2016 -> 2017

It’s almost that time of the year – another 12 months have passed, and everyone seems to be writing down their goals for 2017! Looking back at 2016, I am proud and happy to say that it’s been well to me. Or better say, I’ve done good. I surely could have done things better, put more effort into certain things and by far life isn’t perfect. But is it ever? I think it is most important to appreciate what you have; rather than being upset about the things you don’t. There is so much evil in the world, and when we look around and read the news, there is always someone that is better off – or even worse than us. Comparing oneself is what makes most people upset about their own situations. Look at social media. Instagram, for example. It’s a blessing and curse by itself. We compare each other on it, we look to those that have more followers than we do ourselves and it seems everyone is constantly smiling and happy. Of course, this is not the reality. And thus, it is important to keep certain things in mind: to appreciate what you have, to accept whom you are, to compare ourselves less to stories that only show a part of the person’s life.

In the end, of course, I cannot lie. I too look at Instagram, at certain influencers, and admire their work. Yet, never has it filled my heart with hatred. Never have I compared myself to a point where it made me unhappy with myself. Rather, I get inspired by influencers. I look up to achievements they have made. And I work on my own goals and see if there is anything I must change to achieve those. For 2017, I want to continue my journey. I want to find myself. I want to finish my studies and perhaps start something new. I want to live my life and not regret it after 12 months thinking I should have done something different or taken a different decision. I want to live 2017 to the fullest. Where to start and how you ask?

Breathe

I love doing a million things at once and working simultaneously on different projects. My agenda fills fast, yet I always find time to squeeze in one more thing. Therefore, downtime, and taking the time to breathe, is utmost important. I’ve started this already, just taking the time off in the evening and not reading my emails after a certain time if not needed. Taking time for oneself is so important – yet we tend to often forget ourselves and place others in front of us. Taking time for ourselves can be as simple as lying down and shutting our eyes for 10 minutes, reading a magazine, taking a short walk in the fresh air, or sipping on hot chocolate whilst watching the flames at the fireplace.

Standout

From my own experience, I know that it’s easiest to stay in one’s comfort zone. I do it all the time. I wear black because it’s easy, its sophisticated, it’s nice, it goes with everything. As easy as it is, it’s no surprise that you might fall behind and not be noticed in the crowd. If you don’t want attention – perfect fit. Standing out, however, doesn’t need to be attention-seeking. It’s being noticed. It’s being confident. It’s showing character. Wearing black works in that combination – but then the attitude should show. Wear red lipstick and heels if needed. Or go for a completely new look: wear pink (or whatever you fancy)! Of course, whatever you choose, do it for yourself and remember, never do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Say Yes, say No

There are some that say yes to everything. Do you have time to help with this project? Yes. Do you mind adding these items to your list? No. Can you help me? Of course. I tend to do it all the time. I tend to take on more projects than my agenda fits. I help friends when I don’t know how to fit it in. I work my ass off to help others, and forget my own free time. In these situations, saying know must be learned. It’s okay to say no and to put yourself in front of others. That is, from time to time. Likewise, one should not say no all the time and be surprised that no one ever comes back again to ask for help or to hang out. Finding the right balance between a yes and no is critical in today’s, fast-pacing world.

Laugh

Laughing is healthy. Yes, it causes wrinkles around your mouth and in your face. But really? Isn’t it something great? For one, no one should be afraid of “getting older”. Secondly, laughing is one of the things that keeps you young – in my opinion. Being able to laugh at yourself in situations you funnily messed up or laughing with (not at) others is so important. It keeps us alive. Sadly, many of us are constantly worried and barely ever laugh. I once read that laughing can be practiced and if you fake-laugh hard enough and a couple of times, real endorphins (the happy hormones) are released and you will start laughing. Perhaps give that a try!

Appreciate the moment

We live such fast-paced lives. I do too! We run errands from A to B, have one million projects going on, some of us have children, and it seems there are never enough hours in a day. Instead of looking at our watches constantly and worrying all the time that we will miss out on the next big thing, it is important to just appreciate the moment. Be it the five-minute break you are taking with your coffee during work hours: appreciate it. The short call your friend gives you only to say she’s in a hurry but thought of you: appreciate it – she took the time to call you. Of course, we cannot stop time and sometimes there is just too much to do. Yet, (almost) everything can be done with the help of a little time-management. Adding in a few extra minutes to just enjoy the moment won’t cost you anything!

Give back

Life is all about giving and taking – in my opinion. I love giving. I love making people happy and seeing a smile on their faces. That doesn’t mean you must buy them presents all the time or even spend money at all. It can be as simple as a compliment that you love their outfit, that you noticed their happiness or simple that you enjoy their presence. It can be a handwritten note that lets them know you appreciate the extra effort they have put into helping you with a project or a text message saying you can’t wait to see them later that day. Your co-worker brings you that coffee every morning? Why not bring him or her a treat the next time you walk past their desk or invite them out for a lunch. It’s often the simplest thing that we forget – yet they are often so appreciated by others. They might not show it immediately, but perhaps they have something else to give another day. Lastly, never forget to thank with a smile. Personally, I think that is often rewarding enough for me.

With that – I wish you all a Happy New Year and an amazing 2017!

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