If you’ve ever felt like life is more down than up and you’re tired of one bad thing happening after another, you probably need to get your act together. While there’s plenty of stuff in the universe we can’t control, there’s even more that we can… but don’t. There’s no excuse for not living what Oprah would call your “best life”, and it’s not that hard to do it.
Invest your time, love and energy in people who actually reciprocate. Wasting your time and emotions on people who don’t deserve it is painful and will totally drain your self-esteem, which is pretty hard to bounce back from. If you’re constantly around people who make you feel small or who don’t seem to care one way or another what’s going on with you, it’s probably time to walk away. That’s not giving up; it’s realizing that you are the protagonist of your life. The right people will naturally come into your life once you start focusing on yourself – cliche, but true.
Get something furry and take care of it. It doesn’t matter what it is – dog, cat, rabbit, chipmunk. Just get one. It’ll teach you how to be responsible for a life other than your own, which is empowering and builds confidence that will flow into aspects of your life other than being a fur mom.
Stop embarrassing yourself by chasing guys. This goes back to #1 – the man (notice I didn’t say “guy”) you end up with should be one that ardently pursues you. We’ve all been there – you see a future with a guy but he doesn’t see one with you. We should’ve thrown in the towel long before w e did, but after the burn subsided, it was a good lesson learned. No guy is worth it if the pursuit isn’t mutual.
Throw some money in savings. Keep your checking account slim. I don’t mean so slim that you constantly have to check it, but enough to the point where you’re not consistently blowing your whole paycheck each week. The day my paycheck hits my bank account, I typically move 50- 75% of it into my savings, but you can base it on what feels comfortable to you. Saving for a “rainy day” isn’t just smart, it can be a necessity.
Do stuff you’re actually passionate about. Tap into interests that make you feel fulfilled and alive. It’s alarmingly easy to fall into a routine of getting off work and spending the rest of the night sitting on the couch with dinner, a glass of wine and Netflix – and it’s completely okay to do this a couple of nights a week, of course. Don’t let your passions get so muddled into your everyday monotony that you forget what drives your inner spirit.
Stop pretending to be someone you’re clearly not. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we’re conditioned into constantly trying to fit in and abide by an elusive “status quo.” That’s a miserable way to live, because no one is ‘normal’ – duh. Trying to fit in means you’re stifling who you really are, which in turn can cause you to lose yourself. Own your truth, go with your gut, and be bold enough to let others see that you’re confident enough to stand apart from the crowd. You’ll inspire so many others to do the same and you won’t wake up in 20 years with a laundry list of regrets.
Experience things! Take advantage of the fact that you’re young and don’t yet have a husband or kids. The concert that your friend invited you to is on a Wednesday and you have to get up early for work? So what – get your ass out there. That way, when you’re all settled down one day with an adorable little family and a not-so-adorable mortgage, you won’t feel one ounce of resentment that you missed out on a more carefree time in life, and can fully give yourself to your future family with no regrets.
Be nice to your body, for once. As much as you hate to think about it, no one stays young forever. The bad habits you have now could potentially affect your health for the rest of your life. So, as Nike says, “Just Do It.” Kick the smoking habit, do some cardio, stop looking for what’s wrong in the mirror and concentrate on what’s right. And please, for the sake of all the future children of our world, if you’re going to partake, practice safe sex.
Be present. It’s easy to ache for the past and long for the future, but neither of these things will fulfill you or get you to where you want to go. Many people will spend their whole lives chasing happiness to never truly find it. Happiness is fleeting, but finding peace in your present will fill you with the long lasting joy that we so innately crave as humans – and that joy is in the small things.
Actually use all of your paid vacation time. We are not our parents’ generation; we no longer feel as if it’s our life duty to sit behind a desk solely for the sake of making a living. So take a Ferris Bueller’s day off every once in a while, because… “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Follow through on stuff. Your reputation precedes you. If you commit to something, be there, and be there on time. Be that solid and reliable friend, daughter, co-worker, girlfriend, etc. In a world full of flakes, you’ll stand out and be extremely appreciated.
Don’t forget to keep dreaming. Dream loud, dream big, dream often. It sounds corny, but you shouldn’t be afraid of imagining a life for yourself where your dreams, no matter how big or small, come true. The good/bad news is that no one is going to make those dreams manifest into a reality except for you. That’s so exhilarating yet terrifying. But it’s the truth. And aren’t you striving to live in your truth?
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