Shopping for new clothes or putting on a bright shade of lipstick can make you feel better about yourself to a certain extent, but you also have to satisfy that need for a deeper, more meaningful connection with your inner self. Before the year is up, do something life affirming. Discover who you are and realize your potential by doing things that make you feel truly good about yourself. Start with these suggestions below.

1. Root for an amazing woman.

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There are a lot of brilliant women who are making waves in the world today—from actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, who encouraged everyone to stand up for gender equality, to Selma director Ava DuVernay, who was the first African-American woman to win best director at Sundance (for 2012’s Middle of Nowhere). Locally, there are the likes of Nancy Cu-Unijeng, president of Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA) and reproductive health advocate Amina Swanepoel of Roots of Health. If you are inspired by them for one reason or another, give back the love. Share their work, donate to their cause, or even proclaim your love for them on social media. By doing these things, you are effectively amplifying the good that they do and will continue to do.

2. Go on a literal journey of self-discovery.

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In many ways, life is a journey, but there’s still nothing like an actual trip to help you get a better sense of who you are and what makes you happy. Go on a personal pilgrimage to India, lose (and find) yourself in the streets of Hong Kong, or bask in the peacefulness and simplicity of life in Batanes. Whichever destination you choose, you’ll be forever changed.

3. Raise your glass.


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A toast is more than just an excuse to clink your glasses together and say cheers, and it’s far more than just a prelude to a night of drinking. A toast is a way to honor a person, thing, or idea. At your next end-of-the-year gathering, don’t forget to raise your glass in the name of the things you hold dear like friendship, love, or family. It’s important that you let people know how much you appreciate them or to give people recognition whether they’re around to hear it or not.

4. Be honest about your feelings.
On a daily basis, you probably have to filter more than a few too-honest thoughts from your boss, your co-workers, and even your family and friends—and that’s okay. But if there’s one person whom you should be absolutely truthful with, it’s yourself. You can’t keep fooling yourself, for example, that you’re happy in your relationship when you’re not or that you’re satisfied with your career when it’s clearly not going anywhere. Face the music, and you’ll realize just how long you’ve been holding your breath. Only by being honest with yourself can you move on and find your way to true happiness.

(Main screencap from Jane the Virgin courtesy of Sony)

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