When I lived in the UK (start of 1999 – end of 2001) I found that I could never believe it was Christmas time as it hadn’t gotten hot yet. Even though we are fed a diet of snow, ice and winter scenes for Christmas, in Australia it comes in summer so it just didn’t feel like Christmas time to me. Now it is hot, I know Christmas is here!
I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to you all for coming by, reading and commenting on the blog this past year. Writing this blog can sometimes feel like a burden, a monster that is constantly demanding to be fed, so reading your comments really makes it feel like a good use of my time and efforts.
Taking a moment to reflect on the past year made me want to share some of the lessons I’ve learned and want to be reminded of as we move into the new year.
6 Life Lessons To Have a Happier and More Fulfilled Life
- It Always Takes Longer – yes, whatever you are thinking about doing, whether it’s writing a blog post, editing a photo or putting together a new idea into some sort of shape and form, it always takes longer than you expect it will (or had planned). Knowing this helps me to leave more wiggle room time-wise than I think things will take (they still take even longer than this… but without a goal, I’d get nothing done). Remember to give yourself more time than you think.
- Stuff Will Always Come Up – every day I may think I’ve planned out my time and what I want to achieve and often I get only half of it done. Sometimes because of reason 1, but usually because there is always some other stuff that comes up that needs fixing, from figuring out why someone can’t login and getting that sorted, to phone calls, emails and Facebook questions to answer. Remember, there will always be interruptions, plan for the unexpected.
- Time Goes Faster Than You Expect – at the beginning of every year it feels like the end of the year is a long way away. And at the end of every year, I’m shocked by how fast the year has gone. I sometimes feel like I’ve achieved nothing, but given how busy I’ve been I know I have. Remember, note down your wins as you go so you can see how much you’ve achieved over time.
- Small Actions Make a Big Difference – I will often write down a goal/idea/project and feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work I need to do to achieve it, yet as we all know, but it’s good to be reminded of, many small actions create movement towards achieving that goal. When I get asked about blogging and how to start, my answer is, just start. Take the first step. Kate (my lovely assistant) reminded me the other day that I’ve now written over 2000 blog posts. That didn’t happen in a week, but it did happen over time, one blog post at a time. Now, this blog is a huge body of work and contains much more information than any book on style. It’s the regular small steps that make the big difference. As you know, if you exercise once, you won’t see a difference in your body, but if you do exercise every day, you will see a difference in your body over time. Remember, take the small regular actions towards the goals you want to achieve.
- Focus on the Positive – this is one of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned. Spend your time and energy focusing on the positive, on the good stuff, on what you achieve, on the things in the world that are good and great. This will give you a better mindset and help you achieve more. Focussing on the bad just makes you notice more of that, and I believe it’s mentally and physically toxic to your health and mind. It’s a funny thing, because I’m now in the habit of focussing more on the good in my life than the negative, when someone asks me if anything bad has happened, I often can’t remember, I have to think about it hard to come up with something. I live my life in a much happier place these days by taking a positive attitude and a growth mindset to my life. Remember, practise gratitude daily and celebrate your wins, big and small, this truly can be life-changing.
- Be a Positive Force in Your World – For some of us who are often very task-focused, remembering to think about the others around us is super important. It may not come naturally to all of us to give genuine compliments and positive feedback, but by doing this regularly you will have a positive impact on those around you. I have spent the two years immersed in the world of psychological type, trying to come to a greater understanding of how others think and behave and why, and how I can better understand and communicate with people who don’t think like me. I have learned that I have to take a moment to think about how others may be feeling and what they need to hear from me and that they may need something from me that is not my natural way of thinking or communicating, and that’s OK. Remember, give regular positive feedback to those around you, tell people what you appreciate about them and let them know they matter to you.
Yes, this advice, these life lessons are ones you probably already know (I know I do) but are so easy to forget which is why a little reminder is good at times!
I want to take this opportunity to also say thank you to my fabulous assistant Kate who works 2.5 days a week and sorts out all the technical, behind the website stuff that automates as much as possible and is the stuff that truly hurts my head) and now VA Natalie who is putting together my weekly newsletter and helping me out a little on social media. I’ve spent most of my years as an image consultant working on my own and doing everything myself. Having you two to help me shoulder some of the work and do the things that I’m not great at has really made me feel that so much more is possible (if there were just a few more hours in the day). It’s such a relief to find really proactive, intelligent and fabulously lovely women who I can trust to do a brilliant job. You are much appreciated and I’d be lost without you both.
And I also want to say how great it was this year to be able to meet just a few of you in person, in Los Angeles and in Sydney and even here in Melbourne. I love getting to know you and understand more about you so that I can help you better. I can’t wait to meet more of you in the UK next year when I travel there in July.
Wishing you all the very best, with all my love.