I Started Doing This Every Year on My Birthday and I Love it
Two years ago, I made a list of the important things I'd learned in my twenties. After that, I decided that it would be fun to write down important lessons I learn each year and someday maybe pass my full journal down to my grandchildren. It's a fun way to see how and when you grew, and a great time to reflect. Plus, I don't think we give ourselves enough credit for how much we can learn in a year. My birthday is next week and here's what I've been writing down for the past 2 years.
What I learned at 31
Never wear the same style of shoe two days in a row. Ow. Even the best shoes can rub when you wear them too long two days in a row. Give yourself at least one day in between shoes.
Saying no can be as powerful to yourself and your business as saying yes. I am a total people pleaser. I've been petrified to say no when it comes to my corporate life and my blog life. I started saying no a few months ago for things I know either diminish my value or don't work with what I'm trying to accomplish and GUESS WHAT? I'm alive! It's still not easy to say no but I've definitely established more self worth in my personal life and my professional life since I've started embracing the word no.
Know your worth and the value of your time. This was the biggest lesson I've learned the past year and it has been such a source of personal growth for me. It goes in hand with being confident in saying "no". Figure out what you're good at and know what you're bad at, set a value to that and make decisions accordingly. Is what your working on really worth the time you're putting into it? What is valuable to you? Is the extra overtime at work worth missing an extra hour of family time each day? There was a great article about Ellen Pompeo in the Hollywood Reporter this month about how she became TV's $20 million woman. She said she got great advice from Shonda Rimes:"Decide what you think you're worth and then ask for what you think you're worth. Nobody's just going to give it to you" YES! JUST YES!
Embrace the bigger jeans. Why are we so obsessed with sizes? If the jeans look better in the bigger size- GET THE BIGGER SIZE! For YEARS I've refused to buy anything over one size what I was in college. I'm not sure what that obsession is or even where it came from. That is insane. When I go to Banana Republic and their size 2 is a normal world size 4, I'm rejoicing. When I grab my normal size and it's too small, I refuse to try on other sizes. Seriously- what is that?! Sometimes you fluctuate weight. Sometimes the bigger size fits the same way as your skinny jeans. BUY THE SIZE THAT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE A FREAKIN ROCKSTAR AND OWN IT, SISTER!
Being the first one to say I'm sorry isn't a bad thing. I used to be incredibly stubborn about apologizing in relationships. When I married my husband last year, I dropped the need to be stubborn. Karen Parker (mom to Jessie James Decker) made a great point on her blog about fighting to win an argument that I'll never forget. She said that when you win a fight, the person you love the most loses. WHY would you want that person to lose? How could that possibly feel good? We don't fight much in our marriage but when we do argue, I'm usually the first one to apologize and I'm completely fine with that. It's the start to the end of an argument and I'm always met with compassion and an apology in return so it's just what works for us.
What I learned at 30
Marriage is serious business and also, it's the best. I don't think before 30 that I'd have been mature enough to get married. When I was in my 20's, marriage was so glamorized by stuff and the fairy tale of marriage. THE RING! THE WEDDING! THE GIFTS! WOO! I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy those things because I definitely did...but the wedding isn't forever. The partnership is forever. I wrote my vows thinking about what I would want my future self to remember and I didn't take it lightly. In the worst moments in our lives, what do I want to remind myself about the kind of partner I want to be to my husband? I dug deep, wrote vows that are important for me to keep and my view of marriage is completely different now. Serious? Yes. The best? Absolutely. I'm still in awe that a human being would want to be by my side forever. Perma-best friend? Yes please!
Be nice to assistants. They can make your life 1000x easier (or harder) and they know EVERYTHING. If you want to know the answer to almost anything at work- ask an assistant. They have the scoop, they have the contacts and relationships, and a lot of times, built in trust with the boss! I think it's funny when people underestimate anyone with an "assistant" title. Don't be fooled. They keep the world afloat!
Treat your job like it's the most important job in the building. Treating your job like it's the most important one in the building is a GAME CHANGER. I got a new job about a year and a half ago and it's pretty far down on the corporate totem pole if you map it out, BUT I've lived by this mindset since my very first day and it has served me incredibly well. Your job is what you make it. YOU make the job. When you're the best at what you do and you see your role as valuable, other people notice, see the value in your role and you'll make yourself invaluable. Oh, and it'll make you feel pretty good too.
Keep track of your friends big moments. The little things you remember can be so special. Cheat and write them down. I used to be really bad about this and I'm trying to be better. If it's a significant day for someone you love (sad or happy), it's worth putting it on your calendar so you can send them some extra love.