If you want to thrive as you get older, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors

Mia Zhang by Mia Zhang | March 22, 2024, 12:51 pm

Getting older is as much about letting go as it is about learning new things. And if you truly want to thrive as you age, there are certain behaviors you need to bid farewell to.

It’s all about choice. Holding onto these habits can make the journey more difficult, while consciously deciding to let them go can open up a world of possibilities.

Believe it or not, there are specific behaviors smart folks know to ditch as they get older. They understand that success in aging isn’t just about adding new habits but also about shedding the old ones.

Here are 9 such behaviors you may want to consider saying goodbye to on your path towards aging gracefully. Let’s dive in!

1) Saying ‘yes’ to everything

As we age, we quickly realize that our time and energy are finite resources.

Often, in the spirit of being helpful or not wanting to disappoint, we find ourselves saying ‘yes’ to everything. From taking on extra tasks at work to attending social events we’re not keen on, this habit can leave us feeling drained and overcommitted.

The art of saying ‘no’ is something that smart folks master as they get older. It’s not about being selfish or uncooperative, but about understanding your limits and prioritizing your needs.

You know, every ‘yes’ you give is a ‘no’ to something else – perhaps something that matters more to you. Try to consider what you’re trading off each time you agree to something.

2) Procrastinating

I’ll be honest, I used to be a master procrastinator. If there was a task that I found unappealing or challenging, I would find all sorts of creative ways to delay starting it.

But as I got older, I realized that procrastination was doing me more harm than good. Tasks would pile up, deadlines would loom closer, and the stress levels would skyrocket. It was a cycle that left me feeling overwhelmed and unproductive.

One day, I decided to tackle this habit head-on. I started breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable parts. I began prioritizing tasks based on their importance and urgency. And most importantly, I learned to just get started – even if it was just for five minutes.

This simple shift in approach made a world of difference. Tasks didn’t seem as daunting anymore, the quality of my work improved, and I found myself with extra time to relax and enjoy life.

So if you’re a procrastinator like I was, consider this: the time you spend delaying tasks is time you could have used to complete them and move on to things you truly enjoy. Trust me, your future self will thank you for it.

3) Neglecting physical health

We’ve all heard the saying, “health is wealth,” and as we get older, this adage holds even more truth. When we are young, we often take our health for granted. We may skip meals, pull all-nighters, or neglect regular exercise due to our busy schedules.

However, did you know that by the age of 50, the average person’s muscle mass decreases by up to 10%? And this can increase to a 15% loss each decade after that. This loss of muscle mass, known as sarcopenia, can lead to weakness, fractures, and a poor quality of life.

This is why maintaining physical health becomes increasingly critical as we age. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate rest are not just good habits; they can significantly impact your life quality.

4) Sticking to your comfort zone

As we age, it’s easy to fall into the trap of sticking to what’s familiar. We hold on to routines, habits, and activities that we’re comfortable with, often missing out on new experiences and opportunities.

But here’s the catch. Growth often happens outside our comfort zones. Trying new things, taking risks, and embracing challenges can lead to personal development and a more fulfilling life.

Smart individuals understand this. They know that stepping out of their comfort zone is key to learning, growth, and adaptability.

Try a new hobby, travel to an unfamiliar place, or learn a new skill. Who knows? You may discover a passion you never knew you had or meet people who could change your life.

5) Holding onto grudges

As we journey through life, it’s inevitable that we’ll encounter situations or individuals that hurt or disappoint us. It’s a natural reaction to feel upset and hold onto these negative feelings.

But as we grow older, holding onto grudges becomes less about the person who wronged us and more about the negative impact it has on our own well-being. Harboring resentment can lead to stress, anxiety, and even physical health problems.

Smart people understand the importance of forgiveness. It doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to us but rather choosing to let go of the anger and resentment for our own peace of mind.

6) Neglecting meaningful relationships

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to lose sight of the people who truly matter. We often get so caught up in our careers, personal pursuits, or day-to-day tasks that we forget to invest time and energy into nurturing our relationships.

But here’s something I’ve learned over the years: meaningful relationships are the cornerstone of a fulfilled life. They provide support in times of struggle, joy in times of happiness, and a sense of belonging that’s crucial for our well-being.

As we get older, these relationships become even more valuable. Friends and family can provide a support system, offer wisdom, and bring love and joy into our lives.

Why take a moment to reach out to those you care about. Catch up with an old friend, spend quality time with your family, or express your appreciation for someone special in your life?

At the end of the day, it’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our lives that truly matters.

7) Avoiding change

Change can be unsettling. I remember a time when I was uprooted from a job I loved due to unforeseen circumstances. I was terrified. The thought of starting over, of stepping into the unknown, it felt like too much to handle.

But as time passed, I discovered that change brought with it new opportunities, growth, and even happiness that I couldn’t have anticipated.

Change is a part of life. As we get older, we can either resist it, causing ourselves unnecessary stress and anxiety, or we can learn to embrace it.

Embracing change doesn’t mean that it won’t be scary or difficult, but it does mean recognizing the potential for personal growth and new opportunities.

8) Overloading your schedule

In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do it all. We often fill our schedules to the brim, thinking that being busy equates to being productive or successful.

But the truth is, overloading your schedule can lead to stress, burnout, and a lack of balance in your life. It can rob you of the time you need to rest, rejuvenate, and enjoy the things and people you love.

As we get older, it becomes increasingly important to prioritize our tasks and commitments. This means saying ‘no’ to things that don’t align with our values or goals and focusing on what truly matters.

9) Ignoring self-care

At its core, thriving as you get older comes down to one crucial thing: taking care of yourself. This goes beyond just physical health. It’s about nurturing your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being too.

Self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s about setting boundaries, taking time for activities you love, practicing mindfulness, and treating yourself with kindness and respect.

As we age, prioritizing self-care becomes even more vital. It forms the foundation for a healthier, happier life and enables us to show up as the best version of ourselves.

So if there’s one behavior you should never say goodbye to as you get older, it’s self-care. Prioritize it. Cherish it. Because at the end of the day, you’re worth it!

Final thoughts: The journey of aging

Aging is a journey, an inevitable part of life that we all travel through. And much like any journey, it can be filled with unexpected twists and turns, challenging terrains, and beautiful vistas.

As we navigate this journey, the behaviors we choose to let go of can have a profound impact on our life’s quality. They can shape our experiences, influence our well-being, and ultimately determine how we thrive in our older years.

However, it’s important to note that: Aging is not just saying goodbye to certain behaviors. It’s more about embracing the wisdom that comes with experience, the resilience built from overcoming challenges, and the joy found in meaningful relationships.

Because at the end of the day, aging is not just about surviving; it’s about thriving. And each one of us has the power to make that choice for ourselves.