Thought Catalog
September 8, 2014

30 Things You Should Do (At Least) Once A Year

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1. Clean your closet, and get rid of anything you haven’t worn, anything that doesn’t fit you, anything that is too worn or ripped to repair, or anything you haven’t worn in at least a year (save for your one “interview” suit or dress, etc). Other than that, start fresh.

2. Visit your hometown, even if everybody else has moved away. Visit the last town you lived in if it’s close enough or you’re going to be passing by anyway. Remember why you don’t live there anymore. Feel grateful for what you have in comparison to what you had.

3. Go somewhere you’ve never been before, whether that’s a foreign country or a part of your own country you’ve always wanted to see but never did. It can be an hour away or a three-day road trip away. Regardless, plan to just see something you’ve never seen before — just once.

4. Get a massage. It’s good for your body, helps you realign muscles and joints that might have shifted, and puts you back in tune with how your body is supposed to feel.

5. Drink cheap wine to keep you humble and hungry. Remind yourself why you ought to work hard for the good stuff but if you do this with friends on a roof somewhere, it’s a good memory on its own. (Just drink a lot of water so your hangover doesn’t hurt too badly tomorrow. But really, only do this one once. Life is too short for bad booze.)

6. Volunteer somewhere. Do this one especially more than once a year. It’s good for your soul, your mind, your heart, and your community.

7. Make a new friend — a real friend, not just an acquaintance you friended on Facebook after a party and never spoke to again — or five.

8. Challenge yourself physically in some slightly crazy, I-can’t-believe-I-did-that kind of way, whether that’s a marathon, a class at the gym you’ve always been too intimidated to try, finally lose those last 10 pounds, or even a baby if this is that year and that’s what you’re ready for. (That last one is the hardest and biggest challenge of them all.)

9. Actually make (and go to) all the doctor, dentist, and whatever other appointments that are so easy to blow off.

10. Rewatch your favorite movie, or reread your favorite book — and see if there’s now something else that jumps out at you with either age, experience, or simply new eyes.

11. Go somewhere really nice to eat. Like, more forks than you think you’ll use nice. Dress up for it. It doesn’t have to be a date. Go with your best friend and make a night of it.

12. Call in sick to work. Play hooky because you can, for your mental health. (Only do this once, though. Your boss might grow suspicious otherwise.)

13. Have champagne and cake for dinner for no other reason than this: Because. You. Can.

14. Try something you’ve sworn all your life that you absolutely hate — but maybe just never really gave a chance.

15. Ask for a raise, or ask what you can do to improve if you don’t yet deserve one. Work towards that.

16. Make a conscious effort to thank all the people you might be taking for granted in your day-to-day life (like your building’s super, the man who runs the laundromat, your barista, even the kid who checks you in at the gym every morning).

17. Go up to your roof if you can, and get a new perspective on the world, and on your place in it.

18. Spend a whole day walking everywhere to run your errands. No cars, no bikes, no public transportation, just walking. See what you notice when the world isn’t whizzing by you at dozens of miles an hour.

19. Go without (or with less of) a favorite vice — whether that’s smoking, drinking, sugar, or even something as seemingly innocuous as that morning coffee — for a week. See how you feel.

20. Get fitted by a professional tailor so you know what size you are (and if you’re a woman, get your bra fitted, too).

21. Learn how to cook a new meal. Invite people over to share it with you.

22. Leave your phone at home for an afternoon. See what happens when you unplug.

23. Spend time in nature, whether that’s on a day hike on a nearby trail, or a few days camping with your family and friends.

24. Go to a museum, see a band or a sports game live, or watch a play or a musical. Experience culture without the help of an illuminated screen.

25. Spend a Friday night in. Order takeout, dance around to guilty pleasure music in your underwear, take a really long bath, whatever speaks to you in that moment.

26. Stare your naked body in a mirror. Make peace — and offer love — to every little inch of you that stares back.

27. Buy flowers for someone you love and appreciate. (That someone can even be yourself.)

28. Reach out to someone whose career you admire. Build a connection. See what you might be able to learn from them — and even how you might be able to help them, too.

29. Try to make amends with someone with whom you might have drifted or had a falling out. If you can’t fix the relationship, at least let that wound heal as healthfully as possible.

30. Ask yourself if you’re happy. And if you’re not, ask yourself what might help you work towards getting there. And then make it happen. Because, yes, you deserve to be happy. TC mark

featured image – Carmen Jost

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