Turning 40 or 50 can often feel like a wake-up call. You may look at your life and career and feel stuck in a rut, realising you’ve fallen into the same routine day after day. Or you may grapple with regrets over past decisions and lost opportunities.
While it’s normal to struggle with these feelings, it’s important not to succumb to inertia. Your 40s and 50s can be periods of exciting reinvention and change, if you’re willing to take stock of where you are and intentionally set a new course. Here are some tips on how to kickstart your next chapter:
Review Your Finances
Getting your financial house in order can create space to pursue new dreams. Review spending and save consistently, even small amounts, to build a cushion. Calculate what you need for retirement and adjust contributions accordingly. If you have consumer debts, commit to an aggressive repayment plan.
A financial advisor can help you formulate a sensible strategy, taking advantage of UK pension allowances and schemes. For example, you can pay up to £60,000 annually into a pension and carry forward unused allowances from the past three tax years.
Gain New Skills
It’s never too late to retrain, reskill, or finally pursue that latent talent or passion. Many adults switch to entirely new careers in their 40s and 50s after taking courses at night or at weekends. The government offers fully-funded training for basic English, maths and IT skills, as well as some vocational courses, through local colleges and learning providers.
Alternatively, becoming your own boss by launching a small business allows you to build on existing skills while keeping hours flexible. Take advantage of local enterprise initiatives like the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme, which provides money and support during the early stages.
Focus on Your Purpose
As we get older, contributing something meaningful through our work or other pursuits becomes increasingly important for life satisfaction. To identify your passion and purpose at this stage, take time to introspect on what motivates you and your talents. Look for volunteer opportunities to experiment. Changing social connections or joining groups related to your interests can introduce new perspectives. Eventually, concrete goals and plans will materialise.
Stay Physically Active
Good health and fitness underpins everything at any age. Not only can exercise reduce stress levels and provide an endorphin boost, but staying mobile preserves independence to follow other pursuits. Build more activity into daily routines – perhaps by cycling or walking instead of driving for short local trips – and dedicate time for structured workouts like cardio, strength training or yoga two to three times per week. Apps, online videos and weekend bootcamp sessions make getting active more social and enjoyable.
Look at Midlife Coaching
Midlife coaching can help you navigate the this tricky transitional period. Midlife coaching for women by Banish especially is useful, given the 40s and 50s are when a woman usually goes through menopause. A midlife coach can help you with career transitions, relationships, and improve your confidence. If you need a helping hand rediscovering your mojo, it’s definitely worth considering.
By taking back control, putting plans into motion and saying “yes” to new activities, your 40s and 50s truly can embody a fresh start rather than a wind-down. Approach life with more intention, surround yourself with supportive people and know that small consistent steps towards a goal make the biggest difference.