Every year, when I know my birthday is near, I start this period of self-reflection. I think about my accomplishments or lack thereof and what my future will be like. In addition to my self-reflection, I also like to think about the lessons I’ve learned along the way and in the past year. It usually takes me some time to come up with this list, because the older I get, the longer the list gets. LOL I literally started this list back in early December and just finished it last night. 

So, here’s the knowledge I am dropping on you this year, my 38 life lessons that I’ve learned in 38 years.

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. Humility is everything.
3. Step outside your comfort zone.

You’ll be amazed at the great things that can happen in your life when you make a small change.

4. Don’t let FEAR stop you from accomplishing your dream.
5. Not everyone loves the same. And it’s okay to NOT settle for less than you need.

I am still learning the lesson that not everyone loves the same and not everyone is capable of loving YOU the way you need to be loved.

6. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Another repeat from last year because even if plans don’t exactly turn out how you thought they would, you have something to fall back on.

7. Closed mouths don’t get fed.

The answer will always be no if you don’t ask.

8. Don’t compare yourself to the lives you see people living on social media.
People only share what they want you to see on social media. You never know what their real life is like. 
9. Take time for self-care.

Self-care is EVERYTHING to me and I’ll soon be doing a self-care series.

10. Failure sometimes teaches you things that success can not.
11. Real girls aren’t perfect and perfect girls aren’t real.

Shoutout to Drake for that one.

12. Each year, do an inventory of the people and things that are “cluttering” your life. 

If they aren’t adding to your peace, growth, or positivity, LET THEM GO!

13. Don’t live to work. Enjoy life and try to have as much of a work-life balance as possible.

I’ve been in jobs where the work-life balance was completely off. I remember spending nights in the office ’til 11 pm or 2 am, just to turn around and be back in the office at 7 am. Not worth it. Don’t burn yourself out. Which leads me to…

14. Money can’t make me happy, but self-sufficiency gives me the freedom to share myself, without worrying about how I’m going to pay the bills.
15. Spend time alone with yourself.
16. Invest in your company’s 401K as soon as you’re eligible.
16. Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it a time or two.

In the past, I was NEVER a fan of change. I hated it and would resist as much as possible. But now that I look back on it, it’s probably because of fear and comfort. Life has taught me that sometimes change is good. Shake up things every once in a while and do something different.

17. You can’t control other people. (But I wish we could.)

We want people to think and behave as we do. We want them to accommodate us and our feelings. We want to change them. But with awareness, we realize we can’t and shouldn’t try to control others. Instead, embrace differences and honor the uniqueness of the people in your life.

 18. Little things matter.

Especially when it comes to gratitude.

19. You’re never too old to learn.

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.

20. If you want something, work for it.

If you want something in life, you must do the work to get it. But truthfully the work is what affords the most sense of accomplishment.

21. Your health is your most valuable asset.
22. Love is more than a feeling; it’s a choice.

I often hear stories about marriages in trouble or marriages that are ending in divorce. And while I haven’t taken the journey of marriage yet, I have learned that love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect each other, to support one another, to be faithful always. Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard, but it is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

23. Don’t take anything for granted.

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family, and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.  You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with loved ones, but you don’t. Nothing in life is guaranteed, so appreciate what you have NOW.

24. Those who aren’t the easiest to love are the ones who need it the most.
25. Your mind will believe everything you tell it. So feed it with faith, love, and truth.
26. Love is best spoken and shown.
27. Don’t live in the past.

You can’t go back there. You cannot change what has happened. Let go of regret and the shoulda, woulda, couldas.

28. As you get older, you will lose friends, gain acquaintances and have a few REALLY GOOD friends.
29. Never let anyone define your limits.
30. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

It actually takes strength to do so.

31. Your only competition is you.

Strive to be a better you each year. Strive for growth.

32. A person’s energy is everything.

Separate yourself from someone who drains you every time they come around. Negative energy is contagious. 

33. Surround yourself with people who will uplight you and encourage you.
34. People make time for the things that are important to them.
35. Trap music will motivate you and Jesus will refine you. Love both, just not equally.
36. Never beg again for attention or love. What they aren’t willing to give, someone else will gladly do.
37. Laughter really is the best medicine.
38. Know when to give up and have a margarita.

Photo of Yaya the Blogger

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