1. You need a regular bedtime. That bedtime is probably 10pm. Set a bedtime alarm. Defend it. And not just for a week. For the long term.
2. You also need a regular getting up time – about 8 hours after you go to sleep. For your mental wellbeing as well as a ton of other reasons you’d agree with.
3. If you don’t think you need that much sleep (you’re wrong), if you’re still arguing with me – stay in bed and read a book.
4. Things you worry about rarely happen. Things that come out of the blue are the ones that knock you sideways (credit: Baz Lurhmann). Worrying will make you ill and unhappy. Write it down, make a plan – sort it out.
5. Consistency is the secret to pretty much anything you want to achieve. As often as it takes, for as long as it takes.
6. Do not clean up after people who are big enough to clean up after themselves. No one likes the smell of burning martyr. Or other people’s feet/arses for that matter. Even servants get paid and have rights/days off.
7. Don’t be afraid of hard work – it builds your character. If what you want to achieve is on the other side of effort – run towards it.
8. Get fun stuff in the calendar as a priority. You are not on earth to simply grind and serve other people.
9. Meditation actually works. Do it every day. Doesn’t matter what kind.
10. You are supposed to feel anxious sometimes. Anxiety is the thing that stops us falling off cliffs. If it gets too bad, get help, but honestly – we are meant to feel the range of emotions.
11. People grow apart. It isn’t a failure. It’s just life.
12. Try to exit well. Always. Be mindful of how history will be written. Make sure you will be proud of your bit of the story. Id in doubt – opt for the classy option.
13. Talking behind someone’s back makes you look like a dick, not them.
14. Don’t play games with someone’s trust. It’s almost impossible to get back once it’s broken.
15. You are supposed to collect friends through life, and some will drift out of your life. That’s how it should be. You are not destined to only have the same friends as when you were at Infants’ school.
16. You’re allowed, and supposed to – make mistakes. That’s how you get better. If you make no mistakes – you’re not getting better.
17 That thing you need to do, that you’re worried about. That appointment. Conversation. Trip. Task. It is never as bad as the worry you have about it. And the worry lasts way longer. We covered that earlier, right? Grow some balls – or lady/non-binary balls. Get it done.
18. IF YOU HATE YOUR JOB, FOR GOD’S SAKE – LEAVE!!!!!! You will not starve to death. You will not get that time back. It will kill your soul.
19. A partnership consists of two people having each other’s backs and helping each other through life. Not what one of them can get out of the situation at the expense of the other’s happiness.
20. Fairness isn’t the same as equality.
21. If you have imposter syndrome – you are not an imposter. Imposters don’t have imposter syndrome.
22. You do not have to do the same job your whole life. When you think about it… it makes no sense. Try stuff. Try other stuff. We decide that shit way too young and then we’re off on a path that might not be good for us.
23. Find someone who wants to have the same kind of adventures as you. Plan adventures together. Then reminisce about them and plan the next one.
24. If you’re not having fun – why are you doing it? Serious question. There isn’t a medal at the end of this.
25. Your health is the most important asset you have. There is nothing you can buy that is more important to spend money on.
26. Don’t go back. Move forward.
27. Don’t sabotage anyone else’s relationship, it will come back to haunt you. That’s not me being woo-woo, that’s just how it works.
28. No one doing better than you will criticise you. It’s the people snapping at your heels. If people are irrationally horrible, they are either jealous/want to get in your pants… or the way you live your life holds a mirror up to the way they live their life. And they don’t like their own reflection.
29. It is always a good idea to be kind. Polite silence/walking away – are always options. As is standing your ground. And you can do all of that with kindness.
30. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is different from being a mug. Discern that one carefully. Repeat offenders are not to be tolerated.
31. People lie lots of ways. They only tell the truth one way. Watch how they tell the truth, and you’ll see how they lie. (also liars put way too many details in… almost like they are trying to convince themselves)
32. Lose weight for health reasons. Not for dress size or self-esteem. That stuff will come. But start with the health. If you want to lose weight, focus on the journey rather than the goal. Make every decision in front of you – in your best interests. Give yourself a year of great choices – and then assess things, not month after month of quick fixes. Scales can eff off up to the loft.
