As the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect. Reflect on what happened, what changed, what challenged, and what succeeded. Self-reflection should happen year round but through the busy hustle and bustle of our lives, it slips. This time of year is just a reminder to pause and reflect for the upcoming year ahead.
As the year comes to a close, here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Surround yourself with people that get it. You are who you associate yourself with so make sure those people support and understand you. These people should be in line with your goals and direction, and should never leave you feeling uncomfortable speaking to them.
2. Negotiate your worth and time. Don’t just settle for whatever comes your way. You can always get better and reach higher. Your worth is entirely up to you.
3. Don’t deny yourself pleasures. I found myself doing this way too often. Not allowing myself to genuinely enjoy the pleasures of moments or special occasions. There’s no need to feel guilty for having a good time. Working hard means you’ve earned the right to play hard as well.
4. Prioritize! I’ve learned the importance of this long ago but this year, it came to light more than than ever. Prioritizing money, time, and tasks. I would much rather save money to invest in a flight than another overpriced purse.
5. Admit defeat and regroup. Often, defeat may feel like failure but this isn’t always the case. I found that sometimes there is only so much you could do so sleeping it off and trying anew with a fresh slate could be just what you need to succeed.
6. Circle of friends will shift often and that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. People drift as they grow older and it’s simply a part of life, not a crisis. You’ll let go of some people and gain new ones.
7. Jump out of your comfort zone. Nothing hinders your ability to grow and learn as much as staying in this zone which holds you back from the beauty of life’s experiences. We all yearn and seek for change and something new, but how can you change and grow if you don’t embrace new things with stride?
8.People will always have opinions about your life. Let go of their opinions because if you allow yourself to get sucked into it, you’ll end up living someone else’s life. Make your life your own.
9. Stop comparing your life to others. Especially in the age of social media, it is so easy to paint and create a false image of our lives. Don’t get sucked into it. No one’s life is perfect so stop comparing and envying others.
10. Stop waiting for things to happen. Life doesn’t wait. If you want something, you have to go and get it. Make your life what you want it to be.
11. Shatter the walls preventing you from having any real connection. This is one of the hardest things I’ve learned and one thing that will take me a while to do. Despite how badly we want to protect ourselves, it’s important that we allow ourselves to trust again after we are hurt. We silence our instincts and emotions which leaves us feeling alone and misunderstood. It’s good to be up front and there is nothing wrong with vulnerability. It is what creates depth within our relationships. It’s what makes us human.
12. Move on from relationships that aren’t mutual. There is power and liberation in walking away from a love that won’t love you back. There may be wonderful moments and memories but memories are not enough to make you stay in something that is no good for you. Take the good and move on from it to open yourself up to a world filled with people who have the potential to create a foundation with you, that will drive and inspire you. Open up to that new person who will finally give you the love that you deserve.
13. Don’t tolerate your life, enjoy it. If you want something to be changed, you have all the power to change it. Don’t be passive with your own life. Embrace it, don’t simply endure it.
14. It’s never too late. We are not bound by our past. Seek different horizons when you want something new, because you are never too old, accustomed, or broken to change things up. Everyday you wake up with a fresh page; don’t miss out on that opportunity.
15. It’s OK to say no. I found that I said yes so often and became the official go-to person which ultimately lead to many people taking this kindness as weakness. It’s important to learn how to say no because although you want to be there for others, you have to be good to yourself as well.
16. There is power in forgiveness. Never internalize hate or negativity of others because it will destroy you. It’s a poison that controls your mind. Forgive people, for you not them. Forgive them and move forward.
17. Spend time alone to explore and become the person you want to be. You are your greatest superpower so spend some time alone and form a relationship with yourself because this is the most significant relationship of your life. What do you want in life? A career? A relationship? Figure it out and only once you’re complete on your own could you be content with another person.
18. Your pay cheques may grow but so will your stack of bills. This is just the harsh reality of growing up. You get happy because you finally have a better job and are better payed only to be slapped with more bills to pay. Peter Pan knew what he was talking about when he told us not to grow up. It’s a trap indeed.
19. Speak up against ignorance and hate. This is something I’ve always done and have lost many friendships over. As bad as it may feel to lose a friend, it feels much worse not speaking up when every bone in your body is yelling at you to. Sometimes you agree to disagree and all is well, but if not then remember that not every loss is truly a loss. I’ve learned this especially hard this year when I was faced with an anti-Semetic email and chose to stand up for myself and respond. As upset as I was in the moment, this incident brought on so much positive responses by my friends and community, even led to news article. It showed the power of standing for something or falling for anything.
20. Stand up for yourself. We’re taught this all the time but it’s easier said than done. Don’t allow anyone to push you around whether it be at work or your personal life. Don’t apologize for everything either. Especially as a woman, there’s this natural tendency to apologize for what we want or voicing our opinions. Just be you and if others don’t respect it, that’s a loss on them.