1) Say "I love you." Every time you think it. Don't worry about the consequences. For those of us who lost someone in 2013, you know that you won't ever get that chance back. Post it on facebook. Publish it in the paper. Leave it on your own voicemail. Say "I love you" and feel no shame about that.
2) Perform random acts of kindness - for real. One time, when I was 16, I was having a TERRIBLE day, and I drove up to the gas station because I felt I was in desperate need of PICKLES. Yes. Anyway, when I had my pickle jar up on the counter - as if it was the MOST important thing on EARTH - my debit card didn't go through. I was quietly about to lose my ever-loving mind - it was the last straw - when an elderly gentleman behind me said, "I'll get that for you." And he DID. I never got that man's name, but I never forgot what he did. And I paid that favor forward. Pay somebody's toll in the car behind you. Buy someone a water to go with their sandwich. Hold the door open for somebody. That person may not remember your name, but they will remember what you did for the rest of their lives.
3) Donate to the can in the counter - all the time.
4) Do something for yourself regularly. GET your hair done. BUY a new book. Take five extra minutes to get ready in the morning. Feel no shame in that. Do something for you. It will make you feel confidence, and confidence is something you can give to other people.
5) Never feel like one person can't make a difference. It's the only thing that ever has. Don't stand by and wait for someone else to take action when you feel something in the pit of your stomach. Case 'n point: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.564420833642535.1073741849.179591555458800&.
6) Enjoy an outside (controlled!) fire now 'n then. It will do something for your soul.
7) If you don't have a dog, try walking one at the shelter. It might amaze you, the way you feel, and change your life forever. Happened to me.
8) When you are driving in your vehicle, let somebody out in front of you. If someone lets you out, always wave.
9) If you are the last one to use the toilet paper in the bathroom, put a new roll on the holster... And hang it with the T.P. hanging DOWN from the top. You have no idea what a convenience this is to the next person. lol.
10) Take yourself out to lunch. See what it's like. Go out to lunch by yourself and bring a good book, the paper, or even your iPad and order everything slowly... get your drink, then your appetizer, then the entre, maybe a small one, in case you want to order again. You might find something out about yourself ;)
11) Never get too big for your britches and never forget where you came from. Be grateful, and have an amazing 2014.
Love, from Higher Expectations (HEX) Dog Training & Behavior Modification, and of course, this article's author, Cassie-Leigh Stock. I hope each and every deserving person gets every single little thing they want for 2014. Don't let anybody silence you ;) As always, thank you for reading!