Today marks my 45th trip around the sun. Honestly, it's hard to believe since I still feel like I'm 30! (That is, until I hang out with a 30-year-old, then think, nope, definitely 45).

This milestone birthday has me reflecting on my life and what I've learned. So today, I'd like to share that with you. Plus, I want to give you all a little gift I've been working on to celebrate my birthday—because giving is better than receiving, right?

So in today's newsletter, I'll be sharing:

  • Why your 40s are amazing
  • The top 10 things I've done to create a life I'm in love with – that you can do too
  • My brand new gift to you – 10 language reframes to start communicating as a confident leader

Let's dive in…

One thing I've been reflecting on recently, is just how much I love my life and love being in my 40s. It's interesting because society often makes women feel as though we aren't allowed to age. I've even heard people suggest that life ends after your 30s! Well, guess what?

Your 40s are fan-freaking-tastic.

Why? Because, as women, for the first time in most of our lives, we decide to stop giving a shit.

For real.

I no longer care what people think about me to the same extent I did most of my life. I know whose opinion matters and whose doesn't. I LOVE the person I am and I am no longer willing to hide her from the world to please others.

I show up authentically as me; if people don't like it, that's okay. They can move right along. I wish them all the best.

There's a peace that comes with this that's hard to describe… but the result is that I'm not bothered by all that much. And it's beautiful.

Now, I should mention that I have done a fair bit of work in my 40s to really get to know my authentic self, and I've made some major life changes that have allowed me to show up as that person most of the time. I don't want to pretend that every person who turns 40 magically stops caring what others think…

But most of the women I know trend this way.

Regardless of how old you are, I hope my top 10 lessons will resonate with you. These are 10 things I've done to create a life that I'm in love with and some that I wish I had done sooner. I hope you'll find something you can implement in your life, to make it just a little bit better.

Here are 10 things to help you love your life:

1. Do hard things

You may be thinking, ‘Wait, I thought you said these things will make me love my life…' I did. The truth is that intentionally doing hard things sets you up for an easier life. You're better able to handle stress and the difficult challenges that come your way. You feel confident and accomplished. You know you can handle anything life throws your way.

You get to choose your hard. As most of you know, last weekend, I ran a 50km trail race. I recognize that's not for everyone! Maybe you want to lift heavy things. Maybe you want to do a 7-day silent meditation retreat. Maybe you want to do a 30-day ‘no complaining' challenge. You get to pick.

But pick something and do it.

2. Move your body

If you're not someone who engages in regular exercise, now's the time to start. I heard a quote that resonated with me so much, “You don't stop moving because you get old. You get old because you stop moving.”

It is so. damn. true.

I know people my age or barely older who can't jog around the block. I see this amplified with my parents and friends' parents—some still seem young, while others are deteriorating quickly.

This is within your control, and the best way to stay young is to stay active. Period. If you've been slacking in this area of your life, it is never too late to turn it around!! Start small with walking and find an activity you enjoy. Anything is better than nothing.

I'm convinced that the reason I feel so amazing at 45, is my physical fitness.

3. Figure out who your people are

You may still have the same friends from high school. Heck, I do! Or maybe you moved to a new city and your only friends are other moms from your kid's school.

Regardless of your situation, we often find ourselves spending time with people that we can hang out with, but don't really ‘get us'. Maybe you've been deep-diving on learning about AI and no one wants to hear about it. Or maybe you're struggling as a new manager and your friends don't understand why you care so much.

It's likely that the people you meet in life due to location won't have the same dreams and passions that you do. That doesn't mean you can't still be friends. But when you find people who share your dreams, passions, and big life goals… it's like magic.

I've felt this gap a few times in my life, most recently when I started building my own business. I didn't know anyone doing this! I had no one to talk to, and I wanted to talk about it all the time. I had encouragement but no peers.

I deliberately set out to meet more female entrepreneurs to add to my network. I've even met someone I now consider a close friend through LinkedIn!!

Don't be afraid to make new friends at any stage of your life and even to deliberately find your people. They are out there, probably looking for you too!

4. Take the time to create your life vision

Have you sat down and really thought about what the biggest, boldest vision of your life is? If not, do that!

So often, we float through life without the goal state in mind. Maybe we're focused on a promotion, car, or house we want. Hey, goals are okay but once you reach them the happiness boost is short. You need to be thinking about it a little differently.

One thing that's been game-changing for me is creating a vision for what I want my life to look like. I think about health, wealth, career, relationships, and lifestyle, and I get right into the details of designing my dream life, down to what my days look like.

