16 things I learned in 2016

New Year’s Eve is finally upon us, and the anticipation and excitement of what 2017 might hold is starting to fill our thoughts. Tonight, we say goodbye to 2016.

2016 won’t exactly go down as the best year of my life, but it’s sure as heck taught me a few valuable life lessons and helped me to grow. Although this has been somewhat of a tough year and a very lonely year that saw me pouring my time and energy into building up my business rather than my social life, it’s been a real eye opener. But you know what they say, right? What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. So, here are 16 things I’ve learned in 2016.

1. It’s okay to walk away from any situation that makes you feel uncomfortable
Whether it be to do with my personal life or work, 2016 has been the year of me ‘walking away.’ If you feel that something isn’t right in a friendship, relationship or even just a situation, it’s okay to walk away. Your morals, integrity, health and wellbeing are far more important than anything else, and walking away and closing one door can be all you need in order for another to open.

2. It’s okay to have ‘you’ time when you need to catch a break
Sometimes if I’ve been really busy with work or had to dash about completing jobs all day, there’s nothing I crave more than being alone and taking time out for myself. A weekly little pamper with my favourite hair mask, face mask, candles and my favourite programmes on the iPad keep me sane.

3. Never ignore your gut feeling
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s to never ignore my gut feeling. It’s never led me astray in the past, but when I’ve ignored it, it’s been a disaster! If you feel that something isn’t right, listen to that little feeling and act upon it. Trust in yourself.

4. Choose your company wisely
You are who you associate with, so if you’re associating with people who are obnoxious, unkind to others or selfish, you’ll be tarred with the same brush too. Negativity is like a smile, it’s contagious. Surround yourself with people that you can trust, depend on and respect.

16 things I've learned in 2016 | Rachael Divers

5. Don’t just ‘settle’ for anything
Whether it be a relationship, a friendship, a job, or just simply something that you want to achieve, don’t settle for second best. I’ve learned that it’s best to bide my time, work hard and save hard if there’s something that I really want to achieve.

6. Don’t hold back how you feel just to keep the peace
I’ve always been that person who’s kept quiet when I disagree just to keep the peace. I’ve turned a blind eye to things that haven’t sat well with me because I haven’t wanted to cause a scene. 2016 gave me the courage to realise that my voice matters too and if I don’t agree with something, I can make my point in a constructive way. If I see something happen that I’m not happy with, I now feel strong enough to stand up and do something about it. Having a difference of opinion doesn’t mean you have to fall out with anybody, it simply means you don’t share the same view.

7. Be present in the moment
Nobody is invincible and no day is promised to us. It’s important to treasure our time and be present in the moment of whatever we do. So, saying yes to invitations, soaking up the atmosphere rather than being on my phone doing business, and being present is vital to me and something I’m working on daily.

8. Plan ahead and budget well
As anybody who has struggled will tell you, it’s not fun worrying sick over payments due and trying to afford to have a social life when an unexpected bill drops. Budgeting and planning ahead helped me massively this year. It’s a great feeling when you can sit back and take a breath rather than peddle frantically along each day.

16 things I've learned in 2016 | Rachael Divers

9. Don’t let worrying about tomorrow steal your happiness of today
The amount of sleepless nights I’ve had worrying about situations that will never happen verges on ridiculous. There are two important sayings that I keep being told ‘don’t worry about what you can’t change’ and ‘cross that bridge when you come to it.’ It’s hard not to worry or fret when the chips are down, but keeping a healthy mindset and putting things into perspective is important.

10. Be strong and have faith in yourself. Always.
This year, I found myself having a lot of self doubt and worrying that I wasn’t good enough. Admittedly, it was hard to push through, but I did it. I took time out to educate myself, paid for extra tuition in skills I wanted to build upon and paid extra special attention to myself and listened to my inner voice. I can go into 2017 feeling confident within myself and my abilities, but knowing I still have so much more to learn and experience. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.

11. Have no fear of anybody else
My dad always told me that I should never, ever be scared of anybody else. Even during the years of being bullied at school, he always told me ‘they’re only people just like you and me at the end of the day. Nobody should intimidate or scare you.’ It’s taken 28 long years, but I finally feel like I’m at a point in my life where I won’t let anybody instil fear into me anymore.

12. Take your health seriously and make a conscious effort to keep yourself well
It’s so important to take care of yourself, even more so when you’re self employed and don’t have anybody to fall back on to run your business if you’re too sick to work. Go for that eye test, have your health review with your doctor, book that dental check up. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but you know what’s more inconvenient? Not being able to work when you’ve got bills to pay and people depending on you. Learn to love and take care of yourself.

16 things I've learned in 2016 | Rachael Divers

13. Do things that scare you a little
2016 taught me to run with the wind and throw myself head first into certain situations that would have scared me too much to do in previous years. Doing something that scares you and overcoming the fear gives you more confidence, strength and faith in yourself. I’m not talking about anything crazy here, just small steps that turn into big leaps.

14. Look after those that look after you
Don’t waste your time on the people that don’t bother with you. Spend your time investing in the people that do the same for you. I don’t mean monetary investment here, but time. Your time is the most precious thing you can give so spend it wisely with the people that matter.

15. Don’t worry about failure, worry about being stagnant
When I first decided to start my own business years ago, I was worried about failure. Today, my worry is about being stagnant. Yes, failure is a very real prospect, but to me, something worse than failure is simply standing still. Keep pushing forward and have faith. Find a way around any roadblocks you come up against, but for goodness sake, don’t ever stop trying.

16. See the wider picture
A lesson Cinderella taught us all was to have courage and be kind. We’re all guilty of having a short fuse at times or directing negative energy towards people that don’t really deserve it. 2016 taught me to be more understanding of things that might be going on the background for other people that may make them act a certain way that sometimes comes across as selfish and careless. Everybody is going through their own battles and dramas, so it’s important to be understanding and see the wider picture. Always be considerate and careful towards the feelings of others. Be the better person, rise above the negativity and keep the kindness within your own heart. Always.

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017!

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2016.

Beauty. Fashion. Lifestyle.