Life begins at 40 (or 50 or 60) may be a cliché but it's true - there are always new opportunities, experiences and ambitions to be found and realised, regardless of how many years you've clocked up. So look forward to your next birthday instead of dreading it, embrace life and follow these tips to an older, wiser, better brand new you!
1. Mutton dressed as lamb
There's no point dressing head-to-toe in the latest trends if they make you look like a fashion victim, whatever your age. By now you know what your best features are, so develop your own unique style instead and watch the heads turn...
2. Stay out of the sun
Years of overexposure to the sun can make your skin resemble rhinoceros hide. If you can't resist a little bronzing, go for a golden glow rather than a mahogany burn. And while you're at it, don those sunglasses too - squinting causes wrinkles.
3. Essential elements
Water is the cheapest and best anti-ageing product around. Drink your two litres a day and marvel at the difference to your skin and energy levels. It's important to get a balanced diet too - plenty of fruit and veg, plus calcium and protein for healthy hair and bones.
4. Keep on moving
Exercise wards off many ills and keeps you in good shape mentally and physically. It keeps the joints supple, the heart pumping, the adrenaline racing. Think of yourself as a car - you wouldn't leave it sitting in the garage for months on end without giving it a run-out, would you? So grab that tennis racquet or bicycle, throw on those trainers and get active!
5. Sweet dreams
It's natural to sleep a little less as you get older, but try and ensure you get a good 8 hours whenever you can. It relaxes, refreshes and repairs and studies show it can even increase your life expectancy.
6. Keep the grey matter ticking over
Learning a new skill or furthering an existing talent keeps your body and brain energised and stimulated. Take an evening class, start a reading group, learn a new sport... The buzz of doing something new, plus meeting others, will take years off you - and it will also give you some precious 'me' time.
7. It's never too late
If you're an accountant but hanker to be an actor; have always wanted to backpack around the world, or even fantasise about bungee-jumping off the Eiffel Tower, don't just think about it, do it! Don't get stuck in a rut - tomorrow's not the time to try new things, it's today!
8. Don't live in the past
Schooldays were the best years of your life, eh? Nostalgia is great but if your best years were yesterday it's time to start making new memories now. Think of all those photo albums waiting to be filled...
9. Life lessons
As your years increase, so do your wisdom, experience and confidence. Say goodbye to teenage angst and twentysomething anxiety and hello to poise, grace and calm! Celebrate your age instead of denying it.
10. Life's too short
As you get older, you realise that some things just aren't worth worrying about. If it's out of your control, don't waste valuable time fretting. Just think of all the additional time you'll have to spend doing something worthwhile!