As I approach the big 3-1 birthday next month, I decided to put together a list of thoughts that I have found to be helpful in my life. I am not claiming to have mastered any or all of them, as they are all a work in progress, but they are great reminders that I turn to when I need to give myself advice and remind myself that I am right where I need to be.
1. You are not the same person at age 20 as you are at age 30. Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do (sometimes less, but that is okay too).
2. Practice mindfulness and gratitude. Be happy with what you have while working towards what you want. Be grateful for what you have and who you have in your life.
3. Don’t smile too quickly (some people won’t take you seriously). Smile soon after. 🙂
4. Food is fuel, fuel is energy, energy is life. Repeat this is your brain and think about what food actually is. A source of energy for living and enjoyment, not a source for guilt and overindulgence.
5. Apologize for mistakes not choices. But be aware of how your choices will affect those around you.
6. Put things in perspective. If you threw your problems in a pile with everyone else’s, you would probably grab yours back. Everyone struggles in their own way and while some struggles may seem “harder” than others, it is all relevant. Everyone deals with their own degrees of pain.
7. Go somewhere new, try something new, often. It does not have to be an elaborate out of country trip. Try a new restaurant, visit a new city, make a new friend.
8. Take yoga as often as it suits you. (if that is once in your life, that is ok too). Learn to breathe, to move and flipping relax!
9. Do not be afraid to fail. What is the alternative to not trying? If you do not try you 100% guarantee the outcome. If you try you at least have a 50/50 shot.
10. Release judgements and assumptions. The stories in your head are what is causing you so much heartache, pain, and negativity.
11. Dream. Dream big. And then work. Work hard. No one will hand you your dream and have it manifest itself. Only you can do that.
12. Always do your best. It is possible to be happy where you are and still have ambition.
13. Do not take yourself too seriously. Laugh often. Laugh with friends and family often. Laughing to yourself is okay too. 🙂
14. This too shall pass. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
15. Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you. Do not just think about the possibilities in life. Act on them!
16. How much you workout does not define you. Your sport or gym does not define you. But you need to workout in some form. Lift, run, walk, build a house. MOVE. Thrive on movement.
17. Money does not put you above or below anyone else. Remember that.
18. Do not compare yourself to others. Their journey has been completely different. Comparison is the thief of joy.
19. Lift weights. For fun, for strength, for bone density.
20. Stop apologizing for who you are and what you think you are not. Be able to hold your own opinion with an open mind. You do not have to win every argument.
21. When stressed or upset, take a deep breath and take care of yourself NOW. Mental stress will manifest itself and affect your body physically, tearing you down one day at a time, if you are not careful.
22. De- clutter. “Stuff” weighs us down. Work on owning only what you truly love and truly need.
23. Let go. Do not try to control everything. You will be let down because it is impossible to try to control things that exist outside of ourselves.
24. Spend time outside. Swim in the sun and run in the rain.
25. Get a dog.
26. Living on your own is scary but gives you a great sense of strength and freedom at the same time.
27. Ask questions. Tons of them. And then ACTUALLY LISTEN to the answers. You will not believe how much you can learn about life.
28. Find a job you love and you will never work another day in your life. It is okay if you do not know what you want to do at 20, 29, 34. If you figured out what you wanted to do at age 40, you could still work in that profession for 20 years.
29. Honor relationships that are important to you every chance you get, day in, day out.
30. Focus within yourself to find the essence of who you are. Know that you are incredibly important and completely worthy. Do we all make mistakes? Yes. But we learn from them, we grow, we love, we trust, we believe. When the world tries to shake you keep your foundation strong and hold on tightly to all that you are. Right now… you are exactly where you are suppose to be. I am exactly where I need to be.