Self-Improvement Hacks Inspired By 'The West Wing's C.J. Cregg Are All You Need To Take On The World


If you're anything like me, living an adult life takes constant vigilance; I have to be steadily working on myself, or I'll slip and slide right into laziness, everything will collapse, and I'll blow an entire week with Netflix and 14 bottles of wine. So who's the perfect person to turn to for guidance in a time like this? Why, everyone's favorite Press Secretary turned White House Chief of Staff, of course. Self-improvement life hacks from C.J. Cregg don't just make sense; they're the only things I trust to get me through these uncertain times without completely losing my mind. She may be a fictional character written by Aaron Sorkin for The West Wing — I say "may", because I'm still holding out hope that she's real and will come save me from myself — but that doesn't make C.J. any less capable of delivering the kinds of lessons that will benefit all of us today and every day.

She's strong, she's smart, she's capable, she's hilarious, and she's been through some complete and utter garbage. But she fought through it like a complete boss — not just surviving it, but coming out on top. With that in mind, I'm putting all my eggs in C.J.'s basket, now and forever, and modeling my behavior after hers down to a T. Now is the time for you and me and everyone we know to start living our best lives, and C.J. is going to help us do that.

1. Focus Your Energies


Instead of spreading yourself thin in a bunch of different areas, pick one thing to focus on and rock it.

2. No More Fake Friends


That person in your life who's been a drain on your energy for basically your entire friendship, just uses you as a crutch to validate her choices, leaves no space for your needs, and starts a fight the moment you try to assert yourself? Cut her loose. It's time.

3. Stop Canceling On Your Real Friends


Boundaries and being honest with yourself are important, but so is getting out there and having experiences. It's one thing to cancel on things you have no desire to go to, but, if you're on the fence, get out of bed and out the door. You'll feel better once you're in the company of people you love.

4. Self-Care, Self-Care, Self-Care


Whatever that means to you, do it. Pretty sure this is the most important thing in the world, and we're all slacking on it.

5. Trust Your Gut


Sometimes people deserve additional explanation or an extra moment of your time, and sometimes they don't. And you inherently know the difference between those sensations. You've just gotten in the habit of second-guessing yourself for whatever reason. Listen to your instincts instead.

6. Go For That Job You Want


Even if it seems unattainable, even if you don't think you have the experience, even if Toby Ziegler and Josh Lyman are utterly convinced it's down to the two of them, put your name forward. You owe yourself at least that much, so no more excuses.

7. Question Authority


It's impossible and unhealthy to maintain a constant level of terror and alertness, but let C.J. Cregg inspire you to keep your suspicious, questioning nature in good working order. Know what you think and why you think it, and be prepared to engage on it with others with whom you might not agree.

8. Treat Yo' Self


No one knows better than Claudia Jean the importance of cutting yourself some slack now and again. If you go to the gym and are good at your job and are nice to your colleagues and are up to date on the world around you, feel free to cut loose with a beer at a party now and then, my god. You aren't a superhero, and also you're doing great.

So there they are, folks, the self-improvement hacks that I think C.J. Cregg would hand down to you if she was a real person and not a figment of Aaron Sorkin and Allison Janney's imaginations. With her voice in your head, you can go anywhere and do anything, so get to it. Your potential is waiting.