1. Master a routine that works for you.
Figure out if you’re an early bird or a night owl. A schedule-oriented person or a play-it-by-ear person – and then set up a routine that works for you. If you aren’t able to keep yourself grounded in a lifestyle that facilitates growth, you’re going to have a hard time keeping your self-concept stable.
2. Maintain a (mostly) healthy diet.
As much as we’d like to believe that our diets don’t affect the way we’re feeling and thinking, we’d be sourly mistaken in that claim. Our physical health has a massive impact on our day-to-day sense of wellbeing and putting the right foods into our body can make a world of difference when it comes to how we feel about ourselves.
3. Find a form of exercise you love.
You don’t have to run a marathon or tackle Mount Everest. But the sooner you find a form of exercise that you genuinely enjoy taking part in, the greater an appreciation for your own body you will develop. And when you’re at peace inside your body, it’s infinitely easier to be at peace inside your mind.
4. Travel once a year.
Keep your relationship with yourself fresh by taking it on the road at least once a year. Travel somewhere that forces you out of your routine or comfort zone – you’ll be forced to develop in new ways and you’ll consequently make some great memories.
5. Read a new book every month.
Don’t allow your thought patterns to become lazy and repetitive. Once a month, read something that challenges your way of thinking and gives your mind something new and interesting to turn over.
6. Be vulnerable with friends and loved ones.
Open yourself up to the people who love and support you – it takes true strength to share yourself with others but that closeness is something we all need.
7. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.
Take the time to understand your past thought patterns and forgive yourself for the poor actions they lead to. Without understanding we cannot make changes going forward. And the commitment to making those changes will be something that you’re ultimately proud of.
8. Confront your own weaknesses and fears.
Once a year, pick a fear that you’ve been harbouring for too long and find a way to face it head on. You’ll gain a greater sense of self-respect for having done so and you’ll be down one fear to boot!
9. Maintain healthy relationships with family members.
A healthy relationship with yourself means the ability to maintain healthy relationships with others. Let friends, relatives and loved ones play an active role in your life: the more open you are to others, the more open you are to your life.
10. Listen to TED talks or inspirational speeches once a week.
As fantastic as it is to grow and be inspired by the experiences of people we know, it never hurts to listen to the experiences of those are vastly different than ourselves – and those who’ve put a significant amount of energy into researching and sharing their knowledge of a particular field.
11. Make time to pursue new interests and hobbies.
Take that cooking class you’ve always wanted to take. Read up on that topic you’ve been wanting to explore. It’s never too late to pick up on something new and fascinating, and you owe it to yourself to do so.
12. Allow yourself to be surprised by life.
Say ‘Yes’ to that event that you’d normally say ‘No’ to. Go out on a date with that cute stranger. Let plans bend in ways you wouldn’t normally expect them to and be open to whatever comes next. To keep your relationship with yourself fresh, you have to keep your relationship with the world around you fresh too.
13. Check in with yourself once a week.
Keep a journal of your thoughts or check in with a close friend once a week to measure the progress you’re making toward your goals and to keep in touch with your overall sense of wellbeing.
14. Learn how to prioritize money.
It’s important to be aware of what a your financial priorities are. You owe it to yourself to splurge every once in a while – but in order to do that you have to figure out how you like to allocate your money and where you can make leniencies.
15. Reflect on what has made you the happiest in the past.
Until we understand where our happiest memories came from and why, it’s going to be tricky to recreate those circumstances in the future.
16. Reflect on what’s made you the unhappiest in the past.
Look for patterns in the circumstances and behaviors that have hindered your happiness historically. There’s no sense in repeating old mistakes.
17. Learn how to say ‘No’ to yourself.
Learning to be strict with yourself is an integral component to self-love. You have to know what your top priorities are in life, and which passing fancies you may have to give up in order to move toward them.
