You guys, I am turning 27 in 3 days! I will have orbited the sun 27 times. (Assuming I make it to 100) I will have downloaded 27% of my life on Earth. With this comes some life experience, a bit of wisdom, lots of lessons & a ton of trial & error. I wanted to share what I have learned in my short 27 years on this planet. Things I wish I would have learned sooner. Things I am still currently working on. Things I've failed at miserably. Things you can hopefully learn from to live your best life possible. As far as I know, we are only given this one shot, one opportunity to seize everything we've ever wanted (aaaye Eminem) & create a life worth living! I am no where near done learning & I definitely don't know it all, but I do find these to be a solid outline & hope you find them helpful as well.
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This one is for all the wandering 20 somethings: May you find what you are looking for & live a life fulfilled & happy!
1. Spend your money on experiences, not things. Travel, visit art museums, go to concerts, hit the county fair. I don't covet my $100 shoes like I do the memory of the time I went to my first Rob Zombie concert with my closest friends. You will not remember things, you will remember the experiences. Make sure to invest in your memories. Some days, they might be all you have. Give yourself something to look back on when you're old & gray, reminiscing on the "good ole days".
2. Plan ahead & learn to manage your time. If you let it, time will slip away from you in the blink of an eye. It seems to go faster the older you get. Make sure you are using it wisely. Make time for what is important, plan your days ahead, & stay organized. Life gets hectic. If you fail to plan, plan to fail. You can still be spontaneous, wild & free. Just a more organized & successful version of a free bird. I was very reluctant to adhere to a schedule or want to plan ahead, but I swear by it now. Trust me on this one.
3. Speak up. People are not mind readers. Stop expecting everyone to know what you're thinking or feeling. Communicate. I spent a lot of my time thinking people understood my wants & needs, selfishly ignoring that we all come from a place of different perspectives & expectations. The truth is, every single one of us act & think so differently, that it is unfair to hold people to a standard you have set in your mind. If you know what you want, say that. If you don't, say that. If you don't like something, make it known.
4. Self educate & never stop learning. Formal education is expensive, self-education is not. You have the world in your hands, use it. Get a library card. Read more books (speaking of which, you can join our book club here!). Listen to podcasts. Watch Ted Talks. Talk to strangers. Utilize free online courses. Never stop feeding your brain.
Fun fact: Did you know that a lot of billionaires are self educated, either never attending college or dropping out without a degree? Feeling motivated yet?
5. Prioritize Sleep. If you don't know by now, sleep is important. For productivity, performance,memory, emotional well being, clarity & physical health. Sleep deprivation can lead to heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, Depression, increased inflammation, & even Alzheimers. There never seems to be enough time in the day but it is so important to get your 7-8 hours in each night.
6. Reframe yo' brain. Your thoughts shape your reality. So it's important that you keep yourself in check. Don't confuse this with me saying you must always be positive, perky & happy. Positive people also have negative thoughts, they just don't let them control them. This is something that takes a lot of time, patience & effort but you must learn to cut off your negative thoughts, change "I have to" to "I need to" & live in a state of thankfulness.
Henry David Thoreau says "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
7. Set goals & work every day to reach them. If you want to be successful, & most of us do, it is important to know what you want & work to get there. Setting goals helps you take control of your life, keeps you focused, creates a sense of accountability, keeps you motivated, & builds self confidence. I have daily goals, monthly goals, business goals, life goals, family goals.. Goals for ev-er-y-thing. I'm not saying you need to be this extreme, but everyone should have a set of goals that propel them forward. Make a list, set your goals, give yourself timelines & work every single day to get there.
If you have big goals, you have to put in the work to achieve them.
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8. Get out of your comfort zone, the magic happens when you take risks. It's very easy to stay where it is safe. But nothing really happens there. You can't grow if you remain stagnant. You have to put yourself out there, take chances & set sail. We are not meant to always be in a state of comfort. Branch out, learn new things, experience life. You will regret it if you don't!
9. Learn to say no. You will exhaust yourself if you spread yourself too thin & try to people please all the time. Learn to set limits & how to tell people "no" every once in a while. You are not obligated to help everyone, accept every invite, or respond to every text. You create a lot of excess stress for yourself by thinking you're obligated to say yes to everything. We fear missing out, we fear rejection, we fear hurting peoples feelings. I get it. But you can't be everything to everyone & you can't beat yourself up when you just can't take on the world. Say it with me.. "it's okay to say no".
10. Stop having emotional reactions to everything. Understand that feelings pass. Emotions are temporary & not to be acted on rashly. Stop giving so many fucks & learn to let things be. If you suffer from a mental illness, I feel you. It can be hard to shut it off. When you constantly feel intense emotions, it can be hard to navigate them & make decisions. Learn to understand your feelings. Know your triggers & know how you will respond once triggered. Sleep on it. Have you ever over reacted & realized that once some time has passed & then regretted your decision/reaction? Happens often, doesn't it? This is what I'm talking about! Learn to operate less on emotions & more with logic.
11. Love, & not just romantic, is an important need that should be prioritized. In your relationships, friendships, family, & with your self. It is such a basic need & most people are deprived. Form meaningful connections with people that matter. Keep your circle small & close knit. Check on your people. Make time for them. & apply this to yourself as well. Check in with yourself, practice self care & love. Live your life in a state of love & it will always come back to you.
