I recently read that we have a tendency to make big life decisions in the last year before we enter a new decade – basically in our 29th, 39th, 49th and onward birthday years. This was documented in a research paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published in 2014.
Apparently and somewhat intuitively, right before we enter a new decade of life, we begin to contemplate how we can change our path forward. It’s our step-back, re-evaluation period of life. We want to find meaning in our lives as we head into another decade.
What was interesting about the study was that people either made positive life changes (choosing to run their first marathon) or quite drastically negative ones (committing suicide).
Here’s an article published in NY Mag that talks more specifically about the life changes people are drawn to during their end of decade year(s).
Did you make any big changes/goals when you turned 29 or 39? Personally, I had three major life changes. I decided to go to graduate school (though I did know I wanted to go before 30). I also got engaged soon after turning 30. And I knew I wanted to try living somewhere other than New York City, where I had spent my whole life.
How about you?