18. Learn how to say ‘No’ to others.
Learn to turn down commitments you don’t want to go to and favours that you don’t want to run. Your time is important. Why waste it?
19. Keep a running list of long-term goals.
Keep in check with the goals and dreams that are burning inside of you – they’re what will keep you going through every bump in the road.
20. Learn to take credit for your accomplishments.
Own what you’ve done – both in public and in private. Keep a running list of things you have done that you’re proud of, that you can pull out when you need a little boost.
21. Force yourself to ask for what you want, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Ask for that job. That promotion. That date. You’ll feel better about yourself for having done so, even if the answer is no.
22. Make laughter a priority.
Watch a half hour of stand-up comedy or phone your most hilarious friend once a week if not more. Make your abs ache for all the right reasons.
23. Look presentable more days than not.
No matter how little value you place on your physical appearance, the more presentable you look the more put-together you tend to feel. And the more put-together you feel, the more ready you are to face each day.
24. Challenge your own thoughts and beliefs by reading literature or talking to people who disagree with you.
Don’t let yourself become so wrapped up in your own worldview that your thoughts become stagnant and tired. Chat with people who hold opposing viewpoints to your own or at the least read what they have to say. It never hurts to challenge your thinking.
25. Let your loved ones know how much you value them.
Don’t let those important ‘I love yous’ go unsaid. You’ll sleep easier each night knowing that the people you care about know exactly how you feel.
26. Find an activity that is affirming for you and practice it daily.
Find something that capitalizes on your strengths – be it exercising, gardening, reading, performing or socializing – and make a routine out of it. Who says you can’t have a little pick-me-up every day?
27. Invest in something bigger than yourself.
It can be a religion, a charity or even just a social group that meets once a week. It feels good to be a part of something bigger than yourself, no matter how big or small an influence you have.
28. Spend at least half an hour outside every day.
Sunlight is a natural mood enhancer. Which means the more time you’re spending outdoors, the more at peace you’re going to feel with yourself.
29. Make getting eight hours of sleep every night a priority.
Getting an adequate amount of sleep can absolutely make or break a day – and when you’re consistently under-rested you’re consistently at odds with yourself.
30. Have an orgasm at least twice a week.
Have it alone or with company – but either way, give yourself that physical release. You’ll quickly go crazy without it.
31. Make music a regular part of your routine.
Find out which kind of music pumps you up, which mellows you out and which kind you ought to play when.
32. Schedule alone time with yourself.
Make you-time an active priority. To keep up a relationship you have to invest quality time and that includes your relationship with yourself.
33. Recognize what you need help with (and can outsource).
If a biweekly cleaning service will take a load off your plate, make a financial plan that will account for it. Knowing your natural weaknesses are the first step in combatting them.
34. Strategically indulge your desires.
Learn to recognize when you need a break – and then indulge that need in whichever way suits you best.
35. Unplug for one full day each month.
For at least twelve straight hours a month, turn off all of your electronics and immerse yourself in the world around you. You may be surprised at what you find.
36. Take care of your physical environment.
Keep your home, office and other living spaces maintained in a fashion that makes you feel at peace. You’ll thank yourself for keeping your headspace clear.
37. Welcome external feedback.
Check in with friends, family and loved ones regularly to ask them how they think you are doing. Let them be honest and take their feedback to heart.
38. Make peace with what you’re never going to make a priority.
You may never be the world’s most athletic person or a New York Bestselling author. And sometimes, simply acknowledging that you’re choosing not to make something a priority goes a long way in reducing your stress level around it.
39. Give yourself credit where credit is due.
Don’t explain away or downplay your accomplishments. Take pride in how far you have come and how much you’ve accomplished for yourself.
40. Allow your relationship with yourself to constantly and intentionally evolve.
Just as we have to let our relationships with others fluctuate, alter and grow, we have to let our relationships with ourselves do the same. After all, you’ve got the rest of your life to spend with yourself. So you might as well make it a relationship worth being in.