It’s an age-old question, and one I often ponder – is there anything I would do differently if I could go back in time?
For some people, the answer is a resounding YES! They have regrets about things they did – or didn’t do – that haunt them, and they would definitely go back in time for a do-over.
Others find it harder to pinpoint specific regrets. Perhaps they feel like they’ve made the best of what life has presented them with, or maybe they just don’t dwell on the past.
While I have a few things I would consider doing differently if I had my time again, I know they were there for me to experience and learn from.
I have my rocking chair test – I imagine myself well into my 90s, sitting in my rocking chair on the front veranda of my home overlooking the ocean, reflecting on my life. When I’m sitting in this rocking chair looking back on life, I don’t want their to be any regrets.
Whatever your stance on regrets, there’s no denying that living a life with no regrets is an admirable goal. After all, who doesn’t want to look back on their life with fondness and satisfaction?
So how do you go about achieving a regret-free life? Here are some tips:
1. Don’t dwell on the past
This one is easier said than done, but it’s important to remember that you can’t change what’s already happened. There’s no use dwelling on mistakes or missed opportunities – all you can do is learn from them and move on.
2. Live in the present
It’s easy to get caught up in planning for the future or wallowing in nostalgia, but the only time you have is right now. Make the most of each day and appreciate the good moments as they happen.
3. Set yourself goals
Dream big and aim high and set goals that will help you bring your dreams alive. Break them down into manageable action steps that you can take every day to move you closer to making them happen.
4. Be kind to yourself
We all make mistakes or do things that may not be our best work, but that doesn’t mean we’re bad people, or no good, or not worthy or whatever story you’re telling yourself. Cut yourself some slack and don’t beat yourself up over these things. Refer to point 1 above – don’t dwell on the past. Learn from your mistakes so you don’t make them again!
5. Let go of grudges and forgive
Holding a grudge will only make you feel bitter and resentful. If someone has wronged you, forgive them and move on. Forgiveness is the ‘cosmic delete button’ – it helps you to release and dissolve judgements. Life is too short to harbour negative emotions. Also forgive yourself for any judgments you’re making about who you are and what you’ve done.
6. Cherish relationships
The people in our lives are what make life worth living. Cherish your relationships and let the people who matter know how much they mean to you.
7. Live with purpose
Find something that brings meaning to your life and strive to make a difference. Whether it’s volunteering, campaigning for a cause you believe in, or simply being there for your loved ones, living with purpose will help you to feel good about yourself and the life your living.
8. Be true to yourself
Know what’s important to you and live in full alignment with this. Be authentic and don’t let other people dictate how you should live your life. Follow your heart and do what makes you happy. At the end of the day, it’s your life!
9. Enjoy the journey
The destination is important, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Relish in the small moments and create memories that you’ll look back on fondly. This is your lifetime to live – make it what you want it to be.
Following these tips won’t guarantee a life free from regrets, but it’s a good place to start. Remember, it’s never too late to make a change and start living with no regrets. So why not make today the day you start working towards a happier, more fulfilled life?
When you’re sitting in your rocking chair and reflecting on your life, what do you want your life to be like?
Until next time, hugs & happiness