40 Things To Let Go Of After 40

by Jo Macdonald

There's no doubt that when we get to forty we begin to look at life a little differently as we become a little bit (or a even a lot) more aware of time running out.  We can choose to carry on as we always have or, if we really want to create a life we love and make the most of our future, then we can pull up our big girl pants, untie that string and let go of the stuff holding us back (and weighing us down).  Because this is the perfect time to finally let go of the old stories, the bad habits, and all the crap we've accumulated in the last forty years, and make room for more of what we love.

Here are 40 things that we can all let go of in order to really love life after 40: 

1 ~ Saying 'Yes' when you mean 'No' and 'No' when you really want to say 'Yes' - now is the time to really start being honest with yourself and others.

2 ~ Listening to your inner-critic - let go of that mean girl, she is so last decade!

3 ~ Ignoring your intuition - you've spent 40+ years accumulating life experience, trust yourself.

4 ~ Relationships that don't make you feel good or that don't feel equal - in love or friendship, you deserve the best.

5 ~ Eating food that doesn't nourish you or make you feel good - if you want to feel good for the next 40 years you've got to learn to listen to your body and treat it well

6 ~ Procrastination - stop putting things off and just get on with it, seriously!

7 ~ Not having a clear idea of what you want from life - figure it out or you'll find yourself stuck in a groundhog day existence.  Figure out what gives you pleasure, what really lights you up, what your biggest dream is and then start working to make it happen. 

8 ~ Feeling anxious or unsure about things you cannot control - life cannot be controlled and when we trust that things will work out one way or another we can breathe more easily and just get on with living.

9 ~ Spending so much time online instead of inlife - the online world is great I know BUT you have to get out there and have adventures, interact with people, and live a real life too.

10 ~ Giving in to your fears - our biggest regrets usually come because we didn't do something because we were afraid.  Don't let fear rule your life, take a big breath and take a chance on really living a life you love.

11 ~ Worrying what others think - the older you get the more you realise that what others think really isn't that important, start letting go of this now and enjoy the freedom and space that come from not worrying so much.

12 ~ Putting your dreams on hold - you only get one chance at this life, make it count, stop waiting.

13 ~ Berating yourself for past mistakes - let it go, you are not the same person now as you were then, it's what you do today that matters not what happened in the past.  Make your life count now.

14 ~ Feeling shame - shame holds us back and stops us living fully, make peace with whatever is making you feel this way and give yourself permission to finally move on.  Don't waste the rest of your life being stuck in an old feeling.

15 ~ Holding onto old stories/beliefs about yourself - you get to rewrite your story starting from today.  Be the person you want to be and let go of all the old stories and beliefs, give your life the best middle and end you can, this is your life story and you can write any kind of story you choose.

16 ~ Sitting for long periods everyday - if you want the next forty years to be healthy then get up and go for a walk, do yoga, dance, move more and sit less.

17 ~ Buying into other people's idea of success and forgetting what success really means to you - shiny symbols of success are everywhere on social media but each person's idea of success is different, know what success means to YOU, and then go for it.

18 ~ Wasting time - stop being busy being busy, make space and time for the things you actually love doing and that matter to you, let go of everything else.

19 ~ Over-thinking and over-complicating things - simplicity is the way to more happiness, always.

20 ~ Making excuses - be honest, take responsibility, stop making excuses for yourself and others.

21 ~ Quantity over quality - have less but have better.

22 ~ Watching crap television or repeats - I know it's tempting to numb out in front of the box but this is your one chance at a great life, so switch off the box and turn on your life. We all say we don't have enough time for stuff and then stare at the tv for 3 hours every night.  Just one of those hours a week could mean becoming fluent in another language, passing a degree, learning to cook, building a new business etc.  What would you do with an extra hour (or 2) a week?

23 ~ Trying to do everything yourself - true strength comes from asking for help when you need it, there are no prizes for flogging yourself to death trying to prove you can do it all alone.

24 ~ Berating yourself for not being good 'enough' - YOU ARE ENOUGH. Let yourself believe it.

25 ~ Judging others and yourself - letting go of judgement is essential for more happiness, judgement is just another form of comparison and feeling not good enough.  You are amazing, let that judgemental shit go.

26 ~ Waiting - for the right moment, enough money, perfect guy, to be 10lbs lighter,  etc. Stop waiting and start living your life on your terms.

27 ~ Staying up late (usually linked to #22) - get enough sleep.  It's vital if you want to feel good in the years ahead and combat a whole host of age related diseases.

28 ~ Not following through on things that matter and persisting with things that don't - if it no longer serves you let it go whether it's finished or not, you've got what you needed from it, now focus on the things that take you and your life to the next level.

29 ~ Being late - it causes stress to you and others, let it go and learn to be punctual. 

30 ~ Seeking approval from others instead of from yourself - trust yourself, give yourself the approval you desire, be your own best friend.

31 ~ Pretending to be okay if you're not - we don't need to pretend anymore that all is fine if it isn't, we're strong amazing women and all know that life is full of ups and downs, let others in on the downs and we can lift eachother up when needed.  

32 ~ Clutter - a clear environment leads to a clear mind and a more spacious life with room for more fun and adventure.

33 ~ Complaining - it just brings us down, now is the time in our lives to focus on the positives more and laugh off the nonsense.

34 ~ Other people's expectations of us (past and present) - your job is not to live up to other people's expectations of you, your job is to be the woman you truly want to be, and that is all that matters.

35 ~ Trying to please everyone - you can't so let it go.

36 ~ Hiding your feelings to avoid conflict - most women hate conflict but sacrificing or compromising your feelings to avoid it is no way to live a life you love.  

37 ~ Taking things personally - we're older now, we know that not everything is about us, everyone has their own stuff to deal with, we don't need to take everything personally.

38 ~ Comparing yourself - a hard one to let go of but it's seriously time to just stay in our own lane and run our own race now that we're in our forties and forget about what everyone else is doing.

39 ~ Avoiding speaking out about the things you believe in or are against (often linked to #36) - we women over 40 are an important collective voice in the world, we need to be more visible and speak up for what we believe in and have learnt over the years.  

40 ~ Anything that doesn't genuinely make you happy - life is too short and precious to live it in a half-assed way.  Do more of what makes you happy, what better way to live is there than that?