We know what people most often regret before they die:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
So what can you do to live a life without regret?
First, stop worrying. You anticipate regret will be much more painful than it actually is. Studies show we consistently overestimate how regret affects us.
Leaving options open is not the answer. Ironically, leaving options open makes you dwell on whether you should change your mind. Once the situation is no longer reversible, cognitive dissonance works to your advantage and you're more likely to be at peace. Stop trying to maximize everything. It gets you better results but makes you miserable.
As with anything related to happiness, perspective is most of the battle. Stop comparing your situation to a lofty, perfect one and compare it to something far worse that you could have opted for. In studies this is consistently associated with lower regret intensity.