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Throughout your life, you will end up making connections with many people who are important to you. However, the most important connection in your life needs to be the one you have with yourself.

We often scramble around in life, doing for the people we love the most. But, one of the gravest mistakes you can make is overlooking yourself. By putting our own needs and goals on the back burner, we set ourselves up for failure. It’s not selfish to care for yourself, it’s necessary. You cannot pour from an empty cup. So, before you make promises to anyone else, you need to promise yourself the following 9 things.

1. I will not tolerate toxic relationships.

It can be difficult to leave a toxic relationship, especially when we love the toxic person. But, no matter who the person is that is toxic to us, we must leave those connections behind. A connection that is bad for you, or toxic rather, will only hold you back from your growth and life is too short for that.

2. I will not allow others to abuse me.

When you realize someone is abusing you, it’s time to go. Abusers do not change, and no one deserves abuse. No matter how much you have been conditioned to accept the abuse, I promise you, you don’t have to accept it.

3. I will take care of my body, to the best of my ability.

You don’t have to eat the perfect diet or work out 5 hours a day. But, at the very least, promise yourself you will strive to always do good with your body. Get the right amount of rest, eat more veggies and fruits, and go for a walk. You only get one body.

4. When my mind and body are stressed, I will listen to it.

When you are stressed, listen to your body. Take time off. Sleep a few extra hours. Eat something comforting. Drink some hot tea. Whatever it is that brings you comfort and eases your stress, do it.

5. I will give myself grace when I am imperfect.

No one is perfect. As a perfectionist, sometimes in my life, I have had a hard time not getting upset at myself when I fell short of the expectations I held for myself. When I was younger, and I would disappoint myself, I would spiral into depression. Now, that I am older, I have learned that perfection is impossible. And when I fall short of my expectations, that’s okay, I am human.

6. I will never stop trying to achieve my goals.

No matter how many times you fail, or mess up, don’t ever give up on your passions, or goals. Oftentimes, we view failure as the end of the road. But, it’s not. As long as we are trying, that’s the best we can do.

7. I will smile every day.

Even on days when it feels impossible to smile, smile anyway. Sometimes, when you are having a horrible day, and your smile, your mind will believe your body and you will feel better for forcing the smile. Not to mention, when you smile, it’s contagious.

8. I will never stop growing.

Perhaps the most important promise you will ever make to yourself is to never stop growing. No matter what happens, promise yourself that you want to keep trying to be a better version of yourself.

9. I will learn to let go of the past.

When we are constantly focused on the past, it’s impossible to move forward. Accept the lesson your past is teaching you, and let it go.