Birthdays. We all have them and most of us love them… until around now.
When we were little, birthdays were the BEST! Sometimes we got to skip school and go do something fun (or just have a fun day for my summer babies), we got spoiled more than any day of the year (besides maybe Christmas), and, of course, we got to throw a birthday bash with all of our besties.
However, as we grow up, birthdays start to lose their magic. The older you get, the more birthdays you’ve had and the more they morph. Instead of having a huge party with your whole class at the roller rink, you find yourself hanging with your group of friends at the movies or doing something special with your family.
Don’t get me wrong, birthdays can be special no matter how old you are, but that magic stops coming from the material things, like the cupcakes you bring to class and the presents you receive, and starts coming from what truly matters- those who care about you.
As a newly-minted woman in her mid-twenties (that felt weird to say…), I can confidently say birthdays are a special time and should be treated as such, but not only by the people closest to you- but by you too. As an adult, it’s your responsibility to harness the mile markers in your life and turn them into the best thing possible.
So, as someone with very recent birthday experience (shoutout to all my Libra friends!), I thought it fitting to share my most recent birthday experience and how I have used my birthday the past couple of years to check in with myself and carve a path to success in my new personal calendar year.
Treat Yo’ Self!
October 15th 2022 was a day to indulge for me like no other! I had all of my favorite eats- from a Lox bagel in the morning (one of my all-time favorite breakfasts 😋) to a birthday celebration full of delicious boards (a concept you should 1000% use for your next party) of my favorite foods.
More than that (though I believe food is a make-or-break point for any day 💁🏻♀️), I used my time for something that’s so important yet always seems to get neglected… me.
The past couple of months have been a whirlwind with school and rehearsals for the play I was in starting at the same time, finding my groove with a new batch of students and learning my lines, and growing my wellness content writing business and brand. The weekend of my birthday was literally the first weekend I had a ~break~, so choosing to take time for me (especially near the ocean 🌊) was a really big deal since it’s been so scarce the past few weeks.
You deserve at least one day out of the year where you indulge in all your favorite things (definitely more than that, but we’ll start with one day…), so why not make it a day traditionally full of celebration?
Reflect on the Past Year
Right around your birthday is one of the best times to reflect on your life! It gives you an opportunity to set yourself up to close one chapter and open another (though things don’t often change too much because you’ve aged up one year).
The past two years, I’ve held a journaling tradition entitled “On the Eve of My (Insert New Age) Birthday.” In this practice, I hit the highlights and lowlights of the previous year. Given that this was the first year that I was able to look back on one of these entries, I can safely say that this practice is worth it solely to be able to look back on where my head was at in these moments and how I was feeling about my life.
As twenty-somethings, it’s pivotal to record these moments in some way because these are our ✨golden years✨. I know- it often doesn’t feel like that in the moment, but when we’re old and far away from the trials and tribulations of our twenties, we’re going to love having that memory on a page or screen.
Set Your Intentions for Your New Year
As I said before, your birthday is your personal new year. So what do we do during a new year? Make intentions!
I use the word intentions instead of goals because goals are something we’ve overhyped and stressed ourselves over so much in today’s society that I think it hurts more than it helps. With intentions- you mean to do this thing by some means. If it doesn’t happen, no biggie! You modify and keep on going.
For example, one of my intentions is to read 12 books this year. If I make it- great! If I don’t (here’s the magic part), I guarantee you I’ll read more than I have in years because I’ve set this intention and worked on it over the year (check back in on 10/15/2023 for the results 👀).
So, I highly recommend setting up your intentions in a S.M.A.R.T. way that makes sense to you and revisiting these often (I do about once a month) to check in with how they’re going. As you’re setting these intentions, make sure you’re not doing too many or creating intentions that don’t seem feasible for where you’re at now to avoid intention burnout.
Bonus Tip: Listen to Birthday Affirmations before setting these intentions to go into this year’s intentions with your mindset on lock!
This year, I have high hopes and am ready to put in the work to improve in every year of my life. To my fellow twenty-somethings out there- I know these years of your life can feel weird (trust me, there have been PLENTY of moments that feel bizarre and off-kilter with what I thought my twenties would look like), but it can truly be the most revolutionary time of your life if you do the inner work and strive towards your intentions.
Wishing you a happy birthday (whenever your next birthday comes) and the best year yet! 🎉