Peechaya Burroughs for TIME
October 17, 2016 7:00 AM EDT

I thought I would do something a little different for this edition of #MottovationMonday. I believe that part of moving forward in your life is to reflect on your past. It’s part of your history that makes up who you are today. Your growth, change and experience are all good things to keep track of. And funnily enough, I find that looking back now and then helps me stay present. Thinking about what you were helps put the “now” in context, don’t you think?

I have had my share of ups and downs, especially in my 20s when I was just figuring life out. And you might feel like right now, your whole life is all ups and downs. But good news: as you age, you become more aware of what works for you, and what doesn’t. And this whole “fall and get up” theory is part of the entire master plan. In order to get up, you’ve got to fall first!

When I was thinking recently about my own life, I came across some things I wish I knew “back then” that I wanted to share with you. I hope that my journey will help you on yours!

1. Saving money isn’t cool, or fun, but you should do it.
Save your money. You don’t need that expensive car right now. You need 2 years of “life cash” in the bank in case you lose your job or you get hurt (and you will). Trust me: It sucks to have to sell your favorite things to pay rent. Save save save save some money. If that means getting a part time job housesitting, babysitting, whatever. Do it. You will need it.

2. Remember your family, even if they drive you nuts.
Spend time with your grandparents, stay close with your parents. Even if that means sitting at awkward coffees, or occasional brunches, take the time to share stories and talk. Don’t judge them, even if you think they’re judging you. They most likely aren’t. They just want your love, and want you to be safe and happy. They brought you into this world, and it feels good to show them respect. And don’t be afraid to reach out if you don’t have the best relationship with them right now. Everything is fixable.

3. Follow what truly makes you happy.
Do what is right for you, not what others say is right. School is great for some, but it wasn’t right for me. I wish I had known earlier to pursue fitness wholeheartedly, because that’s something I had always been so passionate about. Follow what’s right for you and you won’t regret it—it’ll open doors for you that you couldn’t have imagined.

4. Have more care with your relationships.
Be careful getting into them, and be smart about the choices you make. Think about what you are doing before you do it, and remember, you are fine alone, if you have to be. Don’t rush into things. Take your time, and don’t be a ‘hurricane’ with your presence. I was. You might be tempted to make decisions in the moment because they feel good, but it’s wise to take a step back and think about the outcome of that decision.

Also, be stable, kind and careful of other people’s hearts. Heartbreak happens, so prepare for that moment by holding on to your integrity and being the best person you can be.

5. Hard work does not go unnoticed—so keep up the grind.
You’ll see that mopping the floors, staying late, filling in, showing up, and working as hard as you can will take you somewhere. Don’t sweat it, but sweat it out. If you play the long game and stay patient, even if you’re frustrated with how things are going now, great things will come to all of that hard work. Really!

6. Go where you feel at home.
Just because you grew up somewhere doesn’t mean you have to be there your whole life if you don’t want to. I lived in L.A. for years, but I realized that seasons are amazing. Chase the sun. Dive in ocean sometimes. Sit on lounge chairs and wait for rain to trickle on your face. You might find new opportunities in a new place if you give it a chance.

And for goodness’ sake, drink more water!

Stacey Griffith is a senior master instructor at SoulCycle and the author of the upcoming book Two Turns From Zero. Stacey’s motivational coaching style combines a passion for dance, athleticism and mind-blowing music—all set to the beat of her voice. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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