Another 365 days has come and gone.
It’s crazy to think that 2017 is officially gone, and 2018 has arrived. Not going to lie, 2017 was such a bleh year. It started off really crappy, but ended on a good note. I, for one, am stoked for 2018 and ready to achieve all the goals I have set out in front of me. Before I begin a new year, I like to take a moment to reflect on the past year. I like to find out what worked, what didn’t work and what needs to be changed/implemented into my life. That’s where this post comes in. I thought I would share with you all the 17 lessons I learned in 2017.
1. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay.
There are a lot of people, myself included, who put on their happy faces each morning when they wake up, eat their breakfast and head out to begin their day. I know this lesson sounds cliche, but it’s so important. There are many people who will tell you to “be positive” or that “things could always be worse” and that’s true. But, as humans, we need to understand that it’s okay to not be happy all the time. If you’re sad, cry. If your angry, take a moment and let that anger out. By that, I don’t mean go throw all your dinner plates against a wall. Do something productive like a work out or meditate etc. There are many ways to express your emotions, find one that suits you.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss.
2. Quality Over Quantity.
This saying can be applied to a lot of things: friendships, work and life in general. 2017 has been the year where I have lost a handful of friends I thought would be in my life for the long run. I have learned to accept the fact that not everyone you meet in life will be with you on your journey for the entirety of it. Some people come into your life to teach you a short lesson, others for longer, but all people come into your life for a reason and always have a lesson to teach you. Going into 2018, I can say I have a lot less friends than I did in 2017, but I do have a few quality friendships that I value dearly. What I’m basically saying is don’t be afraid to let some friendships go that no longer suit you. Put out positive vibes, raise your frequency and find others who do the same.
3. Self Care Is Essential.
If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? In all realness, this is one lesson I am glad I learned in 2017. I really had never set aside time to just wind down, relax and take care of myself. Now, I have seen and felt the benefits of establishing a self-care routine and I’m never looking back. Once a week (usually Saturday or Sunday) I will wash my face, put on a face mask, run a bubble bath (bath bomb not essential but fun nonetheless) and light a candle. Now you don’t have to do all these things (though I recommend it) but finding some way to relax and wind down after a long week will help you gain mental clarity and ultimately feel better.
4. Progress Over Perfection
I have always had a hard time with finishing projects or tasks because I’m constantly trying to make sure they are perfect, or my version of perfect at least. All throughout 2017, I was working on starting this blog and honestly It took me so much longer than It should have to launch. I kept re-designing the site, editing articles, tweaking things here and there until I finally realized It’s never going to be “perfect.” The blog will always be a work in progress because it’s constantly improving and changing. Just like my blog, life is constantly changing. Don’t be afraid to start or do something because it’s not “perfect” yet. The best advice I have is to just start. Start where you are and things will come naturally after that.
“Strive for progress, not perfection.” – unknown.
5. Perspective Is Everything.
Everyone has things going on in their life that you know nothing about. 2017 taught me to be humble and change my perspective on situations. There are so many times when i’m out doing something and I get mad or impatient with people or situations and I have learned to take a step back and change my perspective to see what that person might be dealing with or going through at the moment. When you start to shift your perspective and outlook on life, you will find that being kind and patient pays off. Be a nice person, always.
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama.
6. Set goals And Follow Through.
Not going to lie, I had so many goals planned out that I wanted to accomplish in 2017. Almost none of them were accomplished. I learned that this happened because I failed to plan. I did not map out the action steps that I needed to take for each goal in order to achieve it. 2018 is going to be different because I have taken the time to write out each goal, along with the steps needed to achieve them. 2017 taught me the importance of planning. So take the time to write out some goals that you want to achieve and plan for success.
8. Knowledge Is Power.
You don’t know what you don’t know. This phrase has so much power and it’s something I learned in 2017. I have picked up so many new books on topics I’ve never heard of and it has expanded my mind. Recently i’ve been interested in holistic health and wellness and picked up The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda by Sahara Rose. I have learned so much from this book and it’s crazy to think about all the knowledge out there that I have yet to stumble across. There are also websites such as skillshare, coursera and udemy that offer free courses on a ton of subjects. So do some research, pick up a new book and learn something new.
