1. Donating all the old clothes that no longer fit you or you haven’t touched in years. Rearrange your closet in the process so that your favorite things are always accessible for the days when you need a little extra confidence boost, but only keep the things that you will actually wear and serve as an extension of what you love, what you feel comfortable in, and how you’d like the world to see you.
2. Learning how to do something new — whether it’s dancing, cooking, swimming, folding fitted sheets, or becoming versed in the art of fine wine. Regardless of whether that involves enrolling in a class or just going out on the ledge and doing it without worrying whether or not you’re “bad” at it.
3. Instead of waiting around for the kind of romantic gesture that makes you feel something all the way down to the ends of your limbs and back, kiss someone the way you’d want to be kissed. Maybe that involves going on a few dates before you meet the person who ignites that spark, or maybe that involves rekindling a relationship that’s grown a little too comfortable here and there, or maybe it just involves surprising your significant other with that kiss because it’s a Sunday afternoon. Half that spark comes from you. Ignite it into something larger than you both.
4. Breaking one bad habit, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential. Maybe you never listen to your voicemail, or you put your phone on the table when you’re out to dinner, or your roommate always winds up being the one to buy toilet paper. Make a conscious decision to work towards one thing at a time, one day at a time. The little efforts add up.
5. Making plans to take a trip that you can actually afford and do this year. Call up friends right now. Pick a place you’ve never seen, but could afford within the next few weeks. Book it as soon as you can — even, and maybe especially, if you’re booking it months in advance. Don’t let yourself back out.
6. Earning forgiveness from someone, not just asking for it. Prove to them little by little that you learned the error of your ways, and prove to them with repeated actions that you’re worthy of the effort it will take for them to bury the hatchet. Do what you can to help make that healing easier for them.
7. Finishing that one book you always swore you would, even if you decided you hated it halfway through, or never picked up after you bought it from the bookstore. Take it to a coffee shop today, buy yourself a decadent cup of something you might not typically drink, and curl up in the corner with it. Who knows? You might wind up wanting to read everything else the author’s ever written.
8. Making a conscious effort to recognize the thoughts you have that might be a little toxic, or at least a little counterproductive, and actively remind yourself why they don’t serve any purpose in your life.
9. If you’re not in a relationship, but you’d like to be, at least start acknowledging that it’s something you’d like in your life. You might not find the love of your life this year, but if you begin to put yourself out there, your odds of finding the love that deserves to be in your life increase that much more.
10. Stop contacting the people in your life who only take up filler space. Delete the phone numbers that belong to people whose faces you can’t even remember, and just as you don’t need the people who only contact you when they want something from you, don’t contact them for this reason, either. Nobody likes the opportunist, and everyone can always tell when a “Heyyyy, it’s been forever!” text is anything less than genuine.
11. Buying tickets to see your favorite band if they’re in town. Don’t bank on another tour, another reunion, another time. Whether they’re your favorite band of the moment, or a group you loved when you were a kid (hello, Backstreet Boys!) give yourself something to which you can look forward on a random weekday night.
12. Rereading your favorite book — whether it’s one you loved in childhood, or one you’re just obsessed with but that’s sitting tragically untouched on your bookshelf. Allow yourself to rediscover all the things you loved about it, and find the things you didn’t pick up the first (or 50th) time around.
13. Taking your friend up on that offer to go to their class or group or meeting. Supporting them, their endeavors, and their interests; learning a little more about them, and meeting new people in the process. You usually end up learning more about yourself anyway.
14. Developing a practice — be it yoga or running or eating a salad with dinner most nights — that you don’t hate, and is rooted not just in your weight or your body image or your doctor telling you that you need to for your health, but for your own overall wellness.
15. Reaching out to that person who has your dream job. Follow them on Twitter. Send them an email. Network. Find a mentor. Ask questions. Really learn about every angle of the industry that you can. Set yourself up for the kind of success that is challenging, fulfilling, and worth working towards.
16. Painting your bedroom walls. Frame the pictures you said you’d frame, and hang them up. Invest in good sheets. Make little corners of your home that are downright comforting, and spruce them up with flowers every now and again. Even if you rent instead of own, make it feel like you’ve put down roots.
17. Flossing. Seriously. Do it.
18. Eating at that one restaurant you always pass on the way home from work, and have always wanted to try. Go by yourself if you have to, make reservations, dress up nicely if it’s that kind of place, and order what you want.
19. Facing the things deep down within yourself that terrify you — or at least start doing the work that will allow you to. Join a group, look into a therapist, meet a friend for drinks or pedicures or lunch, and just begin to unpack the things you’re afraid of or angry about bit by bit. Sift through what’s bothering you. Ask yourself if there are ways you can handle, or cope, or deal.
20. Writing letters — thank yous, birthday cards, long pen pal-esque correspondences, holiday cards, post cards just-because-this-was-funny-and-I-thought-you’d-like-it cards — and actually send them. Buy stamps. Practice your handwriting. Sign them all with love. If you get any back, send some more in return.
21. Reuniting with the best friend who moved across the country. Find a place halfway in between you can meet at, travel to them, make your place when they stay with you, or even just set up weekly FaceTime dates and keep them. We have the capability to make a thousand miles away feel like next door. Take advantage of it.
22. Celebrating random days just because you can. Buy people the presents you know they’ll love on their special days and at holidays, not just the one-size-fits-all gift you buy for any and everyone. Throw parties to celebrate promotions and victories, and make a champagne toast because it’s Thursday night and tomorrow is Friday and you’re alive.
23. Remembering to say thank you. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you love them. Tell them how much — that it’s an always kind of love, that you appreciate what they do for you, and that you’d do everything you could to tell them that you’re thankful that they love you.