18 Things I learned in 2018
Isn’t it getting a little too late for “New Years Posts?” Maybe. I’ve actually always hated the concept of “New Year’s Resolutions.” We shouldn’t HAVE to wait until a New Year to push the restart button. However, it does give us a good excuse to hit it if we haven’t already.
This post is a bit lengthy and chatty, and could even step on some toes. But remember, this is what I’ve learned this year. It doesn’t HAVE to be true for you or your life. But, with that said… here are 18 things I learned in 2018.
- Count your blessing
- I don’t care how great or bad you think your life is – If you don’t take the time to truly count and reflect on the blessing that you truly do have in your life then you will never really be happy.
- Timing is Everything (and it’s never on your time)
- “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” I’ve never heard something truer than this. I am a planner, and I don’t think that is a bad thing. However, I’ve learned to “roll with the punches,” and life is much easier that way.
- You can do more than you think
- When I finally said out loud “I’m going to start a travel blog” – I didn’t even really believe myself. I didn’t think I could do it, and I certainly didn’t think I’d make it to where I am today. But why? “It’s too far fetch” or “I don’t live in a big city,” I don’t know what puts so much doubt in our heads (actually I do, it’s the devil), but if you can shut that voice out long enough to actually try something new… you might be surprised.
- You can’t please everyone
- If you live your life trying to please everyone, you’re going to feel exhausted throughout your entire life. I’ve never been a “people pleaser,” but I can get caught up in trying to please people in certain aspects of my life (especially online). So I can only imagine how tired the people that always try to please everyone, everywhere feel. Another blogger said “you’re never going to be everyone’s cup of tea,” and that’s okay! If you’re trying to please everyone, then you’re not truly being yourself (which is also exhausting).
- Routines are Helpful
- Especially during this time of year when you are trying to “set new goals.” If you don’t make *whatever* you’re trying to reach a part of your routine, then odds are that it’s going to fail. Find a certain time of day that works and stick to it. For example, an ongoing goal of mine for the last year has been to read and have devotional time each day. For whatever reason, I always thought that I should do that at night before I go to bed. Well, I never did it then because I was “too tired.” Maybe I should have pushed through anyway, but I didn’t and that’s life. However, I eventually found that I was much more receptive to the idea in the mornings. So now, I have that time set aside for myself each morning before I start getting ready. It took a long time to get to this point, but I set a routine and stick to it (much more consistently than I was before anyway).
- Take the adventure
- You know I had to throw a travel inspiration in here somewhere. But here’s the point I’m really trying to make (really with my entire Blog and platform): the definition of travel isn’t exclusive to “flying to 5 hours away and spending thousands of dollars.” Travel is literally just “going to a new area and experiencing something new.” You could go try a new restaurant, a Bed & Breakfast, or a new winery or event.
- Know your limits
- This can go with so many things – but the concept holds true for basically anything. “Enjoy all things in moderation;” spending money, drinking, eating, being lazy, working too much, time on your phone… you get the point. Oh, wait did I just list all of my problems? Whoops. But what I’ve learned is that all of these things can be great – but when over-done they become not-so-fun anymore.
- Rest is important
- Oddly enough, this might have been one of the hardest lessons to learn this year. I did and saw A LOT that I am extremely proud of and wouldn’t trade for anything, but I also stayed sick for probably a good 25% of the entire year. I still can’t exactly tell you why, but I have a good guess that it’s because I didn’t take much time “off.” Between work at school, work with Wine and Weekends, working out, working at home, and time with family – I never had much “downtime.” As I plan my “travel schedule” for 2019, I am trying my best to stick to not more than every other weekend. Yes, this is somewhat of a good problem to have (but it’s still a problem and I’m doing the best I can to address it).
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Especially in this online world. I share a lot about my life, what I like, things I hope you like. But everything that I share is meant to be “inspiration.” I NEVER want to make anyone feel bad about their life or compare their selves to me. We all typically share our “highlight reel” on social media, myself included. My everyday life is not always laying in the Caribbean and trying on clothes. But even as I tell you this, I still find myself comparing me to other bloggers who seem to have things even more figured out than I do. You are good enough. We (as in the online community) just enjoy inspiring and helping others to try new things and set new goals.
