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I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!

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31 Life and Business Lessons in 31 Years

Hello 31!

I officially turn another year older this week. I used to get a lot more freaked out about my birthday and think that I wasn’t “far enough” ahead in life or achieving enough, but I’ve since realized EVERYONE feels that way. No matter what age you are. 

So to celebrate and reflect on the last 31 years here are 31 life and business lessons I’ve learned along the way!

31 Lessons in 31 Years

  1. Pursue the things you want in life – most of the time you don’t stop wanting those things so waiting to pursue them just ends up being a waste of your time. 
  2. Your 30’s are pretty amazing compared to your 20s – people don’t talk about it but you feel so much more confident and sure of yourself.
  3. Sunrise alarm clocks are a gamechanger at waking up early and sleeping better overall- I use this one.
  4. You really do never feel “ready” (It’s cliché but very true! Just start now, not when you’re ready).
  5. Be ruthless about blocking distractions, especially on your phone – there are a ton of apps and tools you can use to help keep distractions at bay. 
  6. Everyone always feels too old and too late to do things…you feel this at 21, 26, 30 and as far as I’m told for the rest of your life so don’t use it as an excuse.
  7. The Pareto Principle is true – 20% of your actions lead to 80% of the results. Focus on finding your 20%.
  8. Protect your computer from coffee spills – You won’t think it’ll happen but someday it will or in my case, you’ll have to replace your computer twice in a year. I now have a firm-only “lidded” drinks rule.  
  9. Getting more sleep truly makes your life better. 
  10. Decision fatigue is real – simplify as much as you can. Pair down your wardrobe, go grocery shopping less, have less streaming platforms to scroll through,etc… It saves your energy for the important stuff. 
  11. Taking any action at all is almost always better than no action. There’s usually no “first right step” either. 
  12. You will always think that future you will have more motivation than the current version of you – it’s not true. Future you wants to procrastinate just as much as current you so don’t put off the things you need to do.
  13. Take time to show people you care – send people flowers just because, ask specific questions about their hobbies and interests, send unique birthday gifts and just take the time to tell people you care. Most people don’t do this.
  14. Robot vacuums are amazing.
  15. Most meetings are a waste of time and there are so many other ways to communicate besides meetings. Be selective about the meetings you take
  16.  Pay yourself first – always set aside some of the money you earn. Even better make it automatic. A little bit adds up so much over time.
  17.  The library is truly amazing – they have basically everything you want to read for free and they store the books for you so that they don’t clutter up your house. Librarians are also amazing people to have as friends. 
  18. Try to take at least one “bigger” trip a year where you go somewhere entirely new. Travel is one of the few things you always remember and it always makes you feel inspired.
  19. Set boundaries – you don’t have to be a jerk about it but having an idea of what drains you is so helpful. I keep a list of what mine are on a Google Doc.
  20. Timer cubes are amazing for getting stuff done. I use mine to focus on work, convince myself to clean and do all of the other confusing tasks that come with being an adult. 
  21. Get into a habit of wearing sunscreen every day – yes even when it’s cloudy.
  22. Spend 10 minutes Googling the things you want to learn before you invest in coaching or a course. You’ll often be able to find the first few steps to take and it’ll save you a lot of money.
  23. You have to prioritize your own goals otherwise you’ll help a lot of other people achieve their goals (which is wonderful but it doesn’t feel great if you don’t achieve your goals too).
  24. Usually, the hardest part of achieving your goals is just remembering exactly what they are – post reminders everywhere so it’s impossible to forget what you are working towards.
  25. Spending even just 5 minutes a day on your goals adds up SO MUCH over time.
  26. Early on you have to say yes to a lot of things in business to be successful, but as your business grows it’s much more important what you say no to. 
  27. Consuming less things (news, social media, etc…) really helps your creativity and happiness.
  28. Everyone feels like giving up sometimes. It’s a super normal feeling and often it’ll pass. 
  29. Always keep at least one box of lotion tissues in the house – they are a lifesaver when you need them.
  30. Focusing on just a few things at a time helps you achieve more in the long run!
  31. Life is actually pretty long (for most people). You have a lot of time to do so many different things. Don’t skip doing something just because you don’t think you have time.

ONTO THE NEXT Year – Hello 31!

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