Wow, is it that time of year already? I can’t believe how quickly Christmas has come around. Is anyone else finding their inbox flooded with spam emails such as best gifts to buy your loved ones and where to celebrate the New Year in style? Because I certainly am.
The end of the year is right around the corner and it’s usually around this time when a jolt of panic arrises within me. Endless questions flow through my mind, what have I achieved this year? Is there still time to tick things off my bucket list? Why didn’t I buy that dress last week? And I worry I haven’t seen or done enough.
Taking the time to reflect on my achievements, my goals and dreams, lessons learned and what didn’t work, is what helps me enter another year of my life with a clear mindset, focus and determination. I’ve lived a total of 31 years and as each year passes, there are certain lessons that have stuck with me. Which I thought I’d share with you beautiful souls today. So here’s 31 lessons from 31 years.
Persistence… the key to achieving your goals
When you hit a roadblock, you absolutely do not give up. You go around, you go over, you go under, whatever it is you need to do. Because set backs shouldn’t be the deciding factor in things not working out for you.
Having Fewer Plans… leads to more adventures
If there’s one thing I excel at, it’s organisation. I’m a list maker, a planner, I like things to have a sense of structure. It took me quite some time to get used to the freedom that comes with having very few or no plans at all. But once I did, I never looked back. Some of the best adventures I’ve had are from times that were unplanned and spontaneous.
Always Stay True To Yourself
At the end of the day, your life is yours alone to live. So if you wanna dress in fluro pink boots because that’s your vibe for the day, then do it. If you want to skip a night out with the girls because you’re dying to read the latest fifty shades book, then do it. Whatever your heart desires follow it, be unapologetic about it, and remain true to who you are as an individual.
Try New Things
Whether it’s learning a new skill or trying a new cuisine, when you allow yourself to try something new, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities. I remember the first time I tried my hand at cake art. It was an absolute disaster! The tiers were lopsided, the icing was way too thick, but despite all this, I absolute loved doing it. It brought me so much joy, and so I stuck with it, got better, and even ended up with my own cake business for about a year. You just never know where your hidden talent may lie.
Learn How To Be Alone… it’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself
Solo travelling for me has been liberating. But even before that, going to the theatre alone or treating myself to a cafe brunch, has made me realise how much I don’t need to rely on others to do what makes me happy. I’ve learnt how incredibly capable I am, how to be in-tune with my emotions and how to deal with them, and I’ve discovered a powerful self confidence that has transpired into other aspects of my life.
Fear… and the importance of taking risks
I have been in positions where time and time again I have let fear hold me back. As a result, I found myself living only half a life. Nowadays I face fear head on by acknowledging it, accepting it and rationalising it. You have to be willing to face fear and take risks if you want the opportunity to see what’s on the other side. Because it’s a much higher risk to stay exactly where you are, never pushing the boundaries of yourself or your life.
There’s No Right Or Wrong
For me, life is just as much about the journey as it is the final destination. When a relationship hasn’t worked out, I’ve never thought that it was a mistake to have dated that person in the first place, instead I see it as a learning opportunity for me to discover what I do and don’t want in the next relationship.
And those times when I’ve booked a trip somewhere and have told people I’m going to spend a day of it at a cafe, writing away. Negative comments and strange looks usually follow, but if that’s my vibe for part of my trip, and if that’s what’s going to make me happy, then there’s nothing wrong with that. There is no right or wrong as long as we stay true to ourselves.
We Don’t Need To Fit Into Society’s Preconceived Box
The whole idea of – get an education, get a job, save money, buy a house, get married, have children, then enjoy our hobbies or travel during retirement, is utterly ludicrous to me. Whilst this may work for some, it isn’t set in stone that that’s how we have to live our lives, so if that structure isn’t for you, don’t be afraid to break the mould.
I’ll never forget when I was 28 and I quit my full time job, sold my car, everything in my apartment and decided to start travelling the world. My friends thought I was crazy, but to this day it has been the best decision I’ve ever made. I have grown as an individual, been on incredible adventures, met amazing people, and the opportunities that have come my way have been more than I could have ever hoped for.
If You Don’t Love What You Do… then do something else
Life is too short to wake up every morning feeling miserable about the day you have ahead. If it doesn’t make you happy and feed your soul, then it’s time for a change.
It’s Never Too Late To Start Again
Whether it’s your career, a hobby, a relationship, or your life’s direction, it’s never too late to start over. At the end of the day, you are the author of your life, so write your own story and make it a good one.
