1. You’ve looked after someone other than yourself. Maybe you’ve spent time with a friend who had their heart broken or went out of your way to do someone a favor. Maybe you volunteered your time at a soup kitchen or gave some extra change to a stranger in need. Whatever the particular action is, taking the time and energy to shift the focus away from yourself — even if just for a few minutes— is a tremendous thing.
2. You currently have a job or are looking for one. In our digital age, people freak out about having “big boy jobs” or “big girl jobs.” In reality, a job is a job. No one job is inherently better than another. If you are getting up every day and clocking in somewhere, you are moving in the right direction — even if you hate what you’re doing.
3. You have learned something new about yourself in the last year. You’ve discovered something that you’ve loved, or you realize you’re doing something you hate. Either way, you are a step closer to being where you want to be.
4. You’ve been willing to stand up for yourself. Whether it was to an enemy or a friend, you had the courage to hold your ground. It’s so much harder in practice than theory and demonstrates an internal self-confidence that is important to becoming your best self.
5. You’ve been willing to apologize when you make mistakes. Sometimes we take the wrong stands or say the wrong things, and it can be hard to swallow our pride and say sorry. If you’ve done this, you have a high level of maturity.
6. You’ve listened to advice or constructive criticism without getting defensive. We all have room to improve and grow. If you are opening yourself up to getting wisdom from others, you are only accelerating that process.
8. You’ve cooked a new meal. Eating is one of the most important things we can do to stay healthy, and alive. Some of us are better chefs others, but if you’ve managed to cook for yourself, that’s an awesome place to start.
9. You’ve paid off your credit card or started paying it off. Handling credit and money is extremely difficult, but if you’ve been paying off your credit card — or have started the process of getting it paid off — you are taking some big steps toward financial stability.
10. You’ve trusted your heart. Maybe this meant pursuing someone you were nervous about pursuing, or taking a new job that brought you out of your comfort zone. In these situations, you’ve let your heart guide your mind, which is an embrace of your passions and desires over your fears.
11. But you’ve also trusted your mind. Maybe you’ve had to break up with someone you loved, but was toxic for you. Maybe you had to make a hard choice to bring your finances in line, or to establish your future. These are times where you made tough choices because they were necessary, which are signs of strength.
12. And you go to bed every night ready (and excited) for tomorrow. And maybe sometimes it’s hard, and maybe sometimes you get discouraged, but you find the energy to seize the future that you want, which means you truly are on the right track.