1. Take the time to really evaluate your goals.
Many people can waste precious years of their life chasing things they don’t even want or never letting their desire mature. Make a habit at least every year to put a pause on your routine and allow yourself to think about what you value, and how that may have changed over time. The important thing is not to stop there, but to make the necessary changes so that your lifestyle can actually reflect your new goals.
For some women, this means learning to be better moms to their adult children. For others, it could mean giving their budget an overhaul so they can save more and waste less. For others, it could be de-cluttering their calendars to focus on spiritual and emotional growth. Whatever you learn about yourself, choose to honor your values with your habits.
2. STOP Trying to Please Everyone
On the surface, being a people-pleaser can seem like a good thing. After all, who wouldn’t want to get along with the people around them? But anyone who’s genuinely tried to keep everyone happy knows that it’s a vicious circle that leaves you burnt out, frustrated, and less effective at making the people you really care about happy. Just like you only have 24 hours in a day, you only have a limited amount of energy you can use up, so make sure you’re making it count!
Sometimes, this will mean saying no to overtime at work or to yet another family reunion. Make sure that you’re taking the time you need to recharge – whatever that looks like for you! Your relationships and your sanity will thank you when you realize that not everyone’s opinion is relevant to your life.
Actress, model, and animal rights activist, Ali McGraw talks about why being able to say no is so difficult for most people, and why she decided to say it more often.
3. Learn to Age Gracefully
A lot of money is made by convincing women that they aren’t beautiful, smart, and important as soon as they start getting grey hair or love handles. You’ll find yourself a lot happier and more confident when you learn to appreciate your body at whatever stage it’s in.
In a May 2017 interview, Ali McGraw said, “I remember in those early days spending too much time worrying about whether I looked okay. That is really boring. The minute that every single thing is perfect, you’ve lost your sexuality, as far as I’m concerned. Where’s the juice?” (1)
So, flaunt your laugh lines, your stretch marks, your freckles, and your grey locks! You have no idea how beautiful you really are.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
It’s hard enough not to compare yourself to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers- and then along came social media! But the truth is, nobody’s lives are as perfect as they might seem; that is 100% guaranteed. So instead of comparing your low points to everyone else’s high points, teach yourself to stop judging books by their covers and learn to value every season of life. Celebrate the good, learn from mistakes, and find comfort in the sad times. Life is full of so many beautiful experiences, and your life is so unique!
Ali McGraw said in an interview, ““Perfect…I don’t think it exists. It’s a peculiar obsession. Being a decent human being, interacting and connecting with other people — really, really connecting — is more important than anything.” (1)
5. Don’t Wait For Recognition
Ladies, you need to hear this: you need to be your own biggest fan! Most of the time, your hard work will go unnoticed, even by the people you care about the most. Instead of expecting people to show you their appreciation (and feeling hurt when they don’t), learn to rely on being grateful to yourself. Any recognition from the outside is an added bonus! (That being said, it’s okay to also talk with your partner about being more vocally supportive. And it’s also okay to teach your children to be grateful!)
6. Being Healthy Shouldn’t Be Stressful
Yes, your health is important! The biggest mistake people tend to make is in thinking that physical health is separate from mental health. If you find yourself checking your weight every day, beating yourself up with guilt if you miss a workout or go for dessert on a special night, you’re neglecting a crucial part of your health. Besides the fact that stress alone has been linked to serious health conditions, remember that the point of taking care of your body is so that you can enjoy your life!
7. Pass Down Your Stories
It’s easy to take for granted the experiences you’ve accumulated over the years, but the next generation can learn so much from you! You don’t have to sit down your children, grandchildren, or younger neighbors with a powerpoint about your life, but be open to sharing your own experiences- you might be surprised with how much your listeners appreciate learning more about you, about the world, and about themselves.
8. Seize the Day!
Splurge on yourself from time to time. Try new things whenever you can. Learn to say “no” so you can make room for the things you enjoy. Face your fears. Love fiercely. Forgive quickly. Take millions of pictures. Live life to its fullest.
If you agree with any of these important life lessons, pass them on!