As I have a looming 25th birthday on January 25th, here are a few things for which all ladies that approach quarter of a century should aim.
Love: Love yourself; there is nothing narcissistic about it. If you don’t love yourself, who will love you? Imagine spending another quarter of a century in an unhappy relationship with the one person you cannot escape: yourself. Perhaps start a list of all the things you love about yourself, your body or mind – you might be pleasantly surprised.
Forgive: Holding onto resentment and hate embitters the soul. An old saying goes that when you hate, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the enemy to die. Forgive, even if the people in question are not sorry. It shows that you are able to move on and cleanse your present – and forgiveness can liberate the soul.
Plan: Sometimes plans work and other times, going off the designated path can lead to wondrous surprises. Personally I like to start every year with setting five or six goals I would like to attain. At age 25, I feel the urge to develop a five year plan before the big and inevitable 30!
Never stop learning: Learning doesn’t only take place in the classroom. A boring life is one of no surprises, so seek inspiration. Be inquisitive and remember that sense of wonder from childhood. Why not discover new software, read a new genre, start learning French? The possibilities are infinite – so if not now, when?
Be you: Be strong and wise enough to not define yourself by your relationships. Too often, women lose their sense of self and individuality when two people mesh and enter a relationship. You don’t have to like what he likes and forget your passions. The same can be said with female friends; are you putting on a persona in front of them or are you always being your authentic self?
Let go: Sadly, some relationships and friendships have a use-by date. The silver lining can be a lesson or a memory we keep from them. Letting go of people is inevitable and you have to release toxic ties or ones that are not fixable. Change is a part of life and letting go requires bravery. Accept change!
Go to concerts: Music is divine and before you are crippled with bills, mortgages, etc., why not spend some $ on seeing your favourite bands? You might see some cute boys in the mosh pit, too.
Take charge: If you are unhappy with your present, don’t blame the world for your problems – you are your problem. Your life is a series of decisions, so make them count and never stop making decisions to better yourself.
Give: If it means giving a homeless man a sandwich, volunteering or tutoring neighbourhood kids, there are numerous ways to give back and help shape your community or the world. The smallest action can have a reaction and the littlest gesture can mean something to someone. We are blessed and should share our blessings. You can give online, too.
Find your passion: Everyone has one, so dig deep. Mine is writing, but yours might be cooking, music, hockey, art, conservation. Find it and share it with the world. You might not become famous or a millionaire, but by pursuing your passions you will find true happiness.
Heels: They make every woman feel sexier, thinner and more confident- so master the art of walking in them and find a pair or dozens you love.
Travel: Whether locally or internationally, a change or scenery can be enlightening and inspiring. You may learn to be independent, learn of different cultures and times and lose or find yourself.
Be ambitious: Stay true to your dreams, no matter how unrealistic they may sound. Sometimes they sound unrealistic because we cloud them with fear.
Be money savvy: It can be hard to save with university debt or rent or 16 daily cups of coffee, but having a little money nest never hurt anyone. Set up a weekly savings goal and it can be as little as $20 a week. As you approach 25, financial independence is crucial ladies.
Fall in love: You can’t plan to fall in love, but by the time you reach 25, you should be able to identify the highs and lows of passionate love. Whether it lasts or not, love leaves us not quite the same.
Gratitude: “Thank you” is seldom heard, yet it’s a phrase that can make a person’s day. So what do you appreciate and for whom are you thankful? Tell them!
Party all night: Party all night and work all day; nothing tests your spirit more than this concoction. Show the world you are not getting too old and dance/streak/drink till 3am and show up at work with sunglasses and a cheeky grin. Don’t forget your inner bad-ass.
Have a wide circle of friends: Having male and female friends ranging from school/work/Twitter/relatives gives you a wide spectrum of opinions, beliefs and topic to discuss. You continuously grow and evolve when you have quality people guiding you.
Start a diary: It may be your blog or a journal, but writing things down can be therapeutic, save you hundreds in therapy and preserve remnants of your past. Diaries are that friend that never judges and when you read them back you relive the good and see how you’ve grown from the bad.
Get fit: Obesity is soaring and alarming. Find a sport or activity you enjoy and makes you sweat. Find your inner supermodel.
Find: Find a quality hairdresser, dentist, mechanic, IT support and barista. They make life easier.
Ask for help: Asking for help does not signify weakness and at times problems can be bigger than us. So asking for help and admitting to struggling whether with work or your thoughts or addiction is important. Asking for help is the first step towards resolution.
Have a wardrobe with: Own at least one faux leather jacket, a sexy party dress, an edgy blazer, a distinctive handbag, signature perfume and rock some red lipstick. Timeless!
Hug: Never underestimate the power of a hug.
Zen in Nature: Re-discover the majesty of the ocean or forest and become one step closer to nirvana. Be at one with nature, let it heal you and never forget that nature is our mother.
Get your nerd on: Don’t apologise for your love of Harry Potter, fan-fiction, cat videos or mismatched socks. Nerds rule the world!