2017 marks the last full year of my twenties. A few years ago, I was deeply terrified of turning the big 30. For me, physically aging wasn’t the problem. The added responsibility associated with adulting gave me immense anxiety. My lifestyle at 24 wouldn’t work for me at 30. This new decade comes with another layer of accountability that no one really expects from you in your twenties. Once I realized how much time I’ve spent stressing about a new decade on the horizon, I began to reflect on the lessons in my adult life and assessing certain self-destructive behaviors that I do not want to carry with me later in life.
It’s time for a purge. It’s time to declutter my life.
Last week, I updated my Facebook status and asked my friends for advice on the kinds of behaviors and toxic qualities that should be eliminated by age 30. They are listed below. Before you read any further, you may have the same skepticism as one of my Facebook friends who read the advice that I am about to share. She posted this Huffington Post article titled, “To the Women Over 40 and the 20-Somethings Who Write About Them.” I’ve seen it make a couple of rounds on social media and decided to actually read it because, well, the author is actually talking to writers like me. Kudos to the writer for her kickass, IDGAF attitude. After a while, you shouldn’t have to live according to the standards of others.
But…her article doesn’t apply here.
We as boss girls should hold each other accountable. What my sister doesn’t know, I’m responsible for teaching her. We are often unaware of toxic, self-destructive behaviors until a really good friend points them out. This obviously excludes nit-picking commentary and vanity criticisms. No, I’m talking about taking a deep look inside to hold ourselves and our girlfriends to a standard of excellence. You can’t grow if the people around you aren’t watering your roots.
With that being said, here are 30 ideas on self-growth from my Facebook friends and I to you.
1. Seeking attention on social media
You’ll never find the validation you seek by posting about it.
2. Nonstop binge eating
Millions suffer from an unhealthy relationship with food and have issues coping with eating disorders. We tend to “eat” our feelings as a release from reality. Hell hath no fury than low metabolism.
3. Spending carelessly.
4. Poor social media etiquette
Emotional posts. Temper tantrums in the comments. Angry status updates. Someone is always watching. Screenshots ruin lives. Don’t let a moment of temporary frustration online cause you a lifetime of pain offline.
5. Living beyond your means.
If you can’t afford an elaborate girls’ trip in Vegas, don’t go. If you can’t afford the expenses in your best friend’s wedding, say no. If you don’t have the money for new clothes, don’t buy new clothes. Keeping up with the Joneses will leave you broke.
6. Dating losers
Why suffer through misery in a relationship? Don’t be afraid to walk away. You deserve to be treated like the Queen that you are.
7. Skipping health check-ups
Schedule your regular paps, perform routine self-breast exams, get your eyes checked, etc. Your body has graced the Earth for more than three decades, keep her in check.
8. Wearing ill-fitting clothing.
Dress for your body type, you’ll feel way more comfortable.
9. Putting off life insurance.
We all gotta go at some time or another. It’s never too early to start thinking about your final wishes. Don’t leave behind a burden.
10. Hiding your true self
Living a fraudulent lifestyle is not only exhausting, but it’s quite sad. The right people will always be drawn to you. Everyone else can’t keep it moving. Besides, your real friends will always be able to see right through you.
11. Tearing down other women
There comes a point in life when you stop being a mean girl and you’re just a downright mean woman.
12. Diminishing your value.
There is no amount of money in the world that can amount to your self-worth and self-respect. It’s one thing to mistreat other women, but you will never live up to your fullest potential by bashing yourself. Shutdown your inner self-critic once and for all.
13. Saying yes to everything.
The power of “no” will set you free.
14. Apologizing for no apparent reason
“Sorry” is one of the most overused phrases for women. Own up to your errors, but also be unapologetically you.
15. Engaging in unprotected sex
This isn’t cool at any age. STI’s are no laughing matter. Opt for healthy sexual relationships and only interact with partners who are serious about safe sex.
16. Ignoring your mental health
Your mental health should always be a top priority. Protect your mind at all costs.
“My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn’t I go to a shrink?”
Causing physical harm to another person is never an option in conflict resolution.
18. Feeling like you should have it all together
Striving for perfection is ridiculous. Do your best and the universe will take fare of the rest.
19. Getting sloppy drunk
Drinking like you don’t have a liver is a no-no. Enjoy adult beverages, but only in moderation. Alcoholism is real.
20. Job hopping
Switching careers is a given nowadays, but if you suffer from chronic job hopping several times out of the year then you likely have a.) commitment issues or b.) difficult to work with.
21. Poor hygiene
22. Not being happy for others
“Jealousy is the ugliest trait.” -Keri Hilson
23. Not trying
Take a chance on yourself. Don’t throw in the towel just because you don’t see immediate results.
24. Not owning up to your mistakes
When you’re wrong…say you’re wrong. Do better. Live better. (And yes, it’s possible without apologizing.)
25. Feeling like it’s too late to accomplish a goal
As long as you’re breathing, you have time.
27. Lying your way out of obligations
If you don’t want to do something..here’s a hint..don’t do it.
28. Being afraid to ask for help
Seeking help isn’t a weakness, it’s actually a sign of strength. A team of strong women in your corner will take you places. Never be afraid to ask for help in achieving your goals.
29. Carrying the weight of other people’s opinions.
You have to have thick skin to get anything done in this world, but first, learn to be immune to the negative opinions of others.
“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”