I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I am 30! Holy guacamole! My 30th birthday was on December 27th. It was a whirlwind! My friends and parents threw me a surprise party on the 26th at one of my favorite bars. The room was filled with some of my best friends that live scattered across the country. It was the best feeling to have them all in the same room at the same time!
The decade of my 20s was one full of life lessons. I learned SO much in my 20s and wouldn’t change that for the world. Now that I’ve closed the chapter of my 20s, I thought it’d be the perfect time to share 30 life lessons I’ve gathered in my first 3 decades on this earth.
30 feels just like 29, and 27 for that matter. You are only as old as you feel.
Drink more water. I’m a huge water drinker and when I don’t get enough, I don’t feel as good. Staying hydrated has so many benefits including clearer skin and eyes, more energy, and it can even boost your metabolism!
Chase your dreams. You’ll never regret really going for it, but you will regret half-assing it. You will never know what could’ve been if you don’t take the first step to trying. This goes for all aspects of life — career, money, relationships, lifestyle, etc.
Get some sleep! I spent a good portion of my 20s preaching, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” Well, I’m here to tell you, that 20-something-year-old Sarah was SO VERY WRONG. Sleep is so essential for life. Sleep will help to destress you, keep you more alert and productive during the day, help you lose weight, and even help you build muscles. The benefits are endless so tuck your pretty little face into bed every night for at least 7 hours.
Progress > perfection. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still a prefectionist, but I’m working on it. Making moves and taking steps forward is so much more fulfilling and essential for long-term goals than being perfect ever will be. There’s no such thing as perfect so chasing it will just end in failure.
Learn from your mistakes. You’ll make a lot of them, but sometimes the best lessons are learned when you’re down.
Keep learning. The day you stop learning is a very scary day. Learning will lead you to new opportunities, experiences, and help your life grow.
Find a podcast you love. I’m a huge fan of podcasts — they go along with the last point. I’ve found so many interesting and informative podcasts. You can find one about basically any subject under the sun and it’ll keep you entertained and your brain stimulated.
Put your phone down. Do you ever see those couples sitting across from each other sharing (I’m using that term very loosely) a meal while their faces are buried in their phones? Well, I’ve been there and it’s not fun. There’s no point in living if it’s merely through a screen. Real life and relationships happen in the real world where humans speak to each and connect at the very basic human level. If you never put your phone down, you won’t truly experience it.
Vulnerability is the only way to have a real relationship. Yep, folks, it’s scary. I’ve been on the end where I’ve had my heart shattered from being vulnerable and I’m here to tell you that it sucks. A lot. I’m also here to say that you’ll get over it. You have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable or you will never have a true deep connection with another person. Let people see who you are at your core and even if it bites you in the ass 10 times first, it’ll pay off eventually.
Exercise. Sweat everyday…or at least 4 days a week. Exercise will help keep your stress levels at bay, and the health benefits are countless. If I miss 3 days of working out, my body feels completely useless. Your energy, health, and appetite for life all depend on exercise.
Pull yourself together. There’s a time for wearing sweat pants with your hair on top of your head (such as right now while I’m writing this post). There’s also a time where you need to be able to pull yourself together to look presentable to the world. Create 5 outfits that you can run into your room and throw on in a pinch to look and feel confident. The same goes for hairstyles and makeup.
Travel as much as you can. I haven’t been overseas ever…yet. I have, however, traveled a ton inside the US. Trips are memories that last a lifetime. They will trump any material possessions you could ever buy so instead of a new pair of shoes, I strongly urge you to buy a plane ticket.
Relationships are a two-way street. Convenience and longevity are both awful reasons to stay in relationships, romantic or platonic. The last few years of my 20s were spent really discovering who my true friends are, and I’m happy to say that I’ve come out of it with some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. I have so many fewer friends than I did in my early 20s and I wouldn’t change it for a thing. The same goes for relationships: leaving is so much better than staying unhappy and ending up divorced by 40. Just sayin’.
Don’t stay in the problem — practice being happy. To this day I have a lot of unhappy friends. I’ve come to realize (thanks to my mom) that many of them ‘stay in the problem.’ They’re upset about a situation in their life & instead of figuring out the steps to fix it & ultimately become happier, they just talk about it, complain, & become more unhappy. If something isn’t going your way, figure out a way to change it around.
Make your house into your home. There’s nothing better than having a place to call home. Whether you live in an apartment with roommates, a condo, house, etc., make your area your safe haven.
Talking to yourself is totally normal. If you’re reading this thinking, “Pfffff, this girl is crazy, she talks to herself,” then you just did it yourself.
Save some money. For a vacation, new car, handbag you’ve been eyeing, or rainy day in case something goes wrong.
Stand your ground. Your 20s are a time where you’re doing a lot of figuring out who you are. Don’t let anyone else’s figuring out influence yours. If something doesn’t seem or feel right, don’t do it, go there, etc.
Say ‘I’m sorry.’ Learning to apologize is a hard and important lesson. The sooner you do it, the better your life and relationships will be.
Work on your confidence every day. Confidence isn’t just something you have or don’t have. It’s something that you need to constantly work on. You’re awesome because you are the only you on earth — go out there and show the world just how amazing you really are!
Nothing is permanent. Another lesson I learned from my lovely mom. If you’re not happy with a decision you made, turn around and make a new one. If you take a job you thought was your dream job just to find out you hate it, no one said you were stuck there. Get that resume back out there and find your real dream job!
Figure out how to relax. For me, taking a hot bath or watching trashy reality TV relaxes me. What can I say? Other peoples’ crazy lives makes mine seem very sane and relaxing.
Make goals and do everything in your power to crush them. It’s really hard to make your mark and live the life that you want if you aren’t pushing yourself and making progress to your ultimate goals.
Work hard. Even when you hate your entry level job out of college. It pays off in the end to put your head down & work for what you want. Plus, you earn a lot of respect.
Find a mentor. Someone who will give you business advice, help guide you to where you want to go, be objective about your progress, & never stop believing in you. Then return the favor when you get there in your own career.
Have a life. You need to be a whole person with a whole life before you can ever love someone with your whole heart. Depending on someone else for your happiness will ultimately lead to unhappiness.
Appreciate your parents. They’re the reason you’re here after all. Most of the time they’re pretty cool people. Cherish the relationship you have with them & pass on the parenting traits you love to your own kids.
Be intentional with who you give your time to. We only get 24 hours in a day so we need to make the most of them. This means setting boundaries with work, and not wasting time with people who don’t matter.
This turned into a much longer post than I originally intended it to. One of my big goals this year is to open up a bit more and show you guys who I really am, so I think this post is the beginning of that. I hope you enjoyed!
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