People who thrive in their later years usually adopt these 10 daily habits

There’s a noticeable difference between barely surviving and truly thriving in your later years.

And this difference often comes down to habits. Those who merely survive are typically stuck in their old ways, resistant to change.

Those who thrive, however, are open to adopting new habits that promote a healthier and happier life.

Thriving individuals understand that it’s never too late to change, and that there are certain daily routines that can drastically improve their golden years.

Below, we’ll dive into 10 daily habits commonly adopted by people who thrive in their later years. These habits are not only easy to incorporate, but they’re also just as easy to maintain. 

Let’s get started…

1) They prioritize physical activity

One common thread among those who thrive in their later years? They understand the value of staying active.

Physical activity plays a crucial role in not just maintaining, but enhancing health as we age. And for those thriving in their golden years, it’s a daily ritual.

Whether it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood, a yoga session, or even some light gardening, these individuals make sure to incorporate some form of exercise into their daily routines.

It doesn’t have to be strenuous or time-consuming. The key is consistency. Engaging in physical activity regularly helps to boost energy levels, improve mood, and even sharpen memory.

2) They invest in lifelong learning

I’ve noticed that those who really shine in their later years have a thirst for knowledge that never seems to diminish.

Take my grandmother, for example. At the ripe age of 85, she decided to learn how to play the piano. Despite never having touched a piano before, she was determined to learn. She started taking lessons, practiced daily, and within a few months, she was playing whole songs. It was truly an inspiring sight to behold.

This sense of curiosity and eagerness to learn is a common trait among those who thrive in their later years. They understand that learning doesn’t stop at any age. In fact, keeping the mind active and engaged can fend off cognitive decline and keep the brain sharp.

3) They maintain social connections

This is a big one. 

It might surprise you to know that loneliness can be as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Staying socially connected isn’t just about having fun – it’s essential for our wellbeing.

Those who thrive in their later years understand this. They ensure to keep up regular contact with friends and family, participate in community activities, and even make new friendships.

Interacting with others provides a sense of belonging and emotional support, which is crucial for mental health. It also keeps us mentally stimulated and engaged, which can help to ward off cognitive decline.

Whether it’s calling an old friend, joining a club or group, or simply striking up a conversation with a neighbor, maintaining social connections is certainly a habit worth cultivating for a fulfilling later life.

4) They prioritize a balanced diet

It’s no secret that the food we eat plays a vital role in our overall health.

Those who flourish in their later years don’t just understand this – they live by it. They prioritize a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, while limiting processed foods and sugars.

This isn’t about following a restrictive diet or counting every calorie. Rather, it’s about making mindful choices and focusing on nourishing the body with nutrient-dense foods.

5) They practice mindfulness

In an age of constant distractions, the ability to stay present and focused is a powerful tool.

Those who thrive in their later years have adopted the habit of practicing mindfulness. This could be through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a moment each day to be still and aware.

Mindfulness helps reduce stress, improve focus, and boost working memory. It’s about taking time to quiet the mind, tune into your senses, and truly engage with the world around you.

Starting your day with a few minutes of meditation or taking a mindful walk in nature, incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can significantly enhance your quality of life in your later years.

6) They express gratitude regularly


Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can significantly enhance our life satisfaction and overall wellbeing.

Those who flourish in their later years have mastered the art of expressing gratitude. They take time each day to reflect on what they’re thankful for, acknowledging the big and small joys in life.

This habit of expressing gratitude helps cultivate a positive outlook on life. It shifts the focus from what’s lacking to what’s abundant, fostering a sense of contentment and happiness.

So, consider starting or ending your day by jotting down three things you’re grateful for. It could be as simple as a warm cup of coffee, a chat with a friend, or the beauty of a sunset. This simple act can cultivate an attitude of gratitude and significantly enhance your life experience in the golden years.

7) They make time for self-care

I’ll be the first to admit – I used to think self-care was all about pampering oneself with spa days and luxury treats. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that it’s so much more than that.

Those who thrive in their later years understand the true essence of self-care. It’s about prioritizing one’s own physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

This could mean saying ‘no’ to things that drain you, taking time out to relax and rejuvenate, or seeking help when you need it. For me, it was learning to let go of the guilt associated with taking time for myself.

Making self-care a daily habit is crucial for maintaining a high quality of life as we age. After all, we can’t pour from an empty cup. 

8) They embrace change

Change can be unnerving. It’s human nature to seek comfort and familiarity. But those who truly excel in their later years have a different perspective.

Rather than resisting change, they embrace it. They understand that change is an inevitable part of life and see it as an opportunity for growth and new experiences.

Whether it’s moving to a new city, starting a new hobby, or adapting to the latest technology, they  aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone.

Don’t shy away from change. Instead, see it as a chance to learn, grow, and experience something new. After all, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

9) They prioritize sleep

Sleep is often one of the first things we sacrifice when life gets busy. But those who thrive in their later years understand the importance of a good night’s rest.

Quality sleep is vital for our physical and mental health. It allows our bodies to repair and rejuvenate, and our minds to process and consolidate memories.

Those who value their golden years make sure to prioritize sleep, ensuring they get enough hours each night. They understand that a well-rested body and mind are key to maintaining energy, focus, and overall wellbeing.

10) They live with purpose

At the heart of it all, those who truly thrive in their later years live with a deep sense of purpose. They have a reason to get up in the morning, something that fuels their passion and gives meaning to their lives.

Living with purpose doesn’t necessarily mean doing something grand or extraordinary. It could be as simple as nurturing a garden, mentoring the younger generation, or volunteering for a cause close to your heart.

Having a purpose provides a sense of direction, boosts self-esteem, and contributes to a happier, more fulfilling life. So take time to discover what brings you joy and adds value to your life – that’s your purpose. And living it every day is the ultimate secret to thriving in your later years.

The essence: It’s all about embracing life

The beauty of life lies in its complexity and unpredictability. Every stage of life comes with its unique challenges and joys.

While we’ve explored the habits of those who thrive in their later years, it’s essential to remember that it’s not merely about ticking off a checklist of habits. It’s about embracing life and making the most of every opportunity.

George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” This resonates deeply with the habits of those who flourish in their later years. They maintain a playful spirit, stay connected to their passions, and live each day with purpose.

Whether you’re in your early twenties or your golden sixties, it’s never too late to adopt these habits. After all, thriving isn’t just about the number of years in your life, but the life in your years.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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