RESEARCH published by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has revealed that people in the West Midlands spend an average of one hour and 45 minutes dwelling on regrets every week.

Twenty-seven per cent of those are burdened with up to four regrets in life.

Wasting years of life with the wrong partner, not working hard enough at school and not seeing more of the world featured in a run-down of Brits' top 10 regrets, according to the study conducted by the BHF World Experiences team, as they launched their new series of Overseas Challenges for 2013/14.

Over half (58%) of those surveyed in the West Midlands admitted that, given the chance, they would make a different life choice, such as marrying someone else, pursuing a different career path or living somewhere else.

When asked what they felt had held them back, over a quarter (28%) of people pointed towards a lack of cash, saying that many of the things they wished to do in life were financially out of reach.

There was no love lost, as almost a quarter of those surveyed (23%) blamed loved ones, including their parents, partners and family, for holding them back from achieving their life ambitions.

A fear of failure emerged as a key obstacle to achieving personal fulfilment, with nearly one in three (27%) confessing they lacked the courage to seize the day and take the necessary steps towards achieving everything they wanted in life.

The West Midlands top 10 lifetime regrets:

  1. Not travelling more and seeing more of the world
  2. Not saving enough money
  3. Taking up smoking
  4. Not keeping in touch with more friends from the past
  5. Not working harder at school
  6. Taking too little exercise
  7. Eating unhealthily
  8. Not asking grandparents more about their lives before they died
  9. Drinking too much alcohol
  10. Not learning a foreign language properly


The West Midlands top 10 items on their Life To-Do List:

  1. Win the lottery
  2. See the Northern Lights
  3. Travel the world
  4. Experience a once-in-a lifetime challenge
  5. See world-famous landmarks such as the Taj Mahal or the Egyptian Pyramids
  6. Swim with dolphins or sharks
  7. Live and work abroad
  8. Build their own house
  9. Start up and run a dream business
  10. Write a novel


Nancy Prior, head of events at the BHF, said: “It is interesting that travel ranks so highly as a regret for people, as well as featuring heavily in their Life To-Do List.

“We would encourage anyone keen to tackle their number one regret of seeing more of the world to bite the bullet and take on a BHF Overseas Challenge.

“Whether you are trekking the Inca Trail or climbing to Everest Base Camp, you will experience that all-important feel-good factor as an added bonus, as you raise vital funds to support our lifesaving work for people affected by heart disease.”

Dr Gayle Brewer, senior lecturer at the UCLAN School of Psychology, said: “With over a quarter of us saying it is not possible to live with regrets, there seems to be a certain air of resignation among us that living out our dreams may simply not be possible, for a variety of reasons.

“Interestingly, not having travelled or exercised enough were among people’s main regrets. By taking on a BHF Overseas Challenge, you can accomplish all these goals in one go and gain a sense of real self-achievement, alleviating the psychological burden that regrets tend to weigh us down with.”

For more information on British Heart Foundation Overseas Challenges, visit, email or call 0844 847 2788 to order a brochure.