2017 has been a wild year for me. I saw my baby turn into a toddler, hired my first full-time employee and dealt with the trials and tribulations of my 2nd year of marriage. Needless to say, I learned a lot.
A long time ago, my Dad told me that there are never mistakes in life, as long as you learned a lesson from it. With that said, here are 5 mistakes I made this year and what I was able to learn from them…
It’s okay to be wrong. You don’t know everything, you only know what you know.
I suffer from the unfortunate, “know-it-all” syndrome. Yes, I’m one of those. For whatever reason, I feel like if I don’t know it or can’t figure it out, no one can.
This year, I learned that everyone truly has their strengths and it’s important to leverage those. If you listen to those around you, you may actually learn a thing or two to better yourself or your business. Oh, and always let the professionals do their job. I promise you, it will be way better than anything you could have dreamed up yourself.
Speak your mind more often. Communication is the key to happiness.
Sometimes it’s hard to speak your mind. Maybe you feel too vulnerable or maybe you don’t think any one is going to listen? I’m here to tell you, saying what’s on your mind is only going to help in all facets of your life. It might seem scary at first, but if you sit in silence, you’ll find yourself with built up anger, sadness or frustration. Then, you will burst and the other person won’t see it coming and you’ll just look irrational.
Live in the moment a little bit more.
Technology has taken over our universe. It’s an addiction of our mind, body and souls. Sometimes I catch myself scrolling through Instagram and I don’t even realize I’m doing it!
Realistically (especially with the job I have), cutting social media isn’t an option for me. However, I’ve learned that you can really hurt the people around you by being on your phone 24/7. If you notice, this year I stopped showcasing a lot of the restaurants in Chicago on both my blog and Instagram. This was because meals are really my only free-time and whenever I’m eating with friends or family, my phone needs to stay put away.
If there is a particular restaurant or dish that I love, I go back another time by myself (or with a social media savvy bestie) with the intention of taking photos. For me, this was how I got my sanity back and kept the people around me feeling as connected to me as possible.
Stuff is just stuff and more money doesn’t make life easier.
Material belongings really don’t make you happy. As much as you think you “NEED” that new handbag or “can’t live without” those shoes, you can. This year has been the most successful year financially for my business and I can tell you right now, emotionally, it has been the most difficult.
This year, I “celebrated” my successes with a few luxury purchases (thinking they would help the insecurities I was feeling about my body, my relationship and my work-life stress) and in reality, the “high” goes away very quick. And then you’re just left with meaningless stuff that accumulates in your closet.
My advice? Spend your money on experiences. Spend it actually working on the areas that are tough in your life. Whether that’s on a therapist (I got one this year for the first time), a trip with your significant other or a monthly massage, just do something that will help vs mask.
It’s never too late in life for new friends
For so long I would say, “I’m too busy for the friends I have. There is no way I can make new ones”. Well, I’m telling you right now, throw that notion out the window because there are some pretty amazing people out in this world.
2017 brought some of the most wonderful, deep and caring relationships I’ve ever had in my life. As we get older, we don’t need to talk to every single friend every day to keep the friendship alive. That’s the beauty! If you open yourself up to meeting new people (and letting them into your world), you just may be surprised the amount of love and light you have in your life.
And take inventory of the friends you have now. Do they add value? Are you friends just because it’s been a long time? I’m not saying dump em’, but I’m saying, spend your time and energy where it’s best spent.
I really hope these lessons will help you as we start 2018! I’m excited to see what this new year has to offer and what mistakes (and subsequent lessons) I will make along the way.