I actually wrote this post last year for my 30th birthday but never pushed publish. Why? I am not entirely sure…but, I can honestly say that my 30th year of life has been one of the best every aspect: professionally, socially, and spiritually. I suppose it paid off to wait one more year before sharing.

People seem to get very emotional about aging, I would be lying if I said I have not been there and still don’t struggle with  moments of insecurity. However, I can HONESTLY say I am stoked to be in my 30’s. Don’t get me wrong, I had some of my best years in 20s and some of my biggest challenges,but we need both in order to truly learn and grow in this crazy life.

I am aware that these types “Coming of Age Lessons” are often overdone… BUT I have come to realize that it is an ABSOLUTE must to share my experience and knowledge on health, fitness, nutrition and life because it is exactly that, mine. No one has experienced the same recipe that is life, which is beautiful because everyone has different flavours to share.

(No particular order)

1.  Give gratitude daily – I have not done this consistently in the past but it is something that I have started over the past couple years and it has made a huge difference in my attitude before tackling each day. I highly recommend keeping a gratitude journal.  There are always things to be grateful for.

2.  Be your own boss – This might not be applicable for everyone but for me this has been a huge transition in my life. I have been a follower in the conventional sense of always working for other people, and I do not regret a single moment of it. I have had some of my biggest growth professionally while working for amazing people that I admire.

This year when I branched off and became my own boss (officially) and a spark ignited in me. I still have the opportunity to work for and with others which I love doing and never want to completely give up. We are born to connect and we are so much stronger as a wolfpack than a lone wolf.

“If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together” – African Proverb

3.  Eat like you give a sh*t – This lesson is an automatic on any list I create. Pay attention to your eating habits because without the proper food we can’t function at a high level, and if you are reading this that is likely one of your goals. Add before you subtract. This is my #1 nutrition philosophy and it applies to all aspects of your life. As a nutritionist I get asked all the time “What do I need to take out of my diet?” and my answer is always “Nothing yet.” Now obviously there are exceptions to this rule if someone has an allergy or food intolerance we would address that right away. For the most part however, I suggest adding in the good stuff (veggies, healthy fats, etc,) rather than taking away. Eventually you will feel so kick ass from all the good stuff that it overrides the desire for the bad.

4.  Discover your favourite way to exercise – In the past I have forced myself to do things like run for long distances because I thought I had to because it was “good for me”. I hate running so I stopped. (Unless we are sprinting or running on a beach I am just not interested) That doesn’t mean I disregarded conditioning and pretended it didn’t exist. I started boxing and fell in love with it. Move in a way that is going to motivate you.

5.  Surround yourself with people who inspire you – I am not sure where I read this quote but it stuck with me: “You are the average of the five people you hang out with the most”. I get all fuzzy inside thinking about the people in my life who I spend the most time with. Create a circle of friends who bring out the best version of you.

6.  Be in nature as much as possible – I know this is cheesy but get your Vitamin N, you will feel amazing.

7.  Find mentors – I have had several mentors, both in sports and my professional career who have made a huge difference to my development. I would not be who I am today without these positive influences in my life.

8.  Get your sleep – I know this is a pretty straight forward one but I don’t think I truly understood how important it is to sleep. If I don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep I don’t feel fully recovered to take on the next day.

9.  Give back – We are meant to share our talents and message with others, especially those who need it the most. I have had the opportunity to give back in several ways as a strength coach and nutritionist and I can’t stress enough how important it is to share your inspiration and message with the world.

10.  Read fiction novels before bed – I usually always have 2-3 books on the go at once. I always read a fiction book before bed to wind down and avoid my electronics. I highly recommend Harry Potter…(which I read as a 30 year old)

11.  Read/and or listen to something non-fiction everyday  I have been reading non-fiction books ever since I got out of university. The learning has never stopped, I read about nutrition, business, mindset, psychology, technology etc.  Technology has made it so easy for us to access vast amounts of information for continued learning. Take advantage of podcasts, audiobooks, social media etc.

12.  Drink your veggies – As you probably already know, I love green smoothies and veggies juices. It is a great way to get in a ton of nutrients without having to eat heaps of kale. 

13.  Be mindful – I know this is a buzz term and it can really mean anything, but to me it simply means bringing awareness to your choices (food, exercise, career etc.) and living in the present moment.

14.  Meditate – This does not mean that you have to sit in a candlelit room for an hour everyday, it simply means taking time to be with yourself. From my experience there is no wrong away to do this. Even if your mind wanders, that is part of it, just simply do it, and keep doing it.

