What I’m Doing At 39 To Avoid Regret At 79

In 160 days I turn 40 years old, but who’s counting? I had no idea what an impact that number would have on me this year. It’s inspired a lot of brave, bold actions that have really surprised me (a few of which I’m not quite ready to talk about).

This year so far I’ve:

🤓 I’ve decided to go back to school to get my Master’s degree.

❌ I quit one of my jobs, in turn sacrificing thousands of dollars a month to focus on my writing and the development of my coaching business.

📍My husband and I have finally started taking steps to invest in property for a second home.

😴 I’ve recently built out my schedule for 2024 to incorporate a 40 day sabbatical.

All of these things feel radical – and necessary. This year also got me thinking far past the 40-year mark and what I’m doing now to set myself up for success years and years from now. So, I made a list, obviously.

Here are 11 life-changing practices I’m doing at 39 to avoid regret when I’m 79:

  1. Looking people in the eye and taking the time to be fully present with whoever I’m with – be that Winston, my nieces, a client – so by 79 I am FILLED UP with incredible experiences I was 100% present for.
  2. Making shitty art 📝 – and having fun doing it.
  3. Whether 11, 39 or 79, I know I am is an explorer 🗺️ so I’m committed to experiencing new places and exposing myself to culture, diversity, beauty and history. Ah! Imagine all the memories and pictures I’ll have accumulated by 79!
  4. Saving bits of money 💰 so I can be independent for as long as possible and be cared for by quality people in a quality facility / home surrounded by friends and family when I’m 79.
  5. Moving my body daily and doing my stupid little stretches so I have mobility, flexibility and muscle strength 💪 for as long as humanly possible. 79-year-old me will be movin’ and a-groovin’ 🤸
  6. Prioritizing joy DAILY 🤩 – because 79-year-old Ashley wants to look back on a life of fun, joy, fond memories and connection!
  7. Telling people what I love about them and how incredible I think they are 😍 so they never have to doubt how I feel about them.
  8. Asking people to meet me at my level ⬆️ rather than stooping to someone else’s ⬇️ – a place I know I don’t belong and 79-year-old Ashley would be so annoyed if I lowered my standards.
  9. Speaking of standards…Never settling for less than what I know I’m worth.
  10. Saying “no” unapologetically 🙅‍♀️ to the things that don’t align with my values, and making decisions that align with my authenticity. I’ve sacrificed too much of my time and health putting others before my own health and happiness. 79-year-old Ashley says no more!
  11. Being proud of myself every day 👏 – no matter what I get done or accomplish. 79-year-old Ash will be rolling her eyes if I spend one more second poo-pooing how amazing I am!

What is on your list, amazing human? What are you doing now, to avoid regret when you’re older? As they say, better now than never.

Your Turn…

What are you doing now, to avoid regret when you’re older?

Feel welcome to share your responses in the comments below. We would love to read your lists!

Guest Author: Ashley Looker is an Empowerment & Journal Coach who teaches ambitious, over-achieving humans how to slow down and detach their productivity from their worth. She is passionate about using her 20+ year experience and love for journaling as the tool for supporting her clients who want to stop wearing ’busy’ as a badge of honor and start living a more joyful, purpose-driven life. She lives in the cozy PNW with her husband and 5 lb. Yorkipoo, Winston. You can learn more about Ashley’s work here >>