17 Things To Actually Try This Year (Instead Of Just Talking About Them)

1. Tell someone how you really feel, whether it’s good, bad, unpopular or ugly. Be polite, be tactful, but be honest. Stop discussing your true thoughts with everyone except the one person who needs to hear them.

2. Cut your hair the way you’ve always wanted to. Do that one thing you’ve always toyed with the idea of but were too nervous to try. At best, it will make you feel more “you” than ever before, and at worst, it will grow back anyway.

3. Get in a car and drive until you’re lost. Explore there.

4. Buy something from a store you always gawk at online. The balance to strike is finding something that is simultaneously of good quality but uniquely fits you and your lifestyle as well. Save up for it if you need to, but work toward that goal – reaching it will be unbelievably sweet.

5. Re-visit all of your old favorite places: the restaurant you used to have lunch in every day, the playground near where you grew up. Your old office, your college campus. They’re just as important as discovering your uncharted grounds.

6. Return to the places that have affected you most, for better and for worse. Neutralize the energy there. Realize the difference between who you once were and the person who is sitting there now. Realize that what happened has no hold on you in actuality, just in mentality.

7. Do a ceremonial bonfire where you write down all the things you want to let go of from the past year on pieces of paper, say them out loud, and then throw them in. See it as the beginning of a renewed effort to move on.

8. Create a sacred space of your own. It could be your bedroom as a whole, in a space set aside to meditate, on a board of photos of the people you love and the things you want, whatever. It’s as simple as putting some flowers and favorite photos or pieces of art in your cubicle. Externalize what’s internally important to you, even just representationally.

9. Pick up a book that you wouldn’t normally be interested in and read it. Read it from cover to cover, even if, at times, you’re forcing yourself to get through it. Read until you find something within it that sparks your interest. There are always things left to be learned, always interests left to be discovered, it’s just getting past the anxiety of moving outside your comfort zone that stops you.

10. If you meet someone and start to develop feelings for them, don’t play the game you know all too well: just ask them out. Be direct, be forthcoming, be real. It may result in a broken heart, but it’s better now then more of your life wasted wondering about “what ifs” to eventually have to come to terms with a much harder truth.

11. Save up for and then take a trip to that one place you’ve always talked about going to, but have never found the time or means to do so. There will always be another excuse not to go if you look for it. Don’t let those excuses stand in your way.

12. Apply for the job you always talk about wanting to have “someday.” Or at minimum, apply for a job that will get you on the ladder to getting there.

13. Repurpose your clothing and make it true to whatever your style is now. There’s nothing quite like genuine vintage, and style is only as great as your ability to import personality into it is.

14. Put your phone down, turn your computer off, go out into the world and just live. Delete a social media account, temporarily or for good, and let it go. Realize that your own happiness will not be found in reading about the updates of others’ lives. Take that technology-hiatus you’ve always dreamed about.

15. Meet new people. The task of doing so seems so unapproachable and awkward, but it’s really not. It’s a simple matter of going slightly out of your way in your day-to-day life. Frequent new shops, hang out with friends and have them invite other friends you’ve never met before. Take a class, visit a new museum, walk down a different block. Strike up conversation with the people you come across. Companionship usually doesn’t just fall in your lap.

16. Get tickets to see your favorite band play live. Getting lost in the music and the atmosphere is unlike anything else you’ll ever experience again.

17. Decide who you want to be and become it. Not in an overly-optimistic but ultimately unrealistic sense — take baby steps. Change begins with the decision to do so. Learn to live a little more and fear a little less. Watch what unfolds as you do. TC mark

Inspired, and brought to you, by GAP’s Lived In spring collection. In stores now.

Brianna Wiest

My new book on self-sabotage is out now.


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