Before we say good bye to 2016, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on what have been some of the most important moments for me over the past 12 months. If you read this week’s Quotespirational Monday, then you’ll know that I wanted to focus on enjoying the journey this week. I wanted to focus upon appreciating that even though 2016 may not have all been good, each of those good, bad, and ugly moments made up a whole year of growth and change and general amazingness. Sometimes the good is mixed with the bad, and what we thought was the end of the world was actually a blessing in disguise (not always, but sometimes).
My “key moments” might not all seem like stupendously good moments, but they’ve made me who I am heading into 2017, and so I’m grateful for them all. Through these moments, I’ve also managed to learn a few things, which I’ll share in my “life lessons” at the bottom of the page…
My Key Moments of 2016
My first freelancing job-
This is with a brand called Discover Chocolate, and I genuinely couldn’t believe that someone had enough faith in my skills to employ me as a freelancer before this point. I’ve enjoyed very minute of this, and it’s given me the confidence to begin expanding my blog and IG further.
Completing the CBT that changed my life-
I still haven’t written a full post on dermatillomania yet, but in June I completed the course of CBT that helped me more than I can put into words. It gave me the skills I needed to deal with this disorder, and has basically given me my life back. Some days are hard, and recovery is never a process of continuous ups, but I’m doing well.
Visiting Bath and realising what I want to pursue as a career-
This was a big moment of 2016. I hadn’t visited Bath before, and so travelling there was amazing to begin with. More importantly, I had only vaguely considered working in PR or marketing before this placement, but it convinced me that this was the kind of work I wanted to do. I hadn’t connected being someone who thinks creatively, writes and takes pictures constantly, and has contacted companies through their blog, with someone who may be able to work in PR. Since then I’ve been making career decisions with a lot more direction.
Moving to WordPress and expanding both my IG account (nearly 9500 of you guys following over there now!), and beginning to expand my blog-
This is a key moment I want to carry into 2017. I want to get more involved with the blogging community, and speak to people who read my blog more. This year though, my IG and blog grew more than I’d hoped, and so I need to say a massive thank you to any one who has been consistently reading my posts, or following me on IG!
Realising I don’t need so much stuff-
This was a massive moment for me, in that I’ve kind of embraced minimalism. I’m not living with one mattress and one bag in a bare room, but I’ve dramatically slimmed down what I own. I keep returning to what I have and giving more away/ binning things as well. Not only is my room cleaner, but I feel like my headspace is too. It’s easier to think, and also to save as I’m questioning my purchases and what I want to spend my money on (things vs. experiences). Ultimately, I want to use this to help me save for some travel in 2017.
Life Lessons of 2016
Never assume you know what someone is thinking about you
Assuming someone is angry with you, or irritated with you is usually very unhelpful, and you often turn out to be wrong. If I think someone is annoyed with me, I’ll now ask them outright. And if I’m annoyed with someone, I’ll tell them outright. It save a lot of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I would much rather have people know where they stand, and know where I stand with other people, than not. It can be hard at first, and I’m still learning this one. It’s hard to strike the balance as to how you tell people they’ve upset you/made you angry as well.
Learn to say ‘no’, but accept this can’t be to everything
If you don’t feel that you can take on another project, or that you have too much to do- you can say no. You can’t pour from an empty cup. At the same time, this is another where it’s hard to strike a balance. Don’t go saying ‘no’ to pulling your weight in a household because you’re busy for example. If it’s your turn to clean, and everyone else managed to do so when it was their turn despite being just as busy, then it’s only fair you do so too. Same goes with essays, and essential work projects that have to handed in for you to graduate/ keep your job. Do what you need to, and then you can be selective as to what you don’t do. If someone tries to offload their work project on you, say no. If someone leaves dirty dishes they expect you to wash, say no. If you’re struggling to keep up at uni, but have been reading every single extended reading in full, say no- skim read or be more selective instead.
People often see faults in others that they don’t see in themselves
Something I’ve seen a lot in third year is people who whine that their study groups aren’t pulling their weight- and then sometimes the same person whining doesn’t pull their own in other areas of their life. People often see faults in others they don’t see in themselves. I’ve known people moan about their parents, only to meet their parents, and see how similar they are. These kinds of people never see faults in themselves, and you can’t live life hoping that they will. Because even if you tell them outright, it still doesn’t usually get through.
Slim line, prioritise & single task
This is possibly one of the most useful things I’ve learnt this year. If you slim line your To Do List, then prioritise three tasks a day, you get things done much more quickly, and often to a higher quality. Then comes single tasking: focus on one task at once. Give it all of your attention. This really does ensure any work you do is completed to its highest standard.
Positive thinking DOES help, but don’t ignore when you feel down
Adopting a positive mind-set has gotten me through so much this year- from CBT to uni work to avoiding the levels of third year stress I’ve seen around me. Telling yourself you can do something, and you can pick yourself up, choose happy, and carry on…it’s an important skill. However, acknowledge when you need a break. When you are a bit panicked or stressed, ask yourself how is best to deal with it, and then do so. I find taking a day out to focus on things I want to do, and calm myself down with getting things in perspective is the best cure.
Your time is important
Your own time is valuable, because you are valuable. This year I’ve begun to stop giving my time to people as freely. If I find spending time with someone draining, then I won’t spend as much time with them. If I’m hating the book I’m reading, I won’t read it. If I don’t desperately want to go see the film my friends are seeing, I won’t go see in- I’ll make alternative plans. If someone is difficult to please, stop trying to please them. Stop trying to sort out problems that aren’t your business, but sap your energy. Ultimately, this has made me happier and allowed me to spend more time with people I do love being around, and who value my time as much as I value theirs.
There you go guys! My 2016 Key Moments and Life Lessons…I hope you enjoyed that read, and if you have any key moments or lessons do share them in the comments. Also, keep your eyes peeled for my 2017 Goals & Bucket List post in the next couple of days- and enjoy 2017!