I turned 40 this week. I used to think 40 was old, but now that I’m here it really doesn’t seem so bad.
I’m happy with who I am and where I am in my life.
I’m not saying I have all of the answers in life, but I like to think I’m getting pretty close to perfection – alright, so I still have a bit to go.
Either way, I’m trying daily to have a fun, successful and meaningful life. Some days I succeed better than others, but every day, I wake up and try just a little bit harder to be the person I want to see in the mirror.
As I was thinking about this milestone in my life, I realized I have learned a lot along the way. Some lessons have been more meaningful than other, but here are 40 lessons I’ve learned that have had the most impact on my life.
Amy’s 40 Life Rules for Happiness
- Life is short – enjoy every day
- Kids are a blessing and at times a curse – enjoy them either way
- Not everyone deserves or should get a trophy – some of the best lessons are learned from failure
- Don’t spend more than you make and get out of debt
- Say please and thank you to everyone you meet – be polite
- A soft answer turns away wrath
- The golden rule is still golden and there for a reason. Do unto others as you would like done to you.
- I get a lot more done with sugar and honey than with angry words.
- Take time to smell the roses (even when your allergies are acting up)
- Take lots of pictures – They help enhance the memory
- Loving family and friends is a choice – choose to love them every day
- Tell your spouse thank you for the little things like trash, laundry, and dishes
- Sometimes it is okay to cry
- Anything worth doing is worth doing well – always give you best effort
- Be honest, lying just hurts you and everyone you love in the end
- Set goals and work towards accomplishing them.
- Celebrate the small successes in life
- Take a sick day occasionally – especially when you are really sick
- Vacation hard enough to need a vacation to recover from your vacation
- Do something that scares you on a regular basis
- Write a bucket list
- Some days you just aren’t going to love your spouse, it is okay, just let it go and love them the next day (the same is true of your kids and maybe even your parents)
- Try new foods
- Serve, Serve, Serve – Help everyone you meet
- Take care of your body – it is the only one you have. Eat your veggies and exercise regularly
- Love unconditionally – people will never be perfect, love them anyway, even if they are on the opposite side of the political aisle
- Dress up for Halloween – it is okay to act like a kid occasionally
- Don’t stress about having the perfect beach body – be comfortable in your own skin and wear your stretch marks proudly
- Find a hobby you love and set aside time to play
- Visit your family frequently
- Tell your friends and family you love them
- Attend church regularly
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it
- Start saving for retirement and your emergency fund today
- Ask lots of questions and never be ashamed to admit you don’t know all the answers
- Keep and write in a journal – record your memories
- Talk to people in line at the grocery store
- Write Thank You Notes (this is one I’m always working on)
- Live the life you want, not the one people expect of you
- Choose each day to be happy
I think I’m going to redo this list every year on my birthday. If you have a few minutes write down the rules you live your life by. I think it might surprise you as to what you truly value in your life.
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