18 Things We All Stopped Doing in Our 40s Because It Was Time to ‘Grow Up’

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By Darryl Henderson

Growing up seems scary when you’re young, yet there will come a time when we feel like we need to change our habits. You may not be there yet, but here are 18 things we all stop doing in our 40s as a part of adulthood.

Late-Night Partying

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Partying with friends into the night seemed appealing when we were young, but in our 40s, this concept is no longer so attractive. Instead, as we move past 40, we prioritize sleep and health over staying out all night because our bodies don’t recover like they used to

Impulsive Spending

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When we hit 40, it becomes more important to pay attention to finances. According to The Guardian, this age prompts reflection on all aspects of life, and such reflections require smart financial planning. We start developing a keen sense of financial responsibility, unwilling to take the same financial risks we took in our youth.

Chasing Trends

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After 40, we tend to know ourselves better, as we have an enhanced sense of self. Therefore, we stop following fleeting fashion trends and choose to embrace our personal style. We are more likely to dress in classic, timeless pieces that make us look sophisticated rather than follow everyone else like sheep!

Avoiding Health Check-Ups

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Scheduling regular medical appointments and screenings becomes a top priority when we are in our 40s. We no longer postpone or cancel these appointments as we are acutely aware of the importance of preventative health care and prioritize looking after ourselves above all else.

Reckless Eating Habits

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As we reach 40, choosing nutritious, balanced meals over junk food becomes more important to us. We are no longer tempted by unhealthy foods, as we are conscious of how bad they can be for our body and mind in the long run, choosing nutritious and homecooked meals instead.

Neglecting Relationships

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Psych Central reveals that more than one-third (35%) of adults in the U.S. aged 45 years old and older report feeling lonely, according to research from 2020. It’s tragic, but with these newfound feelings of loneliness, we stop avoiding friends and family and instead gravitate towards spending time with them.


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Most of us stopped putting off tasks and responsibilities in our 40s as we realized that time is fleeting and we need to develop better time management skills. With maturity, we understand the value of tackling tasks promptly, as it reduces stress rather than increasing it, as procrastination does.

Avoiding Responsibility

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Responsibility is not something that we want to have in our younger years, yet when we are in our 40s, we embrace responsibility as we want to be accountable in our personal and professional lives. We will opt to take ownership of actions and their consequences, even taking on additional responsibilities with pride.

Not Saving for Retirement

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At 20, retirement seems like a distant concept, but after 40, it feels like it’s edging closer and closer. Therefore, as we enter our 40s, we stop postponing saving for retirement and instead start or increase our retirement contributions, fearing that we will be left with nothing. That’s a smart decision!

Risky Behaviors

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In our youth, we are prone to taking part in dangerous activities, but as we age into our 40s, we may have a family of our own and things we care about in our lives. As a result, we will prioritize safety as we realize the long-term consequences of reckless actions.

Oversleeping on Weekends

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As our 40s pass, we stop oversleeping, especially on weekends, as we become aware of how bad it is. Business Insider explains that oversleeping for even a few days every once in a while can make it much more difficult to reset our bodies’ clocks! It also wastes our precious, finite time. 

Neglecting Mental Health

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Neglecting our mental health is something we stop doing when we are in our 40s, as we now recognize the importance of mental well-being and how it can help us as we age. Therefore, it’s common for people in their 40s to seek professional help or therapy, which is always a smart decision!

Working Excessive Hours

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Striving for a healthy work-life balance becomes vital as we enter middle age. We are less likely to work long hours because we understand the importance of downtime and relaxation, ensuring that we leave time for ourselves to engage in personal time and hobbies outside of work.

Constantly Changing Jobs

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Switching jobs constantly is normal for younger people as they don’t have a defined vision for their careers, but at 40, most of us have a clear picture of what career path we want to take. We will stick to a specific career and focus on advancing instead of starting over every few years.

Ignoring Self-Reflection

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Most of us take time to evaluate our personal growth and achievements in our 40s, and we stop ignoring self-reflection. We hone in on our personal goals and aspirations for the future instead of people-pleasing, allowing us to learn from past experiences so we can grow from them.

Disregarding Personal Boundaries

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Establishing clear boundaries in relationships and work becomes important to us in our 40s because rather than catering to other people, we need to keep our distance from some people to preserve our happiness. We also start communicating our needs and limits to others more effectively, making life much easier.


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When we become middle-aged, our time becomes more precious, which means that we have learned the art of saying no to others. Just like with boundaries, this helps us avoid burnout and allows us to prioritize certain tasks and commitments based on importance while making time for self-care.

Ignoring Fitness

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Finally, just like with healthy eating, many of us underestimate the importance of keeping fit when we’re young, usually because we don’t enjoy exercising. However, The New York Times suggests that making a few tweaks to your fitness habits and mindset as you hit middle age can set you up for long-term mobility with less pain. It’s worth it!

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