1. Eating too quickly. Trust me, if you’re the one who is always done with their food eight minutes before anyone else touches their chicken, you need to slow down. Eating slower is better for your health and digestion, and it makes it a hell of a lot easier to carry on a dinner conversation if you’re eating at a normal pace.
2. Drunk texting your high school ex. Just stop.
3. Stop running away from change just because it’s your gut reaction to every twist and turn that you experience in life.
4. Being jealous of people you see in cafes who you think are pulling off the outfit you almost wore, but didn’t. Here is the truth: You look great, and what you need to do now is stop staring with your mouth slightly agape, get your coffee to go, and walk out of the cafe. 25 is the year of no cafe envy.
5. Saying “sorry” for every single little thing, even when someone steps on your toes.
6. Depriving yourself of considering other plans that might benefit you in the long run, like taking a trip (after planning and saving), considering a career change, or calling someone out on something that has always bothered you.
7. Talking yourself out of ordering fries. You know you want to. If you don’t want to fill up on fries, split them with someone. If you do want to fill up on fries, stop apologizing for it.
8. Rewarding yourself for doing 10 minutes of work with a three minute Instagram break. Try to quit your apps and stay off them for the entire day at least once a week. You will be amazed by how much your productivity increases.
9. Forgetting about your family members’ birthdays. It’s time to rise above that and put those dates in your damn calendar.
10. Not saying, “I love you” when you desperately want to say it. It’s time to figure out what’s stopping you and learn to move passed that.
11. Skipping doctor and dentist appointments. When you go through the trouble of making the appointments, it’s worth it to show up. Prioritize your health instead of letting other commitments get in the way.
12. Not telling your boss when you’re feeling overworked. Being a team player, doing more than is asked, and going above and beyond is all very necessary. However, you can’t be of value to your team if you’re about to burn out because you’re way over stressed but aren’t telling anyone.
13. Forgetting to take your makeup off before bed.
14. Choosing to not partake in an activity because you think the people who like the activity are super lame. For example, don’t be intimidated by a workout class just because you feel like you’re not the Fitness Class Guru-type. You don’t need to be Workout Barbie to have a good time, be personable, and get your sweat on.
15. Straightening, curling, or somehow overheating your hair on a daily basis. It’s okay to straighten your hair with some regularity, but try to be just a little more moderate about it.
16. Dressing in a way that makes you feel like you belong, rather than making you feel comfortable. You are at your most attractive when you feel good in your own skin, not when you’re trying to rock a look that you only like because you want to like it.
17. Being insanely jumpy. When you’re constantly nervous about things, you end up starting to snap at people unnecessarily, freak out over little things, and even scare more easily. Try to work on taking some deep breaths before your 25th birthday.
18. Stop. Depriving. Yourself. Of. Sleep.
19. Instead of just opening tabs, and then closing them at the end of your work day without taking a second glance, actually read the articles you bookmarked. Make it your goal to read one news item a day. You don’t need to read The New York Times cover-to-cover every day if you don’t want to (though feel free to), but make a point to get your current events in every day.
20. When you don’t have the money for takeout, don’t order Chinese just because it’s a force of habit. Yes, getting takeout sometimes soothes the soul, and it’s important to know when you need to just have a lovely night in with crab rangoon, but if your funds are feeling a little tight, suck it up and cook a meal for yourself. You might discover it relaxes you more than you think.
21. Wearing the same tired sweater you’ve been wearing for YEARS and change it up when you go out. Pull something from the back of your closet and give it a try (or if you really hate it, donate it).
22. Avoiding eye contact with people when you are uncomfortable. As your approach your 25th year, give your fingernails a break, stop picking at them, and actually look at the person you’re talking to, even when it scares you.
23. Remember that you don’t always have to give the polite answer, and that there is no rule against saying exactly what you feel. Our politeness so often leads us to beating around the bush, or keeping our mouths shut when we really need to voice a concern. You’re turning 25. VOICE the fucking concern.
24. Work on your resting bitch face. Try for a smile at least, like, once every few hours. Maybe.
25. Instead of declining invitations, try accepting more invitations than you decline. If you have spent a lot of your early 20s declining invitations because you thought they weren’t genuine, worried the event wouldn’t be any fun, or feared you’d have nothing to talk about over drinks with a new friend/coworker/date, start combatting that slowly but surely. Say “yes” just a little more.