As I sit here drafting this blog post, it’s my birthday. I turned 40 today. 40. It’s crazy. And while many struggle with the idea of getting older, I’m ready for this year – excited to see what this new decade and season of life holds for me. Will there be new challenges? Of course. (There are ALWAYS challenges – but that’s so often where the real work of figuring out who we are and who we are supposed to be happens!) There will be laughter, pain, crazy joy, tears, new experiences, and so many opportunities to learn and become a better me. (And isn’t that the goal?)

I still have a lot to learn. (All of us do. There is ALWAYS room to grow and improve!) But, I wanted to take the opportunity to share a few things I’ve learned along the way.

Here’s to growth. Here’s to self-improvement. Here’s to reveling in every kind of day the next year of life holds. I’m ready for you 40. Let’s do this.

  1. Your passions and interests are not an accident or a coincidence. They are where you find your purpose. Lean into them.
  2. Drink water. Tons of it. Seriously. Drink more of it than you want to. Your body will thank you.
  3. There is MAGIC in the ordinary.
  4. Spend time outside. Every. Single. Day.
  5. Learning to be content is one of the very best things you can do for yourself.
  6. You will find what you are looking for – so look for the good.
  7. Forgiveness is for you.
  8. Perfect is NOT a thing.
  9. Do something every day that makes you happy.
  10. Social media is not the whole truth.
  11. Pray. Pray about everything. You don’t need the “right words.” Just pray.
  12. You can’t want it enough for someone else.
  13. Change doesn’t happen when we do something sporadically. If you want to change, be consistent.
  14. No one is actually thinking about you as much as you think they are.
  15. Changing your thoughts fixes just about every problem. Renew your mind. Change your life.
  16. Being kind to the cashier, waitress, librarian, etc. makes a HUGE difference and costs you nothing. (And it’s fun to make people smile.)
  17. Expectations have a way of preventing happiness.
  18. (And while we’re talking about it…) Unspoken expectations are the quickest way to start a fight.
  19. Don’t place your joy in someone else’s hands.
  20. Feeling anxious? Upset? Angry? Turn off cable news and see what happens. (Trust me, it makes a HUGE difference!)
  21. You don’t have to “arrive” or “make it” by a certain age. We get to keep growing, learning, and achieving as we get older.
  22. Slow forward progress is still progress.
  23. Find a form of exercise that you truly enjoy – and then do it. Not just for the scale….for your MIND. (Endorphins baby!)
  24. If it’s not in your control, don’t allow yourself to worry about it. The worry won’t change the situation – only your mood.
  25. You are a lot more capable than you think. Most of the time, you really CAN do it. Whatever it is.
  26. Don’t try to escape every challenge. We don’t grow when we’re comfortable.
  27. Laugh with little kids as often as humanly possible.
  28. Read every day.
  29. When someone else succeeds, it does not mean that you have failed. We’re each running our own unique race.
  30. Anger is often hurt in disguise.
  31. Don’t compromise your sanity to make someone “like you.” (Find the people who like you for you.)
  32. All of your thoughts are not facts.
  33. Your capacity can shift from day to day. Give yourself grace on the days you need rest.
  34. Never skip a day of laundry. It seems like a good idea at the time. It’s not. A load a day lightens the load.
  35. You really should eat as much produce as the food pyramid says to. Experiment until you find a way you ENJOY it.
  36. “Balance” doesn’t mean doing a little bit of everything each day. It means doing what works for you each day.
  37. If you’re craving something, say a cheese stick – just eat the cheese stick. Otherwise, you’ll go eat an apple to try to forget about the cheese stick, have the apple not satisfy you, and end up eating the cheese stick anyway.
  38. The little things in life are actually the big things.
  39. Don’t live your life in constant anticipation – waiting for the “next big thing.” The mountain top moments are great – but the bulk of your life is in the journey. Learn to appreciate the mundane days.
  40. You are enough. Enough. Enough. Enough.