Well, well, well. Can you believe that 2016 has come to an end? It’s been a great year with many a twist and turn but I’ve loved so many moments. As I sit and reminisce I recall plenty of happy moments spent with friends and family, old and new. I feel satisfied with what I have achieved, the adventures I have been on, and the memories that I’ve made. I tip my hat to 2016 and look back with a fond farewell.
I started the second year of my Graduate Scheme, moved 200 miles away from home, visited Dubai with my girlfriends, travelled to Rome alone and finally set the foundations for naomisophia.com. It’s been a big year and I’m only excited for what 2017 has to bring. But before I move on to the next chapter, I think it’s important to take a moment and look back at what I learnt in 2016.
1. There’s nothing wrong with doing nothing.
This is something that I seriously struggled with earlier on in the year, and for many years before 2016. I need to be busy and when I’m not I associate doing nothing with being lazy. What I’ve learnt is that doing nothing doesn’t have to be passive, but is actually a verb, which requires action. We all need to take time out to rejuvenate ourselves in order to be effective when we are on the go.
2. It’s okay to say no.
No, no, no, no, no! That’s how comfortable I am with the word now. For years I was somewhat of a yes man. Not to please people all of the time but because I like to be the person a friend or colleague can go to for help and support. Here’s the first lesson: you can’t be the go to person all the time, and that’s okay. Here’s the second lesson: it’s okay to not want to do what you’re being asked. It’s hard to say no, but when you do you you’ll be proud of your strength.
3. I don’t need to be surrounded by people to have a good time.
This ties in with the first point somewhat. I’m an extrovert who enjoys the company of others. I come away from spending hours with friends feeling reinvigorated but I’ve learnt to truly love my own company this year. I wrote ‘Spending Time Alone & Enjoying Every Moment‘ afters surprisingly loving a full weekend without seeing my friends.
4. A good friend deserves a good friend.
I’ve uttered the words ‘I really don’t understand why she wants to be my friend’ many times. After uttering them earlier on this year I decided to reflect on why I felt that way. Deep down I knew that I wasn’t giving my friends the attention that they deserved, yet I expected them to be there whenever I was ready for them. I don’t believe that they picked up on this but it’s the small things that can speak the loudest.
5. Good things happen when you say yes to adventure.
Adventure won in 2016! I went to Dubai on my first girls holiday and then took a solo trip to Italy where I met some great people and have a great experience. Saying yes can be scary, but the adventures you have as a result are worth taking the plunge for.
6. Quality over quantity.
I carry this lesson across many parts of my life but this year I’ve applied it to friends and beautiful things. It’s simple really, I’ve learnt to appreciate having smaller amounts of the aforementioned, knowing that they’ll last and remain special to me, rather than having so many that I don’t have the time or inclination to enjoy them as much as I should.
7. (Almost) nothing worth having comes easy.
I had to add the almost because I’ve been blessed enough in some areas that they have come relatively easily, but this isn’t the case for everything this year. I’ve had to fight for what I truly want and work hard to keep it working well. Take naomisophia.com for example. Can I be honest? I thought it’d be a heck of a lot easier then it has been! Juggling consistent, engaging and relevant content alongside a YouTube channel, work, family, friends and other goals is time consuming and hard. So worth it, but hard.
8. Dream big.
No goal is too great for you to achieve. You have a whole lifetime to achieve some things and a shorter period for others, but always keep the dream alive.
9. Surround yourself with ambitious people.
Believe it or not I don’t know it all, not yet. I do know what I want out of life and think that it’s important to be around others with similar goals who will push you forward and toward the goal rather than talk you out of it or to hold you back.
10. Keep your eye on the goal.
Last but in no way least, and a lesson I need to keep on learning. If you know what you want then you can achieve it. When you take your eye off the ball, you can forget where you’re heading, so stay focused and keep moving towards it.
I’m sure that I’ve learnt even more then the ten lessons I’ve explored here, and I’ll keep on learning throughout the new year. What lessons are you taking away from 2016?