How to Win at Life in Your 3os

Full discloser: I turned 30 not that long ago. It was the first birthday that inspired existential angst. Where has all the time gone? What am I doing with my life? Will my life sputter out or blossom into greatness? Will I ever see the Tampa Bay Rays win the Series? So many unanswered questions.

Everyone talks about how important your 20s are, and with good reason. In our 20s, we’ll likely choose our universities, select our majors, start our careers, and at probably meet the person we wind up marrying. With so many key decisions coming in our 20s, it can be easy to assume that success or failure in life depends on our 20s.

Malarkey.

See, here the problem with our 20s. It’s all kinda set up for us. Go to school? Apply to some places and go to the best one that accepts you. Choose a major? Well, select the one you like, or your dad did, or your friends are in, or one that was in a table of top-earning majors. Future spouse? Date a few people and when you meet one that seems better than the rest, go ahead and marry them.

It doesn’t seem like it when you are in that decade, but your 20’s are very much mapped out by family and social expectations.

But how about your 30s? This is the decade, you will sink or swim. The decade that will launch you past your peers or see you stagnate. Why?

It comes down to those social expectations. All those expectations in our 20s propel us forward. Go to school. Graduate. Date. Marry. Intern. Work. Manage. But what pushes us forward in our 30s? Generally, we aren’t meeting and dating as many people as we were in our 20s. We aren’t bouncing from job to job. We aren’t learning tons of new things like when we were in classes.

We settle in.

When we settle in, we stagnate. Our growth slows dramatically. Our horizons shrink. We wind up with a stable set of skills, friends, interests, and activities.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can learn and growth and advance just as fast as we did in our 20s. We just have to push ourselves now.

No professor will tell you to read a book. You’ll have to hunt down great books and choose to read them.

Friends won’t be dragging you to the college bar to meet people. You’ll have to choose to get involved in community groups, local sports, or volunteer to meet new people frequently.

If you are in a long-term relationship, you’ll have to make the effort to find new ways to understand your partner and new ways to enjoy your relationship.

If you can choose to create this kind of forward momentum in your 30s, this decade will be your best yet. And you’ll be way, way ahead of your peers who settle in and stop growing.

Win this decade. Win at life. Choose progress over stagnation.

Until next time,

Jamie

Follow us on Facebook 🙂

 

The 3 Shortcuts to Wisdom

books-768426_960_720Recently I answered a question on Quora on the topic of shortcuts to wisdom. I’ve expanded my ideas and want to share them with my readers here at Improve My Life This Year.

Year by year, I’m sure you notice that you become wiser. What if we could accelerate that process? What if we could become wiser, faster? We can. Let’s see how. Let’s see the 3 shortcuts to wisdom.

Shortcut #1 to Wisdom – Mistakes

You learn most when you are in-over-your-head, taking on challenges you never faced before. And in that kind of environment, you will screw up a lot and make many mistakes. The pain and frustration of those setbacks will spark awareness and new understanding. And you’ll be on the fast-track to wisdom. That is of course if you engage in self-reflection at each moment and use your mistakes as learning opportunities.

Shortcut #2 to Wisdom – Mentors

The cool thing about mentors is, they have already screwed up a lot. So, of course, you can spend a lot of time making your own mistakes, but another great way to become wise is to learn from the mistakes and experiences of others. On the plus side, learning through mentors saves you a lot of struggle and pain. On the down side, that lack of direct experience makes it harder for you to truly understand as well as you can from your own mistakes.

Shortcut #3 to Wisdom – Reading

The final shortcut is reading. Think of this, if you read a book by Elon Musk, you are almost having a conversation with him. If you read my post, you are, for a brief moment, peering into my little bit of wisdom. Reading is not so dissimilar to finding a mentor. The conversation is just one-way from them to you, but you are not limited by time and space. You can select from millions of potential mentors from the past and present with a quick trip to the library. Or better yet, you can get a Kindle and read on-the-go, throughout the day. Wherever and however you prefer, just find  a way to read.

Good luck, and may you find wisdom on your life journey!

Jamie

61Ho1QPL1aL._SL1000_.jpg

The Many Colors of Wine Beyond Red and White

Note: Today’s Post comes to you from our friends at Wine Awesomeness. As part of my own self-improvement journey, I like to learn more about a wide variety of topics. I used to think wines were either red or white. Now I know that the wine world is a lot more complicated (and colorful!) than that! 

