As December creeps in it is natural to start reflecting on the year that has passed and looking ahead to the one which is to come. 2018 was one hell of a year for me, there were ups and downs, highs and lows, but I have come out the other side stronger than ever. I have learnt a fair few lessons over the past 12 months, some serious and some not so serious, but I wanted to share them all with you guys in hope that they help even just one of you out.
1. The world won’t end if you don’t immediately reply to your emails.
I have always been someone who replies to emails within an hour or latest within a day, and I was proud of that. However, in 2018 things got a little crazy and I had to cut myself a little slack. I soon realised that even though I respond super fast, I don’t expect other people to do so. In fact it is quite normal to reply to an email the next day or even in a couple of days and I never question people who do this, so why am I questioning myself? This was a revelation! Admittedly I still reply to most emails within the day, but if I am not able to do this I don’t beat myself up anymore and that feels awesome.
2. Hard conversations are never as bad as you think.
2018 has been a year of hard conversations in business and in my personal life, and for the first few I was terrified. However, I soon realised that these conversations are never has bad as you think they’re doing to be. These open and honest chats are the ones which not only clear the air but give you mental clarity and stop you being trapped in your own head. Suck it up because ultimately the sooner you have them the better.
3. Mountains are good for your soul.
I have always escaped to tropical destinations when I needed headspace, but this year I decided to explore the mountains and damn, I am so glad I did. It is not often that nature overwhelms me, but mountains have the power to bring me to tears with their beauty. There is no better feeling than being surrounded by the true force and power of nature, and they provide just that.
4. Friendships don’t get easier.
I naively assumed that as I got older that the right people would just fall into my life. Sadly, it isn’t that easy and in 2018 I have felt lonely more often than I would like to admit. This year I have found a handful of incredible humans who enrich my life with so much joy and happiness. However I have also learnt that friendships grow, develop, diverge and come together; not everyone is meant to be in your life forever and that can be a hard pill to swallow.
5. Oat milk is a game changer.
My coffee will never be the same again. Try it if you haven’t and prepare to have your mind blown.
6. Success isn’t linear.
Nowadays it can be easy to assume online business is a constant upward trajectory of win after win. In 2018 I came to realise this isn’t the case. Admittedly it was a successful year overall, but I certainly had my failures. We are taught that if you work hard enough, success will come; but 2018 showed me that sometimes hard work isn’t enough and sometimes the cards don’t fall in your favour despite your best efforts, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up. I have picked myself up multiples times over the past 12 months and I have always come back stronger.
7. Taking time offline is necessary.
I always thought that I was adequately disconnecting by taking days off social media here and there, but never truly realised how much I needed an extended break. That was until I went on holiday in November and took eight days properly offline. No browsing, no emails, no google, no social media of any kind, nothing. It was absolutely incredible and completely transformed my headspace. My stress melted away, I truly lived in the moment and I formed deeper human connections. In 2019 I am determined to have another week where I complete switch off and I am already getting excited for it!
8. Nobody cares.
This is both positive and negative. Those things you’re worrying about, the ones which you think everyone else will notice? Nobody cares, they’re too focused on their own lives. This is liberating. Once you realise everyone is inside their own heads you can stop worrying so much about what they think of you. However, in 2018 I also realised that not everyone cares about your success either. During my high moments of 2018 I hoped in the back of my mind that someone would call or even just send me a celebratory message, but often times I had to celebrate myself.