As I entered 2019, I knew that I wanted to set goals for myself that were achievable within a year but also would force me to leap out of my comfort zone. During 2018, I felt like I had set so many goals that by February 1st, 50 percent of them had already gone down the drain. I remember feeling disappointed for a lot of 2018 that I wasn't doing enough in all aspects of my life. I wanted to be a better friend, a better daughter, a better girlfriend, all while putting myself, mental health, and physical health first. Instead of succeeding in these areas, I convinced myself that because I had already failed at so many things on my list of resolutions, I wasn't worthy of succeeding elsewhere.

I knew that to be successful in 2019, I needed to take on a completely different approach. I began listening to podcasts for learning purposes rather than entertainment. I researched famous entrepreneurs, successful women, life coaches, and people who just had their shit together for tips and tricks on how they were successful day in and day out. I studied morning routines, nighttime routines, meditation techniques, healthy habits, and mentorships to learn how these people lived their day to day lives.

I was driving back to school to begin the second semester of my junior year and I came across a podcast talking about overcoming hardships and conflicts. She was explaining how, whenever she starts to feel sad and overwhelmed she goes through a mental checklist called, The Happy Checklist. The Happy Checklist is a list of things that make an individual happy, no matter the mood they may be in. She explained that whenever she feels stressed or sad, she runs through the checklist to find things to make her feel at peace. If she has crossed off all the things on the list and still feels sad, she allows herself to feel that way, acknowledging that it is okay. She found that, by the time she got through her checklist, she couldn't even remember why she was sad in the first place, and it ultimately changed her mood as her day progressed resulting in days filled with joy and positivity rather than negativity.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I began running through my head to create my Happy Checklist. I developed a list of eight things and typed them in my notes on my phone and on my computer. Now, whenever I feel stressed with schoolwork, upset about a relationship in my life, or just sad, I run through the list and I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better. I encourage you to create your own Happy Checklist and use it in your daily life when times get tough, I promise it will prove worthwhile.

My Happy Checklist

1. Read Jesus Calling
2. Workout
3. Call my mom or boyfriend
4. Meditate (Try the app Headspace!)
5. Listen to a Motivational Podcast
6. Buy my favorite coffee (Vanilla latte with almond milk & cinnamon)
7. Blast some John Mayer
8. Paint my nails or do a facemask #self-care