I'll tell you something: once you have a clear vision, you'll be amazed at how quickly it comes to fruition.

Not long ago I went to a vision board night, where we created the vision boards for our dream life. I was there with a friend who laughed and said, “Katy, that board is just your life now!”. Yep, that's the point.

5. Keep investing in growth

Investing in our hobbies and interests is a great way to keep our passions alive. Often, we get caught up in the busyness of life—working all day, making dinner, packing lunches, shuttling the kids to activities, cleaning up—that we forget all of the things we used to love to do!

I strongly encourage you to carve out time for one thing that is just yours. Whether it's yoga, an art class or learning a new skill, continuing to grow and get better feels amazing.

I hope to be learning new things until I am very old and grey. Why stop?

6. Be intentional with your time

This one is related to #5. Are you someone who's caught up in the hustle of life and wondering what the point of it all is? Or maybe you haven't stopped long enough to even wonder.

My point is, don't live your life for that 2-week annual vacation. Look at your days and ask yourself whether you feel good about how you spend your time. Scrolling Instagram for 2 hours before bed? Getting sucked into YouTube between meetings? These things are probably not adding to your life.

Once you've created the vision for your life, see what things aren't serving you and remove them, replacing them with something that will bring you some joy—ideally, every day.

Whether it's your work schedule or personal life, design it with intention.

7. Relax a little

I was listening to one of Ryan Holiday's podcasts on a long run recently, and he shared a story from a 90-something-year-old woman who said her biggest regret was that when her kids were young, she was so obsessed with making her house look like she didn't have kids.

How powerful is that??

Finally, at this stage in her life, she's realized all of the wasted time and energy she spent just to have a house that was perfect in case anyone stopped by. Time she could have been spending doing so many other things that she would have enjoyed—maybe even enjoying her kids more!

I have friends whose homes look like they belong in a magazine. Mine doesn't. Do I like my house clean? Absolutely. But these days, my clean house includes a few bins of toys in the living room, art supplies in the kitchen, and balloons scattered all over the place, ready for a game of keepy-uppy.

I recognize that I'll have lots of time for a house that looks like no kids live there when my kids move out. Why rush it?

8. Enjoy your kids while they're little… and big

Maybe it's because there's a 10-year gap between my eldest and youngest, and I thought I was done having kids after the first two. Or maybe it's that I'm just more present and intentional this time around. But I've really leaned into how awesome it is to have a little one again. Yes, it's exhausting and frustrating, but he's only going to be 3 for a few more months, and I'm ready to savour it.

My older kids are 14 and 11, and this year it hit me how they need me so much less and are much more into their friends. This is awesome and I love to see them grow up, but it's also a reminder to keep that connection with them and always invest in building a strong relationship. Both for now and the future.

9. Eat the damn cookie

I've always been health-conscious and disciplined about food and exercise, but there was a time in my life that I stressed far too much about this. I would get anxious if we were eating white rice instead of brown. I would skip the bread or get the burger without a bun.

Not anymore my friends.

Years ago, I realized that dying in perfect shape was not my goal. I love food, and I love being fit and healthy, but there's room for both broccoli and cookies in my diet. No, I don't want my coffee black—I want a delicious latte, thank you. No, I don't want to fast for 16 hours—I want to eat when I'm hungry.

I was at a brunch not long ago when a friend told me how I shouldn't be drinking oat milk (right after I ordered an oat milk latte). Apparently, it's terrible because it spikes your blood sugar.

Listen, I'm a vegan who almost never drinks. Let me have my damn oat milk latte. I'll also take the cookie.

10. Get to know yourself

For much of my life, I never stopped to think about who I really am. My full, authentic self. If I'm honest, I may never have stopped to think about it, except that as part of my coaching certification, we did a whole unit on the authentic self and discovering who that was.

This was a massive shift for me and the beginning of some changes in my life. Once I discovered who my authentic self was (and has always been) I was able to easily see the situations where I felt I couldn't show up authentically… and I didn't want to do that anymore.

I realized that it feels so good to be fully and authentically me that I'm no longer wiling to invest time in people or places that don't support that.

The good news? I've never felt more like my authentic self, and it feels amazing. The bad? I lost some friendships along the way.

So there are my 10 big life lessons – I hope they're helpful or at least make you think. We only get so many years on this earth – here's to making them count!

Oh, and I promised you a giveaway! I've had so much interest in ‘language reframes' that I decided to create a document with 10 language reframes that will help you communicate as a confident and collaborative leader. Grab it here!

Until next time friends… ✌️💜