26 lessons from 26 birthdays: personal development

What better way to celebrate turning another year older than with 26 crucial life lessons that I’ve picked up after 26 birthdays? I’ve organised the list into my niche (click here to find out why a niche is super duper important), so you’ll find the post in three parts, with each containing lessons that relate to either education, productivity or personal development.

How helpful is that? Finally: 10 lessons in personal development.

Be 1% better everyday

Look, I love James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, so much, that I’ve written a whole blog post about it. It’s that good.

He talks about why you shouldn’t try to be 100% better – because that’s impossible. You’ll burn out. Instead, focus on being 1% every single day. Then, by day 100, look at what you’ve done – you’re 100% better, and you’ve made it by building sustainable, healthy habits. 

Use social media, don’t let it use you

Does anyone really get very much out of using social media? Probably not. If you use it as part of your job or hobby, make sure you’re not getting sucked into doom scrolling – it’ll just bring you down. Take the time you’d spend doing that and reinvest it into a fun hobby or habit.

For more on that, click here to learn about embracing social media, and here to learn about rejecting it.

We all get into ruts, it’s normal.

Completely normal. Life isn’t like the movies – sometimes you feel a bit rundown, or a bit fed up. It’s okay to feel that way; it happens to everyone. 

One way to get out of a rut, though, is by reframing some decisions you have to make. You might, for instance, not feeling like cleaning up – even if you really need to.

A simple change from ‘I have to do this’ into ‘I GET to do this’ can be so liberating. Give it a try.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself first

Just say no. If you don’t want to do something, because you disagree with it or can’t be bothered, just say no. Put yourself first and focus on you for once.

Keep up those habits

If you enjoy something, keep doing it. I put playing the ukulele on hold because I felt that I didn’t have time for 10 minutes of practice per day, but really missed it. Life is too short to be working all the time; make more time for what you love!

Read a book

And if you love it, great! If you hate it, stop. There’s nothing wrong with not seeing something through to completion. It could be that that book just wasn’t for you. Or it could be that reading isn’t for you. But at least you gave this one a go – and there’s no shame in that.

Start a blog!

It is honestly so much fun to have a little corner of the internet to chat to strangers about literally anything that you’re passionate about. Read these posts that I’ve written about getting started with your first blog:

5 reasons you should start a blog in 2022

How to choose a niche for your blog

Make your aim financial freedom

Unfortunately, society is driven by money. Many of us will be feeling the pinch a lot more this winter, and the situation is worse for some than it is for others. That’s why, if you can, you should make your aim financial freedom. Try to setup multiple sources of passive income, so that you can make money in your sleep. Better yet, try to make your day job something that you love.

I understand that this one is a little easier said than done, so click here for a few longer pieces that I’ve written all about money talk.

Invest in anything between your head and the ground

Basically, if you’ve got the cash to spare, invest in two things: your feet and your sleep.

We spend a third of our lives asleep, which is why having a decent mattress, pillow and sleeping conditions is essential for setting us up for the day ahead. Equally, you’re probably on your feet for most of the day, so why would you buy bad shoes? If you have the money floating about (food, rent and bills obviously come first), these two will be two of the best things you’ve ever invested in in your life. Trust me.

Make exercise fun

There’s no hiding that exercise is good for you. It will help you spirituality, mentally and physically. Whether your goal is to pack on the muscle, lose some weight or to just feel good about yourself, though, it’s hard. It’s hard to keep going, to maintain some motivation.

So make exercise more fun.

Find out what you love to do that makes moving your body fun, and do that. Case in point: I find using ellipticals and indoor bikes boring. Thankfully, I’ve got access to iFIT, which gives me prerecorded workouts up beautiful mountaintops. Suddenly, the crosstrainer has become so much more appealing.


Disclaimer: do I know everything yet? No. Am I trying to? Absolutely, so hit me up in the comments with any Life Pro Tips you’ve picked up during your time on Earth.

While you’re here, you might also like…

You’re not procrastinating, you’re just not prioritising

The ultimate study tip

I finally got caught by Covid – here’s what it was like

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