31 Tips for a Happy Life from a Happy 31-year-old

Somebody turned 31-years-old a few days ago. Capricorn power!

I love my birthday and I love getting older. Getting older, continuing to evolve and seeing my family expand is a gift. As I walk into my forth decade, following what was the BEST YEAR OF MY ADULT LIFE, I want to share some tips that I feel made last year amazing. I want every one of you to feel fabulous about where you are in your lives. If, you too, are in your 30s, embrace it. Life is more pleasant when you accept the present as a present, a gift.

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1. Never Act Your Age. I get this trait from my late father. It’s one of the best, lasting gifts he gave me. It’s why my current, Birthday Manicure is neon green, with index fingers that have various neon color balloons.
2. Marry Your Best Friend. The only downside is you may laugh so hard over the years, you’ll develop early wrinkles around your mouth … I take it! (FYI  Here are some tips for a sexy, happy marriage.)
3. Look Up. Sometimes I think I’m the only person in Manhattan that knows the sky is blue and the building are as breathtaking as any painting you’ll find at the MET
4. Wear sexy lingerie, just because.
5. Laugh a lot. When in doubt if something is worth a laugh, refer to tip 1.p2lifestyle_010815_2
6. Wear more color. I think it’s why Latin American women are so fabulous and zesty
7. Own at least one pair of Did-I-Really-Spend-That-Much pair of shoes. If you found those shoes at the Saks post-Christmas sale and you didn’t pay the Did-I-Really-Spend-That-Much price, all the better!
8. Every now and then, do something that scares you.
9. Never go to bed angry at anyone. Find a way to minimize the damage/pain, unless you prefer never to speak to this person again.
10. Stop and smell the roses, or the peonies, or the pine trees. It’s about connecting to the now.
11. Have a fancy dinner date, with yourself.
12. Travel as much as possible.p2lifestyle_010815_3
13. Be a tourist in your own city. No matter where you live, you can always find something new to explore and discover.
14. Don’t stop educating yourself. When college ends, many of us focus on our careers and our families. It’s equally as important to still expand our minds. Even if it’s one hour a week, learn a language, read a book, or take an art history class at a community college.
15. Always Be Your Best You. This is my life philosophy and it should be yours as well. There is never a time when you shouldn’t look your best. It’s one of the easiest ways to pick yourself up and get through whatever life has in store for you today. It’s much easier to smile in the mirror when the face staring back at you is well coiffed.
16. Learn to bake at least one thing really well. On a really bad day, there’s nothing like putting kids to sleep and whipping up hazelnut macaroons with chocolate ganache. (That’s my big baking success, thus far.)
17. Trust in fortune cookies. If this doesn’t make sense, refer to tip 1.
18. Get a big sister. I’m lucky enough to have one and can attest to the immense comfort it is to have someone to share in my joys and to split my sorrows with. Michelle, my sister, experiences everything first and then trickles down her wisdom to me. I recently offered myself as a faux big sister to my friend MK because I got the sense she needed big sis wisdom. If you know someone that needs a big sis, offer yourself up. We only get stronger when we share our personal and professional wisdom.
19. Create a spa oasis in your bathroom. Even in a tiny, Manhattan apartment, use artwork, lighting, little elephants, candles, oils, pretty curtains, whatever and create a zen retreat. You’ve 30s are going to be way more fabulous than your 20s if you indulge and pamper your body regularly. You deserve it!
20. Invest in good sleep. You’re not living on campus anymore. Get a top notch mattress, high-quality pillows and a good comforter. Good sleep is essential for a healthy, happy you.
21. Create a Carpe Diem List and seize the day.
22. Be present for your children. Disconnect from your smart phones and tablets. If you can’t, then let your kids know they aren’t going to get your full attention. If your kids are too young to understand, like my 21-month-old and 6-month-old, don’t enter their space until you can disconnect.
23. Give of yourself. We hear this all the time, especially from our respective religions. But, how many of us actually give our time to a cause? Signing a check is great, but rolling up your sleeves and working a soup kitchen or lending your marketing skills pro bono to a small non-for-profit, is going to be a win-win all around. (Please check out my charity Ilya Peckerman Fund for Vasculitis Disease.)
24. Forget about balance. Some days you’ll be an awesome mom; some days you’ll be a kick-ass CEO; some days you’ll bake up a storm. But, you will not be Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Jenna Jameson and Mother Teresa every day, all day. Deal with it. (FYI Check out my 5775 Inspiration Board where I ask for ‘quite mind’ and ‘focus’ NOT balance.)
25. Stop chasing trends. Personal style is much more fashionable. That’s why I’ve avoided crop tops, harem pants and purple hair accents.
26. Commit to dancing like a fool. If this doesn’t make sense, refer to tip 1.
27. Know that not everyone has to like you, but everyone should respect you.
28. Know that nobody, accept you, can make you feel small.
29. Know that you deserve to be loved – especially by YOU.
30. Know that life is as rosy as you want it to be. Just put on the right glasses.
31. Know that when you turn 41, you may need a new set of tips.

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