1. Make time for your family. Call your mother, Skype with your siblings, and make sure you listen to them the way you’d want them to listen to you.
2. Stop holding on to the past and your past mistakes.
3. Buy an iron and use it. The same goes for proper pots and pans and other essential appliances. You’re not in college anymore.
4. Binge-drinking is no longer your five-days-a-week friend.
5. In the long run, travel is more important than a job. Do it as often as your schedule and/or bank account allows.
6. Responsibility is an acquired taste. But once you truly take care of yourself without help, you’ll never go back to anything but self-reliance.
7. Exercise enough so that you don’t contract heart disease in your fifties.
8. Be aware of which friends are forever, and which ones are just there for a good time.
9. In your dating life, put yourself first. Be aware of your needs, desires and your worth. The time has passed for being treated like garbage because you feel like you have no other options.
10. Have goals, but let yourself falter, take risks, and make mistakes.
11. Listen to your own instincts rather than letting yourself follow trends and the crowd.
12. Say no when you just don’t want to do something everyone else is doing.
13. Accept yourself utterly and without conditions. Loving yourself unconditionally is essential for your happiness.
14. Make sure your loved ones are aware of how much you love them.
15. Contribute to your retirement account now.
16. Be self-aware. Don’t let yourself do things just because it’s “time.” If you’re not ready for marriage/kids, then don’t take that step. Your future self will be grateful.
17. Don’t stop taking risks.
18. Indulge your inner child as much as you can. Watch old movies, eat ice cream on warm summer nights, laugh with your whole body, tell the truth, hug other people, jump into cold pools and scream, and you’ll be happier.
19. Kale is a thing for a reason. Make vegetables a priority and don’t treat your body like a garbage disposal. Learn to cook your own meals.
20. Meditate, even if you think it’s hokey.
21. Connect with nature by taking walks instead of going on a treadmill or to the gym. Camp or fish, go on hikes with your pals, explore the rainforest or the Redwoods. See the world.
22. Build confidence in your abilities, and express that in the way you act.
23. Place kindness above everything else. You’ll get it back, I promise.
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.