1. You don’t owe men anything.
You can stop talking to them, tell them to leave you alone, or even just ignore them without any explanation.
2. Buying Victoria’s Secret bras and panties will not make you look like Giselle.
This is to say, while it’s nice to feel feminine and sexy and confident, keep your expectations in check.
3. Life is not on your timeline.
Sure, you may have multiple drafts and Excel spreadsheets of your Life Plan, detailed down to the month, what you want accomplished by what age, but you have to relax.
4. Your mother was right.
Going to bed at a decent hour and waking up early is so good for you and makes you more productive. (Eating your veggies doesn’t hurt either.)
5. Take ownership over your body.
It’s only yours and your only one, so treat it with respect in what you put in it and what you ask of it.
6. Memories are more valuable than things.
You will always remember that trip to Greece and Costa Rica over that white watch that you lost a few months ago.
7. Be mindful.
Take the time to observe how you interact with others, the energy you bring to the table, and take responsibility for your part.
8. Take time to decompress.
Meditate, even if that means just sitting down, turning off your phone, and focusing on your breathing for five minutes a day; you need it.
9. Take the initiative.
Ask questions, volunteer, and if you see a piece of trash, throw it away even if it’s not yours (but use gloves if it’s super gross).
10. Stop caring what others think.
It’s not your business and it’s exhausting to keep up with everyone’s expectations, so do your thing free of the fear of judgment!
11. Invest in a good mattress.
This is where you will be (almost) every night of your life, so be kind to your back.
12. Exercise for health, not for weight loss.
Keeping track of how many calories you burned versus how many calories you ate is a waste of brain space.
13. Show up early and often.
If you get an invitation somewhere, always say yes, be present and thankful when you’re there, and never show up empty handed.
14. Practice gratitude.
Writing down three things each night can really help put things into perspective and before you know it, you’ll be annoyed that you’re only limited to three things. (Bonus: Let others know you appreciate them, and send handwritten thank you cards.)
15. Your loved ones don’t care what you look like.
Whether you’ve gained 20 pounds, or lost it, have purple hair, or a huge bubbling zit, they will still hug you and tell you that you’re beautiful.
16. Your doctor was right about sun protection.
Wear sunscreen, if only for the cosmetic benefits of reducing sunspots.
17. Take the time to listen to your gut.
If something is stuck in your head and won’t go away, you owe it to yourself to find out why.
18. Move away from home.
It will teach you an independence and self-reliance you never knew you had in you, and make you appreciate your family so much more when you move back home (or just visit occasionally).
19. Drink water frequently.
It’s free, doesn’t have any calories, is good for your skin and digestion, and keeps your body running smoothly.
20. Listen to your grandparents.
No one lives forever, and everyone has a story, so find out theirs since it’s a part of yours.
21. Keep your expectations high.
People (men) will say anything to get you to do what they want you to do (sleep with them). You know this, but with drinks and loneliness near, you have to remember that you’re not special to them.
22. Practice asset-based thinking.
Not everyone knows the difference between you’re and your, but everyone has something good about them, so try to be the one to bring it out of them.
23. Look at price tags before you buy.
Don’t blindly put things in your cart (or just because it’s a good deal that you can’t pass up), saying you’ll return them later, only to find out the return policy is store credit only.
24. Pay yourself first.
No matter how much money you’re making, set up a monthly auto debit into a special savings account that you cannot touch unless it’s a real emergency (a last minute trip to Cabo doesn’t count).
25. Strive for balance.
Too much of anything: sugar, sex, alcohol, any one person, TV; no matter what it is not healthy. So aim for small doses so they remain a treat.
26. Stand tall.
Keeping an aligned posture (shoulders back, stomach in) while you sit and stand throughout the day will prevent back problems in the future (and make you look taller, slimmer, and more confident).
27. Don’t yuck someone’s yum.
Your pet peeves are not everyone’s, and not everyone likes chocolate, so don’t place judgment on someone else’s preferences.
28. Learn as much as you can.
Study maps, read the news, be an informed citizen because your brain is an incredible thing and you will never be too old to learn and grow.
29. Be forthcoming.
Sure, maybe your boss didn’t exactly ask you if you went to Paris, but you don’t want to spend the time before and after the trip paranoid that you’ll get caught.
30. Speak your mind and stand up for the things you are passionate about.
Not everyone will agree with you, but if everyone thinks someone else will speak up, no one will. Be that person.