15.  Only spend $ on good quality food  When I go out to eat I make sure it is damn good quality. One thing that really gets me worked up (the list is short lol) is spending money on poor quality food. I love food so it is important for me to scope out the new restaurant. I want to eat real food not a processed sandwich, sitting lukewarm in the sun for hours.. yuck.

16.  Drink good quality coffee  I can not stress enough how important it is to drink good quality coffee. Yes you are going to pay more for an Americano from a small independent coffee shop than you will for your Timmy’s double double, but that’s not coffee….it’s just cream and sugar.

17.  Keep a journal and write in it daily  (Even if you don’t think your life is interesting… believe me it is.) This was a hard one for me because I felt like I had nothing to say, but so much inspiration comes when you just pick up a pen and paper. (I’m old school.)

18.  Travel… often – I have had the opportunity within the last couple years to travel and now I can’t stop. There is nothing like experiencing espresso and Nata’s in Portugal or watching the sun rise and set on a beach in Costa Rica.

19.  Indulge...In a smart way – I am not one of those nutritionists who tells people they can’t have chocolate or chips (unless they have a severe allergy of course) BUT I do recommend that indulgences be worthwhile and not just because it is in front of you. If you really love popcorn and carrot cake… then make sure you make that your indulgence every once and a while…not that crappy muffin that was in front of you at the local coffee shop.

20.  Salt water really does cure everything – Ocean, Sweat and Tears. 


21.  Recover in all aspects of life  I read a book recently that really struck a cord… it’s called The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loer and Tony Schwartz,  I love this book because it was all about recovering in all aspects of your life: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The key is to manage energy not time, when it comes to living a high performance lifestyle.

22.  Always find the lesson – The periods of major growth in my life have come on the heels of times when I have struggled the most. Instead of playing the victim and feeling bad for myself I have done my best to find the lesson out of every hard situation.

23.  Listen to your body  I know this is a tough one to grasp because what the heck does “listening to your body” actually mean? Well, to me it is an ongoing process but as a young athlete I just always thought that I needed to push myself to the breaking point when it came to training…. it did come to the breaking point in the form of multiple injuries.  Bring awareness to how your body is feeling with your exercise, nutrition and lifestyle and make adjustments gradual adjustments if needed. If you are unsure what is right for you when it comes to exercise and health, hire someone who can help assist in this process.  You only have one body… you best take care of it.

24.  Drink wine – I wouldn’t say I am a total wino… but I really enjoy having a glass of wine with friends or by myself writing or with a nice dinner. Like coffee and all other delicious foods, make sure it’s quality.

25.  Own being an introvert – My mentor uses the phrase “recovering introvert” and I just love it because I feel like it really resonates with me. I have had to step out of my comfort zone in starting up a business and it has pushed me to grow in the best of ways. I will always be an introvert but I have so many qualities to lead while staying authentic to my true self.

26.  Spend time alone  I LOVE being surrounded with people, whether it is likeminded mastermind sessions or with my loved ones. However, I also really appreciate being alone. It is important to recharge and get inspired with alone time. We need time with ourselves in order to be authentic, it allows you to reflect on what you really want out of life.

27.  Do pull-ups  I have a love affair with pull-ups. Yes, they are hard AF, but nothing makes me feel stronger than pulling my body weight over a bar. I do not think being a woman is an excuse for not being able to do pull-ups. In university I was humiliated during rugby fitness testing when I couldn’t do a single pull-up and other girls were crushing 5. Instead of making an excuse I decided that I was going to make my mission to get to at least 5 body weight pull-ups… and I ended up being able to do 6.. and still working my way up.

28.  If you say you are going to do something. DO IT I have struggled with always trying to please and saying YES to everything. This led to under performing as a result of an overwhelming workload. I am now learning when to say no and not to commit to things I know I don’t have time to perform properly.

29.  Ask questions and listen  Let’s be honest, people love to talk about themselves and their story. The true mastery is learning how to listen and ask the right questions. Being a “recovering introvert” I was always afraid to speak up and ask questions; “what if it is a stupid question, what will people think of me… etc.” I now know how important it is to ask questions and learn how to listen… not just wait for the next chance to speak. Like anything this takes practice and practice and more practice.

30.  Live a high performance lifestyle From my experience coaching elite athletes and high performance clients, I truly believe everyone should take the high performance approach to exercise, nutrition, career and lifestyle. This means rocking it in every area of your life, if you are a barista at a coffee shop and coffee is your jam, become the best damn barista there is.

31.  “Do what you love, love what you do” – Make the most out of life and make sure you do what you really love, do not take anything for granted and live the life you want to live. Dream and act BIG.

I feel like I could keep going BUT I will leave you with these 31 lessons. I would love your feedback and lessons you have learned during your amazing time on this planet.

Sylvie (OG lifestyles)


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