1. Promise yourself that you’ll accept love.
2. Promise yourself that you won’t settle for a love that is less than what you deserve.
3. Promise yourself that you will not close the door to your dreams.
4. Promise yourself that you will chase your dreams—even when the ones around you do not understand what it is that you’re chasing.
5. Promise yourself that you will resist the urge to compare yourself to others, for their life is not yours, and your life is not theirs, and the only person you should be comparing yourself to is the human you were yesterday.
6. Promise yourself that you will revel in the joys of the present, that you’ll learn from the mistakes of the past, and that you won’t concern yourself too much with the “what ifs” that tomorrow brings.
7. Promise yourself that you will be more concerned with what you want for your life than what others think you should be doing and pursuing.
8. Promise yourself that you will accept praise without hesitation for your work—you did it, and now it’s okay to celebrate it.
9. Promise yourself that you will release the need to pretend like everything is okay when it is very much anything but that.
10. Promise yourself that you will allow yourself to feel the myriad of emotions that a human is capable of feeling.
11. Promise yourself that you will acknowledge your feelings, but not necessarily act upon impulses when making your next move, for feelings are useful litmus tests but not always the best compass.
12. Promise yourself that you won’t get too hard on yourself when your compass spins in circles, and when your plans fall through, and when you think you’ve reached the highway, but all you’ve arrived at is a dead end.
13. Promise yourself that you’ll create a new road when you reach a dead end.
14. Promise yourself that you will give yourself grace in the process of paving a new road—for good things take time, and you are a human, not a machine.
15. Promise yourself to embrace the twists and turns in life, for those are part of the joy of the journey.
16. Promise that when the valleys get a little bit too much for your heart to handle, you’ll still get out of bed in the morning that day, for the world needs you to keep getting out of bed.