A Painters Palate of Wine Wonders

Remember the days when you served wine and asked – “Red or White”? Well those were simpler times and the choices were limited. Now there are so many colors they resemble a painter’s palate. According to the team at Wine Awesomeness, the group dedicated to creating a monthly journey, curated for adventurous souls, some of these new, off-beat beverages have fared better than others.

A Match Made in Wine Heaven

Want to coordinate a particular wine with a holiday color scheme? You’ll be in luck when St. Patrick Day rolls around, when you serve Green Portuguese born Vinho Verde.

Vinho_Verde_and_bottle

And if you’re inclined to satisfy your guests’ patriotic pleasures, you can offer them a choice of red, white OR blue (also known as Gik) that is quite off-color in all its iridescent splendor. How it came to be is simple…young Spanish entrepreneurs who decided that the world needed an incandescent blue wine joined forces (or in this case grapes) with the Basque government’s food research bureau and experts at the University of the Basque Country. Next came a base wine, some food coloring and sugar. According to the team at Wine Awesomeness, this creation leaves a bit to be desired.

21897_blue-is-cool-this-summer-as-gik-blue-wine-hits-spanish-trendsetters_1_large.jpg

Are you yearning for yellow? Known as “Vin Jaune” in its native French, yellow wine is a unique type of white wine produced in the Jura region of France from late harvest Sauvignon grapes. Pair this nutty flavored concoction with the regional comtĂ© cheese and you’re in for a gastronomic whirlwind of contentment.

Vin_Jaune.jpg

And yes, there are even grapes that produce an orange vintage (perfect for fall football parties). But if you’re still a loyal pastel pink fan, then RosĂ© has elevated your summers to a whole new level. RosĂ©s are essentially baby reds, experiencing shorter maceration periods than their red counterparts. Depending on which grape varietals are used and how long skin contact is, rosĂ©s can range in color from the palest of pink to the deepest of magentas.

Sancerre_rose_Wine.jpg

A Club for Wine Warriors

The Wine Awesomeness Monthly Wine Club delivers your choice of wines right to your door. The Wine Awesomeness team combs the globe to find the coolest, crave worthiest wines. This is vino you don’t see regularly, but will want to drink every day. If you JOIN TODAY, you’ll get a free bottle with your first box! Welcome to the world of wine the Wine Awesomeness way.

Special Offer for People Who Want to Start a Blog or Who Want to Convert to a Unique Domain Name

computer-1185637_960_720In a recent popular article on this site, we explained the benefits of having your own blog and also talked about how to actually get your blog off the ground and running. I won’t rehash all that, you can read it here though if you’d like to catch up.

Anyway, in that article, I mentioned Blue Host.

The thing is, if you want, you can start a blog totally free on a site like WordPress or Blogger. The only thing is, you won’t have a unique domain name and you’ll miss out on some other benefits as well.

What’s a unique domain name? Well, if you look at a lot of blogs, they’ll have the name wordpress in the blog. With a unique domain name, that is removed.

To me, having a unique domain name is especially important. It shows that your site is more than just a hobby blog. It make your site look legit and gives you more credibility. In fact, even search engines will respect your blog more, driving you additional readers.

So back to Blue Host. For only June 10th and 11th, they’ve got a massive sale going on their services. Here’s the link to their special sale.

Special Summer Sale: Shared Basic Hosting Package Now Only $2.95! Over 60% OFF!

Now is the best time ever to launch your blog or to switch to Blue Host if you are ready to take your blog up to the next level.

Blue Host is respected worldwide and now powers more than 2,000,000 sites globally. Blue Host offers

  • FREE  DOMAIN
  • FREE Site Builders
  • 1-Click WordPress Install
  • 24/7 Support

They also have a 30-day money back guarantee, so basically, you risk nothing by trying them out.

If you are ready to launch your own blog or you are ready to upgrade your current one, then don’t miss Blue Host’s 2 day only Special Summer Sale!

