1. Surrounding yourself with the types of coworkers, friends, and family that make you feel inspired, supported, challenged, cared about, and loved.
2. Finally reaching a point where you are comfortable with asking for what you want (when you know you deserve it).
3. Figuring out how to love your alone time, and how to savor the moments you get to spend on your own – by developing some hobbies, collecting some good books, and understanding that it is okay (and healthy) to not be with other people 24/7.
4. Making peace with someone who hurt you at some point in your life – even if ‘making peace’ just means you’ve internally forgiven them and have let go of your anger without ever even directly contacting them.
5. And also making peace in some way with people you’ve hurt in the past, whether that’s by directly contacting them and apologizing, or by putting some good karma back out into the world while thinking of them.
6. Traveling on your own, and learning how to love it.
7. Making an effort every single day to become a better listener in all of your conversations.
8. Learning to say ‘no’ when you need to – when you already have too much on your plate at work, when you’re exhausted and need to let your body rest instead of going out, when you’re invited on some kind of trip that you simply can’t afford right now.
9. And learning to not feel bad if you say ‘no’ when you need to say ‘no.’
10. Becoming the kind of person who directly approaches a friend or coworker when they’ve done something to upset you, rather than resorting to passive aggression or unnecessary gossip.
11. Finding a job that makes you feel fulfilled but also challenged, even if it’s stressful sometimes.
12. Or being brave enough to leave a job and pursue something else when you find yourself feeling stifled, stuck, passionless, or mistreated.
13. Understanding your own fear, and the fact that it’s not about not having fear – it’s about doing things and trying things anyway, despite how afraid or intimidated you feel.
14. Educating yourself as much as you can in order to further explore your own political beliefs and to stay up-to-date on the things happening in your country and around the world.
15. And, rather than simply talking about politics and current issues, actively seeking out things you can do – volunteering for an organization, calling your representatives about issues you care about, attending peaceful rallies and events, etc.
16. Teaching yourself to do your own taxes, or to replace your windshield wiper fluid, or to sew a couple buttons back onto your favorite shirt. Basically, figuring out how to do the things that you always used to rely on other people for.
17. Learning how to handle your money responsibly – how to pay all of your bills on time every month, figuring out how to save a little bit of money every month no matter how small the amount, etc.
18. But also reaching a level of financial maturity where you aren’t afraid to spend a little extra every once in a while on something you really want or really deserve, without worrying that your spending tendencies will spiral out of control just from making one luxurious purchase.
19. Walking away from a friendship that only involved effort on your part, or from a friend who only contributed negatively to your life because of their toxic behavior.
20. Being at a point where you finally have started taking care of tedious things on your own, without your parents constantly reminding you – getting yearly physicals, making sure you get your oil changed, scheduling dentist checkups.
21. Learning how to cook meals for yourself, even if your skill level is the most basic skill level possible.
22. Finally doing something you’ve always wanted to do but initially avoided out of fear – scuba diving, voice lessons, exploring your spirituality. And finding that, even if it was difficult, it also brought you a level of happiness and thrill that you hadn’t felt in a long time.
23. Figuring out how to handle your jealousy of others, and understanding that when a friend or a coworker has a huge accomplishment or hits a big life milestone, it’s okay to feel happy for them but to also feel a little envious and panicked at the same time.
24. Furnishing your apartment all on your own, without breaking your bank account.
25. And being able to look around and know that, regardless of how nice or how worn-down something is, every single piece of furniture is yours.
26. Moving to a new city by yourself.
27. Or just moving into a new apartment by yourself – one that’s totally your own, no roommates, no parents, just you.
28. Learning when to ask for permission and when to just ask for forgiveness.
29. Reaching a mindset where you finally know how to just take a compliment and say ‘thank you’ instead of feeling the pressure to instantly start berating yourself.
30. Learning how to be more comfortable with telling people exactly how you feel.
31. Opening up a 401K, or even just making the step of understanding what the hell a 401K is.
32. Doing something selfless for someone else and truly feeling so much happier by being selfless than you would by getting your own way.
33. Making a big purchase entirely on your own – whether that’s buying a house or finally just buying a nice mattress because you really need one.
34. Making a sincere effort to stop judging the people around you, even if you can never do this perfectly.
35. And putting more of an effort into understanding your own subconscious issues and insecurities, so that you’re not projecting your self-esteem issues onto others by judging them in order to feel better about yourself for five minutes.
36. Becoming a person who says ‘thank you’ all the time, even for the smallest things.
37. And becoming the kind of person who makes other people feel better just from being around you – through conscious listening, asking questions, giving genuine compliments, making eye contact, etc.
38. Putting more energy towards taking care of yourself.
39. And learning that taking care of yourself means more than just trying to eat healthy and get exercise. It’s also about drinking less and walking whenever you can and taking the stairs and surrounding yourself with good people and getting a decent amount of sleep and taking care of your mind as much as you take care of your body.
40. Figuring out how to be kinder to yourself and more accepting of your own body image, even if it’s still a struggle every day.
41. And also reaching a point where you understand that you’re always going to be insecure about something related to your physical appearance – but that you have to keep on living and growing and doing things, in spite of your insecurities.
42. Teaching yourself how to live more in the present, instead of worrying about the future or obsessing over the past.
43. Asking for help when you need it, whether that’s help with your career or with an emotional issue or with your own mental wellness.
44. Becoming someone who is always learning, whether that’s in school or through a recreational class or by watching the news or reading more or getting advice from people you look up to.
45. Waking up every single day and always remembering to be happy that you’re surviving, that you’re breathing, that you’re very much here.