1. To not be interrupted when you speak
Whether it be during a fight with a partner or an important meeting at work, you deserve to have your voice heard uninterrupted. If someone needlessly cuts you off, don't hesitate to say, "Excuse me, I wasn't finished speaking." It's not rude to demand this kind of respect. You're an intelligent, capable human with good things to say, so keep the mic until you're done. Demand the R-E-S-P-E-C-T and you'll rise to higher and better places this year.
2. To be able spend money on things that support your well-being
Many people, including ourselves, love to judge and criticize us for our choices, especially when it comes to spending money. Make it a priority to be in touch with what you need in any situation, and if what you need costs money, evaluate your options and make a decision free of the judgement of others. They should know that your financial choices, no matter how big or small, are none of their business. You're an adult, and you know how to take care of yourself better than anyone else does.
3. To not be touched without your permission
There are times when physical contact with another person can be the most comfortable, glorious thing imaginable. Touch can be a sign of love, caring, and friendship, and it certainly goes a long way. However, you have the right to take complete ownership of your body and your personal space. When the person at the mall selling lotion at a kiosk grabs your hand, pull it away and leave. When a new partner is moving too fast or in the wrong direction, tell them what's okay and what's not. You should be in control. Let 2016 be the year of no bullshit when it comes to your body.
4. To be able to talk about the things you like
We are all unique people with unique sets of things that give us joy and fulfillment. You are not silly for still listening to Hanson or for owning all of the Twilight movies, and you should be able to gush without being ridiculed. If you're at dinner with family and someone asks about your college major or career choices, you should be able to speak confidently about them without the weight of someone else's opinions. 2016 will bring new things for you to enjoy. Do not be afraid to tell others when their thoughts and words will not be allowed to undermine your happiness.
5. To be proud of your achievements without being cut down
Life puts all of us in a thousand different weird situations every day, and our stories are elaborate compilations of our struggles and feats. When you feel happy because you checked something small off your to-do list, or when you reach a major goal you've been working toward for months, your friends and family should be happy for you. Make an extra effort this upcoming year to surround yourself with people who are invested in your success and are happy when you're happy. Those are the same people who will empower you when you feel helpless and push you along when you're in a rut. You don't have time to put up with anything less.
6. To feel safe and supported in your identity
Your identity is a complex, beautiful thing that is completely your own. It is your right as a human being on this earth to live your life as the person you truly are without fear of being harmed, shunned, or persecuted because of it. But let's go one step further, shall we? In 2016, you deserve to be fully embraced and admired for everything that you are. Try to remember that you are a gift to those around you. May you be more than simply tolerated. May you be well and truly loved.
7. To find the strength you always knew you had
2016 is guaranteed to bring you a roller coaster of good times and bad times, and it's not going to allow you time to regain your composure from 2015. This is not exactly foreign to you, is it? You do this every 365 days, and you're excited start fresh (if only symbolically) and to begin the fight against negativity and hardship in the new year. Be ready to bring out your cleverest, strongest, happiest, and most independent self, and make 2016 brace itself for you.
Go forth and live your best life in 2016!