All the best,

Jamie

How to Have a Great Morning: 4 Steps to the Perfect Morning Routine

A Good Morning (1)

4 Rules for a Great Morning… Every Day!

water-747618_960_720.jpg

Drink Water Right After Waking Up

Your body needs water to, well, to survive. But you don’t want to just survive, you want to thrive. Check our post on how to get enough water throughout the day and watch your skin, energy, and brain power improve!


fruits-82524_960_720.jpg

Make a Simple, Fresh, Healthy Breakfast

You don’t have to get fancy here. A homemade smoothie is so easy, so delicious, and best of all, so good for your body. Check out our post on how to make smoothies part of your morning routine.


personally-728231_960_720


Do Easy but Effective Body Weight Exercises Right in Your Own Home

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for you going to the gym. But if you are pressed for time or money, there is really nothing better for your morning routine than a quick run through some body weight exercises. Check out our post on how to use these effectively right in your own home for great results!


sports-731506_960_720

Do Something You Enjoy in the Morning

The secret to getting up easily in the morning is having something you want to get up for. Set aside a little time each morning for something you love to do. Need ideas? Here are a few!

Read something you love.

Keep a journal.

Start a blog!

Go for a run!


If this blog is inspiring you to make positive choices in your life, please share us with your friends! You can follow us on Facebook!

31358_KU_associate_ads_300x250.jpeg11275761

Why You Should Already Be Blogging & How to Start Your Blog

woman-731894_960_720

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Today, we’ll learn how to do both by exploring the topic of blogging. If you want to improve your life this year, you absolutely should be writing your own blog. Why? Well, let’s look at a few of the benefits of blogging first and then I’ll show you how to get started. It’s damn easy and if you’d like, after you read this post, you will know how to have your own blog up and running in just a few minutes. But first, let’s see the reasons you should be blogging.

man-1191845_960_720.jpg

You will Improve Many Skills

Spelling. Grammar. Storytelling. Using your computer for more than just web-surfing. You will learn a lot of skills by creating and maintaining a blog. A lot of those skills – communication, tech, marketing – are in big demand. So today’s hobby can lead to tomorrow’s promotion. Speaking of which . . .

You will Improve Your Career

If you blog about a topic related to your career, 2 things will happen. First people will begin to perceive you as a thought-leader in your field. They will come to see you as the person who knows a lot about your job and industry. This can lead to networking opportunities, chances for promotion, and even new job offers. Secondly, you actually will become more of an expert in your field. You cannot help but know a great deal about your business when you are writing about it frequently.

startup-594127_960_720.jpg

You May Make Money!

If your blog becomes popular, you will be able to make money selling ad spaces, providing affiliate links, or selling your own products like ebooks. I will be writing future posts explaining how each of these methods work. April was the first full month of this blog and it already earned over $100. I ain’t getting rich yet, but it’s nice to earn a bit of reward from your hard work, and once I implement some other monetization strategies, I expect this website to become very rewarding. I’ll share all these tips with you in future posts, so stay tuned!

Anyway, how do we get started? You can make a simple website with WordPress. If you want to make something beautiful and more personalized, try Strikingly. It’s simple to use and creates stunningly beautiful websites. They have an amazing feature which allows you to convert information from a Facebook page (great for small businesses) into a website or convert information from a LinkedIn profile (great for job-seekers) in a website.

11904991.jpeg

Another tip for getting started – If you use WordPress or Blogspot or one of the basic blogging services, your website address will include their name. Your site will be something like http://www.improvemylifethisyear.wordpress.com. Not so sexy. If you really want full ownership of what you create and the most professional image, you should get your own domain name and host. It’s simple and inexpensive and dramatically increases your level of control and status in the eyes of readers. There are many to choose from, but many bloggers eventually settle on Blue Host. Why? Here’s what Blue Host brings to the table for bloggers around the world.

Bluehost was founded in 2003 with one goal: to make a better hosting company. Built on open source technology, they’ve since grown to become one of the world’s largest providers of online solutions. Bluehost is a top recommended host by WordPress and also proudly supports many other open source programs. Blue Host provides . . .

Money-back guarantee
1 FREE domain registration
Unlimited domain hosting
1-Click MOJO Marketplace installations
Free drag-and-drop site builder
Unlimited disk storage
Unlimited IMAP & POP3 e-mail support
Industry-leading technical support located in the USA.
24/7 chat, email and phone support for customers.

10376704.jpeg

How to Make Your Blog Successful

I won’t complicate things. There are really only 3 things you need for success.

