1. Begin to eliminate all of the negativity from your life.
People come in our lives to serve a certain purpose and teach us a lesson, but sometimes we allow those people to stay in our lives far longer than we should. If anyone in your life brings you down more than they make you laugh or smile, or if you treat them like a priority when you are only an option to them–let them go. You can be cordial but they don’t have to be a front-runner in your life.
2. If you want to feel stronger, find your personal best way to do so.
Realize that the gym is not always the place for everyone to do this (for example, you’d need to dangle a cookie in front of the treadmill for me to get up and want to run in the morning). Taking a dance class at a local studio, or a kickboxing or yoga class at a local rec center may serve you far better than running and weight lifting. If you pay for a class, you can be sure you’ll want to go and get the most out of it, and won’t duck out as often as you would hit the snooze button for the gym.
3. Take time to learn about what’s going on in our country and the world.
Not everyone is interested in the news and politics, but I think most people wish they could jump in on discussions about what’s happening in our world with something valuable to say. I learned from a friend that the best way to do this isn’t to sift through a dozen confusing political articles, but to download the NPR app for your phone, or go to http://www.npr.org. I listen to the Morning Edition news nearly every day while I’m in the shower or eating breakfast. It is literally like having a friend explain the news to you, in a way that’s interesting and easy to understand. Plus, I think hearing it makes it much easier to comprehend!
4. Don’t post negative things on social media.
A lot of people think this is a great medium to make fun of the latest celebrity scandal or to subtweet about a rough patch with a friend/significant other (I’m guilty here, too). However, this is not the best route. How about this? Every time you get the urge to tweet or post something like this on Facebook, type “inspirational quotes” into Google and post one of these instead. Reading these quotes will help you to feel better and focus on the positive aspects of life. Plus, you’ll help to brighten up the days of those who read your posts and inspire them to see the good in everything, as well.
5. Stop listening to what everyone else wants for your life, and decide for yourself.
Always wanted that haircut, to travel to another country, or to go back to school? Find a responsible way to do everything you’ve wanted to do. While some things probably can’t happen right away, you can start to save money for them, or work to get there. If it doesn’t work out, at least you tried and it you’ll know. But if it does work out, it could end up changing your life for the better and helping you to feel more confident in your life’s path.
6. Define what you want to do in life, and how you’re going to get there.
Write down your goals or create a bucket list, and do something every single day that helps you get closer to these goals. Dreams are often achieved through a lot of hard work and time dedicated to them, and breaking them down into smaller steps can help you to see the results faster and more efficiently.
7. Say “no” to overflooding your schedule, and say “yes” to more opportunities for personal growth.
Often, if you like to be helpful, you probably say yes to every favor everyone asks of you. I’m here to say that it is completely alright to say no (politely) every once in a while when you are feeling overwhelmed. We need to start saying yes to the valuable things that will help us to grow, like volunteer opportunities or donating time or any money we can afford to causes we believe in, so we can ensure a better future for those that will come after us.
8. Never underestimate the importance of alone time.
It’s fun to be with friends and family, but it is often crucial to your mental and emotional health that you relax and do things that you like to do. Whether you like to have Netflix marathons (a.k.a. ice cream, party of one), meditate, read a good book, or cook dinner for yourself, make sure you set aside time to do whatever makes you happy. It’s a great way to unwind and learn more about what you love in life, as opposed to what everyone around you does.