1. Turning off your phone when you’re at a dinner.
You won’t remember the cool Instagram photo you saw on your feed. (Unless it’s, like, super freaking cool.) You’ll want to remember the stories and conversations you had. So put down the damn phone.
3. Waking up early and getting shit done.
Sleeping in is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s important to wake up early and do something for yourself. Whether it’s a morning hike, or working on your novel, just get up, grab coffee, and feel productive. LIKE A BOSS.
4. Saying no to plans when you’re totally overwhelmed.
In the words of Donna from Parks and Recreation: Treat yo’ self. Listen to your body when it’s asking for R&R, take time to recharge, and then you’ll be 100% the next time plans arise.
5. Trusting your initial instincts when considering a job opportunity.
If you’re going through the interview process and at any point have a bad feeling, trust that instinct and run like hell. Not everyone can afford to be picky, but at some point, hopefully you will.
7. Not going to your high school reunion.
Unless you had the very best time in high school, don’t bother. You’ll keep in touch with the people who mattered, and you won’t with the ones who didn’t. No awkward dance party will change that.
8. Telling your family how much they mean to you as often as you can.
If you’re lucky, your family will be the most important people in your life. Tell them that often, and it will remind you to be grateful.
9. Taking photos at family gatherings and holidays.
I’m not telling you to go selfie crazy here, but take some posed photos so you can remember the times when you were all together.
10. Keeping a photo album filled with your favorite moments.
If for no other reason than at some point, someone will ask you about your life, and you can actually show them.
11. Making your own friend family.
The older you get, the more clear it becomes how important your true friends are. The “family” may be small, but they’re often stronger than blood.
12. Asking for a raise.
At some point, you will deserve more money, so put on the big pants and speak your mind. Worst-case scenario is that they say no. And best-case scenario is, of course, you get what you deserve.
13. Finishing what you started.
It could be a personal goal, completing a degree, or even something as simple as making a clean breakup with someone. Either way, being able to complete things and move on or learn from them will shape you. (Plus, it’s just good form.)
14. Taking advantage of all your vacation days and time off.
Seriously, do you have unused vacay days? Use them. Also, when you do take a vacation, shut off the phone, close the email, and just simply enjoy the shit out of it.
15. Maintaining the things you own.
Whether it be your house, car, or even your phone, treat them all with respect. You paid for them and earned them, so the last thing you want is to skip buying those brake pads only to realize that not buying them has cost you new brakes.
16. Taking care of your skin.
It’s the largest organ on your body, people! Protect it with sunscreen so you won’t get wrinkles or worse, skin cancer. Wear a sun hat and slather on the lotion so it stays happy.
17. Trying to make your corner of the world a better place.
Improving the lives of other people, whether it be by volunteering or just complimenting the people around you on a regular basis, is extremely rewarding.
18. Spending more money than you expected on a trip you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Sometimes it’s OK to splurge and treat yourself. In the end, the memories might just be worth the money.
19. Standing up for yourself when you need to.
Haters gonna hate, and when someone has deeply hurt you, let them know. It can be kindly and firmly, but speaking your mind will make you feel stronger in the long run.
20. Expressing yourself creatively in some way.
It doesn’t matter if what you do for a living isn’t creative, what matters is giving yourself a creative outlet. Even if no one ever sees it, it’s something for you, and it will inspire you to do greater things.
21. Moving on from places or people who undermine your confidence.
First of all: Eff anyone who makes you feel like shit. If you’re at a job or in a town that fills you with anxiety, it’s time to take the steps toward moving on. Same goes for a person, whether it be a boss or someone you’re dating.
22. Going on tons of adventures, big and small.
Remember that time when you drove four hours to Big Bear? Or what about that Saturday when you went to the farmers’ market and bought too much pasta? No? Start making memories, y’all.
23. Saving a little money for emergencies.
At some point, something will happen: You’ll get a flat tire, the fridge will break, your friend will plan a destination wedding. Either way, those moments are difficult enough, and having some savings to fall back on will help to de-stress your life.
25. Celebrating the important moments in other people’s lives.
Supporting your friends and being able to share their important life moments may seem like a small thing, but when your big life moments come, they’ll be able to return the favor.
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