Last year I wrote a post called 31 Things which was about 31 things I learned in 2017. I think I have written maybe three other blog posts this entire year, and now here I am, writing another post reflecting on a year gone by.
2017 was a roller coaster year where I learned a lot of hard life lessons. 2018 was less memorable, in a good way.
I think sometimes growth happens in small ways, through baby steps, when we don’t even know it’s happening. I don’t think it takes having to hit rock bottom before we can make changes, big or small. The magic really is in the minutia.
Take a moment to reflect on this past year. What did you learn? If you don’t think you learned anything, think again.
What can and will you take forward into the new year to make it even better than the last?
32 things learned in 2018
1. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. I’m grateful for the rough seas that I have endured for I am becoming much better at navigating choppy waters and I am far less likely to be taken down by a big ol’ wave.
2. Check some boxes. I used to live by the rule “eat the frog,” meaning, get the worst task of the day out of the way first. But that just made me dread the day. I have found that if I can check off some very simple tasks first thing in the morning, it helps me feel immediately productive and BOOM, I’m on a roll.
3. Write it down. I am old, even when I tell myself I won’t forget, I WILL 100% forget. That password I created that I was certain I wouldn’t forget, well I forgot. That super safe spot for my iPhone adaptor thingy, well…it was so safe that I can’t remember where I put it! That credit card in the ol’ gum pack….well you should have written it down because now your CC is cancelled.
4. Smile more. Apparently, and verified by my friends, I have a mean face but a “sweet sweet soul”. I guess I need to smile more, we should all smile more!
5. Balance is bullshit. Stop striving for balance, it’s not a real thing. We’ve all been duped into chasing balance, but balance, much like perfection, does not exist.
6. Effort over outcome. I don’t know that I learned this lesson in 2018 or after years of losing university basketball games. However, I don’t think I ever really applied it to my life. We are taught to visualize success, standing atop the podium, and achieving our greatest goals…but when that visualization doesn’t go as planned, are we prepared to adjust accordingly? I believe that if we measure success based on perceived effort vs outcome, we will be happier for it and likely even more successful.
7. The 30 second rule. I’m not sure what the actual number of seconds for this rule is, but I decided that if something will take me less than a minute to do, I need to do it right then and there. Like dishes, filling the ice cube tray, hanging my clothes, responding to a text.
8. Ignorance is a choice. Ignorance can definitely be bliss, but it’s also absolutely a choice. While ignorance has its place, it’s no excuse for not being educated about the world around us.
9. Road biking kinda sucks. I bought a road bike, I gave it a shot, I rode around a volcano and had my most memorable experience of 2018, it was all worthwhile, but I still don’t love it.
10. Abs are dumb. It’s impossible to have abs year round. For some of us. it’s impossible to ever have them. Can we all just agree on this? Lets cut it out with the crop tops and live the baggy life mmmkkkk. #bggy
11. True calling. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the belief that we all have one true calling. Something that we are meant to do. Some people know exactly what they want to do with life, and others…most of us, are still searching. It’s ok not to know and to change your mind. So while my search continues, I’m trying not to stress about not knowing and enjoy the process of figuring it out.
12. Listen to your intuition. Self explanatory, spend time in silence and listen to yourself.
13. This is ‘fire’. I learned that I hate this saying. Fire is not a god damn adjective. Is this a sign that I am getting old, or a sign that I don’t love improper use of the English language. Either way, that outfit is not “fire” just like it’s not “fetch”. Gretchen, stop trying to make fire happen.
14. Rowing. Rowing a half marathon on an erg is almost zero fun..I 10/10 do not recommend.
15. Forgive. It’s important to forgive people, it doesn’t serve you to hold onto that negative energy. If you’re a grudge holder, try forgiveness in 2019!
16. The grass is greener. This is a saying for a reason, it’s 100% accurate. Take care of the grass in your yard and stop worrying about the neighbours green ass grass, their grass is probably on steroids anyway.
17. Time happens. If you are still confused by how time works, it hasn’t changed, it just keeps ticking along. It seems like it’s going faster, but I think I’m just getting older and more mixed up.
18. Change. Other than time, change is one of the only constants in our life that brings opportunities for growth. Embrace it, grow with it, and don’t fight it.
19. Dance. Dancing is great—if you don’t have friends that you can freely express your dance moves with…are they even friends? #theanswerisno
20. No new friends. Some way, somehow, I keep making new friends. Friends are really fucking important. Today, take a moment to look around and be thankful for the awesome people in your life.
21. Read more. I am obsessed with podcasts, audiobooks, and consume so much content that I don’t really know what to do with all of my knowledge. But, it’s still important to read books.
22. Hungry bitch. Don’t grocery shop hungry.
23. Road trips. Road trips are fun, especially with good company. BUT, I prefer hot destinations with less driving and more tanning.
24. Mouth breather. I have always known that I am a mouth breather. As it turns out, aside from just being mildly unattractive, breathing through your mouth and into your chest is not ideal. Did you know some people (aka most people) breath through their nostrils?
25. Stress is bad. Whether you realize it or not, high stress WILL fuck you up. Healthy people don’t get pneumonia, or bronchitis, or chronic injuries and fatigue. They have energy, and motivation and feel good more often than not. If you are a disaster…you might need to rethink some things and reduce some stress in your life.
26. Failure is imminent. If you were given a pair of dice and told ‘if you roll a pair you will win 1 million dollars’, but each roll will cost you $10,000…how many times would you roll? You would roll those dice over and over again until you did it because the risk is high, but the reward is far greater. Successful people fail over and over again, but when they do succeed, they CRUSH, and have a lifetime of lessons to apply.
27. Dating. I haven’t learned much, but I think this is true. With regard to the opposite sex: if you look hungry you will starve. (Both literally and figuratively). Don’t be desperate and eat some carbs.
28. Priorities. Never make someone a priority that only makes you an option.
29. Happiness. Happiness is a choice and everything else is a matter of perspective. *hard to apply, work in progress*
30. Let is slide. Try not to take things too personally, no one thinks about you as much as you do.
31. Take opportunities. The best advice I received this year came from one of the wisest and best humans I know. We have to be aware of, and open to opportunities that present themselves, and when those opportunities do arise, we have to be bold enough to take them.
32. Be a good human. Last but not least, this isn’t as much of a learning as it is my goal for 2019. Instead of focussing on all the things I want to accomplish, my shortcomings, or stressing about what’s next—I’m going to prioritize just being a good person. How can I add value to someones life every single day? Can I lighten the burden for someone else? Can I make someone smile? Can I show non-judgemental support to someone who is struggling? I may not know my purpose, but I have many gifts that I can deliver, we all do!
Instead of keeping a gratitude journal this year, I’m going to keep an impact journal. Every night I will write down one way in which I created impact that day. Maybe my 2019 year end blog post will be 365 ways to add value to the universe.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of others.” – Charles Dickens.
Alright folks…that’s all my worldly insight for yet another year—lets crush 2019 like we are Brittney Spears in Toxic.