The Biggest Trap For Thirtysomethings and How To Avoid It This Spring

Ahhh, Spring… A new cycle for hope and new beginnings. If your New Year’s resolutions didn’t quite pan out, this is also the season for second chances.

But before we fall down the rabbit hole of expecting too much of ourselves and others, we should take a page from the tortoise, slowly moving towards the goal, with a bit more reflection than the audacious hare who arrogantly forgets the importance of the journey.

For the thirtysomeone, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of what I like to call, ‘Nextpectations’: expectations that make us feel negative emotions or that actually don’t serve us in our true happiness. Thirtysomeones are at the greatest risk since we are facing numerous decisions with multiple ways we can choose to attack them. We tend to look to everyone from our parents, our friends and even celebrities to help us sort through some of these often daunting dilemas. What did Beyoncé name her daughter again?

For a moment, think of some of the times that you say ‘should’ to yourself or you’ve heard it from someone else. If it was someone else, did you truly agree or did you feel some other negative emotion, like maybe guilt or shame? Did a parent or friend tell you that you should lose some weight? How did you feel when they said it? Is it something you’ve wanted to do for a while or is it kind of low on the priority list right now?

If finishing school or taking care of your children are your main priorities, ask yourself if you can put off losing weight or even ignore the suggestion altogether. Find power in what brings you joy first and don’t let background noise and guilt bring you down while you’re having fun pursuing your truest dreams.

I like to think of when people say I should move away from the city and start having children. It used to make me feel guilty that I hadn’t factored kids into my plan. But through some soul-searching, I confirmed with myself that my priorities are my husband and my work, and children just aren’t my jam. Once I was sure about what really brings me happiness, I was able to skirt any negativity those ‘shoulds’ could ever bring me.

The term, ‘Nexpectations’ also makes you think of how your goals for far off in the future can have you living in a constant state of ‘What’s Next?’ This happens when you achieve a goal that’s a small step to the bigger goal, but you hardly stop to celebrate it more than you would when your bus comes on time. Without even enjoying the fruits of your labour, you’re already looking ahead to what else you need to get done before you can be happy.

Let’s say, for example, your goal is to save money for a house.

First expectationsyou work on the courage to ask for a raise.

You do it. You get it!

You think, “What’s Next?”

Get a promotion.”

You get the promotion and you ask, “What’s Next?”

Save $10,000.00.”

You do it. You think, “What’s Next?”

            “Find a house. Then I’ll be happy…”

                           You find it. You buy it. “What’s Next?” 

                                                                          “Renovate. Then I’ll be happy…”

This constant living for the future causes us to lose perspective on the great moments right in front of us. Without celebration and reflection on our smaller achievements on the journey to the bigger goal, what’s the point?

It’s great to have a plan, but the idea is to not get carried away in only the planning, without being grateful for the achievements along the way. In other words, when someone congratulates you on that promotion, try to avoid saying, “Ya, but now I have to…”. Remember that, ‘Thank you’ goes a long way.

So this spring, let yourself have big hopes for the future but not without reflecting on all you’ve accomplished this far. And be sure to ask yourself if all the things you need to get done are from a positive place that is in touch with what makes you happy.walk-in-the-woods-linda-crockett

If you’re not sure what it is that will make you happy, you’ll have to do that first.

If you’re having trouble keeping a regular meditation schedule, remember that taking a contemplative walk in the the warm weather (or even in the rain) is also a form of meditation. Try to let your mind wander a little while also checking in with the things you’re looking forward to most in the upcoming years. Use everything you can to get the clarity you need for moving towards positive expectations you create for yourself and your life!

Happy Happy Spring, Thirtysomeones!

Do You Feel Lucky?

Do you believe in luck? Maybe St. Patrick’s Day will inspire you to you consider this for a moment.

Are you lucky?  Do you know someone who is hopelessly unlucky?

Do you feel like the things that have happened in your life so far have all been by chance or that you control your destiny?

If you’re like me and you believe in a little of both, remember today that feeling lucky is similar to feeling blessed with lepabundance – just think of the leprechaun with the pot of gold!

When you’re thankful for the abundance in your life, more comes to you. By taking an active role in being grateful for the things in your life, you’re taking control of your path by acknowledging what you want and telling the universe to bring more. This is how you can exercise luck and free will at the same time.

If you are at a place where you don’t feel very lucky right now, don’t use this day to just drown your sorrows in green beer. Use this as a starting point for getting down to it and actively changing your fortune by being grateful for all you have. Then, re-write your dreams and goals and what you want to see in your abundant future!

Have A Happy and Safe St.Patrick’s Day!

Is Impatience Tripping You Up In Your Thirties?

Last week I talked about the dangers of too many baby steps slowing our progress.  But let’s say those baby steps eventually increase to big action and you actually start to feel like you’re doing all you can to make things happen and get the ball rolling.  If you’re like me and most people, when we don’t see results immediately, we get impatient and worry that we’re not doing things ‘right’, or that success just may not come at all. As thirtysomeones we add the idea that we’re too old to wait any longer – we need it now or we’re doomed to be failures forever.  We’re a dramatic bunch, aren’t we?

Somewhere down the line you got it in your head that there is a certain acceptable amount of time before you will start to question what your doing – for some it’s six months, for others a year. Some of us tend to believe that we should see things in weeks since that’s how quickly things manifest in other areas of our lives.

But here’s the rub.  This time line was self-created, and even though you think it’s logical, it probably isn’t, and you may be riding yourself too hard for nothing. Does it really seem like your envisioned billion dollar business idea is going to take off after one tweet? Is it fair to expect to get pregnant as soon as you decide to start trying?

