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14 Lessons I Learned in 2014

With every new year, I seem to go through some self-discoveries.  Some more major than others, but all equally important.  Though I have definitely had my “not-so-good” moments, overall, I’m quite proud of the person that I have become in 2014.


Today, I thought I’d share the 14 biggest lessons I learned in 2014!…

  • Smile often.  Even when you’re feeling down, force yourself to smile for a significant amount of time every day, and I promise, you will live a happier life.
  • If you feel tired, rest.  If you try accomplishing anything while tired, it will only take you twice as long!
  • Deciding to quit something doesn’t mean you’re a failure.  This year, I made the difficult decision to take a break from school.  I’m still unsure if I’ll go back and for awhile I felt like a failure.  But I soon realized that the direction I was headed was no longer relevant to the career I wanted.  Time off was necessary and it IS OKAY if I decide not to finish the degree that I started.
  • Be yourself with your significant other.  I’ve been dating Austin for over 4 years and we’ve been living together for just over 2.  At first, I tried doing my makeup everyday, and being more “proper” than I actually am.  But this year, I’ve really let my guard down.  I’m not afraid to go barefaced, wear the same PJs 4 days in a row, pig out on pizza, and send him off to get me tampons!  I’m pretty sure he loves me more this way anyway.  🙂
  • Don’t let regret control your life.  Earlier this year, Austin and I made the spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a new puppy.  Austin had been wanting a new puppy for as long as I can remember, but I always had said no.  We already had Bella and with me working from home, I knew I’d be the primary caretaker of the new furbaby.  But one day, I fell in love with this beagle puppy at the pet store and Austin and I went and picked her up the very next day.  Forgetting just how much work it was, and Austin working 12 hour days, I felt a lot of regret and resentment.  I eventually snapped out of it and decided to handle the situation day-by-day.  It wasn’t like she was the worst puppy ever, I just wasn’t ready for it.  This leads me into my next lesson…
  • Enjoy the little things.  Though our new beagle pup, Daisy, can be a terror, she can also be a sweetie.  One of my favorite moments of my entire day is when she falls asleep by my side before I go to bed.  I hold her extra tight and give her kisses before I pick her up to take her to her crate.  She really doesn’t mind at all, and I love that about her.
  • Let others help you.  For me, this mostly goes for my fiancé, Austin.  I’m someone who likes to try and do everything myself.  I’m a Leo… what can I say.  I like to have control, even if it means that I do most of the work.  Well, that leads to a lot of stress and overwhelming feelings.  I’ve had breakdowns and sometimes lash out at Austin due to stress.  It’s seriously unhealthy.  Austin’s been super understanding and helpful and he’s made me realize that he’s there to help and that all I have to do is ask for it.  He constantly reminds me that we are partners and I am not alone.
  • If it takes 5 minutes or less, then do it now.  I once read somewhere, “if it take 8 minutes or less to accomplish, then do it right then and there.”  I thought it was pretty effective, so I decided to do it myself, but with 5 minutes instead of 8.  For example, maybe you have a few dishes in the sink that need washed and you’re absolutely dreading it.  Well, if you know it’ll only take 5 minutes or less, don’t let them pile up even more, get it over with and you’ll feel better, I promise!
  • Take at least an hour a day for yourself.  Something I struggled with a majority of this year was working way too much.  I began and ended my days working.  Let me tell ya, it burns ya out!  My fiancé, Austin, challenged me to spend at least an hour a day having “me-time.”   So every day, I spend at least an hour enjoying something that’s not work related.  Sometimes it’s watching TV.  Sometimes it’s taking a walk.  Sometimes it’s visiting my family.  Sometimes it’s going shopping.  Sometimes it’s watching YouTube videos… as long as it’s completely not work related, it counts!
  • Love yourself.  All my life I have struggled with my weight.  I’ve been on a hundred different diets, have lost some, gained some more, but no matter what I do, I always seem to end up being on the heavier side.  I’ve come to realize that what’s more important than losing weight, is learning to love yourself and the way you look today.  It’s taken me years, but I’m a lot more accepting of my appearance today than I ever have been before.  I actually have the confidence to try new styles and go outside my comfort zone when it comes to clothing and fashion.
  • Family equals happiness.  This year, Austin and I have moved back to our hometown to save money.  Living expenses are literally cut in half here compared to where we were living.  Both of our families are here though, and life overall has become happier now that we are able to spend more time with them.
  • Talk more.  I used to be the type of person that kept most things to themselves.  Even around my best friends, I was always the listener, never the one to share my own problems.  Keeping all that inside is exhausting.  I’ve found how important it is to voice your feelings and even though turning feelings into words can be hard, it’s always so refreshing getting them out there.
  • Try new things.  This year I fell in love with guacamole – something I used to think I hated.  Trust me, you never know, you may actually love what you think you really dislike.
  • Go with the flow.  This isn’t always necessarily a great thing, but I’ve found that if I go with the flow and am happy in the moment, then I end up being happier later down the road.  Try it – maybe you’ll love the flow.  🙂
So, that’s it, those are 14 lessons that I’ve learned in the year 2014.  What was the biggest lesson you learned this year?  How do you hope to make 2015 even better?
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  1. Erika says:

    Oh my, I love this list! I can totally relate to so many things on it – from taking “me time” to figuring out how to love myself (I’ve also struggled with my weight for years – it’s so frustrating) – so many of these are so spot on. I think the biggest thing I learned in 2014 was to be more okay with quiet and downtimes – and that saying “no” to people that do not lift me up is one of the most important things.

    I also LOVE the 5-minute idea. I’m stealing it! Just the other day I let the recycling pile up for 3 DAYS and was SO ANNOYED because I kept putting it off… and then it took me 5 minutes to do and I felt so silly about. Great advice!

    • alibeephotography@yahoo.com says:

      Yay! Glad to hear you can really relate. I agree – it’s so important to filter out the negative people in your life. We never realize how much they hold us back until we cut ties with them. LOVE that you used the 5-minute rule!!! I do that exact same thing with my recycling haha. I also do it with dishes. I hate doing the dishes, but I feel so much better when the sink is clear. xo

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