1. Take care of yourself. Mental and physical health is crucial. You can’t expect to give your all to others and not give back to yourself. Take a day off and go to the beach, exercise 3x a week, make a plan to eat better, or just go for a little walk to rejuvenate. Remember to always listen to your body when it's quiet so you don't have to deal with it when it's screaming.
2. Recognize when it's time to push yourself to be better. This happens by stepping out of your comfort zone and being brave enough to take risks. Of course it feels so much safer sailing through life risk free in the comfortable bubble we've built for ourselves. But if you're not failing in life, you probably aren’t pushing yourself to your fullest potential or making big enough goals for yourself. Don't be boring. This is your one chance at being alive! Push your limits.
3. Just breathe. During the good days and the bad days, take time daily to check in with yourself. Slow down, feel your heart beating. Close your eyes, feel the air fill up your lungs as you take a big breath in, and slowly release as the air hits your lips. Do this at least 4 times. You're doing great, pal.
4. You are so beautiful. If you're able to rest your head on your pillow at night and know you've made an effort at spreading good into the world, you are beautiful. But even the tangible parts of you, and even at a cellular level, you're beautiful. You're alive. There's magic there and it's unbelievable how just being you is one of the most gorgeous things about this world. Just give yourself a break. I've always loved this quote...“It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves. We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up silent with our chests rising & falling with our own rhythm. We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing. You don’t see yourself looking at someone with love and care in your heart. There’s no mirror in your way when your laughing and smiling and pure happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly your authentic self.” – Unknown
5. Take more photos, print them and put them in albums. You will never look back and wish you took less photos. Also, how awesome is it to sit down with some tea and flip through photo albums on a Sunday afternoon? Not to mention the gift of being able to hand down family photo albums years from now to your grandchildren. That's pretty priceless.
6. Your parents and grandparents are a gift. I have always loved spending time with my parents and grandparents but the older I get the more I realize how valuable every moment is with them. It's so comforting to hear stories about their past that relate to my present. Take every chance you can get to ask questions, there are very few people in this world who will give real honest advice like a parent will.
7. Do what you say you're going to do. My father has always instilled this in me. Staying true to your word says more about you than anything you could possibly say or do.
8. Accept when people have different opinions than you. I think it's just as important to try to recognize the opposing side's arguments just as much as it's important to know what we personally believe in. We may never actually understand, but because of our different backgrounds/experiences, it causes us to all see the world differently. In the end, just realize that we're all sharing this planet and each of us has a personal reason to stand up for what we believe in, even if it's not something you agree with. This can be a hard pill to swallow.
9. Enjoy the process. You have to work hard, put yourself out there, put in the time and think big. The best things in life take time and in order to succeed at something, you need to learn how to enjoy the process of getting there. If you don't enjoy the process, you're missing out on the juice of the fruit! I also discovered that if you're looking for extreme results, this requires extreme sacrifice. A whole lifestyle change. It's all in how bad you want it.
10. Feel the anxiety and do it anyway. Every single person at some point feels afraid and has anxiety. Learn how to manage it or it will cripple your life. Feel the butterflies and just go for it.
11. Compliments are free. We've all had someone compliment us on the smallest thing and it stayed with us all day. Positivity and kindness is contagious so let people around you know that you admire and appreciate them. Also, say "thank you" as often as possible and "I love you" to the people you truly love.
12. It's never too late. If you’re unhappy with where you are in life, go and do something about it asap. Do you feel convicted to apologize about something but feel it's too late? It's never too late. Do you feel you're too old to make your dream come to fruition? When you're on your death bed it will be a huge regret that you didn't at least try. Take the 24 hours you have in front of you and make it happen.
13. Not everyone is your type of person. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, like you can't be your true self, or less than, listen to your intuition, they probably aren't right for you. There are so many right people for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best. It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.
14. What you own means zero about who you are. Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no weight on who you are as a person. Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need and most of it ends up in a landfill anyway. Sick. Buy less stuff and make fun experiences the gifts you give to others and yourself.
