Researchers from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University asked a group of 370 adults about their biggest regrets. Overall, most fell into one of the following seven categories:
Seven – Poor health
Coming in at number seven, six per cent cited poor health as their number one regret. Perhaps this was not exercising enough, not managing to give up smoking or generally not treating their body in the way it deserved.
Six – Parenting slip-ups
Nine per cent of survey respondents said their biggest regret came under the parenting heading, with many parents wishing they had spent less time in the office and more time at home with their children.
Five – Finances
Being money-wise is easier said than done, and it would seem that 10 per cent of respondents agreed. Spend money and live your life, but make a plan for yourself and be smart to avoid looking back and wishing you had been wiser with your pennies.
Four – Career
We generally spend more time at the office and with our colleagues than we do at home with our loved ones, so the importance of being happy and passionate about our career should not be underestimated. Twelve per cent of survey respondents said that if they could change one thing it would be their career. Don’t be afraid to change direction if you are unhappy. It will be worth it in the end.
Three – Education
Thirteen per cent regret not making education a priority or not thinking more carefully about their chosen path. If you feel like you’ve missed out on something you may have enjoyed remember it’s never too late. Take some night classes or go back to school, just don’t live to regret not trying.
Two – Family issues
Sixteen per cent of participants cited family issues as their biggest regret, with arguments between relatives just one of many given examples. While families can be difficult, holding a grudge will do you no good. Letting go and learning to forgive will help you to avoid regrets. See our blog post from earlier on this week for some useful tips on how to resolve long-standing family conflict.
One – Romance
Romance has claimed the top spot, with 20 per cent citing an issue of love as their biggest regret. Whether this might be a failed relationship or a flame that never quite ignited in the way we had hoped, if you have someone special in your life, let them know!