I'm turning 30 this weekend in Paris and I'm actually a little excited to enter this new chapter. It's been quite a journey so far so I'm looking forward to what my thirties have to offer. Before I say goodbye to my twenties here are 30 things I've learned before turning 30.
1. Choose Joy - You could have guessed this would top my list. Take the time to recognize and appreciate the true joy in your life. Life is full of joy if you stop and look around once and awhile.
2. Follow your dreams (both big and small) - Life is full of opportunities. Pursue your dreams by writing them down (maybe try a 101 in 1001 list) and make small goals to make them a reality.
3. Learn when to say "no" - Set boundaries and give yourself some grace to just say "no."
4. Know when to walk away - From a relationship, from the donuts, from the computer, etc....there comes a point when enough is enough. Learn to trust your gut and walk away (you can thank me later.)
5. Invest in "you" - Exercise, go to the doctor, drink water, go to bed at a reasonable time, etc. Taking the time to invest in you is super important.
6. Quality over quantity - This goes for relationships, clothes, food, etc. Invest in healthy relationships with people that support your dreams and keep you balanced. As for your closet, invest in key basics and timeless pieces that you'll wear for years. Forever 21 pieces don't last forever.
7. Be kind - "Kindness. It doesn't cost a damn thing. Sprinkle that shit everywhere." A kind word or gesture can go a loooong way. Trust me.
8. Put your phone down - Ok, if you're reading this on your phone right now keep reading, but seriously stop to think about how much of your day is spent looking at a tiny screen. Focus on being present with your loved ones and stop trying to get the perfect photo of your food or responding to an email. It can wait.
9. Focus on being intentional - Intention is my word of the year and it's already transforming how I view relationships. Be intentional with what you say, what you do and who you associate yourself with.
10. #Treatyoself - Because life is too short not to get that extra ice cream scoop in a waffle cone with whipped cream and a cherry on top (in moderation of course).
11. Pack your bags - It's so important to open your worldview and experience a new way of life. If you're a student make it a priority to study abroad - you won't regret it.
12. Don't compare your beginning to someone else's end - Your journey is unique so don't compare your story to someone else's. Trust the timing of your life.
13. Rest - With so much going on it's important to just slow down. Know yourself enough to know when you just need to stay home with a movie, bottle of wine and and early bedtime. Forget FOMO.
14. Don't worry - I consistently worry about everything, but I've learned that worrying is like walking around with an umbrella all day when the sun is shining. It's just not worth it. Stay positive and take life one day at a time.
15. Don't settle - If it doesn't taste good, if it doesn't make you happy or you simply can't decide... please don't settle. Know what you want and don't be afraid to go after it.
17. Learn something new - I've been trying to learn something new every day (I know that sounds slightly crazy). Just be open to learning a new word, reading a new book, researching a new topic or taking a new class. It's important to continue learning even after you leave school.
18. Do one thing everyday that scares you - I have this quote in my bathroom as a reminder when I leave for the day. Try to challenge yourself each day to try something that might scare you or make you feel uncomfortable. This might sound terrible, but you never know what might happen.
19. It's ok to fail - No one is perfect and failure often leads to something even better. Learn from your failure and try, try, try again.
20. Drop the word "busy" - Everyone is busy. This is not a valid excuse for blowing off your friends or a word to describe your day.
21. Don't aim for perfect - Perfection is boring. If things don't work out as you planned aim for plan b, plan c, etc.
22. Family first - I'm so fortunate to live close to my family and truly value the time we spend together. Even if you don't live near your family take the time to call, text, or write. Family is your home base.
23. Don't be afraid to ask for help - If you need help or advice please don't be afraid to ask a friend, co-worker or family member. I'm all about being independent and encourage you to research and try things on your own, but if you need help don't be afraid to let your guard down and ask.
24. Be grateful - It's the little things that matter most. Be grateful for the many blessings in your life both big and small.
25. Don't save that bottle of Champagne - Cheers! Stop living life saving things for a better day. Honestly each day is a gift so live life to it's fullest and don't be afraid to pop open that bottle of Champagne on a random Tuesday.
26. Forgive and forget - Forgiveness isn't easy but it's a must. It's not worth holding on to anger and it's better to just move on.
27. Focus on your strengths - You have some amazing gifts and those gifts need to be used. Understand how you can use your strengths in the workplace, your relationships and achieving your personal goals.
28. Prayer is powerful - Prayer is an integral part of my life that keeps me grounded. Whatever you choose to believe keep that close to your heart.
29. Change is inevitable - The only constant thing in life is change so embrace it and don't be afraid to see what happens.
30. Give back - Be active in your community and volunteer with programs and people that can use your strengths. This is a great way to meet new people and develop some key relationships in your city.xoxo