30 Things I’ve Learned in My 30 Years - Baby Chick
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30 Things I’ve Learned in My 30 Years

Having experienced a lot in my 30 years, I wanted to share 30 of the major things that I've learned in my 30 years.

Published November 15, 2016 Opinion

by Nina Spears

The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert

Today is my 30th birthday. I actually can’t believe it…that I’m 30 years old. (Not that I think 30 is old. It’s far from it.) It’s just a little surreal that I’ve hit this significant milestone and am no longer in my twenties. Some days, I feel like I’ve been 30 since I was 20 — especially after starting and operating my two companies (I’m an old soul) — but other days, I feel like I should still be 25 years old. Just hearing the word “thirty” sounds so… adult. I’ve done a lot in my twenties, which I am grateful for, and I’m ready and excited for this new chapter.

30 Things I’ve Learned in 30 Years

Having experienced a lot throughout my life, I wanted to share 30 significant things I’ve learned in my 30 years.

1. There Is More Than One Way to Do Something

And that goes for everything in life… studying, dancing, designing, parenting, being a good friend, being a good boss, you name it. We all need to realize that how you live is not the only way. As they say, “There is more than one way to skin a cat,” and your way is just one of them.

2. Respect the Choices That People Make and Be Kind, Always

Everyone has different circumstances and different battles that they are fighting that you know nothing about. Life is too short and too precious to waste it on judging others. Realize that we all are doing the best that we can. Because of our different experiences, it causes us to all see the world differently. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, be kind, and be more gracious to others.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

It’s okay to fail. It actually means that you were stepping outside of your comfort zone, which is a good thing! You took a risk, learned something new, or probably many new things, and are a better and bigger person for it. You are brave to take those risks, so be proud. If you haven’t failed at anything yet, you probably aren’t pushing yourself to your fullest potential or making big enough goals for yourself.

4. Take More Pictures

You will never look back and regret the documented memories. If anything, you will wish you had taken more.

5. Learn the Art of Saying “No”

(This is something that I am currently working on.) You can’t give 100% of yourself to everything. Prioritize what is most important to you and work on one thing (or two things) at a time. The other stuff can wait. People (who matter) will understand and will respect you for your boundaries.

6. Give Compliments Freely

Why not make someone’s day and say something that you are thinking anyway? We can never hear enough good things about ourselves and others. Positivity and kindness are contagious! Let people around you know that you are grateful for them, admire them, and appreciate them. Also, say “thank you” as often as possible.

7. Say “I Love You” More

You can never say “I love you” enough to the people you truly love. Especially to your children. Spread the love.

8. Make Your Home Your Safe Haven

Your home is (or will become) your refuge where you can breathe, recharge, relax, and get ready for a new day. You can’t fully relax and feel at peace if it’s cluttered or a mess. Get it organized and find special pieces that will make it feel like home.

9. Learn How to Cook a Few Tasty Recipes

You don’t need to be the best chef in the world, but you should learn a few recipes that you can cook well. It’s good to have some go-to recipes for your family and for when you’re entertaining.

10. Invest in Quality Friends

You don’t need a ton of friends. I’ve learned that. Like most things in life, quality is much more important than quantity. So find your tribe and be a good friend. People may not remember what you have said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. So invest your time with the people that matter most.

11. Surround Yourself With Good People

This goes with the previous point. I genuinely believe that you become the people that you surround yourself with. If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people; if you want to be smarter, hang out with intelligent people; if you want to be a better person, be around good people you admire. Be selective with whom you invest your time.

12. Take the Bigger Risks in Your Twenties

I am all about reaching for your dreams. However, the older you get, the less time you have to recover if anything were to not work out. When you are young (especially if you don’t have kids), you have fewer significant responsibilities, so you have the privilege to take risks, grow and learn. That’s more difficult to do and bounce back when you are older.

13. Take Care of Yourself

I always say you can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t give, give, and give to others and not give back to yourself. Take the time to take care of yourself. Get more sleep, exercise, eat better, and even squeeze in a mani and pedi occasionally. Taking better care of yourself will make you feel better and allow you to give more time and support to your family and friends.

