As each year comes to an end, I like to take some time to reflect on how much I have grown, what goals I have for the new year, and of course, all the good times! My 2017, like most of you I’m sure, was filled with ups and downs but I truly believe that everything happens to us for a reason and we become better people because of our experiences.
The past two years have had the most impact on my life. In 2016, I started to put myself first and I always refer to it as my “redemption year”. I was always the girl with a boyfriend and never realized how fun and exciting being on your own can be. I started to take care of myself more, traveled a bit – OK fine, the extent of my adventures were partying in Miami and Vegas – but it helped me finally realize that I needed to be happy with myself and not rely on someone else to fill that void.
By the beginning of this year, I had established such a high standard for myself and my life that I vowed to never going back to my old ways. I feel like 2017 has flown by faster than any other year, but I was still able to fill it with amazing memories with the people I love and I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds.
So here are the top five things I learned in 2017:
1. Stick To Your Standards – This can be tough sometimes, but the thing is, settling will never make you happy. It deters you from meeting the person you’re meant to be with, getting the job you’ve always wanted, or even feeling good with your appearance. Think of yourself as a high-end brand that prides itself on using luxurious fabrics. You wouldn’t just one day decide to start using cheap materials – it would completely change the quality of your product! The same thing goes for your standards. Don’t date someone if they don’t enhance your life, don’t stay in a job that makes you bored AF just because the money is OK, and don’t think for a second that you can’t be a supermodel even if you’re 5’1 (Fine, that was a personal one, I can dream!).
2. Your Time Is Precious – I learned this recently as my schedule has been quite hectic lately (hence the lack of blog posts – I’m making it my goal for 2018 to prioritize it more – I promise!). If you’re a busy girl like me, your schedule won’t always be perfect and there are going to be times when you just need to chill – for your health and mental sanity’s sake! It’s okay to say no to someone when they ask you to hang, or to cancel plans when you just can’t even after a long day or week. When I started to work more in September, I was terrified that I would lose all my friends since it left me with less free time. I was proven wrong when I realized that my true friends still called to see how I was doing, and understood when I wasn’t available. Time management has always been a struggle for me but I’m starting to realize that the less people you promise your time to, the less stressful your life will be!
3. Be Grateful – I actually started practicing daily gratitude back in 2015, but it wasn’t until this year that I really understood the positive effect it has had on my life. It’s a pretty simple concept – all you have to do is take a moment in your day (mine is before I go to sleep) to reflect on everything you are thankful for, even if your day wasn’t so great. I have found that this not only makes you feel good about all that you have, but actually attracts more good things into your life. I like to physically write down what I am grateful for in a journal and if I am having a bad day, I can reflect on really good days that I have given thanks for in the past, instantly making me feel better.
4. Live Within Your Means – This has by far been the biggest lesson for me this year. As a shop-a-holic and fashion addict, its hard for me to say no to buying that must-have item, but I’ve learned to be more patient before swiping my visa and really think about if I need something instead of making an impulse purchase. This not only allows you to analyze what you already have in your closet – I’m super guilty of accidentally buying duplicates – but also to shop around for a better price if you really need that item. Another thing I started doing was saving my “wants” to a Pinterest board. I then review what I am pining over (and hopefully manifest into my life) and check to see if its on sale or how much I will need to save to get it.
5. Stop Making Excuses – For the longest time, I kept thinking about starting this blog but never made the move to bring it to life. Then, back in July on one of our first dates, I mentioned it to my boyfriend. He looked at me, puzzled, and asked “so what is stopping you from starting your blog?” It hit me right then and there that I literally had no excuse not to start. I had great ideas, I was always told by other people that I should start one, and most importantly, I love writing. That same week I started Elle Wore It and I was surprised after looking at the stats that people actually want to hear (read) what I have to said. I totally get that its hard to start something, but sometimes you have to do just that. I feel like for a lot of circumstances in life, there really is no excuse for not accomplishing what you want. So whatever it is you’ve been putting on the back burner, just do it. I don’t know where I will go with this blog or how things will turn out for it in the future, but it makes me happy to write about stuff I love and that’s all I can ask for from it right now.
Shop my look here, it kept me seriously warm on this snowy day: