Last year I thought to myself, "It's finally here! Dirty 30! Things are going to change and I'm a grown up now."
Honestly, if your 2017 year has been anything like mine, I had no idea what I was in for! This year has been an incredible journey of self discovery for me and that is why I wanted to end my Birthday month of December with the Ten Lessons Learned in My 30th year.
Believe in Being Your Own Boss and Follow Your Passions
At the beginning of 2017, I would have told you that I was a "starving artist." I had a dream of creating a blog and being self employed; Instead, I took time to work promotions and compete in bikini contests because I ended up needing the money to pay my bills. I was wasting time being busy for other people, and not making time to do things for myself.
Who else can relate? Having a dream that makes you think you are never going to be able to pay your bills, so you never actually get to it.
Now I personally have to thank a friend of mine for getting me into e-commerce, a world I didn't know I loved, and a world that gave me the financial freedom to pursue blogging the way I could only imagine in my dreams. Don't be scared to take the risk, believe in being your own boss and take the risk in order to follow your passions and find your true north.
Keep track of your expenses and don't be afraid of your bank account.
In 2014 I won a beauty pageant called "Miss Grand International," where I won $40,000 U.S. dollars. Before that I had worked a corporate job for 6 years with the goal of being completely debt free by the age of 30. With my luck, these winnings were enough to hold me over, completely retired for two years with the opportunity to pay off my debt. The problem was: I had set a goal in 2014 but had never thought it would be possible, so once I reached it, I forgot to set another one. Even worst yet, I stopped looking at my bank account with the fear of reality. I was out of touch, and because of this, although I am debt free, I have to start over. 2018 is financial planning year for me.
Break bad habits and commit to your health goals without being afraid to "treat yourself."
Somewhere in the depths of the internet there is a picture of me about 30 pounds overweight; one I could never bring myself to look at. Truth be told, I had started a birth control that made me gain weight uncontrollably and no amount of dieting could help me lose this weight. I was frustrated, fat, and I wasn't happy. I started to go on a strict diet regimen and gym schedule and was out to lose these 30 pounds. Once I lost the weight though, I still wasn't feeling completely satisfied. I felt healthy, but my life was full of "no thank you's," and food envy. 2017 helped me find balance, and once I was at my ideal weight I realized that committing to your goals doesn't mean you have to restrict yourself.
Respect yourself and don't let others treat you poorly
Here's the fun part (sarcastically.) This year was full of ups and downs for me. I was desperate for a real connection, and in being desperate for this I started to settle for someone that was obviously not for me. I wanted things to "work out" and I refused to see the red flags, and only focused on the small bursts of happiness. Knowing this relationship was forced also caused me to make a lot of mistakes along the way, and lose respect for my partner as well as for myself. This year was quite stressful for me in this department, but thanks to a friend who is now my partner, he made me realize that I had to demand respect and respect myself, and not settle for less. This was quite a journey, but if you find yourself in this situation, stop to take a moment to ask yourself, "do I deserve better?" The wait is always worth it, and sometimes what you are looking for is right in front of you.
Take joy in the little things and be thankful everyday
"Stop and smell the roses." It's the most adequate quote I can think of to describe how my happiness has transformed after applying this behavior into my life. There is definitely a beauty in appreciating everything your life has to offer, and there is a true developed ability to be able to look past all the "bad things." For me personally, it's much easier to see positives after practicing over and over again to be thankful, and it has now become natural. Every night before bed I thank God for everything in my life, even the things that appear to be silly, and I automatically feel uplifted, positive, and fulfilled.
Forgive, Forget, and Embrace. Give the same empathy to a family member as you would a friend
Last year my family had decided to do a secret santa for Christmas. We all had a set budget of $100 us dollars to spend, and none of us had really made a specific wish-list. Once we had pulled our Secret Santa, my designated family member decided to send me their wish-list. Holy-crap. Everything on there was over my spending limit, and I was immediately annoyed. I decided to send my secret santa cash, and have them pay the difference for whatever they wanted. I was set that this was the diplomatic thing to do and no one could convince me otherwise. Eventually, they asked me for more money to cover the gift they chose, and I was fuming. "Was $100 dollars not enough? Was it not fair to everyone else who had gotten their $100 dollar limit?" I was really upset about the whole thing because I was focused on the principle, and I had lost sight of what really mattered. Would I have been as upset with a friend? Probably not. I decided to make amends and send them the rest of the money, but I don't do secret santa's anymore!
Expand your mind in order to expand your goals. Read, Learn, and Ask questions
I graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration, and sometimes I wonder what I even went to school for! I walked into my corporate career 4 years ago with Diploma in hand into my boss' office saying "well, I have a bachelors now!" and all I got in return was a pat in the back and a congratulations. Even to this day I'm not sure I want to further my education, but this might still be in the books for me. I can't leave education out because I've realized that education does not necessarily mean going to school. This year I learned html, e-commerce, marketing, Monetizing, SEO, and countless other things that have helped me build my career into what it is today. I've also learned to trust my gut and my instinct is never going to let me down.
Read my favorite book:
Don't be afraid to broaden your circle, and don't be afraid to close it either
Who else is on board with Drakes "No New Friends?"
If you're not familiar with it, the quote still speaks for itself. This year I pretty much did a friend clean up. I eliminated all the negative nancy's from my life and all of those people that were a bad influence for me. On the other hand, moving to a new State has given me opportunities to broaden my circle, and meet people that inspire me instead of drag me down. I think the thought of letting go is scary, and sometimes we are incredibly attached to the very people that are causing us to self destruct. Quality over quantity seems like a cliché way to go, but I can't help but preach it. In my mom's favorite words "if they're bad for you, just hit delete!!"
P.S.A. If you're a female blogger or brand in the ATL, GA lets collaborate! Contact me via the contact form!
Whatever you want to achieve, grow it tenfold before setting it as your Goal
Whoah buddy, this one is a personal doozy for me. I constantly suffer with a case of "I cant's." I think in my 30's it still hasn't hit me that I can do anything I set my mind to, and actually much more. Had anyone told me i would be a full time blogger and e-commerce entrepreneur, I would have laughed at them and said "Yeah, I Wish!"
Funny enough, as soon as I started, I became better than I could imagine, and all the things I thought I couldn't do I was doing with my eyes closed. This is why I decided to start a planer and keep track of my goals and achievements, and whatever I think I can achieve by the end of the year, I blew it up times ten. My goals look scary, but not intimating, if you are achieving your goals sooner than you expected, you are setting the bar too low for yourself and it is time to re-evaluate. Goals are supposed to be a little scary!
Don't do things just to please others, start doing them for yourself. Life is short.
I hoped you liked reading about my Ten lessons learned in my 30th year! I'd love to hear about your lessons learned and any opportunities or struggles you encountered this year along the way. Feel free to leave a comment below!