12. Growth & progression should always be on the to do list. Don't ever stop doing it. What's not growing is dying, so keep it moving. Learning, changing, adapting. It's that simple & that difficult.
13. Love your skin & take good care of it. Great skincare will have you glowing & feeling great. I leave the house most days with absolutely no makeup, which these days feels like a cardinal sin. Wash your face, moisturize, put on some sunscreen, exfoliate, use face masks. All of it! You'll think yourself when you're 40 looking 25 & all your tanning addicted friends look 50.
14. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Make sure you surround yourself with people that push you to do better. People who love & support you. Who you can trust. Friends with goals & motivation. People smarter, wealthier & more successful than yourself. Surround yourself with people who talk about bigger things & less drama.
15. Less social media, more life. We spend waaaaaay too much time logged in that we are very rarely enjoying the moment. We compare ourselves to everyone's online highlight reel & we miss out on so much. We neglect loved ones & are more disconnected than ever. Set limitations & cut yourself off. We have become addicted to the constant stimulation of what others are doing that we are no longer living life. Put the phone down & enjoy what is around you.
16. No matter your style, you should always wear a smile. Stress less about your jewelry, accessories or shoes & always walk out of the door with a smile & you can't go wrong. A happy woman is a beautiful woman, no matter what.
17. Simplify. Every part of your life. Your "stuff", your friends, your problems, your clothes. All of it. Live simply & minimally. The less clutter & chaos around you, the less you internalize also. When you have less to clean & organize, you spend less time cleaning & organizing it which = more time. The age old problem of every highly functioning adult is having enough time. Make it easier on yourself by cutting out anything that is unnecessary.
18. Take care of your body, it's the only one you will get! I'm not saying you need to be a gym rat or nutrition expert, but you do need to be mindful & treat your body well. Pay attention to what you eat. Go for walks. Hit the gym when you can. Take your vitamins & choose fruits & veggies more often. You start feeling it as you get older & you will wish you'd taken care of yourself sooner. There are 70 year old women getting around better than some 30 year old's & it always boils down to how well they took care of themselves. So love your body, as it is but always work to improve it.
19. Enjoy the little things. Straight from Zombieland, this is one of my favorite little life tid bits. We tend to get so worked up over things that, in the grand scheme of things, just don't matter. We have become so stressed out that we don't savor that cup of coffee or enjoy the stroll through the neighborhood. We forget how great it is to sit down & sip on wine & read our favorite book or curl in a blanket & watch our favorite movie. We feel like we must constantly be going, going, going that we manufacture a lot of unnecessary stress. You read that right. We create our own stress. Every single night, I make a point to take a look up at the stars & remind myself how small I am & that my little problems just don't matter to the universe as they might to me. Weight lifted. Let the simple pleasures take up more space in your heart than the pointless daily stresses.
20. Get a handle on your finances. Save & invest early. When you're younger, you're not as focused on the future. You think you'll "figure it out". The truth is, there is always something coming up. Always something sucking you dry of money. Make it a priority when you are young & have minimal expenses to save, invest & plan for your future. You will thank yourself later!
21. No one really has their shit together or figured out. We are all just winging it. So break the comparison cycle. We are all lost & just trying to get through the day. It's important to remember that everyone is struggling & to treat each other kindly. Everyone is dealing with something, whether they show it or not.
22. Mental health is just as important as physical health. We are so focused on aesthetics & looking good that we neglect what's going on on the inside. Mental illness is very real & a growing epidemic right now. Take care of yourself. Seek help if you feel like your load is too heavy to carry. Do not pretend you don't have issues & if someone you love asks how you are doing or expresses concern, talk to them. Sometimes we feel more alone than we are & forget that so many others are going through exactly what we are. Build a support system & utilize it.
23. Trust your instinct. Not your anxiety. Not your emotions. Your gut instinct. Your intuition. If something feels off, if it doesn't sit well with your soul, if it does not feel right, there is a reason. Do not ignore that. Trust yourself. You are not crazy.
24. Sometimes, it's just going to be you. You're going to be all you have at times. Learn to be alone. Learn the ins and outs of yourself. Your triggers, how to handle them. Love yourself so much that the actions of others will not destroy you. I think it's a rite of passage that every grown woman must go through: You will have a time where you feel absolutely alone. Accept it, embrace it, enjoy it. There will come a time when you wish you had more alone time. This is why it is so important to take care of yourself & love yourself.
25. Leave the past behind. Hanging on to the past just prevents you from moving forward. Let shit go. New doors can't open if old ones haven't yet been closed. You cannot change the past & time spent dwelling on the past is time wasted. It's time to keep it moving & focus on building a future. Otherwise you will wake up one day & realize it all passed you by while you clung to things you can't change. Move on!
26. It is never too late. To leave that shit job. To get out of a toxic relationship. To take that trip. To change your life. Do not fall into the mind trap that you are unable to move. You are not a tree! If you are unhappy, do something about it.
27. "Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many." Embrace your slowed metabolism. The fine lines & wrinkles. The wisdom that comes with age. Not everyone gets to experience the act of aging. It is a humbling & rewarding experience to grow old. Enjoy it! We live our youth in a very fast forward pace & get to slow down & enjoy the view as we get older.
What's your favorite tip? What are you struggling with most or wish you knew sooner? Comment below!
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See you next year! Same me, only better!