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By Thea Theresa English

How you can give your life a real makeover

So you just turned 40 and you've lived half of your life. You're not married and your main responsibilities are your extended family, yourself and your career. But your life is in a slump and you don't know how to get the passion you once had back. It's not too late to start an exciting new chapter in your life and with dedication, positive attitude and encouragement from others, you can give your life a makeover.

Don't equate busyness with purposeful living

We sometimes think that just because we are involved in many endeavors, it makes our lives worth living, but that is not always true. We can be so busy that we have not stopped to think about what our true passions are. Being busy does not always mean purposeful living. It might be best to reduce the time wasters in our lives and aim for simplicity.

Cultivate a heart of gratitude

Instead of complaining about the things you don't have, have a heart of gratitude even in tough times. If you haven't achieved your goal of home ownership yet, be grateful that you live in an affordable apartment that is in a safe neighborhood. Or if you feel sad about ending a longtime relationship, be grateful that you are no longer with someone who is not right for you.

Get your finances and career in order

Start by talking with your employer about a pay raise. If you've worked with the company for several years, mention the ways in which your skills have helped the company increase revenue, boost productivity and gain new customers. Another idea would be to apply for a better position within the company that offers a higher salary. Look over your credit reports and pay down debts you owe. Build an emergency savings account and research retirement plan options.

Get away from toxic relationships

There are times when you need to let go of relationships that are keeping you from renovating your life. If your good friend has started using you for your money and cannot be there when you need her, then it is time to move on and get better friends. Or if your girlfriend has been stringing you along, realize that she doesn't want to commit and end the relationship.

Don't neglect your health

Some people neglect their health for years and then a sudden illness or death occurs that catches them off guard. Make sure you eat the right foods regularly and exercise as often as possible. Visit the doctor if you experience unusual symptoms, and you want to get adequate hours of sleep each night.

Develop new interests

If you have the same interests you had ten years ago, your life may have gotten stagnant. If a friend introduced you to jazz dancing recently, enroll in these classes and have fun learning the new moves. Or if you look at a lot of dessert recipes, challenge yourself and prepare some of them at home.

With these strategies and renewed confidence, you can make over your life.

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