How to Have a Happy Life After 50
At 59, I have a lot of experience with life in my fifties. Here’s how to have a happy life after 50 by changing how you think and letting that guide how you live your life.
Is life happy every moment?
No, and as I’ll share, feeling happy all the time is not a productive goal. However, it is possible to create a life that you love and that feels generally happy. Even after 50!
And it all starts with YOU.
You hold the keys inside you to create a life that you are happy to have.
Right now, it’s a Friday morning. I’m still in bed, with a nice cup of espresso next to me. My two youngest granddaughters are in bed with me while I write and do some work.
This feels amazingly happy to me!
From my 59-year-old self, I can see the ways that I have created a happy life for myself after 50.
My fifties started off a little rough. I was in a job that was not making me happy. I didn’t know then what I know now, so I thought it was the job’s fault.
I was in a marriage that was in the process of ending, though I didn’t know that until my husband asked me for a divorce.
And finally, I definitely didn’t like what I saw in the mirror!
However, I began a process of trial and error, lots of emphasis on the error, to figure out how to have a happy life after 50.
I think I succeeded and I’m going to share 9 strategies for a happy life after 50.
Let the Girl You Were, Go
I meet a lot of people who long for who they used to be. You know the girl, the one that was younger, thinner, and not as worn out by life.
She’s gone my friend.
But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for feeling older, fat, and worn out.
There’s a different woman waiting for you. She’s you, the you, you could be right now.
She’s badass. She’s lived life. She has scars and wisdom. She is beautiful at any size.
She’s waiting for you to give her a chance. It doesn’t matter to her how old you are. She’s vibrant, curious, and ready to LIVE.
So, let the girl you were go. Meet the you that you are meant to be.
Grow Up but Don’t Get Old
How do you become badass? You grow up but you don’t grow old.
You decide that life after 50 is going to be amazing!
You don’t wait for it to become amazing. You make it amazing.
You decide that you are going to love your own life and you are willing to do what it takes to do this.
I’m finding in my fifties that I can feel youthful and energetic. I like to wear shorts and fun shoes, play outside, and follow my curiosity in many directions.
I’m not trying to recapture being a kid but I definitely don’t want to quit doing fun things!
However, I have many years of experience and wisdom. I love being able to help others through my life coaching business.
I’ve grown up but I am definitely not growing old in my mind!
Often, we think that people must act a certain way for us to be able to love them. At the same time, we can allow people to treat us horribly in the name of unconditional love.
Unconditional love doesn’t mean either of those things!
Creating the feeling of love is something that we do, ourselves. We create the feeling of love we have for others. This is something we can do for ourselves as well.
We can love someone without having conditions in place for us to feel love. We can just feel love.
Where people have problems with this is that they often believe that loving someone unconditionally means that you accept any type of treatment or behavior.
This isn’t the case. Healthy relationships also have boundaries.
Having boundaries is often confusing too. We often think boundaries means that we expect someone to act a certain way.
Having healthy boundaries is about what YOU will do if someone does something. For example, after someone yells at you, you could tell them not to yell at you anymore and feel like you’ve set a boundary.
But you haven’t. You’ve just told them how you want them to act.
Setting a boundary would sound like this. “If you yell at me, I will immediately leave the room and I won’t respond in any way.” Then you follow through.
Setting a boundary is saying what you will do if someone repeats a behavior.
Quit Trying to Change Others
Why do we try to change others? The answer is easy. We try to change others because we think we will feel better.
This is a thought error. You don’t need anyone to change for you to feel better.
You don’t need your mom to quit complaining. You don’t need your neighbor to quit leaving zucchini on your porch. You don’t need your husband to quit telling you boring stories.
I know, you think you need someone to change to really feel happy. But that’s just not true.
You can choose to feel happy anyway.
When I first heard this, I wasn’t too happy about it! I was convinced others were the problem.
Here’s the problem with that. If others don’t want to change, then they won’t. Heck, even if they want to change, they might find it difficult.
You can’t control how others act or what they say. It’s much more effective to learn to manage your own mind: to manage your own thoughts, feelings, and actions.
This is true power and works way better than hoping someone else will change.
