We all have thoughts like this. When I look back at how much time I didn’t exercise in college and in my 20s, I totally regret it. Because I love it now and, obviously, it’s important and good for you.
But, we live and we learn, right?
In this article, AskReddit users reveal the things that improved their lives so much that they wish they’d started earlier.
1. Get out!
“Quit a job i absolutely hated.
where i was before.. workplace culture was come in early, work through breaks and lunch, work late. benefits were ‘meh’ and vacation time was capped at 3 weeks, no pension. pay was ok though.
now, its a 7 hr work day, pension, decent benefits, 5 weeks vacation and 0 stress job. its been 10 years, i stilld ont make as much, but the work/life balance blows that out of the water, not to mention i wont be working until i am 60.”
2. Stay positive!
“Stopped assuming that people’s thoughts about me were at all similar to that extremely critical voice in my head. It’s still somewhat of a struggle to stay positive… but, overall, being yourself and staying present when with others really reduces anxiety. “Peaceful” would be a good word to describe it.”
3. Moderation is key
“Regulating my alcohol intake. Paying attention in general to how my body reacts to what I introduce it to.”
4. Go for it!
“Applying for a job I didn’t think I was qualified for. It doubled my salary and let me move to a place I’d only ever dreamed of living in.”
5. Most important meal of the day
“Doing my research on nutrition and making myself a decent breakfast.”
6. Get it done
“If someone asks me to do something and it will take me 5 minutes or less to do it, I’ll do it immediately. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I never realized how much stuff I put off until later and then promptly forgot about. Also, once you’ve done one 5 minute task, it’s easier to just go and do the next. I became much more productive and saved myself a lot of time and effort at the same time.”
“Buying all the same socks.
No more folding, no more matching, no more looking for missing sock bros.
Just throw them all in a drawer, reach in, grab two and get your day started right.”
8. It’s okay to be wrong
“Not being afraid to admit when I’m wrong. For years, I was obsessed with being correct about everything. This semester, one of my professors said that it’s okay if we are not experts in the material yet. From then on, I’ve actually been better at admitting when I do not know an answer or saying the wrong answer in class without cringing/hating myself.”
9. Freshen up
“I got a lot of house plants to put all over my house. Makes my home environment look beautiful and feel homey, fresh, and just all around better.”
10. It’s not worth it
“Getting a job I didn’t hate. Im so much happier now even though im making 1/2 as much.”
11. Good for you
“Eating veggies. My mum rarely fed us veggies. And we had constant digestive issues.
As soon as I moved out on my own I started eating veggies and have rarely had an upset stomach since.
It was literally daily agony eating nothing but meat and carbs.”
“Admitting that I needed a therapist. As a teenager with strict parents, if I was caught saying anything against them I was automatically grounded, so I couldn’t let out my emotions and I felt like a double agent in my own house. With a therapist, I could work through my problems without the risk of being in trouble.”
13. Much happier now
“Making decisions based on what I really want, not on what I think others want or expect of me.
It was always so easy to put others’ needs first, because it meant that I never had to take the trouble to figure out what I really wanted, or to negotiate with others to get it. Just go along with everyone else, that’s easy and makes you likeable. But it doesn’t make you happy, because it means your needs are often not being met.
The real turning point for me was the realisation that wanting something does not instantly equate to a decision to go out and get it. Verbalising a desire is not tantamount to forcing your will on others. For example, if someone asks you what you wanna eat, instead of saying “oh whatever you want, I don’t mind”, there’s nothing wrong with stating your preference, saying that you’re open to other ideas and entering into a negotiation to find some common ground. People actually appreciate you being clear about what you want, it makes things easier for everyone.
For bigger stuff: once you realise you want something, sit with it for a bit. Then ask yourself: how moral do I think my desire is? Can I proceed without damaging my integrity? What are the practical/other ramifications for myself and others? Can you live with whatever decision you make? If you are missing vital information from others, ask them for it to help you decide.
Most importantly, don’t waste time wondering about whether you’re allowed to want something. You do already, so that’s that. Just acknowledge the desire, then set about deciding whether you‘re going to go out and get it. That way, even if you decide not to, you’ll know what the desire is and why you’re not fulfilling it, rather than shutting it down automatically at the source.
I’m so much happier now!!”
“I had a decayed wisdom tooth with an exposed nerve, and I lived with it for ten years, when I didn’t have dental or disposable income.
My life changed the day I had it pulled. If there’s something wrong with your teeth, find a way to get it taken care of. I spent a decade in pain whenever I drank something cold or chewed on the left side of my mouth, and I could have had it corrected much sooner if I’d had my act together.”
15. Put down the bottle
“I started drinking at a young age mostly because I was shy and introverted and it helped me come out of my shell. It was a way to be able to talk to people. It became a crutch.
I’ve had some great times, but since I’ve stopped drinking at the late age of 64, I’m beginning to feel so much better and wonder how different and more fulfilling my life could have been if I’d just tackled my insecurities when I was younger rather than turning to alcohol.”