As this year comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to reflect on the lessons I learned over the last twelve months. 2017 was a year full of triumphs and tribulations, but in the end, I am grateful. That’s not to say that in some moments I wished the year would just end already. But I am prepared to make 2018 the best year yet. I have already started by speaking positive affirmations into existence for the year to come.
I started this year moving not having any idea who I was and feeling lost. Don’t get me wrong, I still have no idea who I am or what I want in life, but I am optimistic that I am on the right path and that next year will be a year of self discovery and understanding. So, let’s get in to what this year has taught me.
You Will Never Have Everyone’s Approval
As a people pleaser, this was one of the hardest lessons I learned. People will always have something to say about the things you want and the choices you make. At the end of the day, you are the one that has to live with you decisions so you should only be living for your own approval. I learned that you can totally listen to and respect other people’s opinions, but you don’t have to change your plans because they disagree with you.
You Can’t Force Friendships
Last December when I decided to move back home, I left behind an amazing group of friends in Nashville. When I returned to Nashville for a visit over six months later, it felt like nothing had changed in our friendship. Ironically, the people from home that I had been friends with for much longer were the friendships that felt the most forced.
Sometimes people grow apart. There’s no reason for it other than life happening. I learned it’s better to cherish the memories you made and move on.
Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy
We live in a time where everyone posts their lives on social media. The problem is they only post their best moments. If we spend our time looking at what everyone else has or is doing (on social media or in real life) we start to envy them. We see people posting their picture of their new cars, relationships, and travels while we sit at home binge watching Netflix shows. It’s toxic.
It’s not easy sometimes. In fact, I struggled with this A LOT this year. It got to the point where I even deleted my social media to focus on my own life instead of the ones I was seeing through my phone screen. I’m grateful for this lesson I learned, because it has helped me to live in the moment much more. I couldn’t tell you the exact formula for happiness, but I can promise you that comparison is not part of it.
Focus On The Process, Not The Goal
This is a lesson I learned when I started my blog, but it can be applied to everything. I was so focused on getting viewers to my blog and getting posts out on certain days that I forgot to enjoy the process. I wanted to have my blog as a creative outlet for my writing. But I ended up dreading the writing process because I was so focused on the goals.
By focusing on the goal, you (and I) place so much pressure on ourselves that the process leading up to the goal is unenjoyable. If you live your life in this way, you will constantly be working towards your next goal and never enjoying the in between moments.
life is a journey, not a destination.
Invest In Yourself
Self care is so important. Like I said earlier, at the beginning of the year I had no idea who I was. I felt completely lost and alone many times throughout the year. The great thing about self care is that it’s all about you and what you enjoy. It looks different for everyone. You could read a self-help book, listen to podcasts, take a walk or a bubble bath. It can literally be anything you want it to be. But investing in yourself should be your top priority. I believe this so strongly that I even created a self care guide this year to help others understand the importance of it and create their own self care routine!
Never Take Anything For Granted
Life is unpredictable and sometimes things happen unexpectedly. This year there were so many events that happened that showed me how valuable this lesson is to learn. With everything going on in the world today, we can never take anything for granted.
Do not become so comfortable with your life that you forget to be grateful. Tell the people around you that you love them. Take risks and do things that scare you. Live in the moment. Thank God for the roof over your head and the food in your cupboards each and every day. Life is too short to spend time wishing for things you don’t have.
My Mistakes Are Only Lessons I Learned
The final lesson I learned this year is that mistakes are not necessarily a bad thing. How can something be a mistake, if you gain knowledge from it? I used to have the biggest fear of messing up. My extreme perfectionism didn’t want me to do something unless I knew 100% that I would succeed. I have to let go of the fear of looking stupid or not knowing the results so I can learn how to be better in the future.
I hope you enjoyed my list of lessons I learned this year, I am so excited for the new year and all it has to offer. What are some lessons you learned this year? Let me know in the comments below!