15. Try to find at least one positive in frustrating situations. This applies to literally every bad situation in life. The biggest trial for me with this is wanting to be a mom. During the heartbreak, my patience and strength have been tested, but on the other side I have learned how amazingly resilient I am. It is so powerful to know what you're really made of and you only realize that through trial.
16. Siblings will be the best friends you ever have. Becoming a sister is in my top two best accomplishments of life, and I didn't even need to do anything! I am my brother's biggest fan. Nothing like having someone who looks and acts exactly like you to feel like you're fully understood in this big scary world.
17. Learn to say no. Prioritize what is most important to you and work on one thing at a time. Everything else can wait. People who matter will understand and will respect you for the limits you've set for yourself. There's a difference between hard work and smart work.
18. Choose love everyday. Who you choose to be your life partner is a huge decision but all relationships, no matter who you choose, will always take effort. Life in general is hard, and when you combine two lives together that can be tricky. As long as you make the effort to set aside time each day for one another's needs and to always go on adventures together, you have have fought half the battle already.
19. The bible is always there when you need it. When you feel lonely, when you feel confused, when you hate life, when you're feeling the best you've ever felt, there is always advice at your finger tips, even if you don't fully understand what it all means yet.
20. Let others have the spotlight. The world is so competitive because of social media these days, and people love sharing all about their lives. Take a step back and let them have those moments instead of feeling the need to chime in with a similar experience you've had. For instance, say my friend just went zip-lining for the first time in Moncton, I am not going to try to 'one up' them by saying "I went zip-lining over the rainforest in Costa Rica over waterfalls one time, so much fun." Even if we mean well, that's making their experience seem mediocre isn't it? Make them excited about their accomplishment and engage in questions to boost their confidence. Be humble.
21. Send more mail. Everyone has a mailing address so get an address book and fill it with special people's addresses. I love sending off hand written thank you notes or special cards for Valentine's day. Inside tip: when I was in the position to interview people, I once received a hand written note thanking me for interviewing the candidate and it really made me take a second look at their resume.
22. It's ok you find life...overwhelming. When you're feeling confused or completely lost, it's ok to crumble and ask for help. We're literally spinning on a ball in the universe....like, what?! You're not expected to have life all figured out and there's no shame in not knowing what to do. Slow down and bring it back to the ball you're standing sideways or upside down on. Problems aren't so big when you keep this in mind!
23. Never say something you can't stand up to. Everyone is going to come across situations where people gossip to you, but you have control over what you say. Don't say something behind someone's back you're not willing to say it to their face. Stand behind your words like you would a shield.
24. Be an advocate for your health. You have lived in your body your whole life, you know what's up. If you feel like a doctor isn't listening to what you're saying is wrong, go to another doctor. Keep trying to find answers. No one else is going to do it for you.
25. Always do what's right. Sometimes people are jerks, don’t be a jerk back. Do the right thing even if you don’t want to and especially if they don’t deserve it. Make your choices not based on how you’re reacting to what someone else chose to do.
26. Be unapologetically you. I have been called weird for as long as I can remember, and that's totally cool with me now. I have embraced my quirks and strive off of the energy of others who line up with my weirdness. I know who I am, and it's been an exhausting journey getting here, so I am going to fully own it, and you should too!
27. When you forgive, you welcome love back into your life. Forgiveness opens your heart, allowing you to receive many of life's wonderful gifts that others might have taken away from you. You teach yourself how to let go which is a huge life skill.
28. Reach out and always be willing to learn during unexpected situations. Every single person you meet can teach you something if you're open to it. Talk to someone in the doctor's office while you wait, ask the cab driver what his funniest moment has been during his job. Interaction brings us together and makes strangers less strange!
29. Make it your mission to leave the world a little better than when you found it. Take responsibility for your actions, appreciate nature, and respect those who are still yet to come. Reduce, reuse and recycle and watch out for the other guy ;)
30. You only die once. I will leave you with my favorite quote to steal the show with this one: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”