April 26, 2024

Changes to Make in Your 40s

When I hit my 40s, I felt like a whole new world opened up to me. There was a lot of license to do things differently, although I can't exactly explain why. Some of it is just age and comfort in who you are as a person, and some is realizing you could be halfway through your life. So then you want to make the most of it. Changes to make in your 40s revolve around improved happiness and growth, at least for me. I can much more easily take things with a grain of salt and more level-headed than I ever have. That makes me feel good. Here I lay out some of the changes I've made and why. If you're approaching, in, or past your 40s, you will understand and likely relate.

Less Makeup is More - No Cakey Foundation on This Face

Wear Less Makeup

Maybe this is because I am into the French girl thing, or maybe it’s because I love my skin more than ever. Wearing less makeup is one of the big changes to make in your 40s because as we age, less is more. Caking on makeup to your inevitable under-eye wrinkles looks tired, and makes you look older. Sport your natural look by getting rid of the heavy foundation and replacing it with tinted moisturizer. You’ll look more beautiful than ever. My natural skin regenerator is local bee pollen. Check it out if you don’t know about it.

Sunscreen Every Day

I’m fair, and wearing sunscreen is something I should’ve been doing my entire life. However, you don’t know what you don’t know, and I didn’t in my early years. I pay for those early mistakes by annual dermatology appointments with occasional biopsies, putting fear in me that I have or will have skin cancer. One of the changes to make in your 40s if you haven’t already is to wear that sunscreen. Make sure it’s a mineral sunscreen - it’s what the pros recommend. Throw on a hat to add another layer of protection. Protect that skin!

Chicken Pesto Pasta - Ingredients from the Farmers Market

Eat Out Less, Eat at Home More

Going out to eat used to excite me, but something happened years ago and it lost some of its luster. Adding cooking at home to the changes to make in your 40s will do many things: save you money, monitor what you’re putting into your body, and grow your cooking skills. If the last one isn’t important, I understand. Here is my list of easy dinner ideas to help you past this slump. Since I’ve been cooking at home more, I realized that stellar ingredients matter to make a meal taste good. I shop at the farmers market so I can make five star meals in the comfort of my own home. And I get all the accolades when I share them.

Outside Yoga Will Do!

Exercise Regularly and Frequently

Not exercising or doing it minimally? Time to ramp it up. Our body starts thinking it has the right to crap out from here on out, but we have to stop that. Doing some strength training will give your muscles something to talk about. What does that mean? Pushups, planks, arm exercises with weights. All of this will help you when your nice and ripe later on in life. If you haven’t implemented this, it’s a good one to add to changes to make in your 40s. Walking, yoga, and Pilates are my main exercises, and I do them 4x per week. Instead of going for that cocktail, go for a walk with a friend. It’s hard to regret doing something that gives you endorphin boosts, so hop (or plank) to it.

Education Through Books and Podcasts

I’ve quoted him before and I’ll do it again. Jim Kwik says “readers are leaders.” I wholeheartedly believe that. Most people I deeply admire and respect are readers. Not all, but most. Being open to learning is paramount. There’s little excuse with our technologically savvy world, so if you don’t like reading, do an audio book. Podcasts can also be learning about a city you love, a master class with Mel Robbins, or teach you how to kill your cheating husband in a true crime episode. I say drop the last one and focus on how to improve yourself. Here is a list of my favorite podcasts to listen to. So many people I know still don’t listen to podcasts, but while you’re at the rest of the list, add it to changes to make in your 40s so you aren’t left behind.

Therapy, My Friends

If you’re in your 40s and have yet to step a toe in a therapist’s office, stop reading this and make an appointment with someone. I’m not telling you that you’re completely f***ed up, but you might be. We all have so much that we carry around in life, and some changes to make in your 40s should include inner peace and acceptance of yourself. That’s what therapy does. It isn’t so you can be criticized and called out with no support. Therapy has given me license to revamp my life over and over, with the support of an unbiased person who truly does want the best for me. I can’t recommend it enough, and I credit therapy to a lot of my bold and confident moves I’ve made in life to better it.

If It's Not a Hell Yes, It's a No

Stop spending time on things and people you don’t like. Assess what you’re doing, who you’re spending time with, and see how you feel after. During a growth spurt in my life, I decided that I would rate how I felt after interacting with everyone I saw regularly. If I felt emotionally hungover and depleted, I stopped spending time with them or doing the activity. When someone or something lit me up, that was the safety zone. The chopping block has got to happen in order for you to be happy. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s imperative. And just so you know, you’re also getting reviewed by at least a couple of people you know, so don’t feel bad about these changes to make in your 40s. We’re adults. It’s ok to grow up and out of people and activities.

I'm a Photographer!

