HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I’ve spent the past few weeks really reflecting on the past year, and deciding what I want from 2018. It’s easy to look at the year before and say “eh, not my best, next year will be better” but it’s important to reflect deeper. I like to look at exactly what I’ve learned that year so I can apply those lessons in the future. If nothing else, it’s a nice reminder to yourself that in 2017 you DID grow.
I hope you guys enjoy this list of the 17 things I’ve learned in 2017. I’d love to know if we have any in common!
Top: Topshop (old – love this) | Blazer: Mural | Trousers: Topshop (on major sale!) | Shoes: Public Desire c/o | Bag: NastyGal (old – LOVE this) | Earrings: similar | Necklace: Simple Little Things Co.
1. I still suck at being patient.
I’ve never been a patient person. Many of my most stressful moments this year stemmed from me not being taking my time when a situation arises. I am hoping to work on this next year. I need to remember that I have time, and to slow down.
2. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Hello, World of Social Media! It’s so important to constantly remind yourself that what you are seeing is another person’s highlight reel. While I love to gather inspiration, it’s important to remember I shouldn’t compare my life to someone else’s. My life is amazing and I have so much to be thankful for. If I’m constantly looking at what other people have I’ll never have time to be thankful for what I do have.
3. Podcasts help tremendously with road rage.
This was the year of commuting! For most of the year, I was commuting back and forth between LA and OC. This meant some days were spent in the car for 6-7 hours total. I used to have terrible anxiety and road rage with traffic. Playing podcasts and audiobooks were a lifesaver for me this year. I not only felt like I was being productive with my time, but there is something really comforting about hearing another person talking. I highly recommend listening to podcasts if you also get anxiety while driving.
4. Becoming organized takes daily effort.
This was also the year of organizing! It’s still a process for me as I’m not a naturally organized person and never have been. I’ve found that this is an absolute lifestyle change that takes a daily effort. I read Marie Kondo’s book which taught me how to get rid of things that don’t bring me joy. It also introduced me to the best folding method ever. In addition, I got better at organizing my daily tasks, which has really helped from a business standpoint (read that post here).
5. Not everyone is going to like you.
2017 is the first year I can confidently say I care WAY less if someone likes me or not. I’ve learned I just can’t please everyone. Whether it be on my channel or The Vegan View, YouTube attracts a special kind of troll. I’ve realized some people just aren’t going to like you or what you talk about. And you know what? That’s OK. If my content isn’t for someone, I’m happy to see them move on. I’d rather build a community of like-minded individuals who appreciate what I’ve got to say.
6. Focus on what makes you happy, f$#@ the rest.
In the past I found myself trying to emulate other bloggers because they seemed successful in my eyes and I’m just so darn done with looking at what other people do. I hesitated from talking about my vegan lifestyle for awhile because I was worried it would scare people away, but that’s what I’m passionate about, and it’s a huge part of who I am. If you’re looking to start a blog or YouTube, my biggest tip for you is to talk about and share what genuinely makes you happy, and what genuinely lights a fire in your eyes. Even if it’s the weirdest, most random thing… do you boo. That’s what makes you special.
7. Eating healthy makes a huge difference, and isn’t that hard.
This year I also really focused on eating better. I’ve been vegan for 2.5 years now and I think that’s the healthiest way to eat, but I definitely had my years of eating more vegan junk food than anything else. This year I realized how simple, whole foods straight from the source can be fulfilling and give me the fuel I need. I did a lot of meal planning ahead of time and found that rice or quinoa in a rice cooker, steamed veggies, beans, and some sort of sauce combined is such an easy, delicious meal that allows me to feel great all day.
8. Water is the cure for everything.
I’m a crazy fan of my hydro flask, and this year I really tried to drink 4 of these a day (1 gallon). Some days I’d accomplish it, others I wouldn’t but what I did find is that this year I had clearer skin, fewer wrinkles, less bloating, and hardly ever got sick.
9. Be thankful for what you have.
With avoiding comparison, it’s important to be thankful for what you have. This year had quite a few downs, but it also had quite a few ups and I can’t ignore that! When it comes down to it I have a ton to be thankful for. I have a wonderful life partner, two adorable pups, the best friends I could ever ask for, a beautiful home and my dream career is blooming.
10. Other people can’t tell you how you feel.
I look to others for advice and help with decisions a lot, but it’s important to remember that only I know how I am really feeling and only I can be the judge of that. I’ve opened up to people this year and while I know their response is coming from a place of trying to be helpful, it makes me question myself and sometimes that adds to my already existing anxiety. I’ve learned it’s important to listen to your gut, even when people try to give helpful advice.
11. Quality over quantity – with everything.
With friends, with social media followings, with clothing, with food, with household products… I mean EVERYTHING. I mentioned I de-cluttered a lot this year so that meant I really took a second look at what I was keeping around. Back to Marie Kondo’s book, I really believe if your house is filled with things that bring you joy, you will be a happier person. I think this applies to friends as well – you are who you surround yourself with so choose wisely.
12. Fight for something, it feeds the soul.
This year I launched The Vegan View with 3 of my girlfriends where we post weekly videos talking about veganism. My love for animals has caused me to care so much more about other important causes including people, world hunger, the environment, waste, and equal rights. I may be fighting for a specific cause, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about many more. That said, being able to fight for that cause has brought so much joy and light in my life and the fact that it might make a small difference is everything to me.
13. It’s not ok to judge others.
From the outside this year may have looked fantastic for me, but there’s a lot of things I don’t always share because who wants to read about depressing things all the time? It really made me realize that I shouldn’t judge anyone else because you never know what someone is going through. It may look way different from the outside.
14. Travel is not as glamorous as it looks.
We had the BEST trip to Italy but coming home we ran into quite a few hiccups that lead to the hardest travel experience I’ve ever had. On top of that, when we first arrived I had really bad anxiety for the first 4-5 days which was no fun. It made me realize that while travel looks amazing on Instagram, it can be expensive, unpredictable, and stressful at times. While I still love to travel and can’t wait to visit more countries in the future, I definitely have a better appreciation for being home.
15. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable – in fact, seek that feeling.
This year I secretly pursued a new hobby/career that had me feeling SO uncomfortable and scared — it was honestly probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Because I put myself out of my comfort zone, I found something I love doing more than anything. It really taught me that the times I’m the most uncomfortable, are the times I grow the most.
16. Skincare is important.
I never cared much about skincare in the past, and while in recent years I’ve definitely put more emphasis on it, 2017 was the year I really committed to having a routine. In 2016 I had a bad acne flare-up which caused me to really take my skincare seriously. If you want to see my routine and the products I use, I have a video on that here.
17. You are the only person who holds you back.
I love to make excuses for things but when it comes down to it, if something isn’t getting done, or I’m not where I want to be, I only have myself to blame for that. This is definitely related to number 15 as I find I like to hold myself back from feeling uncomfortable, but that gets me nowhere.
Whew, that was long. If you read all of that… thank you. I love you, and cheers to 2018!!!
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Photos: Laurel Creative