SO... I guess 40 is the new 30....my birthday is less than a month away and I feel like I'm still 29! I started thinking about my 40th birthday when I turned 39 and realizing how fast the years had gone by it made me reflect on the past decade. I've come such a long way since my 30th birthday! I remember it like it was yesterday; I had just given birth to my 3 rd daughter and Had made a conscious choice that I had to help my 3 girls grow into happy, healthy humans and that it had nothing to do with dressing them up in pretty clothes, or working hard to buy them more toys. What I found was the more I took good care of myself the happier they were. A happy mommy meant happier children! Until this day I preach to all my clients whether they have children or not : when you take care of you FIRST, you can take better care of everybody else, and it is not a selfish act!
Recently I took part of the social media 10 year challenge ( I had to think twice about) and man what an eye opener that was! I feel so much Stronger and healthier emotionally and physically today than I did 10 years ago! How did go from point A to point B? Read on to find out...
There's this saying that millennials are blasting all over Instagram ; the famous #liveyourbestlife or #livingmybestlife that follows pictures of people laying by the beach, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee at home. So I looked for the meaning of this "Live your Best Life" phrase and what I found was that "Living Your Best Life" is a mantra centered around self-growth, reaching new heights, and finding meaning. Doing things you wish to accomplish someday NOW instead of putting them off to the future. In retrospective I realized that my 30's fit the definition of "Living your Best Life" so if you are in need of change in your own life, or feel like you are stuck in a rut Here are the TOP 10 things I did and YOU can do too to Live your Best Life:
1. Invest in your health
The very first step I took towards living my best life and first investment was to join a gym. Right after my youngest was born I joined my local YMCA and took advantage of their group fitness classes. I began exercising 3 times a week and it was just enough to help me get through my busy weeks and manage stress. The beauty of today is that you don't even need a gym membership if you cannot afford it. There are so many apps out there such as my Fitness Pal that provide home workouts to keep you healthy and strong. Exercise helped with my mental health first and foremost. I was always in such a better mood the days I worked out and it led me to make healthier eating choices. I started small by cutting all juices, and drinking more water. Incorporating more whole foods in my diet was key to starting my health journey. 10 years ago, I would not even consider buying organic foods because it was so expensive but nowadays it has become so much more affordable (thanks to stores such as Aldi, Walmart, and Wholefoods). It is totally worth the investment for long term health!
2. Educate yourself
At 31 I quit a steady job with a steady paycheck to become a personal trainer. I knew I had the skills to excel in this profession but I also knew that I needed to be better than good. So I enrolled in a sports management bachelor's degree program online and it was the best decision I had made! After graduating from CALU I felt so much more confident about my knowledge as a fitness professional but mostly It gave me the confidence to be my own boss!
3. Find a helpful mentor/adviser
"I made it all on my own." Said no one ever. The truth is to excel in life you have to be around people who inspire you to be better, People who are successful at what it is you are trying to do. I found my mentor in Dan who is one of the top paid personal trainers on the Mainline. He encouraged me to go back to school and be the best trainer I could be. He took the time to answer my millions of questions about exercise, dieting...I know I drove him crazy with my endless questions but he was patient and helped as much as he could.
4. Set goals and act on them
Be specific with what you really want. In my 30's I wrote down 3 goals I really wanted to accomplish: 1) have more time with my girls, 2) Work for myself, 3) work in the fitness industry. I set these goals and while they may have seem impossible at first; every decisions I made would have to get me closer to them. Ask yourself every day: What can I do today to create progress towards my own goals? What is in the way? Find out what it is you should be doing and act on it.
5. Self awareness- Be mindful
I used to think everyone around me was to blame for my problems. I would get so wrapped up in my head about what others were doing ( I thought to me) that it would get emotionally exhausted and miss the happy moments of life. Self awareness helped me realize that How I reacted to the circumstances of life where all up to me. I could chose to blame the world or be still for a little and find out why I felt a certain way about a situation, and then make a calmer decision about how to react. Being mindful can be very uncomfortable at first but the more you are able to identify negative patterns the better you can transform them into positive ones. I believe this is one of the most crucial step I have to continue to work on to create the life that I want.
6. Meditate and do yoga
I love practicing yoga but what I love most about it is the meditation aspect. Meditation is the key to focus, recenter yourself , and make better decisions. I allows you to breath... Breathing is essential to life. If you don't breath you die is what one my favorite yoga instructor once told me. It allows you to just be still for a moment, be one with your breath, release stress and be more grateful.
7. Let Go Of Relationships that don't serve you anymore
Unfortunately, not everyone is meant to be in our life forever. This is a lesson that took me a while to realize and that I'm still working on. I've always tried to see the good in people even when they hurt me and didn't serve me positively. I've learned that Some relationships are meant to be in your life for a reason but it may come a time where you must let go. Getting a divorce at age 30 to become a single mom was painful at first but It allowed me to grow and be a happier person. As my spirit grew, I was able to reevaluate other relationships with friends, and co workers and had to let some of those go too when I realized they caused more heart aches than happiness.
Traveling makes me happy. Having children and finances definitely made it harder to go places but I make a point to go somewhere new each year even if it is not out of the country. Sometimes just taking a two hour drive to the beach or the mountain is just enough to discover a new scenery, clear your mind, and meet new people.
9. Practice daily self-love
Creating your dream life will not happen if you neglect checking in with yourself daily. While we must nurture relationships with friends and family; the most important relationship you must take care of is the one with yourself. Practicing self love means taking care of your body and emotional state. One of the ways I practice self love is to take a 30-45 minute afternoon nap on the days I got up early because I know I will be an emotional mess if I don't:). Spending 5 minutes in the sun, taking a long shower are examples of things you can do each day to take care of you.
10. Be present in the moment and acknowledge the positive
More than ever, as I grow older, I find myself thinking to myself :" Man this is actually really nice". The picture of my daughter and myself sitting by the water in Assateague Maryland is a reminder of the goods things in my life. In that moment I remember feeling blessed for being there with my family and enjoying a fun day at the beach. Take the time to observe where your life has taken you and you will find the positives in those moments. Every morning I can see the sunrise from my window so I made it a routine to enjoy the view while drinking my coffee. It's a quiet moment to myself that I am grateful for each day.
I hope you see yourself in one of these 10 tips for creating the life you want. I also hope you can implement some of them if not all to help you "LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE!"