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Five habits I wish I’d started before my 40s

By - Richard - 6th December 2022

Five habits I wish I’d started before my forties.

In this video, I am in Pitlochry in Perthshire, Scotland. I went there to be by myself. Solitude is one of the things that try and embrace and I love taking time out to be alone and wander around with a camera. But this is not something that I fully appreciated until I was in my forties.

This video reflects on the other habits that I have adopted since being in forties, but which I wish I had started much sooner in life.

As I approach my two year anniversary of quitting alcohol, I talk about this as one of the five habits that I wish I had embraced much earlier in life. I don’t miss alcohol and I see my abstinence as one of my key habits that encourages me to make other healthier choices.

Up until the age of forty, I never really took my health very seriously. I was lucky in that I always seemed to be okay. The milestone of turning forty hit me hard and it got me reflecting on the need to take my own health much more seriously. I started to look ahead and realised that it was fundamental to take much better care of my health. For me, this manifested itself in running. And this was a habit that stuck. Two weeks before turning 40 I signed up for my first marathon. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that this was a life-changing decision. The marathon experience gave me so much confidence and belief within myself and also cemented a love of running, a habit that is now at the core of my need to take my health more seriously.

Twelve months ago, my wife encouraged me to try listening to audiobooks. It was a revelation. I am now in the habit of regularly listening to one book per week and I find myself going for long walks every day to carve out the time to listen to audiobooks. It’s a habit that I can undertake whilst exercising or doing domestic chores. I only wish that I had embraced this habit much earlier in life.

When I became a Father for the first time, I documented my son’s first few days by making a short film. I did the same around the time he turned one By the time I had a second son, I was making two films every year about my boys. This encouraged me to get serious about documenting my life and the life of my family. It’s a habit which pays dividends with each passing year. I extended this to interviewing both of my parents about their lives. I still refer to these two interviews as the most important things I have ever filmed.

All of these habits are things that I now practice regularly. I only wish I had adopted these habits earlier in my life.

About the Author

Richard Nicholls - Managing Director

Before launching Swift Films, Richard worked as a broadcast TV director and editor, working on programmes for the BBC, ITV and Sky.

A multi-skilled and technically-minded filmmaker, Richard is equally at home coming up with creative concepts as he is on location filming or pulling footage together in the edit suite.

Richard is a member of Independent Producers Scotland and has a love of cats, football, chocolate and Film Noir (in that order).