you’ve not visited, or a neighbouring city where you could catch a show at the theatre perhaps.
EMBRACE A NEW HOBBY
Learn a new craft maybe. I love making jewellery and unique gifts. I used books and the Internet to learn different techniques. However, I’ve always been fascinated with cake decorating, especially now with all the amazing creations found on the net.
8. LOVE AND APPRECIATE YOURSELF
I just called to say I love MEEEEE…
Answer that call and put some loving on yourself.
You’re GREAT and don’t you forget it!
I hope that if you feel you aren’t living your best life now, this post has given you incentive to start the ball rolling.
You don’t have to reach 40 to evaluate your life and improve areas that you feel need improving.
What steps are you taking to live your best life?
Are you already living your best life and have some super tips to share?