As another birthday passes, I often go through this period of self-reflection. For me, this started in December when I started compiling this list because I knew it would take me some time to come up with my “37 Life Lessons that I’ve Learned in 37 years”. I wanted to give up when I got to 20, but who likes a quitter right? If you want to see my “36 Life Lessons” list from last year, you can check it out here.

Here’s the knowledge I am dropping on you this year:

  1. P.U.S.H. – Pray until something happens.

Prayer is still essential in my life, but I have truly learned that even when things don’t happen when YOU want them to happen, keep on praying.

  2. Your health is your most valuable asset.

Don’t neglect your physical health. Develop a plan to exercise regularly and vitamins are your friend. And get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night if you can. Your body will thank you for it.

  3. Find a way to travel often.

Travel enriches you. Teaches you about culture and people and can be so therapeutic.  Travel and the experience can be the best money spent, ever. My vacation to Mexico last year was the first vacation I had taken in years. Not only was the trip therapeutic, it was relaxing and good for my soul. This year, I have at least three trips planned in the first six months. #MustTravelMore

  4. Even when no one believes in you, believe in yourself.

Even if you have to look yourself in the mirror every day and say, “I believe in you”, DO IT!

  5. Never let someone’s lack of support deter you from achieving your goals.
  6. And DON’T let FEAR stop you from accomplishing your dreams.

After I closed down my online jewelry boutique, I really wanted to open another business but was so fearful of doing so. Finally, in December I took the plunge, purchased a couple of URLs and opened an accessories shop this month and also launched my creative lifestyle brand. Fear who?

  7. Not everyone loves the same.

Sometimes people love you the best way they have learned how. I keep getting taught this lesson. Sometimes you need to hear a message several times before it sinks in.

   8. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

So plan. And even if things don’t work exactly as you planned, at least you have something to fall back on.

  9. Failure can teach you lessons that sometimes success won’t.

One “failed” business taught me a lot of lessons and things to change for my next venture.

  10. Avoid drama like it’s the plague.

Be allergic to the drama.

  11. The answer will always be “No”if you don’t ask.

Closed mouths don’t get fed.

  12. Don’t burn professional bridges.

You never know what the future holds…

  13. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak.

It just means you’re smart enough to know that you can’t do everything yourself.

   14. Comparison is a killjoy. Avoid comparing yourself to someone else.

Your chapter 5 may be someone else’s chapter 10, so just go with the flow and do things on your own time.

  15. Everything you see on social media isn’t real.
  16. Happy people aren’t hating and hating people aren’t happy.
  17. There’s a whole new world right outside your comfort zone.

So no matter how afraid you are, just make that move, even if it’s only baby steps.

  18. As hard as it may be to let go some people, if they don’t recognize your worth and appreciate your value, LET THEM GO!

You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

  19. Balance is everything.

Avoid overindulging in unhealthy things: people, food, habits, etc.

  20. Stop worrying about what others think of you.

When I entered my 30s, I developed a carefree attitude and now that I’m nearing the end of my 30s, I definitely do not worry about what others think of me. If you don’t have a significant place in my life, your opinions really don’t matter.

  21. Don’t worry about things that you cannot change.

I’m still working on this one.

  22. Stop procrastinating about important things.

For me, that means setting a budget/savings plan. I hate budgets, but if I’m ever going to buy a house…

  23. Tackle old debt.

I know we’d all like to just forget about that bill from 2 years ago that we never paid, but it will come back to haunt you if you don’t address it.

  24. Live below your means.

Due to unemployment and then being underemployed, I had to struggle financially for the last three years. But the struggle taught me how to make do with less and really budget when it comes to the miscellaneous expenses.

  25. Be realistic about your expectations.

Unrealistic ones only lead to disappointment.

  26. Be honest with yourself. Set yourself free.

There are times in life we refuse to accept the truth about something because we are in denial. But by accepting the truth, you can set yourself free and make the necessary changes.

  27. Don’t over schedule your life.

Learn to say no sometimes. Self-care is so important.

  28. Life happens now.

We often say “I’ll do this next week or I will go there next year”, but in the last few months I’ve learned how precious life is and the next day isn’t promised, so don’t put off what you can do now, for tomorrow.

  29. Love is essential to your existence.

Say what you want; be in denial, but everyone needs love from someone or something.

  30. Discovering and exploring your passions enriches your life.

I’m a firm believer in exploring what you are most passionate about. I believe if you have to spend 8 hours a day doing something, you might as well enjoy. Thankfully, I really enjoy my full-time job. But, if you aren’t as fortunate as me to do what you love, make sure you schedule in “passion time” to do the things that you are most passionate about and the things you enjoy.

  31. Only YOU can determine what success is.

Often we strive towards goals that aren’t fulfilling or that haven’t been defined by us personally. Only you can determine what is most valuable and fulfilling for yourself. Don’t let someone else’s definition of success define you. Once you let go of someone else’s version of success, you can start living authentically.

  32. You cannot force someone to change.

If they ultimately do not want to make a change in themselves or a situation, you will only drive yourself crazy trying to make the change happen.

  33. “Your friends can either be an “elevator” or a “cage”.

Either they can help/force you to level up or hold you back. Think about it.

  34. Step outside of your comfort zone.

Sometimes you may be too cushy being in a certain position, place or even relationship. But that cushiness can be holding you back from greatness. There’s a big world once you step outside your “comfy” and safe zone.

  35. Happiness is based on you and your internal state of mind.

If you don’t learn to find happiness within yourself first, relying on someone else to make you happy will never be satisfying enough.

  36. Perspective is everything.

If it’s not life-threatening you’ll be okay. When you are feeling low, sad or depressed, think about the LITTLE things that you have. Be grateful for the comforting friend, the job that pays your bills or the warm bed you sleep in every night. And even if it is life-threatening, cherish the life you have now. When all else fails, ask yourself, “will this matter in a year?”

  37. Stop living in the past and start living in the present.

As my birthday nears each year, I start doing a self-reflection of where I am currently, where I thought I would be and where I want to me. This year inches me just a little closer to being forty. I’m still single, so obviously I think about lost loves and missed opportunities. But living in the past really doesn’t do me any good since I cannot change anything that has already happened. So I am all about 2017 and beyond and that is how you should be as well.

We can’t change history, but we sure can make sure our futures are bright!

So what life lessons have you learned? I’d love to hear about them.

37 Life Lessons in My 37 Years
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