1. Remember: it’s okay if you don’t know what’s coming next. It’s okay if you haven’t figured out every single step of your 5 year plan. You know what? It’s even okay if you haven’t figured out your one year plan…or your one month plan. Uncertainty can be miraculous, you just have to trust yourself. As they say, “When nothing is certain, anything is possible.”
2. You don’t need anyone to complete you. You are already complete on your own. Rather, find someone who compliments you, who lifts you up, who brings out the best in you.
3. Remind yourself that it’s only life. I guarantee you, it’s not supposed to be as hard as you’re making it. You can make the best of it, or you can make the worst of it, so what’s the harm in making the best of it? Truth be told, you really have nothing to lose.
4. You are under absolutely no obligation to do what anyone else is doing. Go your own way, walk into the uncharted territory.
5. Take time for self-care. Whether it’s baking brownies, taking a night drive around town with the music blaring, or just scrolling through Pinterest in your PJs with a warm cup of tea…TAKE this time! (And don’t feel guilty about it)
6. You deserve happiness. Actually think about this; think about what it means to you. If you are happy the majority of the time, then please keep doing what you are doing. If things aren’t necessarily adding up right now, then reroute yourself. Try again. Don’t ever give up on happiness. Don’t shy away from happiness in fear of change, and don’t avoid happiness because you think you are unworthy. Always, always, always, give yourself permission to be happy.
7. Speak out openly and often about what you care about. You have a powerful voice that can be used to make a difference in this world. Don’t shy away from this inherent strength that resides within you.
8. Let go of society’s rules of what defines the “ideal” life. In other words, to be happy means to stop trying to satisfy everyone else. It means to stop focusing so much on how we look on the outside. We need to let go of our obsessive preoccupation with impressing others, and learn how to impress ourselves.
9. Learn to do what’s best for you. You will learn in time that others don’t know the best way for you to live your life in this crazy world – only you have access to this precious information. This is why it’s so critical that you do what’s best for you and focus less on satisfying the advice of others. Listen to the gut feelings rising in your stomach and chest, and follow any path that leads you to contentment and bliss. Deep down, you know what’s best for you. You’re here for a reason – and once you finally start doing what’s best for you, you will discover this reason with clarity.
10. Try not to worry so much about all of the little things in life. Worry is a waste of your time; it doesn’t change the outcome or the results, it just robs you of your freedom in the present. Try making a game plan for whatever it is that is bothering you, and then focus on the present. Whatever happens will happen – there’s no sense in living in the future.
11. Remember that a bad day doesn’t equal a bad life. Tomorrow will be a better day. And if tomorrow is not, then the next tomorrow will be. Things will look up.
12. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. When you compare yourself, you minimize the value of difference. Rather than celebrating our different forms of beauty, we worry that we are not “enough.” Well you know what? You are enough. It is essential that you realize that comparisons are never fair…people are far too multifaceted and far too different to be compared, and this contrast should be appreciated, not feared. Realize the beauty of others while you simultaneously celebrate your own.
13. When things go wrong, pick yourself back up and learn from them. If you look at them the right way, failures are just lessons.
14. Don’t put up with a half-hearted relationship. Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t feel exactly right. There’s someone out there who is perfect for you. There are probably many “someones” out there who are perfect for you. So don’t stay in a mediocre relationship. Wait to be with someone who betters you; someone who realizes how special you are and someone who is proud to be with you.
15. Say “Yes” more often. I recently read Shonda Rhime’s book “Year of Yes.” And let me tell you, she knows what she’s talking about. She basically transformed her entire life and self in one year, simply by saying “Yes.” She found self-confidence and strength by opening herself up to new experiences, and by finally listening to what she wanted and needed. So don’t be afraid to say “Yes.” Don’t be afraid to let your voice be heard.
16. Say Yes to being who you truly are, rather than to being who you think you are supposed to be.
17. Say Yes to saying No.
18. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. It only matters what you are doing.
19. You don’t need to be a social butterfly every single weekend. Well, actually, you don’t need to be a social butterfly ever – that’s your call! But either way, take time to rest whenever you need to rest. You don’t need to feel guilty for resting – we can’t all be on our game 24/7. Socializing and being around people can be truly exhausting (especially if you are an introvert). You can’t do everything, and that’s okay. So don’t push yourself too hard. Take time alone to breathe and replenish so that you can regain your strength. If you take care of yourself now, you will be more able to truly enjoy and cultivate your friendships and relationships later.
20. There’s no such thing as the “right” body. Celebrate your body for all that it can do, rather than putting it down for all of its quirks. It is essential that you think of exercise as a way of loving your body, not punishing it. Eating healthy is important, but having a healthy mindset is what’s most important. Food should be satisfying, not feared. Life will improve drastically when you realize that your body is your friend, not your enemy, and should be treated as such. Your body is home to your heart and mind.
21. Look to yourself for validation rather than to others. You don’t need others to approve your own personal decisions, you don’t need others to understand how you choose to live your life. The people who you surround yourself with should support you no matter what. So do your own thing, live your own life.
22. Don’t listen to everything your brain tells you. Your thoughts? Yes they are real, but no – they are not always true. Your mind knows how to play tricks on you. It knows how to bring you down, how to make you anxious. When your mind is bullying you, write down what you are thinking, then fact check these thoughts. And when you are done with this? Let them be, and Focus on only listening to the good stuff. Only absorb the positive thoughts: the optimism, the excitement about life, and the the ideas that help you to blossom and grow.
23. Although you are a very small speck in this universe, you are important. You are special, you are one of a kind, and most importantly, you are you for a reason. The world needs someone exactly like you.
24. Be a little bit easier on yourself when you make mistakes; mistakes are just backdrops for discoveries.
25. Love yourself fiercely, for better or for worse. Learn to love your heart, your brain, and your body. No matter how flawed and scarred you may perceive yourself to be, you are a masterpiece. Appreciate your irreplaceable qualities, and value your strength of heart. You’re all you’ve got. What better a thing can you do than to love yourself?