14. Work Harder Now So You Can Play Bigger Later

When you are young, a lot of people just want to party. They say, “work hard, play hard.” I believe in working harder and smarter now so that you can play bigger and better later.

15. Always Have a Backup Plan/Exit Strategy

Things don’t always work out how you want them to in life and work. With every choice and plan you make, make sure you also have a backup plan or an exit strategy if you need to get out of it.

16. Learn How to Turn Work off for Family Time

It can be so easy to check your emails constantly and talk about work all the time with your partner or with your friends. Learn how to turn that off during a certain time of the day so that you can enjoy your loved ones around you. They will appreciate your undivided attention.

17. Try to Pay for Things in Cash

Having cash on hand is a good idea. You never know when you may need a few bucks. Also, stop using your credit card for everything. Stay out of debt and always try to use cash (or debit card) as much as possible. You will be surprised how much you save this way. This brings me to my next point…

18. Save Some of Your Money

You may want that cute new dress, shoes, or purse, but those things will eventually be out of style. You will never regret saving your money. Just do it.

19. Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

You must work hard, put yourself out there, put in the time, and think big! The best things in life take time.

20. Make the Time to Read More

Reading to the mind is what exercise is to the body. Instead of constantly staring at a screen, pick up a book. Reading can help reduce stress, expand vocabulary, improve memory, and more! But even if you feel like you don’t have enough time, get audiobooks. You won’t regret it.

21. Learn to Meditate

Whether practicing yoga or starting a morning or bedtime routine, it’s important to learn how to calm the mind and have time to recharge.

22. Date Nights Are a Must

Whether you have kids or not, the person you are committed to will be with you even after your kids (or future children) are gone. Invest in your relationship and ensure you grow together and not apart. Schedule time throughout the month to have a couple of date nights with your partner. Make your relationship a priority.

23. Choose Your Partner and Choose Joy Every Day

Relationships are hard. Life is hard. Some days or years will be great; other times, things will be trying and more difficult. You have fought half the battle as long as you both try to choose joy and choose each other every day.

24. Stop Worrying About What Other People Think of You

If you’re kind and authentic, who cares what others think. If you can look in the mirror and like who you see and can sleep well at night, the rest doesn’t matter. Just keep being you. Because the people that matter don’t mind, and the people that mind don’t matter.

25. Stop Listening to Everyone’s Advice

Do what you want to do and write your own life script. Listen to your gut and passions, and don’t let other people determine your happiness or destiny.

26. Stop Looking for Affirmations From Others

Learn how to be content by just being proud of yourself. Don’t look for (or fish for) accolades or wait for a pat on the back. Honestly, you may be waiting a long time. Be okay with giving yourself that pat on the back that you deserve.

27. There Is No Such Thing as “Perfect”

Perfection is a myth. As a perfectionist myself, this was a hard pill to swallow. But it’s freeing when you realize that no one in life is perfect. There isn’t a perfect dream guy or a perfect future wife or a perfect boss, etc. Just do your best and be kind to others.

28. Discover the Bigger Purpose/ Bigger Picture

There is more to life than just our everyday routine. Find what inspires you, what you are passionate about, and give back. My bigger purpose is to help and support as many women/mothers as possible through my services and Baby Chick! What’s yours? Have you discovered yours yet?

29. Nothing in Life Is Permanent

There will be good times and there will be bad. But if you’re unhappy with where you are in life, go and do something about it. Make a change. Try something different. You are in control of your future, and you determine your happiness.

30. Give Yourself a Break Every Once in a While

We are all our worst critics, but you must be kind to yourself and give yourself some grace, too. And when you’re taking that break, enjoying a glass of wine or a chocolate chip cookie is okay. 😉

chocolate chip cookie
enjoy a cookie

What do you think?! Is there anything that you would add to your list? I don’t know about you, but I am grateful for all the ups and downs I’ve experienced because they brought me to where I am today. I look forward to seeing what the next 30 years bring.

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Nina Spears The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert
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Nina is The Baby Chick® & Editor-in-Chief of Baby Chick®. She received her baby planning certification in early 2011 and began attending births that same year. Since then, Nina has… Read more

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