Light Yourself Up

Changes to make in your 40s is also about finding things you love to do and saying yes to these things. How do you know you don’t like tap dancing if you’ve never tried it? What about learning a language? Expanding yourself is a huge benefit of getting older because we tend to not care so much about what others think. I recently started photographing people, something I didn’t do before; only landscapes. It has been one of the most exciting and fun things I’ve done. I’ve found people in my network who give me their time, and even their money, to photograph them so they feel good about that dating profile picture. More and more, I discover things I like because I just try them. You’re not dead till you’re dead, so let’s not act like it.

Be Intentional About Your Time

A big one, here. Intentionality in general is crucial because we only have one life. Our time is our most valuable asset, and the older we get, the quicker it seems to pass. Youth is wasted on the young, but while you’re still relatively young (ok, middle aged technically), be aware of where your time goes. I’ve found that changes to make in your 40s around time intentionality is a hot topic. I get a lot done in a shorter amount of time these days because I don’t spend my time on nonsense. Some of the time is reading, snuggling my pets, or going for a walk. My businesses both continue to grow because I give them the space to do so and I don’t spend unproductive hours doing things that don’t matter. Time is precious, so make sure you know how you want to spend it and act accordingly.

Group Travel Trip to the Christmas Markets in Germany and Austria

Travel, Travel, Travel

More and more, I think about travel in twenty or so years. How will it look? What will it feel like to get on a plane, crammed in a seat, and walking all over Europe? Will I feel strong and capable, or will my body fight me? Because I’m technically middle aged for the average US woman, this is a big deal for me. One of the changes to make in your 40s is to just go. To travel where you want to go and stop waiting on people. Go alone. Not for you? There are group travel experiences where you meet amazing humans, or go with a pal or significant other you already know. Life is brief, and some of those years might not be as good of quality as others. So book the ticket, get in the car, or hop on the train and go. Get out of here. Why are you still here?

Fiercely Love Your People

You can tell when someone loves you and you can tell when someone doesn’t. Some of the changes to make in your 40s is to be vulnerable and tell those ride-or-dies that you love them. Show them by small acts of kindness and verbal cues. We go through life hiding our feelings from people. I’ve been the recipient of it many times and it’s painful. I’ve also been the recipient of vulnerable love. My decision in the recent has been to tell my friends that I care very much about them and deeply value them. I give them specific reasons for this, and don’t try to hide my like and love. It boosts both of our levels of confidence and serotonin, and they are more likely to pass that along to someone else. Couldn’t we all use more love in our lives? I know I can.

It's Not About You

I may be preaching what I practice too little, but I’m going to preach it anyway. After reading the book The Four Agreements, the biggest agreement I took away was that people’s actions are not personal to me. While I still struggle greatly with not personalizing things, I’ve gotten markedly better at it. Changes to make in your 40s includes not taking stuff so personally. It will lighten your load and get the albatross of doubt off of your back. Not wondering what you did to make someone act the way they did is a gift to yourself. It’s not even about you. In my experience, it’s from the dysfunction I grew up in that I do it, but in de-personalizing my parents’ behaviors, I can work on mine. It’s an everyday work in progress, but one I’m so glad to be working on.

Gotta Have Faith

George Michael said it best, and I’ll just go with that. My faith has been paramount to me getting through a lot of tough times in my adult life. I feel more confident about speaking about it, and if you don’t like that I have faith, buh bye. I’m not interested in being told how to run my life in the faith department, as I don’t want to dictate yours. If you’re struggling with the confidence to be more open about your faith, changes to make in your 40s includes walking in it and being proud. Haters are always going to hate, and if someone likes you without knowing of your faith, why wouldn’t they like you after learning you are a faithful person? I like Jesus; I think he is cool. And I’ve gotten through a lot with his help. That’s that.

Menopause on the Brain

Ten years ago I couldn’t fathom discussing or thinking about menopause. Yet here I am. I feel my body changing all the time, and I have to reckon with it. I’ve done a bunch of research on how to attempt to ease into it more, and I can only hope it works. I’m confident that I’m in the perimenopause stage, so the train has left the station. Luckily more and more doctors are getting educated on this topic, as it has been grossly understudied and there isn’t enough research around it. Changes to make in your 40s is to buckle up and prepare for menopause, or as our not-so-distant ancestors say “the change.”

This Just a Start

I’m not saying this is a comprehensive list, but it’s a good one. There’s always stuff to do in life, changes to make, revamping and such. Changes to make in your 40s is nothing but exciting, and can confidently be embraced like a warm hug. We are freer than ever from the mental shackles. Expansion continues to happen, and the older we get, the happier we get typically. That’s a scientific fact. I’m looking forward to each and every year in my 40s. As I see my friends hitting their 50s, I think there is even more to delight in. Approaching change with a positive attitude helps take the unease out of it. It’s going to happen anyway, and I say let’s just rock our 40s like the rockstars we are.

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