1. Explaining your stance to people you think are ignorant. Laughing them off makes you ignorant as well. Sharing with them why you think and feel the way you do is how we collectively evolve – whether or not they listen is not your problem.
2. Cooking yourself breakfast. If making every meal for yourself is impossible or just exhausting, at least commit to taking time each morning to care for yourself in one of the most simplest ways.
3. Taking care of your long-term self. Acting on behalf of what you’ll want in 3 months, or even 3 years, not just what you impulsively desire in the moment.
4. Reading the books that have been on your shelf forever. The ones that are half read, or even untouched. The ones that interested you in the moment, that you were gifted, or that you suddenly didn’t have time to finish. Make time.
5. Reading the books you loved when you were in high school. Retrace the words that made you think and swoon and cry when you were just old enough to begin to actualize those emotions in a real way.
6. Donating $20 a month to a cause you claim to believe in. $20 is pretty minimal, but at the very least it’s likely many people could afford to do it – divvy up $5 donations to a few sites you care about (like Brain Pickings, or Wikipedia) and a Patreon account, or perhaps setup a recurring donation to Planned Parenthood. Skip a few morning lattés and walk your talk.
7. Being angry (not cruel). Anger is good. Anger is usually what happens right before change. Anger and cruelty are two entirely different things, and cruelty is what happens when anger is suppressed. So get angry about the things there are to get angry about, and do something about them.
8. Reading in bed, especially on rainy days. Or really not needing an excuse to stay in bed for an entire Sunday morning (…afternoon).
9. Sleeping. Prioritize sleep before everything else and you will find that everything else improves.
10. Letting something consume your full attention. When left to its own devices, the brain will preoccupy itself with what it knows best: fear or survival. At the end of the day, the biggest problem with your life could be just that you’re thinking about it more than you’re living it.
11. Finding, and focusing, on what makes you feel calm. We believe that a “good life” is one in which we suffer for our success, yet most real success – which has a lasting, emotional reward – is the result of what’s effortless. To be “calm” doesn’t mean to just sit in a sauna and ignore your responsibilities. It means to find flow no matter what you have to do.
12. Making more phone calls. Don’t let another year go by without calling your grandmother or talking to your mom regularly or whatever else you wouldn’t want to look back and regret. You do not have forever with the people you love.
13. Broadcasting less and savoring more. Make a serious commitment to limiting your social media time. Validate yourself by living the life that’s in front of you, not by projecting the one you wish you had.
14. Opening more windows, taking more walks outside. Get fresh air while you sleep or at least let your apartment air out while you’re at work, and begin your day with a walk just for the sake of it. Starting each morning with something leisurely sets a very particular tone for the day.
15. Snuggling. With the person you love. Or your pet. Or yourself. (Definitely yourself.)
16. Doing what comes effortlessly to you. Sure you have to pay the bills, and sure there are only so many hours in the day, but take time to doing whatever it is that flows naturally: writing, painting, singing, swimming. Even if you’re just doodling on a notepad or singing in the shower or doing laps at the pool, the point is that you’re doing what you were born to do.
17. Having hours-long conversations with people – in person – without picking up a phone, or checking the time, or getting distracted by a deadline or a chore that went undone. Only reason break focus to refill their glass of wine.
18. Treat people to the little things. If you’re going to buy things like coffees out or shopping trips for yourself, treat the people you spend time with to a drink or a gift now and again. It’s so simple, so uncommon, and so absolutely touching to be on the receiving end of.
19. Acknowledging your fears. Don’t let them silently control you. Release yourself from yourself by simply letting yourself feel. Emotions won’t kill you, but suppressing them will – and they’ll take down everything else in your life in the process.
20. Writing letters. Honest notes to friends, thank you cards, end of the year notes to colleagues, a letter to your grandma, a handwritten invitation, a grocery list.
21. Enjoying the life you have, not the one you’re working toward having. You’ll find that the only time you really “arrive” is when you decide to, anyway.