I have two mind salves for you today that can hopefully soothe the bites from your ants in the pants.

The first is that once you remember that your time line was self-created and has been self-imposed, you can begin to change it. Let yourself off the hook and give yourself more time. Summer or fall are much better times for launch parties or baby announcements anyway! And if you are still working on it by then, what’s the worst that will happen? You’ll either give up, meaning it couldn’t have been that important to being with. Or, you’ll realize you need to put more umph behind your plan and take some bigger action to get it going.

Secondly, we’ve all heard stories about people who try to have a baby desperately and eventually adopt. Then, once they adopt, they get pregnant! Why does this happen? The Law of Attraction says that it’s because you are no longer desperate and you’re in the same vibration with your desire.

The same idea applies here:  lose the impatience and desperation. Love the building of your business (or getting down to business) in the meantime so the process becomes one of joy, rather than desperation and negativity.

This is really what people mean when they say, “live in the moment”. Don’t worry about what time it is, just know that you’re doing everything in your power right now. Check in with yourself when you feel like it’s time for results. If it’s not feeling right, change the action. It’s all part of the process and it’s not worth stressing over simply growing up.

What’s your strategy for when you get impatient or feel like the universe isn’t delivering on time? I’d love to hear your ideas and comments.

And don’t be shy – you could be the one to get the ball rolling which could trickle over into other areas of your life!

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How I’m Making Today The Best Birthday Ever.

Today is my birthday!

This one is extra special for me because my two favourite athletes wear #33 – Jason Varitek of the Boston Red Sox and Patrick Roy of the Montreal Canadiens.

It’s also great because I had a HELL of a time telling people I was 32.  For some reason, I always had trouble remembering how old I was.  I don’t want to blame it on ‘old age,’ but then again, if the shoe fits…

Well, not anymore!  Well… at least for a whole year I’ll be sure of my answer.

Just thought you’d also like to know that Being Thirty is now on Pinterest!  Whatever you’re dealing with as a thirty-something (birthday blues, losing your memory, parenting woes and more), you’ll find great tips there!

Have you had any trouble with your memory yet?!  I’d love to hear that I’m not alone!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

How To Tell If Your Baby Steps Are Just Your Big Boy Fears

A great dream or goal can often be dead in the water before it begins if we let our doubts and fears get the best of us. Why is it so difficult to quiet our negative mind? We can try everything from affirmations to meditation, but it’s usually a lot of effort to talk ourselves into going after our dreams.

mountainman

It’s usually the first step that takes the longest to talk ourselves into and even if it’s small, it feels like a mountain. The problem is that when we finally do it, we then second guess ourselves again and maybe even pull back even more.  We may even try to reassure ourselves that we can just take baby steps for a while and eventually we’ll get to where we want to go.

Baby steps are a great notion because they make us feel safe.  We believe that we can control the change and manage how it happens gradually – and we’re comfortable with that.

But if we imagine a baby’s first steps, they are definitely wobbly and insecure and can’t serve us for the whole journey. Baby steps are not how to get where you want to go – literally.

The trick is that we have to move past the uncomfortable part and gain momentum through bigger action. Because if we keep taking such small steps, we’ll stay in our comfort zone and make no impact.

If you’re only taking baby steps, you’re not putting momentum behind your goals and you’re really just kidding yourself that slower and smaller is the way to go.  If tricking yourself into thinking that the first step is no big deal, just so you can get over the initial fear, then, by all means, do that! Do whatever works for you to get out the door and on your way. But, eventually, you have to face the facts, grow up, and take some big boy steps to make things really happen.

How to tell if you are taking Baby Steps:

You look for baby steps.

Even though you know there is some big action you could take, you try and break it down into microscopic points so you continue to progress ‘comfortably’.  Do you ever think, “Well I could do X but Y could happen.  I think I’ll just do something safe and see what happens”?  This is baby step fever.  This is the zone where you’re ignoring the action that needs to be taken.  You know very well it’s time to pull on your big boy or big girl pants and do what needs to be done.

You’ve been ‘working at it’ for over a year.baby steps2

Of course there’s no set timeline, but a year is a good time to take a look at what’s working and what is not.  If it’s a business endeavor and you have yet to make your first dollar, it could be time to make a change or take the bigger leaps you know you need to take but have been avoiding.

You tell people you’re doing bigger things than you are.

Sure you have to think big, but wouldn’t it feel great if you were actually where you claim to be?  Put your money where your mouth is.  And if you’re still scared, remember that babies put stuff in their mouths all the time!

What To Do if Your Steps are Babies

Make a Deal

Be honest with yourself and ask how many small moves you’ve taken lately and match it to one substantial move that really frightens you. You may find that it’s all a numbers game and you respond well to a ratio approach: four small steps to one ‘big man move’. For example, when I was first starting to freelance, I sent out letters of introduction to small companies that I thought were my target market. After sending out more than thirty, I sucked it up and sent one that I thought was way out of my league. I wish I could tell you that it landed me the contract of my life – it didn’t. But at least I went for it and I felt like I was really making progress, and not  going after what I wanted half-assedly.

Move Towards Happiness

It seems too obvious to just say, “take bigger risks.” How about instead of thinking of your next move as moving out of your comfort zone, think of it as moving towards your happiness. Isn’t that where you think you’ll be more comfortable in the end anyway?

I hope this gets us all going this week and making big progress.  Please leave comments and share what you are doing!