Having one too many the night before, marrying the wrong person and watching too much TV are among the top 40 regrets among Brits, according to a study. Researchers who polled 2,000 adults identified the things Brits wish they’d done differently – including not learning a second language, holding grudges and worrying too much.
Taking life too seriously and saying ‘no’ too often are feature in the top 40 – with health concerns such as smoking, drinking and not exercising also making it to the list.
Commissioned by Lottoland, the research found four in 10 UK adults carry a regret. Nigel Birrell, CEO of Lottoland said: “As the end of the year draws closer, many of us will be reflecting on the things we regret. Some may wish they’d taken more chances and invested more money. But it’s also important to focus on the achievements and good things we have in our lives – our health, our families and friends, or a promotion at work.”
The study also found relationship woes are a common regret – one in 10 admitted they’d married the wrong person or failed to break off an unhappy relationship sooner. However, one in seven wished they’d had more children and one in 10 regret not having kids at all.
When it comes to professional choices, not asking for a larger salary, choosing the wrong career and working too hard emerged as the top regrets. In fact, the average Brit has around seven regrets and they spend around an hour each day thinking about them. But one in 10 mulls over their bad decisions for up to four hours each day. And there seems to be some truth to the phrase ‘how do you sleep at night’ with one third of Brits admitted their regrets keep them up into the early hours.
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom as Brits have much to be proud this year. More than four in 10 felt a sense of achievement in making and maintaining great personal relationships with family, friends and loved ones. And a quarter of Brits are happy with the professional decisions they had made and felt they had achieved some of their career goals.
Despite many of them feeling regretful for not saving money, the research carried out through OnePoll found one in four are financially comfortable. Given the chance to do things over, a third of the population would have pursued a different career path and one in five would have saved more money.
Nigel Birrell added: “It’s also never too late to rectify these regrets – go on more dates, master that skill, and look to 2019 with excitement and fresh eyes.”
Top 40 Regrets Among Brits:
- Worrying too much
- Losing touch with old friends
- Not saving money
- Not exercising
- Not meeting up with friends more often
- Not seeing someone before they died
- Spending too much money
- Taking life too seriously
- Not learning to play an instrument
- Not learning a new language
- Not travelling or going on holiday
- Not spending more time with family
- Not expressing myself
- Marrying the wrong person
- Not making new friends
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Not asking for help
- Getting involved with the wrong people
- Holding on to grudges
- Not telling someone you love them
- Saying ‘no’ too much
- Not standing up to bullies
- Not breaking up with someone
- Not reading more
- Borrowing money
- Listening to other people’s opinions
- Not spending more time relaxing
- Not spending enough time enjoying nature
- Staying in the same career
- Breaking up with someone
- Watching too much TV
- Being on my phone/computer too much
- Not taking care of my appearance
- Being unkind
- Not being independent
- Not dating
- Studying the wrong subject at university
- Not buying a house
- Being unfaithful