Birthdays are so special to me and it’s hard to believe I just celebrated my 34th. I definitely don’t feel 34 and at this age, I actually feel healthier (physically and mentally) than I ever have. I’m so grateful for these years of life, the wisdom I’ve gained and every single past experience that has molded me into the woman I am. Coming from someone who was terrified of turning the big 3-0, I can wholeheartedly say your 30s is a great place to be. At this point in life, I’ve learned to make wiser, more thought-out decisions – and the best part about is, I’ve made decisions to create my own happiness, not to live up to others’ standards of happiness.
For my younger friends who are looking to gain a little bit of insight in life and even for those who aren’t younger than me but are similar to me, keen on learning from others, I’ve put together a short list of my own personal mantras that have helped me genuinely live life happily.
- Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is. That vision you had of yourself at this age, back then, let it go. Instead, choose to celebrate all you’ve accomplished and everything that’s to come.
- If you compare yourself to others and where you are in life as opposed to others on social media, your friends, etc., you’ll never be happy. Live life your way and don’t worry about what other people are doing.
- Always trust your gut and instinct. That little voice that tells you something is wrong or off, listen to it. Mine has yet to steer me wrong even when I haven’t always wanted to listen.
- Push yourself. Push yourself every day. Push yourself to limits you never thought possible – physically and mentally. You’d be surprised how strong you are. Never stop challenging yourself.
- Spread love and positivity. Thinking of someone? Shoot them a text. Want to see someone? Make time. No matter how busy life gets, if it truly matters to you, you’ll make the time. Did someone make you feel good? Let them know. Communicate. Talk. You don’t lose anything by letting your loved ones know how special they are to you. It’s that simple. In fact, you may easily make someone’s day with just a simple text.
- Stop every single diet and stop obsessing over your weight! Don’t let your health goals revolve around the number on a scale. Instead, lead an overall healthy lifestyle and you’ll be much happier – make healthier choices, go for a walk outdoors, get up and move for at least 20 minutes a day. Otherwise, that scale number becomes an obsession and you’ll be disappointed in yourself every time you fail. Why do that to yourself when you can just make healthier choices day-to-day?
- It’s OK to say no. Life is busy and we can’t be everywhere at all times, satisfying everyone else. I myself have the tendency of double booking and over committing myself but I’m learning to just say no at times and so far, it has been extremely rewarding for myself and my family.
- Honesty trumps. Now I’m not one to give my opinion when it isn’t warranted but when someone asks me for it or when I feel that strongly about something, I’m honest – and no, not in a hurtful offensive way, I’m honest in an I care about you way. I much rather speak openly than to bottle feelings up. I prefer to communicate, air out my feelings and move on.
- Forgive and let go. This is probably the greatest tidbit I can offer. Sometimes it is easy to do and other times, it’ll be hard (really hard) and your ego may get in the way — and sometimes, some people may not even have the strength to ask for forgiveness, but you can make the decision to be a strong warrior and just forgive and let go. I guarantee you this – your heart and conscious will be thankful.
- Lastly, and certainly not least, if you want something, go for it. It’s never too late. And if you fail, who cares?! We all learn and grow from every past experience we have.
I certainly don’t know everything and I still have so much to learn, discover and experience, but up until this moment, I can happily look back confidently knowing I’ve made great progress in this journey called life. Best of luck to you on yours. Please, spread the positivity and share some of your mantras!
Photos: Adriana Fernandez