So you've got a career, a few gray hairs, and a couple decades of adulthood behind you. You've experienced success and failure, love and loss, and have the battle scars to prove it.
The fact that you're reading this means you've gotten up more times than you've been knocked down, and being refined by the fires of life can make us all want to pause and take a deep breath.
But this is no time to slow down.
We're at the top of the proverbial hill, so let's make sure we enjoy the ride on the way down. Here are some tips for cultivating a youthful spirit and rocking life into your forties and beyond.
1. Set New Goals
Maybe life has turned out exactly as you planned and maybe it hasn't. Either way, it's not over, not even close. You've got plenty more to contribute and accomplish. Design a strategy to further your career or start a new one, work with a trainer to lose those last ten pounds, or enroll in a program to get the degree you've always wanted. It's never too late to take the first step toward something totally exciting and new.
2. Learn To Live In The Moment
There are many roads behind you, and just as many up ahead, but this moment is the only one in which you can experience real happiness and freedom.
Whatever you do today, be fully present in it, and keep your mind focused on the task at hand. Allow yourself to fully enjoy happy moments, wherever and whenever they occur. When you do, you'll stop worrying about the future and leave your past where it belongs.
3. Define Success And Live By It
I have two simple goals every day: Help people and have fun. If I do both of those things, the day was a success.
Defining what makes your day a success keeps you focused on the issues that matter. This not only provides you with a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, but it keeps life simple and your purpose stays at the forefront of your thoughts.
4. Challenge Yourself Physically
Physical movement is a genetic necessity. We can't be totally healthy without it. But exercise doesn't have to take place in a gym or require an hour of your time.
Dance with your kids/grandkids, play on the playground equipment with them, wrestle with them, dance in the living room, work in the yard or in the garden, play hopscotch, get out your hula hoop, do tricks on a trampoline, the possibilities are endless. Just move your body every day. It's one of the best ways to prevent joint stiffness and pain.
5. Challenge Yourself Spiritually
"Know thyself" is a directive for which we should always strive. The best way to change the world is to change ourselves. We do this best through meditation and self-analysis of our own thoughts and actions. No one known you better than you, which makes introspection our best means for spiritual and social growth.
6. Stop And Smell The Roses.
Many of us get caught up in the demands of career and family, but it's important to stop and look around once in a while. Watch a sunset, hike through the woods, or just spend some time alone in a beautiful place, even if just for 15 minutes. It will do wonders for your mental state.
7. Reward Yourself
We often don't get recognized for a job well done. I'm not talking about buying yourself a new Ferrari (unless, of course, it's within your means to do so), but we should celebrate our victories, no matter how small. Each time you reach a new goal, pause and acknowledge it. Treat yourself to some kind of reward for working hard.
8. Decide Whose Opinions Matter
There are only a few people in life whose opinions really matter, and you're the only one who can determine who they are. Pay everyone else no mind. No matter how awesome you are to everyone around you, there will always be those who are bent on causing you grief. Be true to yourself, keep growing, and rock on.