Today is my 30th birthday!! I am so excited about turning 30 as I think about all of the things this past year has brought me and everything I plan to accomplish in the upcoming year.
I didn’t always have a positive outlook on getting older. In fact, at age 25 I had what I called a quarter life crisis. I got stuck thinking about all of the things I still hadn’t done.
I looked at all of my friends who had careers with important job titles, were attending graduate level schools, were traveling to amazing placed I dreamed about and making big impacts on the world around them. (I have some impressive friends.) I saw all of this and thought, “What the heck have I been doing?” I wondered how I ended up working a job that paid barely above minimum wage while they were progressing through life the way I had expected for myself.
I felt like time was moving quickly and I was going no where.
Those insecure, stressful, ‘what is wrong with me’ feelings about getting older reappeared for the next few birthdays and many days in between.
Girl, but not today.
I totally feel like 30 is going to be my best year and each following year is just going to get better.
My mindset change from stressing about getting older to loving and appreciating each year happened with three main parts: reframing the past, realizing I was putting too much emphasis on age and making the decision to start taking action.
I’m going in depth about each of these topics below to help you shake those negative feelings about getting older and start greeting each new year with a smile on your face.s
3 Steps to change your mindset and LOVE getting older
1. Reframe the past
When I was down in the dumps about another year passing my whole perception of the past was based on the things I didn’t do. I thought about the places I didn’t go, the milestones I didn’t meet and the achievements I didn’t make.
What a sad way to look at life!
It’s no wonder I felt awful about the year that had passed. I was so focused on the things I didn’t do that I didn’t take time to acknowledge all the things I did accomplish.
Your first step in changing your mindset is to look at the past from the perspective of what you have done, not what you didn’t do.
Celebrate your victories
Think about the past year or couple years and take a moment to make a list in your head or on paper of all the good things that have happened. Think about relationships, family, work, money, education, personal development, fitness, EVERYTHING. Think about big things and small things.
What brought you joy? What made a positive impact on the people around you or your environment? What did you learn? What made you proud?
If you spend the time to really think about this, I bet you’ll have a pretty long list.
Isn’t it amazing how many good things happen in a year?
Celebrate those good things!
View mistakes from a big picture perspective
We all make mistakes and it’s easy to get stuck obsessing over the big ones. If you’re feeling in a funk about a mistake or something that went wrong over the last year, it’s time to take a step back and view that mistake from a big picture perspective. Think about your whole life – what has already passed and the years to come. That mistake is a blip on your timeline!
Another way to work through bad feelings about mistakes is to think about what the experience taught you. A mistake is an opportunity to grow and change. It sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. You’ll keep moving forward and now you have the knowledge to make better choices. Be grateful for the opportunity to learn and bring that knowledge with you into the future.
2. Stop focusing on age
You’re making age way more important than it actually is. Really, other people are not thinking about how old you are. That’s just you.
Age doesn't limit you
Age can be a limiting belief whether you are old or young. Regardless of how old they are people use their age as an excuse not to do something.
For example, a person in their 20s might say, “I don’t have enough experience to ______.” While a person in their 60s might say, “I’m too old now to ______.” Fill in that blank with write a book, apply for a job, start a company, buy a house, start a family, travel somewhere new, etc.
You guys, it’s just in your head.
Your age is only a limitation if you let it be. So stop thinking that you’ve missed your chance to do something and just do it!
Everyone's timeline is different
Comparison is something that I struggle with. I see friends that I graduated college with leading amazing, successful careers and it used to make me pretty jealous. Instead of working toward a career, I spent the years after college moving frequently and working in several low paying, entry level jobs. I then left the workforce entirely to stay at home and raise my son.
It’s not the path I predicted for myself.
But it is the right path for me.
Your timeline is not going to look like everyone else’s. And the plans you set for yourself will probably evolve over time.
Remember those past victories we celebrated? Well take that idea into your every day. Think about all the amazing things in your life right this very moment and just say a little thanks.
This season of life that you’re in is pretty great.
And, if you’re really not where you want to be, you have the power to change your path and create your future.
3. Take Action
Once you let go of your negative feelings about the past, you can focus fully on your future.
The future is what makes me the most excited about getting older. I am so grateful for all of the experiences that have led me to this point and prepared me for the amazing future I’m planning for myself.
The only way to live out the amazing future that you’re imaging is to take action.
Over the last couple years I have started taking time at my birthday to think about what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year. I set goals based on where I want to be when my next birthday hits and then work my tail off to complete them.
It makes me so excited for the upcoming year thinking about all of the things I am going to learn and accomplish. After the year has passed I no longer look back and wonder what I did. I know what goals I have accomplished and how hard I worked to reach them. It’s pretty amazing to look back on your past year from that perspective.
Having big ideas for the future is great, but you have to put in the work to make them happen.
I like to use a planner to track my goals. I have my list of things I want to accomplish for the entire year and then each month I assign myself some tasks to reach those goals. I break it down even farther by listing the steps I need to take each week to reach my monthly goals. This keeps me on track so that I can continue to work toward my goals throughout the year without getting sidetracked or forgetting about my big plans.
Whatever your method is for achieving your goals, the main point is that you’re going to have to work for them. Your life is only going to be awesome if you make it that way.
Turning 30 Doesn't Suck!
You guys, turning 30 doesn’t suck. And I’d venture to guess that any other age you’re dreading doesn’t suck either. If you’re having trouble meeting your birthday with a positive outlook, you have the ability to totally change your mindset by following three straightforward steps: reframe the past, stop focusing on age and take action.
Happy birthday dear friend! I hope each year keeps getting sweeter.