Things You’ll Regret Doing In 10 Years Time

Things You’ll Regret Doing In 10 Years Time

We all make mistakes, but some are more avoidable than others. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and lose sight of the long-term impact of our actions. Consider this a little nudge from the ghost of future regret. Let’s explore those seemingly small things that can cast surprisingly long shadows:

1. Letting fear dictate your life rather than tackling those “scary but worth it” goals

Ten years from now, those unclimbed mountains are going to loom large. That business you never started and the trip you kept postponing will come back to haunt you. Fear is a liar. Regret over inaction stings far worse than the regret of trying and failing, and those missed opportunities might forever remain a nagging “what if?”

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2. Not prioritizing your health – you only get one body!

Happy man running outdoors and listening to music

Skipping workouts now for extra hours binging shows seems worth it in the moment, but in a decade, when your knees ache and your energy lags, future-you will wish you treated your body like the precious, irreplaceable temple it is, wishing you could turn back the clock for just a bit more youth and vitality. Not only that, but as Verywell Mind points out, taking care of your physical health is important for your mental health.

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3. Settling for “good enough” in your relationships instead of holding out for the extraordinary

It’s tempting to settle for a partner, friendships, or a job that’s “fine.” But time has a way of magnifying the ‘not quite right’. Don’t lower your standards for long-term happiness out of fear of being alone for a while – future you deserves to look back on relationships that truly light you up.

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4. Wasting time on social media comparison traps and mindless scrolling

Those hours vanish into the void, and you gain nothing but a vague sense of dissatisfaction. Imagine what you could create, learn, or experience if you reclaimed that time. Future-you will thank you for unplugging more often, and wonder how many incredible experiences could have blossomed in those wasted hours.

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5. Neglecting your passions for the sake of what you “should” do

woman taking pictures©iStock/momcilog

That dusty guitar in the corner? The art class you never signed up for? Why are you just letting them slide? Our passions fuel our souls, and a decade (or more!) of ignoring them leaves you feeling a little hollow. You owe it to yourself to carve out time for things that light you up, or risk a decade later feeling like a part of you has withered.

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6. Saying “yes” to everyone else while constantly saying “no” to yourself

Being a people-pleaser is exhausting. A decade of putting everyone else’s needs first leads to resentment and burnout. Learn the power of the occasional “no” to protect your time, energy, and sanity. Those who truly care will understand, and future you will thank you for finally prioritizing your own well-being.

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7. Holding grudges and letting anger control your happiness

Bitterness is a poison you drink hoping the other person gets sick. Ten years from now, will still stewing over that slight really matter? Forgiveness isn’t about them, it’s about freeing yourself from the weight of old wounds, and allowing yourself the lightness and joy that comes from letting go of past hurts.

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8. Not telling those you love how much they truly mean to you

We assume people know, or there’ll always be time later, but life is unpredictable. Don’t leave words of love unspoken. Ten years from now, you’ll never regret being too affectionate, but you might deeply regret the words you never said, and the chance to deepen those bonds further may be lost.

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9. Buying into the myth that you need “stuff” to be happy

The shiny new car and endless gadgets are thrills that fade FAST. A decade later, you’re buried in debt and realize experiences and meaningful connections are what truly matter. Financial recklessness is a major source of long-term stress, The Economic Times explains, and you’ll wish you had spent those early years building a solid financial foundation instead of chasing fleeting material highs.

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10. Letting perfectionism paralyze you, always waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment to start

Young caucasian man standing in front mirror touching face and looking on himself.

Done is better than perfect. That project you constantly tweak but never publish? Ten years on, it’s still unfinished. Progress, even imperfect progress, is better than waiting for a ‘perfect’ moment that never arrives, leaving you with nothing but a lingering sense of missed opportunity.

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11. Working yourself to the bone while missing out on precious moments with loved ones

stressed man working out financesShutterstock

Sure, ambition is great, but what’s the point if you’re too burned out to enjoy the fruits of your labor? Missed birthdays and absent-minded vacations are memories that can’t be bought back later. Find balance before it’s too late, or a decade from now you might be financially secure but emotionally bankrupt.

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12. Not taking enough risks, playing it safe all the time

Security is comforting, but a little recklessness is needed for growth. Ten years of playing it safe leaves you wondering, “what if?”. Comfort zones are best when occasionally ventured outside of, not as permanently lived in – you might just surprise yourself with how much you’re capable of.

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13. Letting negative self-talk sabotage your potential

That voice telling you you’re not good enough? It’s a bully. A decade of listening to it holds you back from amazing possibilities. Challenge those limiting beliefs, because future you deserves a chance to shine without that inner critic, and you might be amazed at where you end up if you stop holding yourself back.

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14. Focusing on what’s going wrong instead of practicing gratitude for the good

It’s easy to gripe, but chronic negativity warps your perception. Training yourself to see the good builds resilience and makes that ten-year gap feel far more fulfilling in retrospect. A gratitude journal sounds cheesy, but it WORKS, and future you will appreciate the shift in perspective.

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15. Procrastinating on important but unpleasant tasks

woman yawning while man is talking

That messy financial situation, the awkward conversation you need to have…avoiding it just makes it loom larger. Ten years from now, those unaddressed issues snowball. Tackle the hard stuff early, future you will be massively grateful, and you’ll likely discover the tasks you were dreading weren’t as terrible as you imagined.

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16. Not traveling enough and exploring all the world has to offer

Sure, being an adult is tough, but the world expands your mind in ways nothing else can. A decade stuck in routine is a missed opportunity. Even small adventures break you out of your bubble and create memories that last far longer than any material possession – and traveling while you’re younger gives you energy and stamina that might diminish as you age.

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Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.