A couple months ago, I turned twenty nine years old. To celebrate the fact I have survived another rotation around the sun, I thought I would reflect and list twenty nine tips that has shaped who I am as a woman.
These are the lessons that I wish someone had told me when I was in my late teens, early twenties. We are all on a journey to figure out who we are, how to be successful as women, how to live life in a meaningful way, how to become more independent, more unapologetically assertive yet loving towards others, and more. I hope these tips help you find more peace, independence, empowerment, and happiness in your life.
Let me know in the comments which one you resonated with the most!
1. Pay it forward as you rise up.
As you get older, you will climb higher in your social standing, financial stability, position at work, and more. As you rise on the totem pole, make sure to remember all the people who helped mold you into the person that you are today.
Personally for me, I would not be the person that I am had I not had people guiding and loving me throughout this journey. Be that person who takes others up with them as you rise. Pay it forward to those who may need help, whether it’s the younger generation who may need some guidance and/or the older generations that don’t know how to access resources.
2. Give yourself the gift of financial literacy.
Here is some truth about money: It really doesn’t matter how much money you make if you don’t know how to make it work for you. You could be making minimum wage or six figures — it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the financial knowledge to manage your $. And financial literacy is one of the BEST gifts you can give yourself to become a successful adult.
When this pandemic hit, it was a humongous wakeup call for me. When my hours at work were significantly cut during the shutdown, I never wanted to kick myself more for not having a beefy savings account.
It’s a serious concern that financial literacy isn’t being taught in school. But that’s no excuse to not go chasing after this invaluable education! Read some good books, find a financial guru on Youtube that resonates with you. If you are new to the Personal Finance game, I would highly recommend you check out Dave Ramsey, Suzanne Orman, Ramit Sethi, Graham Stephen, The Financial Diet, and Aja Dang. Obviously there are many more, but start there. There’s a wealth of information out there, waiting to be discovered by you. And no matter what, get yourself out of debt and save a big F*ck Off Fund (AKA an emergency savings fund) so that when times get rough, you have options.
3. It is not your job to always “Fix” the problem.
I grew up as a girl always feeling like I had to care about everything. As I was growing up, the message was clear: Be the good, well behaved girl or else I would not be loved and instead be deemed worthless. As I grew into a young woman, I realized I had been conditioned to feel like it’s my job to please everyone and to always “fix the problem.”
I am trying my hardest to unlearn this habit because it is not my job to make sure everyone feels comfortable at my own expense.
I am not obligated to solve everyone else’s problems. We, as women, are not obligated to solve everyone else’s problems. If someone is seeking help, then YES, we can advise and lend a helping hand. However, there is no reason for us to rake ourselves over a hot bed of coals to try and fix a problem where we aren’t even part of the equation.
Apathy really can be a gift. It is totally okay to walk away and not have to please every one and every situation you meet.
4. Slow down, you have time.
Slowing Down Is So Necessary. Not only does it makes you look at the big picture, you also stop stressing about the small stuff that really won’t matter five years from now.
This lesson has been a silver lining during the pandemic quarantine. When I look at my life before and how I was running around stressing, I realize Slowing Down and Being Present In the Moment just felt so good and right. You begin to enjoy the little things in life.
5. Create routines that will set you up for success.
The lesson: Create a strong routine that works for you first; then set your goals afterwards.
During this pandemic, not having a schedule really sucked. And I learned the hard way that it didn’t matter how many goals I was setting goals for myself if I was constantly failing to meet them. With all this time up my sleeve, I simply didn’t know what to do with myself.
So instead of creating endless goals, I focused on one thing: creating a good routine/schedule. Having a morning routine and a night routine has worked wonders for me in staying accountable and consistent with goals. It sets the tone for the rest of the day so you can go out there, stay inspired, and do great things with your life.
6. Mental health is important. You matter.
This pandemic has been rough. And honestly, we are all going through it and still reeling from what happened to us last year.
Mental health is nothing to scoff at. Please, please, please take care of your mental health, your soul, your body, and your mind. You deserve that self care. And you are worthy of being listened to if you are having a crisis and/or issues in your life. Please find a good friend and/or family member you can lean on if you’re having a difficult time. Or find a good therapist too!
You deserve to be happy.
7. Be kind to one another.
Simple as that. Like I mentioned above, we are all going through something behind closed doors… especially as we are coming out of this pandemic, it is so important to still be extra kind to one another as we all are trying to pick up the pieces of where we left off.
Be kind. Inspire and shine a bright light in someone’s life. Send a smile their way, say thank you when you receive help.
And especially in moments when you are frustrated, take a deep breath, walk around around and cool down before you speak to someone.
8. Aim for excellence, not perfection.
Perfection is boring. Perfection means everything is correct, but it slices the opportunity for you to be different, colorful, vibrant, creative, relaxed, whole, and more.
I am still on the journey to undo my vision of perfection. It’s a process, but I am realizing perfection is so clinical. Flaws, errors, and all mixed into it is so much more interesting, fun, and authentic.
9. Solitude brings clarity.
There’s a quote I love from Marilyn Monroe, “I restore myself when I am alone.” Solitude is so important to bring clarity back into your life. It’s not good to always be shaken up by the influence of others. You have to be grounded and clear about what you want in life; it’s the life work that we all have to go through to reach for the stars.
10. Make it a priority to ENJOY your day.
As I reflected on my life before Covid, I realized what a dull, sad life I led. My life had boiled down to waking up, barely eating, going to work, coming home, and sleeping. While all I was longing for was happiness, ironically the decisions I was making in my daily life was not leading me towards it. And no wonder, because I was living life like a robot!
