13 lessons I learned by 31

The big 3-1...

This past weekend I turned 31 in a blink of an eye. On one hand I'm saying "where did the time go??" and on the other I'm feeling grateful for all the adventures and opportunities I've had so far. When I was a teenager dreaming about my life in my 30s, I never imagined I would still be this heavy into figuring out what I wanted from my career, my relationships and myself.

Here are 13 of the biggest life lessons I've learned in my 31 years...

1 | Embrace the journey

As I entered my late-20's I quickly realized that life is about the cyclical journey of dreaming, learning, and tweaking. Repeat. There is no end result; no "I've made it!" - moment.

2 | Healthy boundaries attract healthy people and opportunities

It's not easy to say no when you feel like saying yes, but if you want to avoid unhealthy codependent habits, the classic narcissist or the boss that calls you at home to complain, you must clarify your personal boundaries and stay loyal to them. 

3 | Let go of the wrong things to make room for the right

This includes someone you love. If having someone in your life is not helping you be the best version of yourself it's best to let them go. You will only be helping them grow while valuing your own personal growth journey. Don't settle or make something what it is not. We all have relationships for a reason, season or lifetime. It's up to us to understand when it's time to close a chapter to make room for something better suited for the next season of life. 

We all have relationships for a reason, season or lifetime. 

4 | Date yourself before dating someone else

If you're constantly asking yourself if someone wants or loves you, you must first ask if you want and love yourself. Once you truly find the joy and desire to be with yourself than you can be ready to receive that same desire from someone else, otherwise you will always doubt someone's desire for you. Avoid a mess and get back to you. Plan some dates with your charming self. 

5 | It's okay to break up with friends that don't allow you to be the best version of yourself

I had a really bad break up with a friend that I truly loved and still care for deeply. After a year of feeling like I couldn't be myself around her I decided it was better to stop letting myself be disappointed and just accept that we grew into different people at different season's of our lives. I wanted to make room for friends that accepted and inspired me to be the best version of myself. 

6 | Educate yourself on how to recognize and change if you or people around you are being toxic

Growing up with toxic family members and verbal abuse didn't help me as an adult. I always knew that what I grew up with wasn't right, but I had to learn about what good healthy relationships looked like. It's okay if you don't feel like you're an expert at relationships or dealing with people, no one is. After learning some basic guidelines for navigating and attracting healthy relationships, I feel more confident.

7 | Happiness is in gratitude

Even when the sh*t hits the fan there are always amazing things happening around you. 

8 | Less is more

When you realize you've got it all but are never happy that may be a sign to stop consuming and find gratitude in having less. Living minimally has made my life less stressful in so many ways. The less I have to manage, clean, or keep track of, the less clutter I have in my head. 

9 | Realizing your dreams requires you to FIGHT for it

If you don't want to fight for what you want you may not really want it or you need to work on believing in yourself. 

10 | Morning and night routines rock!

I lead with more intention and less stress when I take this time for myself. Read here about my fail-proof routine and how it helps me. 

11| Choose your relationships wisely

Seems a little repetitive, I know, but that's because it's freakin' important!!! Relationships and health are #1 influences towards our success and mental health. Don't settle for friends, girlfriends or boyfriends that don't inspire, support and encourage you to live the life you deserve. 

12 | Finished not perfect

Just like this post, there are many things I take forever writing or never published in my life because I didn't feel like it was at the standard I set for it, "perfect". What's that? No one knows. Because of this silly habit, I lost out on achieving my fullest potential in many areas of my life when I hesitated to put myself and my work out in the world. 

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13 | Close your eyes, ignore the nausea and face fear head on!

There are many more lessons that I've learned and continue to learn everyday. If I had to choose one lesson to learn sooner than all the rest it would be to face the fear of the unknown because nothing in life is perfectly planned, curated or as graceful as the movies. Don't stop living in the moment because you fear the unknown. You could miss out on some unexpected blessings.  

...face the fear of the unknown because nothing in life is perfectly planned, curated or as graceful as the movies. 

What are the biggest lessons you've learned in your life?

