Since the very first day we found out we were pregnant, I’ve been writing in a five year journal every night. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s a special notebook separated into calendar days that allows you to write a few sentences about anything you want to remember about your day for five years on the same page. I can’t believe I’m coming up on a year of writing in this journal everyday and that I’ll soon be able to compare each page with what I was doing on that calendar day last year when I was prego. How quickly things change! 

One of my favorite parts of this particular journal is that I’ve had a chance to write my hopes, goals and dreams for Naiya along our journey so far. In sharing some of my favorite newborn photos of her with you today, I figured it’s the perfect time to also share some of my favorite affirmations that I’ve compiled for her so far. Phil and I plan to expand upon these and read them to Naiya as she gets older. The world needs more strong, confident girl bosses so we’re going to do our very best to inspire one. Here goes:

1) Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you will still be among the stars. No matter what, I’ll be cheering you on in the wings and I’ll always be proud of you for trying. 

2) Hone in on what your greatest passions are and go after them with your entire heart and soul. Don’t deny yourself the possibility of doing things that make you come alive in life because you think others will judge you or because you worry you will fail. The only failure in my book is not trying at all. There’s only one you so be the real, authentic you. 

3) While it’s important to please those around you sometimes, don’t feel you need to please all of them all of the time. Know your own worth so you don’t have to rely on others for validation or to tell you what they think you’re worth. You’re already worth more than you’ll ever know so know this in your heart and carpe diem!

4) Fall deeply in love every day–with your passions, traveling, art, music, culture, with getting out of your comfort zone–but most importantly, with yourself.  Loving yourself and surrounding yourself with people and places you love most is one of the most important keys to happiness in the world. If you determine this early on in life, you will be golden.

5) Treat yourself and others too. Retail therapy can be therapy–it’s okay–your mom loves it too. If you’ve had a bad day, don’t feel guilty about doing something that makes you happy–whether it’s a massage, mani pedi, shopping. It’s okay to splurge on yourself sometimes–you’re worth it! Just don’t spend frivolously–that’s never wise and you’ll kick yourself later. It’s also extremely important to be generous to others at the same time; finding this balance is key. Always pay it forward and treat others how you’d like to be treated. Every human was once a sweet, innocent baby like you are right now–always remember this and lead with love.

6) Forgive, don’t forget and do your very best to move on. Life is too short to let someone else completely ruin your day, week or year. Holding grudges or judging your entire day based upon what someone else said to you is simply a waste of your time and happiness. If someone hurts you too much or makes you feel inferior, simply walk away–they’re not worth your time. You are amazing, you are loved and you deserve better.

7)  Dogs really are man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Surround yourself with them and you will instantly find a bit of calm and happiness in what I’m sure will be very busy days of your life to come. Make time for things that make you feel calm and comforted–whether it’s dance, meditation, yoga, running or something else that makes you happy. Life tends to get crazy so it’s important for you to find relaxing escapes that bring you back down to earth.

8) Keep your options open. It’s important to go after what you want but to also have other fires burning in the wings–not in case you fail–but in case you are able to keep growing in other ways. Your path is likely to change many times so be prepared, be versatile and be resilient!

9) It’s okay to date a bunch of toads until you find your frog prince (or princess) but don’t let any of those toads make you lose your sense of self-worth. One of our greatest gifts is our intuition so always do your best to listen to it. If your gut says a potential significant other is not the one for you, don’t waste your time. True love is out there–don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not. It may not be as perfect as it looks in all of the Disney princess movies I’m going to make you watch with me but it is absolutely out there. When the time is right, you will find your true love. Never doubt that.

10) Don’t be afraid to ask. Women are far too often quiet about what they want in life–especially in the workplace. Let’s help your generation to change this–it’s about time! Know what you bring to the table and when you’ve worked extremely hard, when the time feels right, go after what you deserve. Be polite, straightforward and confident. You’ve got this. The worst that can happen is someone will tell you ‘no.’ Even if this happens, be proud of yourself for trying–I know I will be.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Katrina Jayne