33. Be a lifelong learner. Stay interested. Be curious. Read. Take little courses. Take big courses. It will keep your brain agile. You will need that.
34. If you can – stop drinking alcohol. You’ll be so pleased you did.
35. Expensive beauty products are like putting a plaster on a shark bite. Drink enough water (probably 3-4l a day) and you’ll look incredibly fresher and younger in a month. Your skin is your biggest organ and shows on the outside what’s happening on the inside.
36. Don’t smoke. It’ll kill you, make you wrinkly and stinky. Also passers-by will hate you.
37. If you’re a woman, get the smear booked in and check your boobs. You can ask the nurse if you’re not sure what you’re feeling for. If you’re a man, get the balls and prostate checked. If you identify in any other way, get whatever parts you have that can be checked, checked. Do not put that shit off. If you’re embarrassed, don’t be a baby – get over yourself and get on with it.
38. If you live with other people (or in a flat, for example, adjacent to other people) be respectful of them. Do not fall out with people you have to see every day, over matters that can be avoided. p.s. when it comes to neighbours – speak to people in the first instance before you get all letter-writey. That stuff’s hard to come back from.
39. If you have children, make videos especially for them, that they can watch after you’ve gone. Show them what they were like when they were little, how proud you are of their achievements and the funny things they say. Your thoughts, hopes and wishes for them. Add to it often. It will be their most treasured possession and it will be passed on.
40. Take the guesswork out of your funeral. Write out exactly what you want to happen. Choose the music, even design the bloody order of service and flowers. If you can pay for it in advance – that’s the definition of a great exit. People are going to be sad enough as it is without having to make those kinds of technically easy decisions. Decisions are exhausting when we’re sad.
41. The older you get, the less you give a flying f&ck what people think of you. You could save yourself years of heartache if you just flip forward to that point now, and let go of the stress. They certainly are not thinking about you as much as you think they are.
42. Prioritise experiences over stuff and things. If you can afford it… go VIP. Get the posh departure lounge, the more comfortable seat. You’ll never regret paying a little more for enhanced experiences. You probably don’t need to spend 100s of pounds on shoes. (That’s a whole subject of its own – trust me, I can convince you, but this is already too long). We are left with our memories. The shoes will have long gone.
43. Pay off your debt as a matter of priority. Paying interest on debt is like throwing it in the toilet. Your money represents hours of your life. Every pound. Stop flushing hours of your life and hard work away.
44. Stop numbing if that’s what you’re doing. There’s nothing special about you that makes you less able to do that than other people. You can get help if you need it. But don’t wait for a knight/equivalent depending on your persuasion – in shining armour to ride in and save you from things. They won’t. People will help, but you have to take control of it.
45. Stop waiting. If you need to do the thing – its now. Not after the kids go back, the summer holidays, the end of the year, the promotion, things are more settled, your back gets better, the person gets back to you. You have no idea what might happen – if it needs doing – your life is ticking away. Do it now.
46. If you need to say sorry. Say it. Don’t bury your head in the sand, ghost, block or whatever coward-ass method you’re using to pretend nothing happened. Get it sorted. This will make you both feel better.
47. Stop overthinking things. Don’t be a fanny.
48. Try to leave everyone feeling slightly better from the interaction they just had with you than before it. Everyone. Even dickheads. That spreads and will get back to you.
49. Make people laugh. There’s not enough laughter in the world. Find the fun in situations. Remember funny things that happened. People learn and listen better just after they’ve laughed. Worth remembering.
50. Know your worth. Every bit of graft you’ve put in. Every achievement you’ve made. every meal you’ve cooked. Every nappy you’ve changed. Every time you brightened someone’s day. Every presentation you’ve ever given. Every good decision you’ve made. Everything you’ve ever added to people’s lives. Every kindness. Every highlight, of every size. Every time you’ve done the right thing – this all adds up to a lifetime of priceless worth. If you’re older – even more so. Don’t forget it. Don’t stand for it if anyone else does. Life’s Important things are rarely measured in money.
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