1. Stop running back to a person that continuously breaks you.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me any more than that and you really just set yourself up for it. Anything beyond a second chance is blatantly taking advantage and everyone deserves more than that. Set and hold fast to your high standards, y’all.
2. Stop rejecting the truth because it isn’t always what you want to hear.
*Also, stop asking for advice you know you aren’t going to take.* We, as individuals, certainly don’t agree on everything, nor do we always want other people’s opinions on intimate aspects of our lives. But don’t dismiss what someone has to say simply because it isn’t what you were expecting or hoping it would be; more often than not, it comes from a place of caring and clarity that the person living the experience may have become blind to along the way.
3. Stop viewing change as a negative thing.
To change is to grow – why is that something so many struggle with? Change is an intimidating yet necessary rite of passage as we advance through life. Embrace it, don’t reject it.
4. Stop enabling toxic people and their behavior.
You should never feel guilty about removing anyone who brings you nothing but unhappiness from your life. You don’t owe anyone else anything, and your sanity is worth more than their pride. It isn’t holding a grudge – you can forgive someone for what they’ve done to you and still not want them around. You’ll often hear that life is too short to distance oneself from others for any reason, but in my opinion, life is too short to placate those who drain you without contributing to your happiness, growth, and success anyway. Don’t do anyone else any favors at your expense. Always be kind, but you can do so from afar.
5. Stop wasting your time on things not meant for you.
Time is the most precious thing; more precious than money, gifts, worldly possessions, etc. Time is the one thing we won’t have any more of than we do right now. Stop wasting your precious time on things and people that have proven time and time again to not suit you.
6. Stop putting yourself on the back burner.
The desire to care for others is natural for many people from all walks of life. It’s too easy to get caught up in seeing to it that others make their dreams come true that by the time you stop to look around, you haven’t invested anything in your own. You’re only this young and able once, don’t be so busy tending to everyone else that your life passes by satisfying all but you. Be a little selfish sometimes.
7. Stop giving more attention to your phone than you do the world around you.
This world is beautiful – absolutely gorgeous. There are so many things to do and see, and this day and age of technology has facilitated in helping us share these experiences with others instantly. Obviously a big advocate for social media, I, too, am appreciative and enjoy our modern technological advances, but put the smart phone down every once in a while. See the view with your own eyes instead of through a screen. Relish in the time you have with your friends and family instead of spending it scrolling through newsfeed after newsfeed. Social media will always be there – our loved ones may not.
8. Stop living in the past.
Memories are great, and especially fond to look back on. Reminiscing on how life was before is enlightening – it can show us how far we’ve come or how far we still have to go. However, you will never progress forward if you insist on living in “what once was” instead of venturing into what’s still to come. The past is intended to be a base, a stepping stone to the future, not a hindrance of it.
9. Stop looking to other people for validation.
Your happiness is not found in your spouse, your friends, your checking account, or in your material possessions. You don’t need another human being to be happy; you should be complete and whole on your own. That being said, the right people in your life will enhance your happiness, but it is not dependent on them. Be confident in what you bring to the table, and the rest (those deserving of and capable of bettering that) will follow.
10. Stop waiting for things to happen.
Super cliché, but go after what you want. Make things happen. Don’t wait around for life to hand you your dreams and goals, go after them! Be in constant and passionate pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
11. Stop playing it safe.
Safe is good. Safe is comfortable. But safe doesn’t always mean destined. Don’t stay in a relationship that keeps failing because you’ve wasted a long time in it. Don’t stay at a job with no room of advancement because it’s “good enough” for now. Don’t refrain from trying new things or taking chances because of the fear of making a mistake or not knowing exactly how something might pan out.
12. Stop playing the victim and placing blame on everyone (anyone) else.
Life is unpredictable. Sh*t happens, people cross you, things fall apart. Sometimes we are dealt crappy hands, but no one is the victim all the time. Stop letting your circumstances define you, especially the ones you can, in fact, change – if you so choose. Own your mistakes AND spend the time you would denying them correcting them instead.
13. Stop overlooking life’s little joys.
Figuring out your life on a big picture scale is important for many reasons, but what’s also significant is taking a step back and savoring in the little things along the way. Go for a random road trip, eat the dessert, take a walk on the beach at sunrise/sunset, try the new hairstyle, step out and stargaze, etc. There are so many incredible things this life harbors that often get overlooked along the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day if we’d remember to step back and enjoy them.