How To Change Your Life & Completely Turn It Around After 40

You can still do amazing things!

How To Change Your Life Completely & Find Happiness After 40 getty

If you feel like the things you're doing just aren't bringing you joy anymore, it's time you learned how to change your life for the better.

A funny thing can happen on the way to being a grown up. You may not have noticed it. You may not have thought anything of it. You might not even be aware that it’s happening and keeping you from finding happiness.

What I’m talking about is fear.

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For many, becoming more fearful is a common part of aging; this is especially true in regards to change and transition.

The phase of life before 40 can be a chaotic blur loaded with aspects of life and career, like raising a family, establishing yourself professionally, and paying down debt. You feel like you're too busy or have too many obligations to really adopt a focus on the future. To plan. To dream.

When your future’s not on your radar, you’re not afraid of it.

After 40, however, it’s not uncommon to start thinking about what you want going forward, and how to change your life to make that future possible.


This helps you notice that you feel a bit off. Unsettled; like you’re in a funk.

You begin to become aware that there really could be more out there for you, but you have no clue how to figure it out and make the change.

Being out of sorts like this may be unfamiliar to you. You may not even know that your funky feeling is full of fear.

One of the problems holding you back from changing your life is that you’re out of practice with change. You’ve just come through a period of your life where stability was king. But now, after 40, the king is bored and feeling stagnant.

You might be suspicious and feel like you need to make some sort of a change. You know you need to focus on your own priorities for a change or you may have regrets. You notice yourself thinking you’re running out of time. More things to be fearful of.


One thing’s for sure: You will regret having regrets. When you’re not clear on what the problem is, it can be challenging to understand the fear. But something has to be done. You know this deep down.

This means you have to stop ignoring your needs in order to find happiness.

Just like anything, the less attention you give something, the less it has the chance to develop and grow. What you give your attention to is what will grow and become important in your life. But what you ignore, simply gets smaller and smaller and disappears.

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You have some decisions to make. You can keep waiting for something to “happen” and then you’ll finally be happy. You can resign yourself to the idea that nothing will likely change and just accept it.

Or, you can decide that now is your time and get to work on making life changes and finally moving forward with intention. Shifting your mindset like this will propel your forward.

Here are 4 ways to completely change your life and find happiness after 40:

1. Decide you don’t want to have regrets.

Identify the regrets you’re worried about having. Be honest with yourself. Make a decision that you don’t want to have regrets.

This is an important first step to making important changes. It means that you need to take responsibility for the results in your life and that you will stop simply responding to what life dishes out.


2. Seek guidance from your future self.

Your future self has the inner wisdom that will help you make decisions and find courage now.

Ask yourself, "How would my future self help me make this decision? What does my future self know about me to help guide me now? What will my future self say about making sure I don’t have regrets?"

3. Be curious about fear.

It’s common to give fear more power than it deserves. Fear is an emotion, just like any other emotion. Emotions come from your thinking.

When you feel fear, you’re thinking a thought that is creating fear. Thoughts and feelings are connected.

You can beat the effect of your fear or you can acknowledge your fear without letting it affect you the way it normally does. For example, you could be curious about it.


Ask yourself more questions about why you’re thinking this way, what else could you think, what you’re making it mean. You could feel fear and make the change anyway.

4. Decide that you have enough time to do what you want.

There isn't technology yet to determine how long you have on this planet. So, when you get older, you technically have less time on this Earth. However, choosing to think you’re running out of time to do the things you really want to do is one of those thoughts that doesn’t serve you.

First, it probably isn’t true at all. And when you think it, notice how you feel: Defeated, sad, unmotivated. Those aren’t the feelings you need to feel to move forward and do new things.

Second, you don’t have to think this way about time. Instead, you can practice thinking that you have enough time. This slight shift in the way you think will help you focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do and can actually change your life.


The bottom line is that you can do what you want. You’re a grown up! But you really should like your reasons. Being more intentional and regret-proofing your life is a beautiful gift of self-care. I got the memo. You deserve it!

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Suzy Rosenstein, MA is a certified life coach and host of the popular podcast for midlife women, Women in the Middle. If you’re tired of feeling like life’s passing you by, visit her website, listen to her podcast, and download her free ebook, 9 Secrets to Get Unstuck in Your 50s for mindfulness strategies and tips to actually get excited about your life again!