This year, I decided to change all that. It is my purpose in life to enjoy every single day so that I may content and happy now.
My daily goal is to do something that makes me happy. It could be the smallest thing like going out to the grocery store, buying a cup of coffee from a local coffee shop, reaching out to a friend, etc. I am choosing to be happy starting today.
11. Detox from social media.
Though there are many things great about the internet, I’m also going to admit it’s a pretty toxic place. It’s so easy for hours to pass you by while you mindlessly scroll or binge on Netflix. Uninstalling Instagram and Facebook from my phone has been one of the best decisions I made.
12. Meditation has changed my life.
We, as a society, honestly do not breathe enough. We hold our breath and just try to cope as we go through our day. After awhile though, we all implode.
This year, meditation has saved me from an inexorable amount of anxiety and stress.
Facing yourself can be the most uncomfortable thing in the world, because that means you have to face your problems, imperfections, embarrassing moments, and more. And yet, if you do it for ten minutes a day, it makes you less reactive, clearheaded, and calm without losing your edge. I am thankful everyday for my breath.
13. You are what content you watch online.
Just like birds of a feather flock together, be careful of the content you ingest online. You will become it. I notice that when I watch a lot of doomsday, vapid, angry content online, I start to show signs of that. If I read a good book, watch a great interview on Impact Theory, I feel more inspired and light. You are what you ingest.
14. It really isn’t personal.
When people say ugly things to you, it’s really not about you.
15. Be unapologetically assertive when people disrespect you.
I’m still trying to work on this – but piggybacking off of the last point, I’m making it a point to not laugh off or pass any moments that feel uncomfortable and/or are trying to chip me down. I’ve noticed when I’m faced with a derogatory moment, I try to either divert or laugh it off like a little girl. I am about to turn thirty, and I am realizing I need to start standing up for myself and just say, “That’s not okay.”
16. Learn to adapt quickly.
17. Never stop learning.
The learning never stops just because you get a little older and you’re not in school anymore. Continue to read books, watch content that you will grow from. Start a new course where you learn a new skill.
18. Learn to brush off opinions that do not serve you.
People are always going to have an opinion about what you should do with your work, your life, your body, and more. Tune them out and go about your life the way you envision it.
19. Appreciate the little things now.
The things I miss most pre-pandemic are things like, going to a restaurant, hanging out with friends candidly, going to watch a movie… and I am so thankful that things in my city are starting to open up again!
You don’t know what you have until you lose it… and we certainly did lose a lot during this pandemic. So let’s all appreciate what we do have, because it’s not always guaranteed.
20. Practice gratitude every day.
Practice gratitude every day. Especially in moments like this when you’re not doing well, it’s so important to remember all the things that are going well in your life.
21. Journaling is therapeutic.
Getting all my jumbled thoughts onto paper has been a lifesaver.
22. Find tools that will aid you in the unwinding process.
I just wanted to give shout-outs to some tech items that have been making my self-care routine so much easier at night. First of all, my beeswax candles that I light when I’m taking a hot bath. Also my noise cancelling headphones to drown out all noise. And my colored smart bulbs and light strips. They have been so helpful in the unwinding process. Find things that will aid you in getting into a calm zone.
23. Move and groove your body.
Exercising and moving the body is so important. It helps to get that dopamine flowing and honestly it helps to get the angst and aggression out of my system. It’s so important we stay active. Start small with just mild stretching before building up into cardio. A little every day will make you feel better.
24. Pay yourself first.
When you receive your paycheck, make sure to save first then spend what’s left over. Even if you can only spare a few dollars in the beginning, making it a habit to tuck $ away will eventually lead you to build a small cushion of money in case shit hits the fan.
This also means you have to budget 🙂 Pay the bills and also make sure to put some money aside to also spend as Fun Money! This system has helped me save more money this year.
25. Stop putting your dreams on the backburner.
Not everything in life has to be safe, calculated, and non-risky. Obviously don’t be too impulsive, but if you feel thrilled about a possible new creative venture, go for it. Life waits for no one and it is our duty to ourselves to make it beautiful and meaningful. No one is going to make your dreams happen better than you.
26. Be the light in someone else’s life.
Check in with your friends, your family members, and anyone that may be feeling lonely and isolated. Just make sure they’re alright, because again, you never know what someone is going through.
27. Read regularly.
You are not just reading words; you are ingesting someone else’s life’s work. When you are entering someone else’s fantasy world (fiction books) and/or learning something new (nonfiction books), it keeps our minds fresh, young, and open to all the possibilities out there.
28. Create your own sanctuary space.
As a child, I didn’t have a room of my own. When I got my own place in my early twenties, I used hand me down furniture and my room was pretty sparse.
Now that I’m in a position to buy my own furniture and create my own sanctuary, I feel so happy whenever I come into my office to just chill. The freedom to create my space the way I want it has been absolutely amazing. It’s one of the best parts of having your own place as an adult.
29. Embrace the older, more badass You.
This is my last year of my twenties before I hit thirty this year.
I am getting older, but instead of dread, I feel really excited to open up a new chapter in my life. Each year, I feel more mature, calmer, and more sure of who I am as a person. I feel so much more stable than I did in my late teens and early twenties. I am getting set in my ways and there is something so comforting about that.
Getting older doesn’t have to feel bad at all. It’s how you make it. It can be a beautiful metamorphosis as you shed the little girl, your little insecurities, and fill into the person you are supposed to be.