Invest in your inner circle.
Who are the people you see the most? Who are the ones sitting at your table? Who are the folks that are cheering you on in your corner? Or better yet, who are the ones who are standing beside you as you journey onward in life? The ones you spend your time with matter—invest accordingly.
Read a book—not something random on the internet, or a highlight reel of someone else’s life, or some news article that is unvetted and unchecked and someone’s opinion that’s simply parading around as fact. Pick up a book, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, and learn something. Let your brain wander and dig deep into the things that you cannot see beyond what you know and what you have experienced in your lifetime thus far. And if you don’t like to read a physical book, audiobooks work too!
Put the phone down.
You’re spending too much time on your phone. Yes, you. You’re using work as an excuse, and a text message thread with your coworkers as an excuse, and the fact that you scroll as you sip your morning coffee or unwind as your kids go to bed as an excuse. Nobody needs to be on their phone for upwards of three, four, five hours a day—and those hours spent scrolling is time you could be using to do something else. Something that will probably add far more value to your life than creeping on what other people are doing via Facebook.
Prioritize your top goals.
If you’re goal-oriented, there will be a million things that you will want to accomplish in a day, a week, a year, a decade. But sometimes you have to come to the grips that while you can seek them all out, you cannot do them all at the same time, so it’s best to learn how to prioritize. You can be a writer, but it’s hard to be a novelist and a memoirist and a screenwriter all at once. Start with one, two, three goals that you’re able to cultivate and master—and then move down the list as to what you want to do next.
Cultivate your communication skills.
You must learn how to communicate in person, on the phone, and yes, even by email. Digital communication is not going anywhere, so it’s best you learn proper email etiquette and grammar and how your words can reflect your tone—choose them wisely.
Remember that the only person you should be competing with is the human you were yesterday.
There’s an adage that says that “comparison is the thief of joy”—and I’d add that competition can be that thief, too. Spending time and energy focusing on the accomplishments, happiness, and lives of other people does nothing to further your own. Their achievement of the things you so desperately desire is not a sign that there is no longer joy left for you but a reminder that good things are possible. So stop obsessing over what they have and how they live and instead worry about how you can be better than you were yesterday and the day before that.
Drink more water.
Drink a glass of water before you have your tea, or before you have your coffee, or before you guzzle whatever smoothie you have waiting for you. Hydration is a great way to maintain your physical health and keep you staying focused—but sometimes, drinking the proper amount of water is tedious. If you start drinking water the first thing in the morning, eventually, it’ll become second nature.
Give yourself the grace to try—and then fail and get back up again.
Not every chance you take will work out the way you want. Not every problem you have will resolve itself in a nice, tiny bow. But do not let the fear of failure keep you from trying, for if you never try, you’ll never know.