My 2017 Book List

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Books I've Read & Loved!

| Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert shares her blunt perspective on letting go of the doubts and fears that come along with sharing your creativity. This book inspired me to let go of the perfectionist side of being a creative.  Big Magic encouraged my new mindset shift of "finished not perfect" and allowed me to enjoy the process of creating and sharing no matter the outcome.

| Eat That Frog

Brian Tracy is a motivational success speaker who wrote a quick read about overcoming procrastination and prioritizing tasks that fast-track you to your goals. I read this book when I was 17 years old and it truly helped me organize all my crazy ideas into attainable action steps.

| Zen Dropout

Tweaked Style's very own photographer, Matthew Weiss, wrote a book! The main reason I knew that Matt got the TS culture was when I learned of his appreciate for the inner-work we all need to do in order to put our best foot forward. His book sheds light on the difficulty that comes from battling the stories that society, our friends and our family has us believing at one point in time. This book has helped me let go of trying to have it all figured out.

| Better Than Before

Gretchen Rubin does it again! I've read her other book, The Happiness Project, and was anxious for her next book. Rubin has a great way of inspiring you to take action in a way that works for your lifestyle. This book helped me continue making healthy choices in my life. 

 

Current Reads...

| You Are a Badass

On page 40 and can't put it down! If you're struggling to figure out what's holding you back from succeeding or being fulfilled in your life then this Jen Sincero book is a must-read! Can't wait to share my full review with you. 

| She Means Business

I've been following Carrie Green for the past 3 years as I've taken this full time journey as an entrepreneur. Almost half way through this book and loving the master action-items and mindset tweaks for achieving your business goals. 

Where did I get this book?

This book cover is a Tweaked Style design. Custom orders can be requested HERE.

My Future Reads...

| Lean In

"The book challenges us to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do, and serves as a rallying cry for us to work together to create a more equal world." -Sheryl Sandberg, author

The Dip

"Every new project (or job, or hobby, or company) starts out fun…then gets really hard, and not much fun at all. You might be in a Dip—a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing. But maybe it’s really a Cul-de-Sac—a total dead end. What really sets superstars apart is the ability to tell the two apart." -Seth Godin, author

| Energy Leadership

"This engaging and fast-paced story clearly explains how managers and leaders from all walks of life can use the principles of Energy Leadership to inspire themselves and others to achieve extraordinary results in whatever they do." - Bruce D. Schneider, author

My Morning & Night Routine for Happiness!

I wanted to share with you my routine for a healthy lifestyle in hopes that I might inspire you to tweak your own routine. As I enter my 30s I've learned more and more the importance of having a routine and healthy sleep schedule. Whenever I deviate from my morning and night routine I enter my days feeling off, mentally unprepared and resentful that I didn't take care of myself in the best way. 

How I start and end my day greatly affects the quality of my work, relationships and health.

MORNING ROUTINE

7:30am I always start my day drinking water, snuggling with my dog Chloe, writing down what I'm grateful for and creating clear intentions for the day (check out the Five Minute Journal). Even when I'm super busy I always have five minutes for journaling. I feel more intentional and appreciative of my day.  

7:45am Wash my face and brush my teeth. 

8:00am Take my dog for a walk

8:15am Shower and start styling my outfit for the day. I used to try picking out my outfit the night before but it never works. I like to dress for how I feel and often times I wake up in a new mood. 

8:30am While I'm doing my makeup and hair I love to have reggae music playing. Most of reggae is positive and fun and I always feel like I'm on vacation when listening to it. Perfect tone to start the day. 

9:00am Coffee and breakfast is made! My favorite is almond butter toast with bananas and chia seed. It energizes me hours and tastes delicious. When I don't have a hearty breakfast I feel slow, anxious and just not ready to give my best self to clients or projects.

This is also the time when I turn off airplane mode on my phone. I'm ready to give 100% to my emails and conversations.

Starting my day with emails and social media is asking for a rough start to the day. I want to give to myself before entering the day so that I can give 100% to others. 

10:00am Office hours begin! I don't believe in all that hype about "people who start work early are more successful"....blah blah blah. I believe the better saying could be...

"people who take care of themselves in ways that work for them will become happier and give happier experiences to others."

...Something like that. 

NIGHT ROUTINE

7:45pm Dinner is served!

8:30pm Time to unwind. This is the time when I scroll through my social media accounts and reply to friends. 

9:00pm Last dog walk of the day. 

9:30pm Simple clean up of my home.

Waking up to an organized space really helps me start the day on a "clean" slate. 

10:00pm Zen Time! I turn my phone on airplane mode, light some candles, pour some tea or a glass of water and journal about the great things that happened during my day and how I could have made the day better. There's always room for growth. 

10:30pm I try to get to sleep around this time. Having insomnia as a teenager it's crucial that I stick to my sleep schedule. As an entrepreneur I could stay up all night working or coming up with creative ideas but I truly believe in healthy lifestyle as a cause for success. 

I would love to hear about your routines for success below, share your thoughts or just say hello.