Here I am, turning the big 5-OH and I’m excited to ring in a new decade of life. I’m a firm believer that age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!
I’m intrigued to explore what birthday-lovers have that birthday-dreaders don’t.
After all, growing older is inevitable. Getting old is optional.
Much of it appears to be a mindset thing.
I remember several of my friends getting freaked out about turning 30. Those same friends now look back at photos from that time and can’t get over how young they looked! If only they’d appreciated it at the time.
It’s time to start appreciating the age you are now. When you look in the mirror, take a mental snapshot and imagine looking at it again when you’re 80. You’ll think you looked a million bucks – because you do.
About 10 years ago I read Deepak Chorpra’s book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: A Practical Alternative to Growing Old. He lays down scientific evidence to show the mind-body connection to ageing. When you think old, your cells respond and begin deteriorating faster! Doesn’t that inspire you to change your mindset about ageing? Your thoughts create your reality!
Here are my top 6 tips to hep you feel young and stop dreading your birthday.
1. Find a Good Role Model
This can be someone who’s slightly older than you, or someone much older. The criteria is that they embrace their age and don’t keep it a dirty secret. If you don’t know someone personally, look for a well known personality that exemplifies a certain grace and good nature about ageing.
I’ve had great role models for ageing, including many fun friends a few years older than me who don’t moan about their age. My mother is a total free spirit who prefers to travel around and mingle with people much younger than her (you can read her inspiring story here) than to ‘act her age’. And what does that mean anyway?
My grandma Millie was a legend. She passed away a few years ago at the age of 93 but I witnessed her carefree approach to ageing and decided I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. She went on crazy camping trips with her girlfriends well into her 80’s, even after she went blind! Which leads me to my next tip…
2. Keep Having Fun!
Nothing will age you faster than boredom. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the kind of fun you had in your younger days isn’t possible anymore. But it doesn’t have to be that way. All you need to do is get a bit proactive and shake things up. Endless possibilities await you and life will feel exciting again once you start taking some action.
Reconnect with your sense of fun. What used to be fun and when did you stop doing it? Take it from me, you’re never too old to go on a tequila bender or bust a move on the dance floor.
Take inspiration from my friend friend Suzie. She sources fun ideas and then rounds up friends to join her. She once organised a poker night at her house complete with a poker teacher to show them how to play. Another time she found out about an organised scavenger hunt across town where teams had to race to find items on their lists. She’s even roped in friends to do circus training, complete with high wires and nets!
I love having friends around for games nights. Balderdash and Scatagories are my faves. Themed parties are fun too. A friend had a Mexican themed dinner party where everyone brought a dish to share. Of course I brought the tequila.
You’ll come up with some of your own ideas for fun once you put your mind to it.
Another tip: If you’re only listening to the same music you did 20 years ago, it’s no wonder you’re reminiscing about the past and thinking times were better then. Yes, a lot of the current pop music is crap, but there’s also a lot of good new music out there to tap into. Log on to Spotify. Use their App Finder feature to generate playlists of new music based on stuff you used to love. Once you discover some new bands or artists you like, find out when they’re playing live and go check them out. Start creating some new musical memories so you’re not stuck in the past.
4. Boost Your Personal Growth
If you’re secure with who you are inside, you’re better able to embrace your outer body. Those wrinkles, grey hairs and saggy bits matter less when you’re at peace with your inner self.
Try keeping a gratitude journal, meditating, reading inspirational books or exploring mindfulness techniques. I wrote a whole blog about how I’ve greatly improved my life by giving myself some personal growth boosters.
Find a passion. Pouring your energy into something meaningful to you makes you feel alive and focuses your attention away from ageing and onto more worthwhile things.
Could you sign up for a course? Learn something new? Guitar? Photography? Yoga? A new language? Start your own blog? Anything that makes you feel excited and fired-up. Brainstorm some ideas and take action.
Seek inspiration. Motivational books and speakers might not be your thing… or are they? Open your mind up to the possibility that they might have something life changing for you. Check your local listings for workshops and guest speakers. Often yoga centres run inspirational events.
What about doing something meaningful to help others? Studies repeatedly prove that people who give back are the happiest and most fulfilled. Combine a sporty challenge with raising sponsorship money for a good cause and you’re doubling your feel-good factor. Seek a volunteer role. Offer to help out a friend or neighbour who could use a helping hand.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Here’s what happens when you don’t get enough sleep: You look physically haggard which makes you think you look old which makes you feel old.
Sleep deprivation impedes your ability to think positively and once you step onto that negative train it’s easy to start getting down about ageing.
If you’ve got a child who still wakes in the night, you have my sympathy. Sleep deprivation is an evil thing. It clouds your thinking, affects your mood and makes you behave irrationally.
It wasn’t until I began getting full nights of uninterrupted sleep that I began to feel human again – and miraculously I looked younger once I started getting my required eight hours a night. Gone were the baggy eyes and my wrinkles visibly reduced after I stopped frowning so damn much.
Many of the women I coach are now past the baby and toddler stage, yet they’re getting to bed too late out of habit. They’re depriving themselves of the deep benefits that come from getting enough sleep.
Arianna Huffington has written a whole book about the vital importance of sleep: The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time. I had the privilege of attending her live talk and I’ve summed up her tips here for getting the right amount of sleep to keep you looking and feeling your best.
6. Be a Goal Digger
Goals give you a sense of purpose and something to strive for. Having a positive vision for your future makes ageing feel like part of an exciting journey, rather than a plank walk to the end.
Use the Project Me Life Wheel Tool to set goals in each of your 8 Key Life Areas.
Create positive goals around the outcome you want – not what you want to stop doing. For example, if you’ve written: I want to lose weight and get into shape.
Juice that up, breathe some soul into it and start to visualise how great that’s going to feel.
Example: I am my ideal weight. I wear everything in my wardrobe! I have high energy. I feel sexy and confident.
Get specific and ditch negative self-talk that tells you it’s not possible. Dream BIG!
I run on-line goal setting courses and live workshops specifically for mothers. Sign up for my newsletters to hear about the next one and you’ll also get the Life Wheel Tool sent to you straight away for free.
Above all, stop dreading the ageing process. It’s inevitable and it makes no logical sense to resist it. You’re only limited by your beliefs. And a belief is only a thought you’ve been thinking for a long time. Start thinking that the next stage of your life is going to be amazing. And believe it to be true.
The way I see it, at 50 years old I’m halfway there. When I think of all of the experiences I’ve had since birth and play a mini movie in my mind of my childhood, teenage years, university, my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and I imagine having ALL of that time again still ahead of me – wow!! I want to make the most of what’s in front of me and won’t waste a minute of it feeling like my best days are behind me.
How are you going to embrace your age and feel young?
In the comments below, share your thoughts on ageing. Are you inspired by any of the tips above? Do you have any of your own to share? I’d love to hear from you.
Mixing practicality with self-awareness, Kelly helps mothers get on top of their endless to-do’s, set goals and improve their lives one small step at a time.
Grab her free Life Wheel Tool for discovering what needs your focus first.