Top 5 Lessons I Learned in my 23rd Year of Life

I have been 24 years old for one full month! Before 11 more months pass me by, I wanted to take a second and put on paper my biggest takeaways from my time as a 23-year-old!

  1. My sphere of influence is a gift from God to spread His love.

I used to think that a full time, after college job was just to pay the bills. When that was my mindset, work was unexciting and dreadful. Once I was able to wrap my mind around the fact that I don’t have to be employed at Christian camp to spread God’s love I looked at work a different way. The many opportunities that I get to share love with co-workers, clients and networkers is exactly where God wants me to be!


  1. It doesn’t matter how my husband folds the towels.

This invaluable lesson came from a Christy Wright podcast and really has changed my life and helped my marriage. See, I am recovering from Home Control Disease (HCD) which is exactly what you think it is! Adam use to try to help do things and I would either 1. Nag him to do it the ‘right’ way or 2. Go behind him and ‘fix’ it. If you do this, we need to talk about HCD.

The slap in the face I learned was that there is no wrong or right way to fold towels. Yes, there is ‘his way’ and ‘my way’, but there was and will never be such a thing as the ‘correct way’. If the goal is to simply get the towels folded and put into their desired location, why in the world was I stressing out about making sure they were folded ‘my way’?  Why was the need to do every little task ‘correct’ taking up so much of my brain space?

I decided to put an end to my HCD. Even though it has still been hard! I let my husband help around the house, he does about 50% of the housework and I let him accomplish the tasks however he sees fit!


  1. Self-care is NOT selfish

I have to take care of my own health and wellbeing. I do not have to wait for a medical professional to prescribe me something. I used to think that if I was going to get better, I would need an medical professional to help. Once I found out my doctor was booked three months out, I knew I was going to have to find other resources to take better care of my health! I spent much of my 23rd year of life reading books, listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos from very educated and accomplished Doctors, motivational speakers and specialist! At the touch of my fingers I had more than enough knowledge to find what I was looking for.

With this increase of knowledge, I started making my yoga practice important again. At first, I didn’t want to spend money on each class. Then my next excuses were that I should be doing stuff for work or Adam. I finally laid down the lies and starting the metal process of knowing that taking care of myself, one yoga class at a time, will make me the best Colleen to better influence those around me!


  1. Write out every dream I want to accomplish in my life

I read a book that talked about a “100 List.” This list is simply a collection of a person’s top dreams they desire to accomplish in life. I was fascinated! So I typed my “100 List” up but only got to about 70 goals. With my list typed, printed and posted in my office, I didn’t think much of it. Then came a desire to take a random trip for fourth of July! We googled the cheapest flights from Atlanta on the 4th. Low and behold, the cheapest flights we found were to Philadelphia! When just a few weeks before this trip, #24 on my 100 list was to get a picture with the Liberty Bell. I wrote it down as a goal, with no plans of making it happen any time soon, and the dream quickly came to life.

Another one of my ‘100 List’ was listed at #5 to get baptized in the Jordan river and to walk where Jesus walked. Just a few weeks after jotting down a draft of my “100 List” I got a message from a church I did camp at that they were taking a trip to Israel and he remembered to let me know! I wrote down the desires God has placed on my heart, and He started opening doors right away.


  1. Each meal matters

I simply learned that if I want to feel my best, I must eat food that will make me feel good! Thanks to Everlywell (learn more about it in my blog 10 Things That Changed Me In 2018) I was able to learn what my body was sensitive too. This helped me have better knowledge of what makes me feel bad and what makes me feel good. Once I gained this knowledge it was simply about having the discipline to put things into my mouth that would help or hurt me. My 23rd year of life was when I fully gained understanding that the food that goes in through my mouth and comes out of my rear, can either make me feel good or bad during the “in-between the holes” processing machine. And that I am THE ONLY one who controls what goes into my body.


Here is to rocking and rolling as 24!

-Colleen Howard




1 Comment

  1. Kevin Kavanaugh
    18 Sep 2019 / 6:19 am

    You are a smart young lady. Just remember, how the toilet paper “rolls” does matter.

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