- Be uniquely you
- This basically ties in with the last point, but it’s important in itself. For myself as a blogger, it sometimes feels hard to stand out in an online community of 10000000s of beautiful and fabulous people. But back to a point that I made earlier: you can’t please everyone, so you might as well be you. I read once that “if you’re doing the same thing as everyone else, then you’ve already failed.” That doesn’t mean you can’t do things similarly or be inspired by people, but put your own unique spin on it.
- Reflection is important
- It took me most of my life to understand this and actually see value in it. However, taking the time to reflect is important. What did you want to accomplish in the past *day, month, year*? What did you do to accomplish it? Did it work? Are you pleased with how you’ve been spending your time? I reflect on things like this through journaling during my devotional time. Find I time that works for you, either daily or weekly.
- Confidence is not cockiness (unless you make it that way)
- I’m not saying I’ve never acted cocky in anything. However, I’ve always been decently confident in myself. Because, why not? I should believe in myself. I should be proud of what I’ve done and what I’m doing. If I’m not, then I’m probably doing something wrong or I need to better believe in myself. It’s okay to love yourself, it’s okay to show the world who you are.
- The only things that you control are attitude and effort
- This is sometimes hard to remember at the moment, but it can totally change your perspective and the vibe of your day (and even life). The world is always going to throw you some curveballs, that’s a fact. But how you react and how you push through will determine your level of happiness and content-ness throughout your life.
- You’re never going to feel like you’ve got everything figured out
- And yet, through all of the planning, reflecting, and perseverance…. you will never have everything figured out. But staying on track and continuing to practice all of these things will pay off – because doing something is better than doing nothing.
- Stop apologizing for everything
- Of course, there is certainly a time and place for apologizing. But it seems like we have started apologizing for random things, for no real reason, to people who didn’t even care to begin with. Why do we even do that? You don’t have to apologize you posting a selfie or 45 pictures of your kid. You don’t have to apologize for asking a question or not understanding. You don’t have to apologize for not responding to text immediately. You don’t have to apologize for taking time for yourself. You don’t have to apologize for your feelings or the actions of others that you can’t control.
- It’s okay to live a life that others don’t understand
- I’ve used this as a caption before. Maybe you love work and don’t want to get married. Maybe you got married at 18. Maybe you spend all of your time with your kids. Maybe you have a nanny. Maybe you travel all of the time. Maybe you never go anywhere. You don’t have to agree with or adopt the same life as everyone else, but you don’t have to right to say that they’re wrong for living that way either.
- Don’t require validation from anyone
- This is the number one life tip that I can give to anyone. I am blessed to be a part of what I truly believe to be one of the happiest marriages in the world (and I used to apologize for that – because I felt like saying it made other people feel bad or uncomfortable – but it has nothing to do with other people so I’m done saying that). But the point I’m trying to make by saying that is, I don’t require validation from James. I want him to be proud of me and I love spending time with him. But I have an identity that is not dependent on him. The same is true for my relationship with my friends, family, etc. The only person that I (try) to truly seek validation from is God; and in reality, I can’t do that either because I’ll never be worthy of that (which then enters the concept of grace). I believe that you will never be happy with a relationship (of any kind) until you are comfortable and confident with yourself. Then that, in turn, will make you a better wife, friend, daughter/son, worker, mom, etc.
- Gratitude is EVERYTHING
- No matter how you choose to live your life, I will always believe that the number one way to live a happy life is gratitude. If you don’t give thanks for what you have, then why should you have it? From a Christian standpoint, I’ve once said, “Why should God bless you in areas of your life that keep you from him?” I believe that all good things come from God. Therefore, by not showing thanks for the blessings in your life you are basically saying that you don’t really care if they’re there or not.
Maybe this helped you learn something too. Maybe you think I’m full of BS. Don’t matter, because this is me and I’m not apologizing. But thanks for reading my “18 Things I learned in 2018” and I hope you have a fabulous 2019!