40 things I’ve learned before turning 40

1. LAUGH. With friends, family, when remembering a funny moment (like when I recently fell off a sofa in the middle of a speech at an intimate 40th) or even when watching TV. Humour is a superpower. One of my favourite photos of all time is a photo of my Mum & sister in absolute hysterics laughing on a family holiday. My Dad the OP (Original Prankster), was trying to do some magic & it was so bad that we couldn’t stop laughing.

2. SMILE – it really is contagious. I’ve had the occasional stranger smile at me in the street & my face immediately lights up without thinking, as well as my mood.

3. Kill with kindness.

4. TRAVEL – these memories last forever. I have been so privileged to travel overseas over a dozen times in my life & count these experiences as life changing but also into forming me into who I am.

5. Listen more.

6. Learn to discern. An incredible skill that only develops when you follow point 4.

7. Wear suncream. And a hat. And sunglasses.

8. Never stop learning. Read, take a course, listen to what other people have to say.

10. Turn your modem off at night & keep your Bluetooth off unless really needed. We are already being zapped enough by EMFs

11. Other people’s success does not diminish your own

12. Lifting other people up & celebrating their successes is a bloody good feeling.

13. At about 35, you won’t be able to eat what you want & not exercise without feeling it so find exercise you love – whether it’s regular walking, yoga, swimming or something more intense

14. Start saving from a young age. I bought my first apartment at 25 & count it as one of my biggest achievements. It also helped me to budget from a young age.

15. Not to contradict point 11, but also enjoy a healthy amount of spending on YOU – whether it’s the occasional pair of new shoes, a facial or some new earrings. You’ll feel a million dollars without (hopefully) spending a million

16. Don’t compare yourself to others – I am surrounded by people on a different level of wealth & success, BUT in the scheme of things, we are so fortunate. Roof over our heads, enough food to feed our family, the privilege of being able to educate our children.

17. Don’t sweat the small stuff

18. Regardless of whether you believe in climate change, it won’t hurt anyone to behave in a positive way – cut out single use plastics, shop local, grow it yourself where possible & support businesses who are trying to change the way we live for the better.

19. Drink water every day

20. Don’t restrict yourself – it will only lead to bingeing. We’ve all eaten a wheel of cheese occasionally (No, only me then?) or enjoyed a few too many margaritas (also only me?)

21. Floss – preferably your teeth but if you can nail the dance move too, then I take my proverbial hat off to you

22. Be you. Honestly, I have never felt more comfortable being myself than I have in the last year.

23. If you’re feeling rubbish, put on your favourite tunes – guaranteed mood lifter instantly

24. Set yourself limits on your phone. If you can’t self-regulate (like me 🙃), set app limits in your screen time

25. Read. Whether it’s light fiction, a heavy historical memoir or a self-growth non-fiction, you’ll never be worse off for it. If you’ve got kids, let THEM see you read too.

26. Don’t follow fad diets. Just look back at the last 10 years & you can probably name 10 diets that NO ONE talks about now

27. Eat your greens. Always. A cucumber on the side of a gin & tonic counts on weekends

28. Don’t beat yourself up about sleeping in. Sometimes we need it.

29. Love your career. We are working 40+ years of our lives so get paid to do what you love

30. Detox your home & make it free from numbers or unpronounceable words. It can be a slow process but when you finish something, replace it with a better option

31. It’s ok to cry. Tears are cathartic.

32. Hug someone every day. Human touch is So powerful.

33. Love your partner & family. Tell them. Show them. Support them.

34. Love your friends. Tell them you love them & why. Let them know their value.

35. Feel the earth beneath your feet at least once a week – sand, grass & salt water are magical for earthing.

36. Get out in nature on the reg. It’s an instant mood lifter & can distract you from any worries.

37. Get a hobby – whether it’s stamp collecting (legitimately me when I was a kid), running, dancing, yoga, gardening, swimming or Scottish dancing (I would happily teach you a reel!)

38. Get in 10,000 steps a day

39. Give. It could be time, money, or advice.

40. It may sound like a cliché but enjoy the ride. Life really is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Say yes to that next adventure. I look back at some of the crazy experiences I’ve had & although at the time they seem full on, there are so many things to smile (or occasionally laugh) at in retrospect.

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