1. I just turned 38 and had a pretty rough year last year. It took that difficult time to help me realize some things that I really needed to start doing or start eliminating from my life. While it is not exactly some enchanted great wisdom that will change lives for the ages, I thought I would share it anyway in hopes that one of these helps one of you!
  1. 1. Take time for yourself. This is hands down the most important thing I learned this year. That whole put the oxygen mask on yourself first thing? It ain’t no joke! DO IT! And, even more, DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT!
  2. 2. Do something active every day – even if it is only for 7 minutes. There are many days I spend over an hour doing yoga, but there are also plenty of days I do nothing more than the 7-Minute Workout. It is about the habit of being active more than anything.
  3. 3. Make a it a habit to get sleep. The days of staying up all hours have long since passed … sure, there will always be times that we want/need to “borrow” hours from sleep, but remember – you’re not missing anything and it is best for everyone if you’re well-rested.
  4. 4. Meditation isn’t silly – just do it. Download Headspace and do it. Every. Day. Or almost every day. Your people will thank you. So will your head.
  5. 5. Stop giving a crap what other people think. Right around the time I turned 30, I began adopting this attitude. In the last few years, we had some major life changes, disappearing friends, us moving to another country and all sorts of things that brought out all the feelings and insecurities. But I realized that I am happier just being me – whether people like it or not. And as long as I focus on #6, I’m doing ok.
  6. 6. Be the best YOU you can be today. Some days will be better than others. Some days you’ll be irritable or emotional or impatient, and others you’ll be full of grace, kindness and generosity. Meet yourself where you are today and love it.
  7. 7. Breathe. You’re going to get pissed or anxious or emotional. Try not to react immediately, take a few deep breaths instead and go from there.
  8. 8. You don’t have to get old. Just because you’re approaching 40 doesn’t make you old. Relish life – if you don’t become an old fuddy-duddy, you won’t get old.
  9. 9. Do what you love. If you hate your job, find a way to do something in a a field you love! Take a pay cut if you have to – it is worth it to be satisfied with your work at the end of the day.
  10. 10. Forgive. FROZEN can teach us a thing or two – let it go … let it all go. The past is the past. Forgive and move on. That doesn’t mean you don’t need boundaries or that you have to let someone toxic back into your life, but for the love of all things holy, just let the old stuff go.
  11. 11. Feel the feelings. Stuffing them down will make you old, ugly and bitter. Take a moment to sit with the feelings, feel them, recognize them, give them space in your life. Don’t dwell, but have the feeling and go from it.
  12. 12. Turn off the notifications on your iPhone. Stop living on other people’s schedules! Someone once said (Tim Ferris?) – “email is everyone else’s agenda for your time”. EYE OPENER. Set times to check your email & social media – then you’re not living on everyone’s time and you’re not living in comparison to others.
  13. 13. Drink lots of water. Singlehandedly the best way to improve your mood, your body and your appearance. The end.
  14. 14. Make time to play. Playtime isn’t just for kids. Make time to ooh-aah the rainbow, dance in the rain, play in the dirt, play a board game, do #9, have a dance party in the kitchen – or anything else that you loved as a kid.
  15. 15. Eat the good stuff, too. A restricted diet made me wonder if I would begin to have a love/hate relationship with food. And honestly, I became a bit resentful for a moment. Until I instituted Cheat Day (aka “Fat Saturday”). I lift most of my dietary rules for Saturday … I drink coffee before anything else, I eat cheese and sugar, I splurge a little. One day of fewer restrictions gives me something to look forward to and makes me feel like I’m not missing out.
  16. 16. Establish healthy boundaries. I HIGHLY recommend this book if you don’t know where to begin with this. I used to be bad at saying “no” or “not right now” until I was so stressed I was miserable! If this is you, go get that book – RUN!
  17. 17. Detox occasionally. Or daily. Whatever you prefer – but cleanse your body of all the things that weigh you down.
  18. 18. Make time for yourself every single day. Don’t go crazy and be all self-involved. But DO make time to do something you enjoy every day. Read a book, paint your nails, color.
  19. 19. Get rid of something you don’t need. Minimize something. Maybe you have too many t-shirts or nail polishes, maybe it is too many purses or kitchen utensils. Someone in the world would be thrilled with just ONE of those. Clean out your drawer or closet or whatever it is, and give something away.
  20. . . .  TO BE CONTINUED . . .
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