How to Make Your Birthday Sparkle

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Posted July 16, 2012 by Monica O'Connell in Life After Five

Summer birthdays are the best (in my opinion) and my summer seems to be jam-packed with them. In celebrating my own and others, conversations about birthdays have been prevalent.  I’ve learned about how some people love their birthdays and maximize their celebrations.  What I’ve also learned is that some people don’t like their birthday and in fact are kind of grouchy about it.

Birthdays (kind of like New Year’s) can be spent as a time to reflect back on the past year and/or the whole span of our lives.  For some people this becomes a great opportunity to start major comparison. I said I wanted to be here or do this by this age.  Or to spice up our judgment, we might compare ourselves to others.  While self-reflection can be useful, beating ourselves up on our birthdays doesn’t seem like a great pattern to carry into the next year.

I’ve put together 5 ways to make your birthday sparkle:

  1. Ask: What could you do in the next 365 days to make yourself psyched about what you’ve been doing for the past year? What would you need to accomplish?  Set a goal and start working towards it. Your birthday is day 1 of achieving it.
  2. Indulge: Be your own best friend.  Take care of yourself.  Would getting a massage make you a better human? Have you been waiting to splurge on that adorable swimsuit? Take care of yourself on your birthday! Check out Marcy’s post on how to splurge for free!
  3. Celebrate: Write down the top 5 (10, 15, 80) highlights of the past year. What did you really do well? Take it to another level: Gather a group of your friends and have everyone share their own personal highlights.  Share the happiness!
  4. Reflect: For what are you most grateful? Make a list.  Top 30 things that make your heart sing today.  Whether it’s flip-flops, sunshine, friends or family, no item is too silly to add to your list.
  5. Make a new tradition: From now on at birthday dinners, have someone ask the table ask the following question: What’s your favorite thing about the birthday girl/guy? Go around the table and name one quality you love about them, one thing they do well or one way they’re making your life better.  Start with your birthday and soak up the compliments.

My favorite part about celebrating birthdays with people is how much I love celebrating people. A birthday is a perfect time to love up on your self/friend/partner/family member!

How do you celebrate? Any tips to add? I’d love to learn more ways from you about how to love birthdays!


About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”

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