I can’t really say I have any regrets in life—I’m proud of the the hard work I’ve put in and the decisions that have made me who I am today. I do have a few things I wish I could tell my younger self. Not about changing or avoiding any mistakes I’ve made in the past, but more of a nudge in the right direction. An “if I knew then what I know now…”
1. Take up tennis
It’s not important to ace the sport; it’s more about finding a passion for a social sport you can play with your friends, hubby, or kids. Besides, it’s great exercise and has nothing to do with your work life.
2. Don’t drop out of typing
I know it’s boring to sit in that class and even though your mom says you’ll “probably never be a secretary,” sticking with it will serve you well. You’ll end up writing nine books, you’ll be an editor-in-chief at a digital magazine, and a class mom who has to inform the parents of all the happenings at school. Keep at it and you won’t have to look down at the keyboard while typing.
3. Do weight lifting, not just cardio
Building and maintaining muscles burns more fat than trying to maintain fat, and it’s more effective than counting calories. You won’t have to diet yourself down to lose weight and you will love feeling stronger. Not to mention, your clothes will look so much better on with definition from muscles.
4. Get a math tutor
I get that it’s like learning Greek, but nobody likes to get a “D” on their report card. Besides, you’re not a normal learner and if you find a teacher who understands this and can teach by showing you, you’ll get the hang of it. But no worries: you’ll still go on to build a billion-dollar brand and get your own CFO.
5. Learn to compartmentalize
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially since you always do a lot at once. Taking a deep breath helps, but so does the art of doing one thing at a time. Visualize a shelf with boxes and put all the tasks ahead of you in a single box. Then tackle one by one until you check them all off. (And if you don’t get it all done, it will still be there tomorrow.)
6. Give yourself permission to do nothing
It’s good to recharge. Some people meditate or take naps; others read or watch TV. Find out what works and just do it. Even if the kitchen is messy or there are errands to run, it’s important to fill up an empty tank.
7. It’s okay to be exactly who you are
Many of us struggle with wanting to be different. It will take you until you’re around 30 to get comfortable with the fact that you are you: 5’0” and not exactly conventional (from the way you think to the way you work). Your unusual habits are preparing you to be an entrepreneur, and you’ll make a career out of empowering people to be who they are.
8. Master the at-home blowout
Your hair looks great with a professional blowout, but if left to your own devices, you’ll be wearing your hair wet and in a ponytail. You’ll be lucky enough to work with the best hairdressers in the world, so pick up their tips! Grab a wide brush, a good hairdryer, and practice.
9. You’re way cuter than you think you are
You have beautiful skin and healthy hair. The freckles on your nose are way cute and your eyes light up when you smile. You’ll look to women like Ali MacGraw and Jen Aniston as beauty role models. And you will even learn to love the lines on your face—mostly because you will remain a healthy eater all the way into adulthood.
10. Make your bed
It’s a good habit that starts the day off right. It will make you feel accomplished and builds character.
Image via Bobbi Brown.