Let 2018 be the year you finally start doing what you've always dreamed about. If you've always wanted to If you've always been too scared. Let 2018 be the year that you can finally say, "I did it." Start.
2. And finish what you started.
The art project, the screenplay, the manuscript. The TV show you’ve been watching for too long, the Hemingway you never got through even though the guy from the coffeeshop thinks you’re, like, a Lost Generation aficionado or whatever. Whether it’s the small accomplishments or the biggest one of your life, it will feel good to cross it off your list. Stop dragging it out for the years to come—the time is now.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others.
You will never be the girl you see on the “Explore” page of Instagram or that one kid in your major who is somehow twelve steps ahead of everyone else. You will never be them, but the good news is you don’t have to be. You can be yourself, and be so good at it that you become beyond compare. Be so busy working on your own life that you have no time to focus on the successes or failures of others.
4. Believe in new beginnings.
Bad days don't have to stay bad. Change your sheets. Take a shower. Wash the defeat off your skin. Be brave enough to believe that every minute of every day offers you a chance to start over. It’s not a bad day. At least, it doesn’t have to be.
5. Learn to love yourself.
Love yourself, even though you’ve always struggled to accept the stretchmarks on your thighs and have always been frustrated by how your hair never does the thing you want it to. Love yourself, even though you’re reliably fifteen minutes late to everything and you plan conversations ahead of time only to draw a blank when the moment comes and you always come across as too much for the people who aren’t enough to handle you. Love yourself, even when it’s hard. The only constant in your life is yourself. Make this a good thing.
6. Go for it.
Make the first move, even if it terrifies you. Especially if it terrifies you—because then, you know it’s worth it. Life is so beautiful when the only “what if” we go to sleep thinking about is, “What if it all goes right?”
7. Take risks.
Book a spontaneous trip. Chop off your hair. Kiss a stranger. Get your blood to rush through your veins. Do the things that remind you that you are here, and you are alive, and everything around you is beautiful.
8. Say the thing that scares you.
“I love you.” “I’m sorry.” “I look up to you.” “You inspire me.” Don’t be too proud to say the thing that could change that person and your relationship with them forever.
9. Explore new places.
Go where you have never gone before. Rooftops, waterfalls, abandoned buildings and railways. Bring your friends and a blanket and a camera and watch the sun rise. Find these places that give you peace of mind. Find the places that take your breath away.
10. Discover hidden parts of yourself.
Take a dance class. Or a painting class. Volunteer to do something you never thought about doing before. Write poetry, even if you never understood it in your high school English class. You never know what’s been inside you this whole time, waiting to be found, begging to be tended to.
11. Read more.
Read everything you can get your hands on. Short stories. Books. Poems. Read to understand others. Read to understand yourself. Someone poured the most secret parts of themselves onto those pages— how wonderful would it be to realize that your soul is connected to someone you have never even met.
12. Stop settling.
For a job that never brought you joy, for the Saturday nights you never envisioned, for a person who never made you so happy you swore you could die. Stop settling for anything less than you deserve simply because you are afraid of never finding anything better. If there is a vision in your mind of the life you want to live, chase it shamelessly and relentlessly until it becomes your reality.
13. Make time for the people you love.
Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a coffee date or a phone call at the end of the day, remember to prioritize the people you love. They won’t be here forever. Make time for your family and your friends because, in the end, they are what make our lives worth living, and they deserve so much more than a mere text message from you.
14. Make time for the things you love.
If 2017 was the year you gave up your favorite pastimes in order to focus on more serious matters, make 2018 the year you reacquaint yourself with the things that make you happy to be alive. You are what your heart beats for.
15. Take care of yourself.
Drink more water. Set up a fitness routine that you’ll actually stick to. Tackle your mental health. Schedule out time to watch the show that makes you double over in laughter. Work to feel okay when you wake up every morning.
16. Let go of what is not meant for you.
Learn to let go of the friendship that weighs you down, the relationship that suffocates you, the dream that doesn’t fulfill you anymore. Sometimes it’s worth fighting for. And sometimes, you realize that you can’t fight forever. Learn to let go of what you refuses to stay in your life. Learn to let go of what is already gone.
17. Be intentional.
Ask people how they are doing and listen. Offer help when you can. Compliment others on their drive and dedication and softness, the things that go unnoticed. Live consciously. Step up for people. Care.
Fail gracelessly and emotionally and violently. Fail because you don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re doing it, and that’s the important part. Fail because you’ll know what to do better the next time around. Fail. And try again.