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5 Things Every Woman Over 60 Should Quit Doing

By Penelope Jane Whiteley October 21, 2022 Mindset

Like me, you probably know all the dos and don’ts of being of a certain age – whether you believe them or apply them is another matter. All these items are key to my own learning to fly. Perhaps they can be of help to you, too?!

Nobody likes a quitter… but there are times when it’s not just OK, it’s necessary. These are the times when your gut is screaming NO, don’t do it but you feel it necessary to please somebody else. Which is the first item on this list of things you should quit doing:

Being a People Pleaser

There is a time in everybody’s life when living within the expectations of others and ignoring all those things you want, in favour of fulfilling someone else’s needs and wants, just has to stop. This is your life – not theirs.

If you don’t want pizza for dinner, don’t have pizza for dinner! You’re not being selfish or inconsiderate, you’re just being you, which may come as a shock to those around you.

Living in the Past

Dwelling on things past is simply futile. There is nothing you can do to change past events so, if necessary, find someone who can help you defuse the emotion around the event, and move on!

Putting Yourself Down

When we hit 60, it seems that our teenage insecurities come flooding in again. No surprises there, but we do need to take stock of our reality.

I hear women complaining of this or that about themselves; some to the very grave. I can’t wear that, I’m too fatI’m too oldI’m not smart enough

Stop putting yourself down. If you can do something about it, just do it. If you can’t, learn to appreciate how perfectly imperfect you are.

Fearing Change

A change for the positive is good… very good. It’s part of you becoming you, and as a woman who will never see 50 again (or 60, or 70), you are an Agent of Change.

Any change that helps push you on to your next aha moment or leap off a cliff (not literally of course) shapes who you are.

Sometimes though there are changes we plan for or even start which just don’t gel. Don’t force it, if it’s right and is meant to be it should flow.

We have all been in situations in which it’s just too hard. If we quit, it isn’t because we are a failure or don’t have the stamina, it’s because the change isn’t supposed to happen.


I am guilty of over-thinking everything – well, I used to be guilty! How did I quit? Cold turkey. Every time my brain started racing (and it was constant!) with unimportant, inconsequential, and even stupid thoughts, I would say If ………… happens the world won’t stop turning, or If I forget ………… the world won’t stop turning.

I started applying this strategy to everything and, after a little time, it worked! I also included a little It is what it is. Some may think this a very simple approach, but I found it a great way to start the stopping.

Understanding that all this applies not just to ourselves and our personal lifestyle, but also to our business or work, is key to our continued success. I believe this so strongly I actually wrote an article on the topic.

So, if you’re ready, it’s time to start undoing these habits that can have a really negative effect on you.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What other things would you add to this list? Do you over-think everything or have you learned to say It is what it is? Do you want your brain to control your life (it’s certainly easier!) or would you rather control your brain? Please share your thoughts with the community!

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Hi. This is such a coincidental topic for me as I am retired with my husband and we deserve life in joyous wonder. We married young. I am starting to swap the kitchen for crafts and exercise which pays dividends. I tried being the homemaker I couldn’t be at 18, and he loves me more and more. The way it always has been ha. No more neighbor watching and observing their lifestyles. Works wonders. Love this column! J

Penelope Whiteley

I’m so glad it worked for you Jackie … sounds like you’ve got it all stitched up. Good for you!

karin lesley bendel

I agree with the comment below that at any age ( the earlier the better) we should give up certain negative behaviors! At this age ( seniorhood)…it is time to be freed of guilt. Let go of worry and enjoy how ever many years are ahead. I can’t solve the problems of the world, I am aware of what they are and have to let it go and not go down with it.

Yes! That’s exactly the way it is Karin. I’m so glad you like the article …


This article should be called, “5 things everyone should quit doing, at any age.” I can’t imagine any reason to continue these behaviors whether you’re 25 or 85.

Penelope Whiteley

Cathy, it was originally called just that! I don’t think it was right for a title … or something like that! but I’m glad you enjoyed it …


You nailed it! These are all the things that I have been working on over the years!
Good reminder that I am on the right track.

Penelope Whiteley

YAY! Keep going girl … glad you liked the article …


Your brain is always trying to protect you, whether it’s warranted or not. You must tell it that what you are going to do is okay. The more you tell it the more it will back off and let you enjoy taking risks. After a while you can contemplate the zip line and the brain will be fine with it.

Rosamund Sheppard

I did the zip line in Las Vegas and I’m 73. I also did the helicopter ride over The Grand Canyon and all the fairground type rides. Life is too short to worry :-)

If only girls in their 60s and above realised this. Too many don’t.


I cannot even begin to tell you how much this comment helped me. Thank you!!

Penelope Whiteley

Susie is quite right Kristin. But watch that zip line … !

Penelope Whiteley

Gotta tell you Susie, my brain said NO to the zip line and it was quite right!

The Author

Penelope Jane Whiteley is the self-appointed Queen of Aging Disgracefully. A writer, international speaker, clothes designer, stylist and traveller, she helps other women to live their lives on their own terms. Her courses include “Lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes,” “The Reboot,” “Just Write the Damn Book.” Find her on, Twitter, and Facebook.

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