What I Learned From 2017 - Self-Improvement Tips For The New Year

The phrase 'new year, new me' makes me groan. I dislike the notion that we feel the need to change who we are every year, and set unrealistic goals for ourselves that we know we don’t plan on sticking to. I’ve never been big on setting resolutions for this reason, but I do like to take the time to reflect on what the past year has taught me.

I can honestly say that 2017 was a great year for me; I tied the knot with my dude, I hit 1k followers on Instagram, and I met some amazing people along the way! I feel like I’ve achieved so much these past 12 months, but they certainly didn’t come easily.

Looking back, there are certainly things I would have done differently. I obviously can’t turn back time, so I’m choosing to learn from my mistakes instead. Self-improvement doesn’t mean you have to change yourself completely, I look for ways I can be better whilst still being true to myself.

I'm sharing these sentiments with you today in the hopes that maybe it'll spark some positive change in your lives (and not just because there's a new calendar on the wall). 

1. Put In Work (But Know When To Step Back)

A hard lesson I learned this year was the difference between working hard and overworking. 

Running the blog is essentially my secondary full-time job. Finding the time to write a post, take photos and share it all with you after an 8-hour day can be extremely draining. Don’t get me wrong, I love creating content, but when you set yourself up to fail because of unrealistic deadlines, it's gonna get ugly.
I found I was working myself to the bone, and crashing hard afterwards. Burn-out is real, and it fucking sucks!!

I’ve become reliant on my agenda, making sure to take time on Sunday nights to plan out my next week (or two). I always make sure to leave myself some downtime during the week, so I can de-stress and spend time with my husband (who has an equally busy schedule!).

When life gets hectic, I take a moment to remind myself, “You’re only human. Be kind to yourself,”. Sometimes things don’t happen the way I plan them to, and you know what? That’s life! Shit happens, but you can’t let that be your downfall.
Pick yourself up, be flexible and it will all work out in the end.

2. Take Care

I've shared previously that I struggle with anxiety and depression, so I understand how important it is to practice self-care techniques. My mom recently sent me a great article from Thought Catalog that had me deeply reflecting on my methods of self-care. I've realized it's not all manicures and sheet masks, but rather putting time in my schedule to really care for my body & mind.
Some nights I literally just need time to breathe. If that means I must cancel that coffee date with a friend, or put off hitting the 'publish' button for one more day, so be it. Being kind to yourself is the best self-care I know of.

I’m so grateful I gave yoga a chance this year, even though I was so intimidated by it at first. It is the most effective way at relieving my stress and giving myself time to reflect. My instructor and friend Meghan Johnston, has taught me some super valuable breathing exercises, and restorative poses that I use during moments of stress. I may not be able to stand on my head, but I’ve discovered gratitude and self-awareness. If you ask me, that’s way more useful!

3. You Don't Need That Kind of Negativity in Your Life

No bad vibes allowed this year. I’m putting my foot down on this one.

‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) was a term I became way too acquainted with. It may as well have been tattooed across my forehead. I would look at other’s success and whine, “Why not me?”
I kept second-guessing every step I took, “Am I good enough? Will people like this? Will people like me?”
Something clicked in me this year; I should focus only on what gives me joy. I’ve learned to stop wallowing and self-pitying simply by embracing positivity.

I can cheer others on as they achieve their goals, and know that there are others who will do the same for me. I’m grateful to be part of an amazing local community of content creators who support and embrace one another, and I’m fortunate to call a handful of them my close friends.

The biggest thing this blog has taught me is to be true to who I am. I recognize I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay! Confidence doesn’t come easy, and believe me I still have some growing to do. But I can least be sure that what I do makes me happy at the end of the day.

I wish you all the very best in this new year, and I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store for us all! Here's to living our best lives!

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