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10 Important Things People Regret Not Doing Early Enough, According To Reddit ​

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important things people regret not doing early

Everyone lives life to the best of their abilities, however, everyone has regrets when they get older. So one person is hoping to get ahead of their regrets by asking fellow Redditors their biggest regrets in life.

"What are the things you regret not starting early?" posted "theneopilina" on the r/selfimprovement subreddit — a place for Redditors to share helpful advice and tips on how others can improve their lives.

When we're young, we may not know how to navigate through life. Only after we have become adults and have gained and learned from more experiences in life do we realize (and often regret) the choices we made when we were younger. 

Here are some things people mentioned they regret not doing early enough.

1. Saving money for retirement (it's never too early to start). 

“Saving money for your retirement. I know that sounds ridiculous at your age. But believe me, and I cannot emphasize this enough, when you are 40 or 50 or 60 you will be stressed out and lamenting why you didn't start saving money sooner

Read up on investing & put a small part of every paycheck into an investment fund. Doing so will be the difference between you having the last 1/3 of your life be happy vs stressful.”

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2. Taking care of your body and your mind.

“I'm the sort with a drive to always be working and improving. I remember one semester I was training at a nuclear reactor, taking a full load of engineering courses, and doing research under a professor, while still going to a fitness class and hanging with friends.

It f-cking destroyed me. So now I do far less work…These days, that's what counts. Not the ideal of doing everything I should do, but doing everything I can without killing myself and making real progress.”

3. Keeping healthy eating habits.

“I would advise to start becoming conscientious of the food you are eating; I don’t mean start tracking or dieting or worrying yourself over food, but consider how what you’re eating will fuel your body. 

This isn’t so obvious to us while younger, but we’re at the age where it’s starting to affect our wellness in more obvious ways (your energy, mood, body, etc).”

4. Prioritizing and protecting your mental health.

“Going to therapy to address mental health issues from my childhood. [Don't] be afraid to seek help or support if [you] feel like you need it. I think I would have had a better college experience if I addressed my anxiety/depression during college but waited until after college to do so.”

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5. Pursuing your passions.

“I regret not following my passions. I wanted to be a filmmaker and initially, when I turned 18 I wanted to sell [off] the bulk of my stuff and head out to LA and get working on it. When the time came to actually do it, I got scared of the massive life change that it would entail.

I didn’t know how to approach it and I didn’t have anyone that I could turn to for advice or anything. Now I’m in debt from film school and working a job I don’t care much for.”

6. Being selective in who you choose as a partner.

“When picking a life partner, look at how they & their parents manage money. If they are not good at it, it will affect you. Love is grand, being broke & stressed is not.”

“Absolutely. Don’t get married just because it seems like the right thing to do. Take your time in finding your partner and really get to know where they come from. Family dynamics can tell so much.”

7. Standing your ground.

Speaking up for myself. There have been multiple incidences where I have kept quiet and not defended/stood up for myself. I regret all those times.”

“Really though! This one here is a huge one. No matter how "young/old", no matter their relationship to you(or just a stranger), no matter their authority. At the end of the day, you are worth just as much as anyone that has ever stepped foot on this beautiful earth.”

8. Traveling and experiencing life outside your comfort zone.

“Travel and experience more. Take the trip. Go to the festival. Go skiing. Visit Central America. Go hiking in the backcountry. You'll remember those experiences forever. You'll gain a new perspective. You'll be more interesting and likely be better for them too.”

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9. Exercising and pushing your physical limits.

“The earlier you start consistent physical [exercise], the larger impact it will have over your health the rest of your life. At 18, you've got hormone levels and cartilage you will reminisce about years from now no matter what. 

Find an [exercise] you love, something that makes you relish in the fatigue. Pair it with good sleep and a clean, balanced diet to see your body's true potential.” 

10. Keeping up with your dental hygiene.

"Taking care of my teeth. I was in my early 20s before it really hit me how important dental care is."

"Second this! I'm only 27 years old, had 4 root canals, and a f*** ton of cavities pulled. Just had 2 root canals done in the last year and it cost a bunch of money. It's not like I neglect my teeth either, but always lazy with flossing. Get in the habit of flossing!"

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer who covers entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.

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