This year I turn twenty-seven. It is the middle ground between my early and late twenties. One more step closer to the next big life milestone, one more lap around the sun and one more year of experiences, lessons and opportunities.
I may be young, I certainly have a lot more left to learn and experience, but here’s what I have discovered so far.
One: Life is much better when you say yes to the right things
Saying yes is not always easy. It often comes with the knowledge that you will soon be stepping into the unknown. Yes opens doors, builds experiences and memories but also creates challenges, tests you, and gives you a very real possibility of failing.
This year I have started to say yes more when it is the right decision, and faced the challenges and consequences head on rather than shying away from them. I used to often say no and wonder what if instead.
So far, I have developed new hobbies, developed personally and in my career, and seen more places in a year than ever before. Here’s to saying yes.
Two: On the same note, it is okay to say no
You are allowed to put yourself first. You and only you know your own limits, boundaries and priorities.
Saying no doesn’t make you a bad friend, partner or person. Know your priorities and practice some self-love and care.
‘It’s only by saying no that you can really concentrate on the things that are really important’ – Steve Jobs
Three: Most people are really just trying their best
Four: Do whatever it is you truly, passionately, want to do, but do it well.
This is advice I have been given, and give the most often. Do what makes you happy, but put your everything into it. Your life, your career and your hobbies are your choice, and you can make any of them a success and reality if you really do give it your all.
Five: It’s okay to change your mind
On the above note, it’s also okay to change your dreams. Writer one day, chef the next. It’s your life. Live your best one.
Six: Love as much as you can
Seven: Be present in all that you do
Eight: Material things don’t make you happy if you are buying them for the wrong reasons.
A new TV won’t fix envy. A new car won’t make your self-worth improve. Buying something, which was £1000 on a 50% off sale, doesn’t mean you’ve saved £500, it means you’ve spent £500.
Nine: Health is easy to maintain, but really hard to fix
Eat well, get outdoors, and take care of yourself now. Of course, enjoy your treats in moderation. It is all about balance. For me, fasting between 6pm and 12pm the next day, as well as regular HIIT and Yoga is the perfect mix. Outside of that, I can eat what I want, drink wine and remain healthy. Find your routine, and stick to it.
Ten: Read daily
Be it books, blogs, newspapers or interviews, never stop discovering. Read more, learn more, never stop discovering.
Eleven: Trust your gut
Detox from digital, even if just for an hour a day. Charge your phone in another room at night. Delete the apps you check 100 times a day. It is too easy to lose a precious hour scrolling, and scrolling.
Thirteen: Build memories
With the people you cherish. Make a fuss of every event, accomplishment or milestone, no matter how big or small. Take photos, start a line a day diary. Life is all about the memories. Build things to look back on.
Fourteen: Don’t compare yourself to others
It is one of the hardest things to stop doing, but one of the most rewarding when you manage it. Every life is different. No way is right. You’re awesome for your own reasons.
Fifteen: Or think ‘what if’
Sixteen: Build yourself a strong network of brilliant people
Seventeen: Fear is your biggest motivator
Do one thing a day that scares you. If you feel comfortable, you may never learn what’s around the corner. For me, this is the biggest change I made this year.
Eighteen: The world is alive
Cherish it. Nature is wonderful, so think about your impact no how big or small. Live at one with everything natural and we will all have a better place to grow old in.
Nineteen: People don’t have to agree
A hard one to learn, but you don’t always need to have the same opinions or beliefs. Just listen, respect and embrace each other’s differences. Life would be boring if we were all the same.
Twenty: Music fuels the soul
Twenty One: Let people know when they’ve impacted you
I am a big believer in letting people know when they have had an impact on your life. Often we don’t realise the implications of our actions. Had a mentor who has inspired you? Tell them. A parent who you are forever grateful for? Let them know. A colleague whose style you are always envious of? Share it.
It may not be a big deal to you, but I bet it will make their day.
Twenty Two: Ask questions
Too often, we leave it until it is too late. Ask about people’s lives, interests, hobbies and experiences. Everyone has something fantastic to share; it’s up to you to unearth it.
Twenty Three: Travel often
Twenty Four: Shout about your successes
After a Google workshop, I began to realise how important it is to be your own biggest cheerleader. If you don’t, someone else will be sharing their achievements and you may miss an opportunity. Recruiters, interviewers, friends and mentors are not mind readers. Share your successes, so they can help you leverage them for more opportunities.
Twenty Five: Laughter is the best medicine
Twenty Six: Be known for something
Find your ‘thing’ and then hone it into your craft.
Twenty Seven: There’s no age to have completed anything
There’s no perfect age for marriage, children, promotions, travel, degrees or anything else. Your life is written and shaped by you. Do what’s right for your own journey, and let everything else fall into place around it.