9. Follow Your Intuition.
It’s usually right. So many times in 2017 I had an intuition about something and instead of thinking with my brain, followed my instincts. My intuition was right 99% of the time. When you have a feeling about something, act on it. Don’t suppress it or shrug it off as you’re overthinking because most times, you’re not.
10. Take A Look At Your Finances.
Mo’ money mo’ problems. Just kidding, but honestly 2017 was the year I took a hard look at my finances and layed the foundation for a budget. In your 20’s (or really at any point) it’s crucial to stay on top of your credit, as well as staying out of debt. I have found apps such as Mint or YNAB that help people develop a budget and set financial goals. It’s also so important to monitor your credit score. I usually check mine on a monthly basis, but you can do so however often you like. Services like Credit Karma can help you stay on top of your score by recommending actions/tools you can use to increase your score. Overall, developing a budget has allowed me to cut out excess spending and be able to save more money.
11. Move Your Body.
Exercise is important to your well-being. It doesn’t really matter how you choose to exercise, as long as you get out there and do it. Exercise could be anything from taking a walk, hiking, skating, surfing, running, yoga, or hitting the gym. Whatever your poison, get out there and move your body. You’ll thank me later.
12. Don’t Stress The Things You Can’t Change.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before… but you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you CAN control the way you respond. This can be so hard to remember, especially when you are a worry-wart like me. I tend to dwell on things I can’t change, and try as I might there’s nothing I can do to change them. So instead of worrying and stressing over things that are out of your control, focus on the things you can control. Things kind of have a way of falling into place once that happens.
13. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
No good things come from staying inside your comfort zone. There are so many things I have wanted to do, and didn’t because I was afraid of what other people would think, or just scared to do them in general. In 2018 I want to step outside my comfort zone and try new things, talk to new people, say how I feel and see the world from different perspectives. Who cares what people think of you? Just go out there, live your life and find your passions.
14. A Cup Of Coffee Can Heal All Wounds.
Okay, probably not ALL wounds.. but most. There is nothing better than waking up to a nice, hot, fresh cup of joe in the morning. Read a book, sip on some coffee and live your best life. I honestly don’t think I would have made it through 2017 without coffee. It has made me want to wake up earlier and get my day started. It essentially jumpstarts my productivity.
15. Anxiety Is Real.
This is a tough lesson I learned in 2017, and it wasn’t what I expected. I don’t know the reasoning behind it, but I have developed a pretty bad case of anxiety in 2017. I guess it had been building for awhile. Anxiety is different for so many people. Rage, break downs, not being able to breathe, heart palpitations, nausea, etc.. these are all ways anxiety can manifest. For me, it’s mostly just in social situations. I will start to get hot and my heart will beat faster and then I start to feel sick. At this point, I usually head home. I don’t like talking about it because i’m not really sure the reasoning behind why it happens but hey, this just goes back to #13 getting out of your comfort zone. I want to share these things in the hope that someone else can relate.
16. Live In The Moment.
This is cliche and I half hate myself for typing it, but it’s so true. You don’t realize how good times are until they are in the past. Moments become memories that you can’t get back. I reminisce all the time on the “good ole days” and sometimes wish I could have them back. What i’m failing to see is that memories are being made now, in the present, and if i don’t start fully enjoying them as they are here i’ll look back and regret it. So live your life, tell your friends/family you love them and enjoy every moment.
17. Your Body Is Your Friend
Treat it right! You’ve only got one body so be mindful of what you put into it and on it. Eat healthier foods, get moving, etc. Be mindful of what you’re putting on your body as well. What we put on our body gets absorbed into our bloodstream, so if we use products containing toxins our body is not going to thank us. Establish a self-care routine and take care of yourself. Your body and mind will thank you later!
Many things were learned this year, but these are the 17 lessons that come into my mind. My hope is that people can take these to heart and gain wisdom from them. I would love to hear what lessons you all learned in 2017!