  1. Write (a lot). You just need to churn out a lot of writing. Readers keep coming back to a site when they know it routinely is updated with fresh content. You need to post frequently. I make multiple posts per week here on this site. You might post less frequently, but at the very least, you need to get an article up per week.
  2. Write well. You don’t have to have a degree in English to write a blog. But at the very least, try to avoid simple errors that damage your credibility. I use Grammarly to keep my writing crisp, clear, and error-free. They have a free version and a paid version, depending on how hard-core you want to be about your writing.
  3. Wait a lot. It takes time to build up an audience. It takes time for Google to respect your site as well. So don’t give up in those dark, lonely early months of your blog. If you keep at it, you will see progress. A previous site I launched that I no longer add content to continues to grow now thanks to some love from Google bringing me search traffic. But at the beginning, I was writing a lot and getting very little traffic. That’s normal, expect it, and don’t get discouraged. Results will come!

This post is very brief, but I promise to deliver some future posts that will dive into much more details. I look forward to sharing all the things I’ve learned thus far.

But enough reading me. Start writing your blog now!

Jamie

Like us on Facebook so you’ll never miss a post!

11275761

 

How to Start Your Own Journal

George Santayana said that those who forget history are destined to repeat it. Well, if you want to improve your life this year, you need to learn how to remember your history. You need to start journaling.

I hear your complaints. Writing my feelings sounds boring. Sounds weak. Sounds emotional. Let me stop you in your tracks. Writing is one of the single most powerful things you can do. Why?

  1. Journaling improves your self-awareness. When you write about your day, over time patterns emerge. You’ll understand more fully what triggers your temper. You’ll see who makes you feel down. You’ll get how exercise improves your mood. You’ll see connections that you didn’t really notice before. Maybe you eat junk food a lot more after working overtime. Maybe you tend to skip the gym whenever you hang out with your lazy buddy. For example, before I journaled, I assumed that I felt jealous based on external things, like the behavior of my partner. After journaling, I realized my feelings of jealousy almost always came after I felt disappointed in myself for something. Now that I am more self-aware, I stand a better chance of tackling the source of negative feelings, rather than suppressing them or blaming someone else. Half the battle in life is truly understanding yourself. Journal for one month and I guarantee you’ll know things about yourself that you never realized previously.
  2. Journaling organizes your thoughts. Thoughts inside our head are blurry and nebulous. Forming our thoughts into words and sentences have the effect of crystallizing them into coherent ideas. If you are facing a complicated problem or important decision, getting your thoughts onto paper is absolutely vital to clarifying the issue at hand. I’ve found that some perplexing problems suddenly seemed so clear to solve once I jotted them down.
  3. Journaling de-stresses you. Sometimes we have a fear or challenge that we do not feel comfortable sharing with anyone. It goes unspoken and we carry it inside day after day. This low-grade stress is harmful to your body. Journaling is therapeutic because it involves a conversation between you and your notebook. Those worries can escape your mind and land instead on the paper. Elevated stress levels left unchecked actually sap male testosterone, so writing a journal can be one of the manliest things you do.

Speaking of manly, if you want to commit to journaling, what better way than to have a journal you look forward to writing in? This affordable genuine leather journal is a pleasure to use and will look so good on your desk. You want to improve your life this year, so commit today to keeping a journal, and see the benefits it will bring to you.

Some people struggle to start and stick to the habit of journaling, so if you worry that you won’t be able to keep at it, here are a few tips for you.

First, understand that the hardest thing about journaling is establishing the habit. So I’d suggest making your writing as short and simple as possible at the start. Once you are used to doing it daily, then you can start to expand your writing.

Next, choose a specific time and place you will journal, and make it as easy as possible to follow through. For example, if you plan to write right before you go to bed, keep a pad of paper and a pen on your nightstand.

Finally, choose a specific question you’ll be answering. That way, you won’t struggle to find a totally new topic to write about. For example, you could decide that for the next week, you’ll write down one positive thing that happened to you that day as a way of noticing and expressing gratitude. Or, you could write down one mistake you made and how you’ll handle that kind of situation in the future as a way of providing yourself constructive feedback.

By making sure your new habit is easy to do, doesn’t take much time, and delivers positive benefits to you, it’ll be far easier to start and stick to it.

To summarize today’s post, journaling brings many benefits to you, and if you ease into the habit gently, you are far more likely to make it work in the long-run. I also recommended this journal as a great option for those ready to start this valuable daily habit.

To your daily growth!

Jamie

Like us on Facebook so you’ll never miss a post!

31358_KU_associate_ads_300x250.jpeg