Small Acts Of Kindness Leave Big Impressions On The Heart
Giving someone a compliment, volunteering your time, or simply smiling at a stranger as you pass them on the street. You have absolutely nothing to lose by being kind, and they have everything to gain. You never know when your small gesture of kindness, may just spark a light in someone else and transform their entire day into a positive one.
Get Outdoors… even when you don’t feel like it
Everyone loves a good lazy day at home, especially during the colder months. But make sure this doesn’t become a regular occurrence. Get out, even if it’s just to go for a short walk, because no great adventure ever started in front of the TV.
You Won’t Be Alone Forever… so enjoy it now
As much as I enjoy being around others, I do love my alone time. The hours I spend writing in the comfort of my room, or when I’m relaxing on a small terrace in Italy, thinking and rejuvenating. And the reality is, we won’t always be alone, so enjoy I say enjoy some solitude whenever you can.
Buy Experiences Not Things
One of my favourite quotes is, “I’d rather have stories to tell, then things to show.” I’m not sure where it originated from, but I couldn’t agree more. Experiences shape who we are, whereas material items whilst look nice, often break, get lost, or even replaced when we get bored of them. But memories of experiences last a lifetime.
Live With No Regrets
This is my life motto. Too often I hear people say, I wish I had done this or I wish I had done that. Well not me! I’m the woman who did do this and did do that, whether it had the outcome I had hoped for or not.
Support Others In Their Success
There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Real success takes a lot of hard work, persistence and determination. So when someone achieves their goal and lifelong dreams, congratulate them, be happy for them. Their success doesn’t mean your failure. If anything it’ll give you a push to reach just as high, if not higher.
Laugh… A LOT
There’s nothing better than a good laugh to bring instant joy into your life. Be playful, have fun and radiate positivity.
Surround Yourself With Likeminded People
I love meeting new people, getting to know their individual stories, brining them into my world and visa versa. But sometimes you come across individuals who are negative and thrive by pulling you and others down. When it comes to these people, you absolutely don’t need them in your life. That bad energy will only hinder your happiness. So make sure to only leave room for those who inspire and lift up your spirits.
They say knowledge is power and I tend to agree. The more I learn, the more I’m able to connect with myself, the world and the people in it.
Change and the unknown can be scary. But looking at change as a new and exciting opportunity, opposed to a terrifying obstacle, will open us up to possibilities we can’t even imagine.
Forgiveness isn’t always easy. And forgiving doesn’t necessarily mean to forget. But once you learn to forgive, then you’ll discover an invisible weight has been lifted. The only person you’re hurting by holding onto anger, etc., is yourself. Because that person or the people you feel such emotions toward, don’t feel it. They’re going on, living their lives whilst you’re the one suffering.
Be The Change You Want To See
The saying “practice what you preach” couldn’t be truer. Don’t just talk about volunteering at the homeless shelter, go and do it. Don’t just talk about removing plastic from your life, go and do it. When people see you act on what you say, they’ll soon follow.
You Are Responsible For Your Happiness… not anyone else
Taking responsibility for your own happiness is the key in living a fulling life. If a friend or partner doesn’t want to join you on a hike, then don’t let that bring your mood down. Go it alone and bring that happiness on yourself. No one can hold you back but you.
Don’t Take Life To Seriously
Have fun, get caught in the rain and eat dessert for dinner if that’s what you feel like!
Think Before You Speak
Words are powerful. Even a backhanded comment about a colleague after a bad day at work, can be extremely hurtful if it was to get around. So it’s always best to think twice before saying anything that may impact another in a negative way.
Don’t Forget Those Who Have Always Been There For You
Even if you’re on the other side of the world, take the time to pick up the phone, send a message or even a birthday card. Make those who have always supported you feel special and know that they’re appreciated.
Leave Judgement At Home
Never judge a book by its cover. This is no different when it comes to people. You never know what someone has gone through in their life, how tough they’ve had it or how hard they’ve worked to get where they are.
Accept That You Know Nothing For Sure
Our lives are quite often turned upside down without any notice, making us question everything we thought we knew. Nothing is ever certain or set in stone, so never assume you know how things will play out. By doing this, when things do change you won’t be taken by surprise.
Happiness is infectious and a smile can go along way.
Be Honest… even when it hurts
Honesty is always the best policy. Be honest with others (in a nice way of course), they will trust and appreciate you more for it. And most importantly always be honest with yourself.
Embrace Who You Are
From your looks to your personality, you are you for a reason and you are amazing. Never try and change to “fit in” with the world. Embrace your individuality and the world can adjust accordingly.