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Don’t leave annual leave days unused

Don’t leave annual leave days unused
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“Ever since I decided to be a lawyer, I pursued that goal with total dedication. But looking back on it, I wish I had given myself a bit of a break. I would tell my younger self to not worry so much about climbing the professional ladder so fast. As long as you stay true to your core values and strive to do the best work possible with good intentions then your work will speak for itself and you will be successful. Make time for things outside of work – use every single one of your holiday days! Go on your honeymoon! Work will always be there when you get back.” – Nikki Borchardt Campbell, lawyer

It’s not about weight, it’s about health

It’s not about weight, it’s about health
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“Growing up, I was a nationally ranked equestrian, so as an athlete who was constantly competing, I was focused on riding rather than what I was putting in my body. But that didn’t mean I had healthy eating habits. And when I went out on my own that came back to haunt me. Moving to Los Angeles alone at 17 led to anxiety, and I let poor food habits comfort me. Yo-yoing between 25- to 35-kilo-gains, I tried every fad diet out there and while I did lose some weight, it wasn’t in a healthy way. Finally, I decided I needed to get healthy, not skinny. I made a commitment to myself to stop worrying so much about the scale and learn what my body really needs to be healthy and happy. I learned everything I could about fitness and nutrition. Over time I not only lost the extra weight but I was healthier mentally and physically. I wish I could tell my younger self to stop worrying about how others viewed me and focus on what I wanted and needed to feel my best.” – Teddi Mellencamp, founder of All In, a health and wellness company.

For more ways to better understand your health, read these health traits you may have inherited from your parents.

Quit tanning

Quit tanning
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“As a teenager, I desperately wanted a golden tan but as a pale blonde, that wasn’t going to happen naturally. So I did what lots of girls my age did: I would lay out in the sun for hours and used indoor tanning beds regularly – my friend even had one in her house that we both used at least once a week. We just wanted a ‘healthy glow,’ a phrase that makes me want to scream because now I’ve had melanoma not just once but twice. Now I know that tanning beds are one of the biggest risks for all skin cancers, including melanoma, but back then I didn’t have a clue. I just wanted to be ‘beautiful.’ Through the grace of God and excellent doctors, I’m fine now but I wish I could go back and warn my younger self to skip tanning – it’s not worth the risks!” —Lacey Adams, advocate for skin cancer awareness

Check out these hidden places on your body where you can still get skin cancer.

Spend your money on experiences, not things

Spend your money on experiences, not things
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“One thing I’ve learned through my own experiences and through helping my clients is that memories are far more important than things. Growing up, like a lot of young adults, I wanted all the fun gadgets and nice clothes my friends had but then I had a life-changing experience when I was hit and nearly killed by a drunk driver. Nearly dying helped me realis e the true meaning of life and the importance of time. I wish I could tell myself to spend money on experiences and live as a minimalist in regards to stuff. Things break and get lost, we sell them for pennies on the dollar, yet time is something we can never get back, and memories last a lifetime.” – Dawn Burnett, therapist, divorce coach and author

Listen to your intuition

Listen to your intuition
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“From a young age, we are often taught to listen to others and prioritise their opinions over our own. But I’ve learned through decades of being a successful businesswoman that no one knows me better than me. I’d tell my younger self to listen to her own instincts and intuition, go with her gut. It’s still important to use your head when making decisions but don’t discount the feelings in your heart. Then I’d tell her that once she’s decided on what’s best for her, to pursue that dream with passion guts, grit, gumption, and, most importantly, grace.” – Judi Sheppard Missett, Founder and CEO of Jazzercise

Accepting help doesn’t mean you’re weak

Accepting help doesn’t mean you’re weak
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“A common mistake I’ve noticed most entrepreneurs, including myself, have made at the beginning of their business set-up is trying to do everything ourselves. When I launched my company I couldn’t afford the luxury of hiring experts and paying for their services. It helped my business but the long sleepless nights took a toll on my personal life. Plus it made me rigid; I’d gotten used to doing things in a certain way and I had to learn that may not always be the best way. Connecting with other experts and accepting help only makes you and your business stronger.” – Rune Sovndahl, CEO and co-founder of Fantastic Services

It’s OK to be selfish sometimes

It’s OK to be selfish sometimes
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“I would tell my younger self that it’s important to be a little selfish. It’s great to be generous and compassionate and help others, but make sure to take care of yourself first. Meeting your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical needs are of utmost importance. Before you assist others, you must first look after yourself because you can only reproduce what is already produced in you. In essence, you can only give what you already have, and your input determines your output. Remember: blessed people bless people; healed people heal people; inspired people inspire people; and educated people educate people.” – Damon Daril Nailer, life coach, author and educator

Cut out toxic relationships

Cut out toxic relationships
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“Something I wish I’d known when I was younger is how much negative people will drain your energy and time – and those are limited resources so you should save them for the stuff that’s really important to you and will help you grow. I’d tell myself to stop hanging around people who are negative, waste time complaining instead of trying to change, or pull others down. It can be hard to cut ties, especially if that person has been in your life for a long time, but cutting out toxic relationships is one of the best things you can do for yourself.” —Vid Lamonté Buggs Jr., athlete, entrepreneur, and author

School isn’t the end of your education

School isn’t the end of your education
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“Like a lot of kids, I couldn’t wait to be done with school and start ‘real’ life! It didn’t take long before I realised that finishing formal school was not the end of my education. I wish I could tell my younger self that you will be a student for the rest of your life so never stop learning new things. The best part of this is that you get to learn stuff you’re really interested in, and the grades don’t matter anymore. Be a sponge for knowledge and learn now to enjoy the learning process.” – Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls.

Don’t let being in a relationship make you forget yourself

Don’t let being in a relationship make you forget yourself
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“I would tell my younger self that within a marriage it is important to maintain independence and to continue to be an individual. I think too many people lose their sense of self which they later regret because they have missed out on friendships, experiences, careers, and interests to be part of a couple. While it is wonderful to be in a marriage, I believe it is also crucial to preserve a sense a self within a marriage.” – Kari H. Lichtenstein, founding partner of Stutman, Stutman & Lichtenstein, an NYC-based family law firm

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