I can honestly say that the last 6 years of my life have been some of the most challenging years of my entire life. One of the main reasons I started blogging again in 2017 was to help myself focus on all the good in my life. I’m still working on the person I want to be, and I have a very long way to go. 2017 was a year of growing pains, and I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned over the last year.
One: It is okay if things do not go according to plan
I have always been a planner, and I consider one of my greatest strengths to be my decisive decision making skills. However, when things hit the fan, you have to adapt and change course to account for life. I have finally learned that sometimes you have to roll with the punches, and it is okay if things get delayed because sometimes something even more amazing happens.
Two: Don’t over-schedule
Part of being someone who loves plans is that I like to stick to the schedule, the plan, the itinerary. In fact, I’m often downright militant about the plan. I have learned that sometimes loosening my grip on my schedule and being more generous with timing is okay. It allows for more happy moments, and being a little bit more relaxed has not hurt me at all!
Three: Make your own happiness
Happiness is not something that simply appears – happiness is something you create for yourself. And let me tell you – creating happiness is hard work.
Four: Work hard, and then work even harder
There is absolutely no substitute for hard work. My mother always says that underneath “lucky” is hard work…. Someone might appear lucky and happy, but the reality is that they work that hard to be in that “lucky” universe.
Five: Live Unapologetically
Never apologize for your accomplishments. I used to downplay how hard I worked. This year I realized it wasn’t humble but a huge disservice to my hard work. There is nothing wrong with getting credit for the hard work you’ve actually done.
Six: Friendships Evolve
Seven: Give yourself credit even when things go wrong
A few very important projects went incredibly sideways for me… and the feeling of anger, frustration, and failure stuck with me. It wasn’t until I gave myself credit for trying that I could put those feelings to bed. I did my very best at the time, and that is all that matters.
Eight: Have feelings, cry if you want to
As a child and a young adult, I was the absolute picture of sunshine. And because I had always been happy – I did not understand that I didn’t have to live up what people thought I should be like. It took me a long time to accept that I am allowed to have more than one feeling. I am allowed to be angry, sad, and every color in between…. and most surprisingly? It’s okay to cry.
Nine: Be your own advocate
I graduated from law school where we learn to advocate for our clients. Our job is to be the absolute best advocate for our clients…. and it still took me years to realize that I have to also be my own advocate. Stand up for what you need, deserve, and know is right. Be strong. Advocate for yourself.
Ten: Speak positively
“It takes exactly the same energy to say something positive as it does to say something negative or nothing at all.” I wrote that in my journal when I was 16, and I read it again this year and renewed my dedication to that lesson. We all have light and dark inside of us, and I refuse to feed the darkness. It is so easy for us to fall into the dark and cruel commenting with social media, but I refuse to falter. Instead, I have and will continue to channel that energy into good deeds and good words. Be the light.
Eleven: Don’t do things at the expense of your happiness
Your happiness should be your priority…. do not do things that you know steal your happiness.
Twelve: Let go of the friends that hold you back
Thirteen: Forgive yourself
Forgive yourself. I was angry with myself for a long time…. and I realize those “mistakes” I made were just part of life. My friend told me that those mistakes made me stronger and more interesting and I was finally able to forgive myself.
Fourteen: Forgive those who have hurt you and ask for forgiveness from those you’ve hurt
After struggling through the last few years, I realized that the people who have hurt me must have been suffering too. At the height of my struggle, I could not control my anger and I lashed out at everyone. And, I realized in those angry moments that the people who had hurt me must have been in pain too. In this realization, I asked for forgiveness for those who I had hurt too.
Fifteen: Say NO without apology or excuses
This one I learned from my baby cousin…. she was 3 when I first heard her respond to a question about trying a new toy. “No. Thank. You.” And when asked why? She said, “No. Thank. You.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying no when you do not want to do something. You do not need an excuse or an apology. “No, thank you.”
Sixteen: Take time by yourself
Take time for yourself where there are no interruptions, and you can recharge your batteries. I’ve learned that I need a certain amount of alone time – and it is okay to walk away from social engagements to maintain my balance.
Seventeen: Explore more
Thank you so much for visiting! Tell me in the comments what your new years resolutions are, and things you’ve learned this year! ❤ Wishing you the most wonderful 2018!