You Quit Waiting for Happiness
Happiness is a useless goal. People settle for a temporary feeling of happy rather than do uncomfortable things that create growth or feelings like authenticity, competence, or even joy.
I love to feel happy. But I also know that there is no happily after. You don’t ever get to a place where you feel happy all the time or even most of the time.
This lie, that our brains tell us, holds us back. We believe that if we find the right partner, lose weight, or have enough money, we will finally, once and for all, be happy.
This is not true, and it never has been!
To clarify, I am not telling you that you can never feel happy. You can and you will. However, quit believing that ANYTHING you do will make you happy on a long-term basis.
As I’ve written before, there are so many other feelings that feel just as good as happy, and you can make them happen for yourself.
Be Enough, Have Enough
You are worthy and enough, right now, just the way you are. If you could truly believe that you would be in a place to do everything you want to do.
We use the circumstances of our life to convince ourselves that we are not enough. We aren’t thin enough. We don’t make enough money. We don’t have enough stuff. We don’t have the right stuff.
You can decide right now that you are enough and that you have enough.
This can be amazing. When you are enough, then you get to decide what you want to do and what you really want to have.
So many times, we decide these things because we feel like we are missing something from ourselves or our lives.
Instead, you can add to your life in a way that makes the most sense for you and in a way that truly improves your life rather than try to fix something that probably isn’t even broken.
Let Money Serve You
What would your life be like if you made your decisions based on what you want to do rather than what something costs.
This idea was radical for me! And it also changed my life on so many levels.
I’ve spent some big sums of money over the past few years. One that seemed kind of crazy at the time has ended up making me so much money.
A couple of years ago, I decided to have my website professionally designed and updated. As a blogger, most of us start with a DIY version. Then the next step is to look for cheap ways to upgrade.
When I found the team, I wanted to work with (Thanks Janet and Stefani the The Essential Website) I went all in. When they quoted the cost, I wanted to throw up. I wouldn’t now, but two years ago, it was a lot of money.
But because of the work I needed done, I needed to have the right people to do it. I wanted a beautiful website that worked, and I wanted the transition to the new site to be seamless.
I came up with the money and in a few months, I had a website that I was so proud of. It didn’t happen overnight, but within a few months the website was making money and has long since made the money I spent back.
I don’t know what would have happened if I had said, I can’t afford it (which at the time was probably true). I’d undoubtedly still have an ugly website that wasn’t as functional. I doubt that I would have the success that it has since had.
My point isn’t to just go spend more money. My point is to decide what you really want and need and make it happen, no matter what the cost. This is empowerment and can help you reach new levels in your life.
Saying you can’t afford something shuts the solution-seeking part of your brain down. When you decide to do something, you will find solutions.
Quit People Pleasing
I know, you’ve been taught to be nice to people, to say things that make them feel better, and to put what you want aside in favor of something someone else wants.
You’ve been taught to be unselfish and giving.
And you know what? I’m willing to bet you are so tired and exhausted. You look in the mirror and you don’t like who you see.
Most of you tell me that you need to lose some weight. That you don’t like who you’ve become. That something is missing.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep saying it until you can hear it.
What is missing is a deep and trusting relationship with yourself.
Most of you have spent your entire life caring for others and caring more for their feelings than for your own.
You are so afraid of being who you really are that you go through life, taking care of other people and their feelings rather than trusting yourself.
I promise you; you won’t turn into an asshole if you start living your own truth. You will be a better partner, friend, parent, and child.
People will gravitate to you because there is no one that is more attractive than someone that is in love with themselves and only communicates from a place of truth.
Is that comfortable all the time?
Heck no! It’s damned difficult at times to say what you really think as opposed to what you think people want to hear.
This doesn’t mean acting like a jerk or being cruel. It does sometimes mean saying no to things that are asked of you and saying yes to things you want to do that other people don’t understand.
How to Have a Happy Life After 50
Living a happy life after 50 doesn’t mean you are happy all the time. I don’t feel happy ALL the time and you won’t either.
However, I would still describe my life as being happy.
Keep showing up my friends,
Ready to find out more?
Schedule a free consultation today.
Coach with Sara
Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.