1. Play your very favorite song from your feel good.
You do have one, don’t you?! If you don’t then why not create one? You can see a selection from my playlist at the end of my book Best Knickers Always: 50 Lessons for midlife. How does music change your mood? Which song and artist do you turn to for inspiration? Which do you turn to for comfort
2. Choose something from your wardrobe that makes you feel good.
Something that has positive, happy memories — obviously for me that means Best Knickers. Always! Do you have a photograph of yourself feeling fabulous in your favorite item of clothing? How different do you feel when you make the effort to wear something that makes you feel good about yourself
3. Make the decision to give someone a truly heartfelt compliment today.
It might be the barista at your local coffee shop who makes coffee just the way you like it. It might be a colleague who always seems to smile easily. It might be your child who did as you asked without making a fuss! See what happens when you compliment them.
4. Make a list in a notebook of five things you are grateful for in your life today.
It might be the birdsong you hear on waking, or the comfortable bed you sleep in at night. It might be that you can glimpse the sun shining through your curtains. It might be knowing that you are moments away from a cup of tea.
5. Spend five minutes in mindful meditation.
Sit comfortably upright or lie on a blanket on the floor, making sure that you are warm. Gently close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath. Breathe in fully and feel the sensation of your chest and belly rising.
6. Take chances that scare you.
The comfort zone is where dreams go to die. It’s the place where things are easy and you don’t have to work hard. It’s the place you should leave. Take risks and make the jump into the unknown. It could be the push you’ve been waiting for.
7. Stop living a life that looks good to the outside and start living a life that feels good on the inside.
The truth is no one really cares what you’re doing unless you’re the Kardashians (which I’m assuming you’re not) and still then some people don’t care. Stop trying so hard to make your life look impressive and start living a life that makes you happy.
8. Stop doing what you think is expected of you and start doing what you want.
You’re the only one who truly knows how you feel so live the way that makes your soul happy.
9. Surrounds yourself with diverse people.
Open your mind to new cultures, new ideas, new backgrounds and learn about them. Don’t seclude yourself to what you know you’re whole life.
10. Read. A lot.
Reading will change the way you think, teach you things you didn’t know, expand your mind to new worlds and it makes you a much well-rounded person. It will help you live thousands of lives compared to the person who doesn’t read.
11. Stop justifying your choices.
You shouldn’t have to explain yourself to other people anymore. If you don’t want to do something, don’t. If you want to quit, quit. If you want to travel the world, book your plane ticket. Don’t allow anyone else to make you feel bad about your decisions.
12. Tell the truth and own your mistakes.
Making mistakes is part of life, it’s what makes us human. No one is perfect and owning your mistakes will get you a hell of a lot further than trying to cover up the truth. Mistakes are unavoidable, lying isn’t.
13. Learn how to accept constructive criticism.
Most people don’t care if you fail and if you find someone who’s willing to help you do better the next time around, thank them.
14. Surround yourself with people who don’t judge you.
Don’t hang out with people who you actively have to impress and cover up parts of you to be more ‘liked’ by them. Those people aren’t your friends and you shouldn’t want them to be. Real friends accept you for who you are. It’s time to ditch these toxic people.
15. Take a social media detox every once in a while.
Social media is great but it’s also insanely draining. If the first thought you have is “oh I should tweet that” then maybe it’s time you take a little break. Delete the apps for a weekend and clear your head.
16. Enjoy your dessert.
Life is all about balance and you should indulge every once in a while, just like you should work out and drink water. Don’t be so strict on yourself that you don’t enjoy life.
17. Declutter your life and your mind.
Write a to-do list, clean out your closet, donate all the shit you don’t need in your apartment. Do whatever you need to in order to live a less stressed out life because the more stuff you have the more attached to it you become creating an even more chaotic life.
18. Invest in yourself.
Self-care is SO important. I know it can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Take a personal day every now and then. Paint your nails. Light a candle and take a bath. Go for a drive with your favorite Pandora station. Do whatever you need to do in order to help feel better.
19. Have lots of sleepovers with your friends.
Have as many late nights cuddled up talking to your friends as possible because before you know it these days will be gone. Friends will move, relationships will turn into marriages that will turn into taking care of babies. Cherish your time with friends and never stop loving them.
20. Say yes to brunch.
Brunch is always a good idea and a key to finding happiness.
21. Realize once your 20s are over it doesn’t mean your time for love or babies has expired.
A lot of people have this idea in their head that once their 20s are over so is their life, which simply isn’t true. Just because you’re 29 and single doesn’t mean on the morning of your 30th birthday you’ll get a call saying you missed your chance and your time ran out. That’s simply not true. You can still find love and have a family after your 20s.
22. Let go of hate and learn to forgive.
Holding onto hate does nothing except make you more bitter. Learn to acknowledge things and let them go. Getting angry will do nothing good for you so forgive others and move on. Also, it’s important to learn to forgive yourself.
23. Stop comparing yourself to others.
The only time comparing yourself to others is good is when you’re using it as fuel to improve yourself. Don’t compare yourself to other’s in a hateful, cruel way because everyone is different and you don’t see the struggle, most of the time you just see the success. Cut them a break and work on achieving your own goals.
24. Don’t touch your phone when you’ve been drinking.
Just a general rule of thumb for waking up in the morning and not hating yourself. Leave it at home or with a friend or basically anywhere else so you don’t wind up texting someone you’ll regret acknowledging in the morning.
25. Learn when it’s time to let go.
There are a lot of things that change through a lifetime with relationships and it’s important to know when it’s time to let things go. Sometimes as much as you want to remain in someone’s life the best thing for you to do is appreciate the time you had together and move on. It’s easier said than done but it’s good to start practicing now.