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Tracy Frank, Published February 17 2014

Tuesday Tips: Celebrate your birthday with a list of accomplishments

FARGO – Today I turn 37.

As I creep toward 40, it can be tempting to lament my lost youth, the wrinkles that have started appearing around my eyes and forehead, or the things I have not yet done. But I learned seven years ago that it’s much more gratifying to celebrate my accomplishments than to worry about achieving my life’s goals by a certain made-up deadline.

Turning 30 was a bit of a struggle for me. There was so much I thought I should have accomplished by that point. I’d started a novel, but hadn’t finished it. I had yet to lose my baby weight, though my baby was already 3 years old.

Then I did something that completely changed my perspective. Instead of focusing on the things I hadn’t yet done, I made a list of 30 things I had accomplished in my life so far. It was surprisingly easy to come up with 30 achievements, and by the time I was done, I had a new outlook on birthdays and on myself.

I strongly encourage anyone to do this as a birthday gift to yourself each year. Our lives truly are incredible when we take the time to think about them, but it’s so easy to forget all of the great things we’ve done.

It may have taken longer than I’d planned, but I am happy to say I can now add finishing and e-publishing a novel and losing my baby weight to my list of 37 accomplishments.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526