1. Practice gratitude. Somehow, we’ve cultivated habits of practicing judgment, jealousy or self-pity. Imagine if you spent that time telling yourself one thing you’re grateful for instead. It can be something big or small; something obvious or maybe a hidden silver lining. Spend literally a few moments in the morning or evenings doing this simple action. Set an alarm, make it your bedtime tradition, get in the habit. Soon, your gratitude will come to you naturally and you’ll start to feel how full your life really is.
2. Journal. They say there’s power in writing things down. Spend more time jotting down what’s floating in your mind; get it out of your head and into the universe.
3. Listen to your intuition. If I learned anything this year, it’s that my intuition is more powerful than I give it credit. And I bet yours is, too. Don’t underestimate the feeling you get in your gut when you sense something is or is not right. You most likely already know the answer.
4. Embrace your solitude. Get cozy with your alone time. Do things you like by yourself. Become comfortable with your own presence.
5. Indulge in a passion project. Reflect on something you’ve always wanted to do — playing guitar, jewelry making, becoming a fitness instructor, photography, knitting, anything! Pick one thing and commit to doing it this year. Now listen up: this is not me telling you to become an expert at something and stress yourself out. This is me telling you to feel joy in doing, to remind yourself what it’s like to be hungry to learn, and to prove to yourself that you can do it.
6. Follow through on your promises and commitments. When I say this, I mean your promises to others AND to yourself. Become so reliable that people know when you say you’ll do something, it’s a done deal.
7. Forgive yourself. Now, in the same vein, don’t be too hard on yourself. You will make mistakes this year — it’s bound to happen. But when you do, forgive yourself. You’re only human, and it’s okay to mess up.
8. Set an intention every day. An intention can be something simple — a word or phrase. Like, practicing patience or acceptance, or listening to others around you a little more closely. In setting these small but mighty goals, you will begin to live with more purpose and direction and feel empowered in knowing you choose what you bring into your day.
9. Tell people why you love them. The next time you tell someone you love them, give them three reasons why. Watch them glow.
10. Give yourself love, too. You know when you’re looking at your best friend and you start thinking all of these amazing things about them? How often do you look at yourself and do the same? What if we showered ourselves with the same love and compliments that we give to others? Start nurturing yourself with kindness and praise. Appreciate the body that’s carried you every day of your life. Learn to give yourself love.
11. Meditate. Get comfortable with silence. This can seem difficult and so uncomfortable, especially because silence seems to make our thoughts louder. But the more you practice, the less your inner thoughts will grip your attention; the more self-awareness you’ll gain; and the closer you’ll feel to the quiet parts that exist within you.
12. Give back. We can all benefit a bit from giving back. And it doesn’t have to be money. Your time can be the most valuable gift, especially if you get to connect with the people that you’re helping.
13. Let yourself feel what you’re feeling. You do not need to be happy all the time. Again, for the people in the back, you do NOT need to be happy all the time. Emotions are real. Feel them. And don’t be ashamed to do so.
14. Use healthy coping mechanisms. It is 100% okay to not be happy all the time; however, it is equally necessary to understand whatever you are feeling and find healthy ways to process it. And, it’s important to realize that this will look different for everyone. Some people may crave a workout, others may need a night in with a good friend, others may need time alone journaling their thoughts. Find your tools and use them.
15. Learn to say “no”. We often say yes to things we don’t even really want to do. Learn to claim back your voice and your time and say “no” when you want to.
16. Lean on your friends when you need them. I know you don’t want to overburden the people around you with the things you’re going through, but they want to be there for you. Let them be.
17. Celebrate your successes. Did you try something new for the first time today? Take one step closer to achieving a goal? Not cry for the first time over that guy that broke your heart? AMAZING. All of these things, while may not seem it to you, are huge. And they should not go unnoticed as successes. Sure, you might not feel like you’ve made all the progress you’ve wanted, but (get ready for it) this. is. progress. Self-high five. Impromptu dance party. Be proud. And recognize these small, but mighty accomplishments more often.
18. Trade Texting for a Phone Call. Because there’s something special in hearing a loved one’s voice — in knowing their exact reaction the moment you share something with them.
19. Ask yourself: “What if it all works out?” Instead of believing that life is out to get you and everything is always falling apart (although I get it can feel that way sometimes), start asking yourself: What if it all works out? How differently would you approach your life if you knew that it was guaranteed for you to get everything you want — feel happiness, find love, land your dream job, whatever your goal is. Because the more you start believing it will all work out, the more you’ll start setting the tracks for it to actually happen.