2017 has been a rollercoaster. I think I say this every year, but so much has changed over the past 12 months – and so much hasn’t. This year, for me, was one of the best – I don’t think I’ve been more content, adventurous and overall excited for life during an entire year before. My friendships have grown stronger, my work life has never been better and I’ve maintained a pretty solid work-life balance consistently through the year, which I’ve absolutely loved.
Every year comes with it’s own lessons, though – little things that teach you about yourself and others. Whenever I’m wrapping up a year, I love to go over them – my key thoughts and feelings that have been altered through the months, which is what I wanted to talk about today! I’d love to know what lessons you feel like you’ve walked away from this year with if you want to leave them in the comments below!
Success isn’t Measured by Numbers
My first lesson, and this is a pretty big one for me – is really honing in on the fact that success isn’t measured in numbers. This year being my first full one spent blogging, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in numbers – whether you’re checking page views, social followings, comments, likes on Instagram posts – whatever your metric is, it’s such an easy thing to get sucked into – and such a damaging thing, too.
Algorithms change constantly, meaning that numbers are always fluctuating and what you thought one day might have totally flipped on its head the next – so if you’re chasing those numbers and following that scenario day in, day out, I can’t even imagine how exhausted you would feel towards the end of it.
Instead, I try to just focus on what works for me – what works in terms of how often I can post, what sort of content I do, and how I interact with other people. And I don’t think I’d recommend it any other way.
Worry Means You Suffer Twice
I’m a bit of an irrational worrier. I think about things, they play on my mind time (and time, and time, again). Especially when I have something coming up, I’ll think about it like it’s my sole purpose on Earth.
This past year I’ve been trying to change that, though. I’ve tried to face my roadblocks head-on, instead of letting myself ‘stew’ over them until I feel deflated and like I’ve failed before I’ve even started. It’s incredibly difficult, and my initial reaction of dread is most probably something that’s not going anywhere anytime soon – but being able to take a step or two away from that worry and stress to remember that “adventure is on the other side of your comfort zone”, helps. And it sure helps an absolute ton.
The Only Person Standing in Your Way is Yourself
This point (sort of) leads on from the last, the thought of everything that scares you yet exhilarates you at the same time, all of those little things that you’d love to do but are too scared of: whether it’s for what people would think of you, a big change it would bring to your personal life, or how vulnerable you may feel by pursuing what you truly know would make you happy. All of these big, scary, incredible things – the only factor standing in their way is yourself.
This is the main lesson I’m going to try and work on next year, figuring out how I can silence that voice in my head that says “but what about… ” and just jump instead. Do the thing that scares you. Let your passion, your work ethic, and ultimately your success be the voice that silences everybody else.
Stay True to Your Passions
Being passionate can be terrifying. Especially when you know people who may find delight in mocking others for their passions or their dreams. When I started blogging I had people who didn’t understand it – who mocked and laughed at the idea of blogging or sharing that part of your life online. But blogging has been something that made a world of difference to my year – in all the best ways. It’s not something that I’m ashamed of, it’s something that I’m proud of.
This year taught me not to bow my head when people are mocking something that I love. It taught me to hold it high and let those words be the motivation that I’ll focus on my love of what I do.
Don’t Compare Your Journey to Somebody Else’s
This is a lesson I’m going to be constantly learning. Whether it’s when I’m working on my fitness in the gym, or my career in the workplace – not to compare my journey, and my progress, to somebody else. There are so many factors that go into progress, whether they’re visible or not – and although it’s so easy to look at somebody with envy and say “why can’t I have that?” it’s about silencing that voice and instead focussing on yourself.
It’s something that I’ve heard time and time again, but I’ve never really been able to grasp completely until this year. When I’m scrolling through Instagram and seeing perfect body after perfect body, it’s so easy to get sucked into a whirlpool of shame and self-doubt, but instead, I’m trying so hard to celebrate that person and say congratulations that’s fantastic, and leave my thoughts and opinions there. That way they won’t be playing on my mind and making me feel like my progress is invalid in the future.
Dark Days Don’t Make a Dark Week
This point sort of leads on from the last, but there were so many days during this past year that I would write off because of self-doubt or worry, and if I didn’t keep track of them, they very easily manifested into bad weeks. Weeks where I didn’t try in the gym because I felt unmotivated, weeks where I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere, just in circles.
I’m not naive though, I know next year will hold dark days, and times of self-doubt. But instead of letting them become a dark week or month, I want to be able to reign it in – gain control, and say “okay, so you’ve had a bad day. Now let’s work extra hard to make sure the rest of the week is so much better.”