Three weeks ago, I celebrated my 30th birthday. I told myself on my 21st birthday I would be in Las Vegas the moment the clock struck midnight on October 16, 2015. That didn’t happen. If you asked that little girl in the photo above where she thinks she’ll be at 30, she’d say rich, living in a house the size of a mansion, and retired because 30 is old. That didn’t happen either lol.
This is a natural feeling wanting more in your life and not being 100% satisfied with where you are. That’s what leads you to seek better and live the life you truly believe you deserve.
There is a lot of 30+-year-olds who are where I am. Wishing they had more and dealing with the fact they are in a new decade of their life not having accomplished the things they thought they would have, or worse just settling for the way things are. This can be a source of unhappiness. But I’ve discovered that there are ways to cope and fix this.
Here are 7 ways I’m coping with not being where I thought I’d be at 30. Hopefully these tips will help you too.
Come to terms with the fact you want more
The first step to recovery in anything in life is to admit that there is a problem. The longer you say you’re fine or pretend to be happy is the longer it’s going to take to get to your goal. I drowned myself in positive quotes when I was in my 20s. But I didn’t work on making sure my inner happiness was on point so that what I read really stuck with me. You can curate a fabulous life on Instagram, Facebook, twitter or wherever else you publish your thoughts and doings on social media, but once you turn off your computer or put your phone down and are left alone with your thoughts, the truth of knowing you want more from your life can be suffocating when you’re in denial. Come to terms you want more, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.
Understand that it takes time and dedication to make necessary changes
Time is a commodity. I know this more than ever now as a mother. I have so much more respect for my time now. Something simple like running in the park alone with myself for an hour is a treat. To reach the goals you didn’t achieve in your 20s, you’ve got to stick through it in your 30s. It may take 2 months or it could take 2 years to get where you want to be. As long as you’re working towards it, that’s all that matters. Sign up for the gym and keep going, you won’t see results next week, but 8 weeks or more from now you’ll fit into those jeans you haven’t worn since you were 23. Or apply for your bachelors or masters. You won’t graduate next year but four (maybe more, maybe less) years from now you’ll have that job you really want. Whatever your goal is, understand it takes time to get it. It’s the hard work you put in that makes you appreciate how far you’ve come. Plus the time you are spending working on your goal is preparation for you maintaining your new lifestyle.
Write a list of things you are grateful for and that you’ve accomplished
Wanting more is great, but let’s not forget how grateful we are for the things we have in our lives now. Are you breathing on your own? Can you see? Did you turn on your faucet this morning and water came out of it? Then boo, you’re blessed! No matter how small the thing you are grateful for is, speak it into the universe and you will get blessings tenfold. The best way to do this is first thing in the morning or last thing at night. You can sit at a table and write it pen to paper or use the notepad on your phone. Personally, I find it resonates more with me when I write it down because I’m thinking and jotting down my gratitude. Do the same for your accomplishments. Promotions, new baby, helped your best friend plan an epic wedding – write any and everything you’ve done that made you feel great.
Create a list of things you want in life and things you want to change about your life
Lists are everything! They help you organize and paint a clear picture of what exactly needs to get done. The most successful people in the world swear by lists and create lists for all facets of their lives. Writing for me is therapeutic and having my stuff together and right in my face in list form is an amazing habit. Ok, now back to creating your list. Create this list when you have little to no distractions. I like to write my lists when my son and husband are asleep that way I don’t have to stop doing what I’m doing to get something for someone or help the other look for his tie lol. Set up your area so it’s super Zen. Light a candle, burn incense, or meditate. Whatever you got to do to get you in the mood to create the list that will change your life, do it. Everything you want in life no matter how big, silly or crazy it may be, if you want it, write it. If your list is just one page that’s fine, if it’s 10 pages, that’s fine too. You make your own rules, this is all you, so be nice to yourself.
Next, write everything you want to change about yourself. Sometimes you have to look deep for this. At one point I wanted to change that I was selfish. Admitting I was selfish was hard because I associate selfishness with being a bad person and I think I’m a sweetheart. But you’ve got to be honest with yourself. You’re great just the way you are, but you could be better. We all can. Click To Tweet So if you feel you could lose a little weight, switch up your hair, change the way you think from always seeing the bad in people to seeing the good too, then write it down. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING you want to change, write it down. Another helpful way to do this, is to think back to negative things others have said about you. Don’t consider it all because people can be petty and some of their criticisms could be their own flaws they refuse to deal with. But consider the negatives that have been said about you and see if it is also an issue for you. Be honest with yourself and this list can be a godsend.
Draft a step-by-step plan of how you will get the things you want and how you will change certain things about yourself
Now this is my favorite part! We all got a lot of problems, but not enough solutions. This step-by-step plan will be your solutions! I got this idea from my husband who is militant about making plans. You don’t have to be about yours but you need to create one. So let’s take a simple example for instance. Let’s say one of your goals is to get your driver’s license. The plan you would make would go a little something like this:
Step 1: Learners permit
Step 2: Take 5-hour class
Step 3: Sign up for lessons
Step 4: Take those lessons
Step 5: Schedule road test
Step 6: Pass the road test, the end.
You’ll also want to set realistic deadlines for when you will complete each step. Just as simple as that plan is to set up that’s how simple it will be for you. Pick five wants from your list and write a step-by-step plan. Or pick more wants and write steps for them. Go at your own pace. Know how you want to get these things and set yourself up for success. This task may take a day or maybe even a month, but once you have your plan, you’ll have an agenda every day and anything that doesn’t align with your plan or goals will be seen as a waste of time for you and not even worth it. It’s a really liberating feeling. And if you see that your plan isn’t working for you, revise it as many times as it takes until it does. The more proactive you are in planning, the better things will unfold for you.
Share your plans with the ones who support you
The last part of the tip is important. There are real dream killers walking the streets. So you can’t share your plans with just anybody. People’s thoughts can be toxic and your mind is like fertile ground. Those toxic thoughts can mess with your drive and influence your decisions, and not for the best. It’s important to share your plans with people who support you because they care about your growth and progression towards happiness. They will also hold you accountable because you can bet they will ask you how things are going with whatever you have plans to accomplish. These people are gems. They’ve showed their support for you in other things and they are the ones clapping hard and loud for you when you win at whatever you work hard for. The smaller your support group, the better, so if you only have one or three people, that’s fine. Share your plans with the ones who really support you.
Just do it
Nike isn’t the top selling brand with sustained brand loyalty for no reason. They’re slogan is so powerful for just three words that are less than five letters each. Once you’ve done coming to terms with wanting more, understanding the time it takes, creating lists, plans, and telling the supportive friends or family what you plan to do, you need to just do them. Don’t wait until December 31 to say that next year will be your year. It won’t if you keep procrastinating. Tomorrow is unknown and today is a prize. Click To Tweet The more you put things off the longer it’ll take for you to get to where you really want to be. I wanted to get in shape and not look like I was in my 30s, so I decided I wanted to become a runner. I came up with a plan, downloaded and bought the tools, and was outside on the day I said I would be and have been out there three days a week ever since. I won’t lie to you – the first day you do any of the things you planned will be hard. You’ll face obstacles and feel like giving up. But the more you do it, the easier it will be. Experts and professionals don’t become that way overnight. Work on your goal every day and you’ll get better at it. I told myself in 2008 that I wanted to get paid for writing. It took time, but now I’ve got clients, I’m getting paid to contribute to websites, and I even landed a gig on TV once. Now I want to be paid more for my writing and receive residual income from it, and I will make that happen by first coming to terms with the fact that I want more.