It’s incredibly easy for life to pass us by without even realising what, when or how much we have changed (am I the only one who feels like somehow we managed to skip 6 months of 2014 and no-one is saying anything?). This is why I like to take a little “me time” during the festive season and reflect on the year that was.
This is a new-ish ritual of mine, that I know will send some people running for the hills (yes, I used to be one of those people who would internally sigh when the “what was the highlight of your year?” conversations arose at the dinner table in the last week of December). But 3 years in, I realised just how much I love this time of reflection.
Now I could go and get all “airy fairy” on you, but I know words won’t come even close to describing the feeling you get from doing this (fulfillment, energy, happiness, gratuity… the list goes on), so you are just going to have to take my word for it and give it a whirl. Trust me when I tell you, you won’t be disappointed.
WHAT YOU NEED:
2 x pieces A4 blank paper (one extra for when your creative juices start flowing)
1 x pen
1 x hour to yourself
1 x patience
WHAT TO DO:
Divide your first piece of paper into two columns, one column is titled “What I am grateful for”, the other “What I have learned this year”. Fill the columns with everything and anything.
To help get you started, here are some of my “a-ha” moments of 2014…
WHAT I LEARNED IN 2014
This picture says it all:
Running your own business (especially if you are working from your home office) means it is 10 times harder to switch off. There is no set start time, no set finish time there is always something to do and your home office is only a few steps away. Taking time out is one of the hardest things to do but what I have found this year, is it that a taking time away is often the most rewarding, most inspiring and one sure fire way to re-charge the batteries and return to the office bursting with enthusiasm. Knocking off on Friday afternoons at 4.30pm (no ifs, buts or maybes), has been one of the best ways to incorporate this balance back into my life, that and a month long holiday in Europe (yes, I stupidly had my reservations and questioned the trip many times right up until I boarded the plane – lucky my man knows what’s best for me).
SEO IS SO IMPORTANT (YET INCREDIBLY BORING)…
Like, incredibly important! I am a little embarrassed that I hadn’t started using it sooner.To this day, I am still surprised that you found me on the world wide web, without SEO (yes, I mean ZERO!), miracles do happen!
BEING MARRIED IS THE BEST FEELING…
Don’t get me wrong, I always wanted to get married, but I would always ask myself whether or not it would make any difference to my life? My partner and I were in a committed relationship, we had been for many years, we loved each other and we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, did I need a piece of paper telling me what I already knew? Would being married make any difference to my life? In my case, it did and I can’t explain how or why. At the risk of sounding cliche, it was one of the most incredible days of my life (all of which I will be sharing with you all in the new year) and one of the most incredible things I have ever done. Whilst being married doesn’t change our day to day routine, having my husband changes everything in a way I can’t describe.
KEEP IT REAL…
This year I have learned so much about the importance of keeping it real when it comes to well anything, but most importantly my business. People love flaws, they love authenticity, they love vulnerability because it reminds them that they too are human. As a result, what will be rolling out over the next few months will be 100% real and authentic me.
“I’LL BE HAPPY WHEN…” IS RUBBISH!
Being present is the only time you are well and truly happy. Taking my foot off the accelerator and enjoying the present moment for what it is has been the best thing I have taught myself this year (trust me, it wasn’t easy).
HAVE THE COURAGE TO FAIL…
Having the courage to fail doesn’t necessarily mean you will fail, it just means you are brave enough to take the plunge. This is the key to a fulfilling life.
FORGET THE LATEST CRAZE…
Even knowing what I know about health and nutrition, there is always a small part of me that is interested in the latest crazes, phases and fads. This year, I decided to keep an open mind and try one of the latest crazes, I gained weight and I felt like crap (more on this next year). This year I reminded myself just how important it is to listen to your body, not the latest marketing campaign.
LESS STUFF, MORE EXPERIENCES…
To be honest, I have lived by this saying for a long time, but this year I took it up a notch. No birthday or Christmas gifts, just experiences… it’s been one of the highlights of my year.
Now it’s over to you! What have you learned from 2014? I would love to hear about it all in the comments below!