This year life has been less than a walk in the park for me. I lost, but I have also gained. I have learned that not everybody has your best interest at heart and sometimes you have to fall really hard in order to build yourself up into something stronger and more beautiful. So here is my list:

  1. Show up! Sometimes life gets hard and it’s just easier to wing it through the days. Don’t give up and try every day. Long-term consistency beats short-term intensity. Speak your truth.Never apologize for what you believe in. Try as hard as you can to be abashedly, unashamedly yourself.And people will criticize you for that. That’s OK — their criticisms only confirm you’re on the right path.
  1. Change is good. That’s growth.It’s also scary and uncomfortable and it can hurt. Don’t let anyone use that fear and discomfort to make you feel bad for growth.
  2. Walk away.It is truly not worth it to keep spending your time with toxic people. Cut them out and move on. This was the hardest lesson this year. It still hurts, but I know it was the best decision for me.
  3. It’s not your job to make everyone happy. There are plenty of people who genuinely enjoy being miserable, though they’d never say so themselves.  Nothing that you say or do can convince them otherwise.  Cut your losses and go.
  4. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. This ties in with number 4…
  5. Read- and a lot too.I can’t enough emphasize the importance of losing yourself in a book. (The easiest way to be interesting is to read contemporary nonfiction. There are books about pretty much everything. Find what you like. You’ll always have something interesting to talk about — far more than what you can get on TV.)
  6. Check in with your people.Whether it is once a week for a quick drink or a phone call, make the effort.
  7. Help others.Straightforward but easy to forget when we’re caught up in all the things we need to do. Be an active citizen.
  8. Eat well.
  9. Perfection doesn’t exist.  Stop looking for it. Whether it’s a job, a place to live, a romantic partner, or something else entirely, there are always trade-offs
  10. Forgive yourself. It might be the hardest thing you are going to do this year but do it.
  11. You are entirely responsible for the outcome of your life. And that is a glorious thing.
  1. Your life is a product of your standards. If you tolerate low-level living, that’s what you’ll get.





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