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 major 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” though sounds so… adult. I’ve done a lot in my twenties which I am grateful for and I’m ready and excited for this brand new chapter.
Having experienced a good amount throughout my life, I wanted to share 30 of the major things that I’ve learned in my 30 years.
30 Things I’ve Learned In 30 Years
- 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 the way you live life 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.
- 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 more gracious to others.
- 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 and you 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 in your life you probably aren’t pushing yourself to your fullest potential or making big enough goals for yourself.
- Take more pictures. You will never look back and regret the documented memories. If anything you will wish you had taken more.
- 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.
- 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 about others. Positivity and kindness is contagious! Let people around you know that you are grateful for them, that you admire them, and that you appreciate them. Also, say ‘thank you’ as often as possible.
- 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.
- 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. If it’s cluttered or a mess you can’t fully relax and feel at peace. Get it organized and find special pieces that will make it feel like home.
- 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.
- 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 always remember how you made them feel. So invest your time with the people that matter most.
- Surround yourself with good people. This kind of goes with the previous point. I truly 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 that you admire. Be selective with who you are investing your time.
- 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 less major 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.
- 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 you. Get more sleep, exercise, eat better, even squeeze in a mani and pedi every once in a while. Taking better care of yourself will make you feel better and allow you to give more of time and support to your family and friends.
- 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.
- Always have a backup plan/exit strategy. Things don’t always work out the way you want them to in life and in work. With every choice and plan that you make, make sure that you also have a backup plan or an exit strategy if you need to get out of it.
- 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.
- 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. Which brings me to my next point…
- Save some of your money. You may want that cute new dress and shoes or purse, but those things will eventually be out of style. You will never regret saving your money. Just do it.
- Nothing worth having comes easy. You have to work hard, put yourself out there, put in the time and think big! The best things in life take time.
- Make the time to read more. Reading to the mind is what exercise it to the body. Instead of always staring at a screen pick up a book. Reading can help reduce stress, expand your vocabulary, improve your memory, and more! But even if you feel like you don’t have enough time, get audio books. You won’t regret it.
- Learn to meditate. Whether that’s practicing yoga or starting a morning routine or bedtime routine, it’s important to learn how to calm the mind and have a time to recharge.
- Date nights are a must. Whether you have kids or not, the person who you are committed to is the person that is going to be with you even after your kids (or future children) are gone. Invest in your relationship and make sure that 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.
- Choose your partner and choose joy every day. Relationships are hard. Life is hard. Some days or even years will be great and other times things will be trying and more difficult. As long as you both make the effort to choose joy and choose each other every day you have fought half the battle.
- Stop worrying about what other people think of you. As long as you’re kind and being your authentic self, who cares what other people 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.
- Stop listening to everyone’s advice. Do what you want to do and write your own life script. Listen to your gut, listen to your passions and don’t let other people determine your happiness or destiny.
- 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.
- 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 kind of 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.
- 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 with my services and with this site! What’s yours? Have you discovered yours yet?
- 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 own happiness.
- Give yourself a break every once in a while. We are all our own worst critic, but you have to be kind to yourself and give yourself some grace too. And when you’re taking that break, it’s okay to enjoy a glass of wine or a chocolate chip 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 that I’ve experienced because it has brought me to where I am today. I look forward to seeing what the next 30 years brings.