A new year always brings an air of reflection and consideration, with the promise of new
experiences and opportunities prompting a period of soul-searching and considering how to
make the most of what is to come. Although I have never been one for New Year's
resolutions per se, I thought I would reflect on the year just gone and share a few things
I learnt and aim to be more conscious of for the year ahead.
Don't compare yourself to others. Seriously.
Working in the industry I do, when your brand and your personal self are so inextricably
linked, it is difficult not to compare yourself to others. It is, however, essential you don't.
You must define your own goals, identify your own strengths and pursue them in your
own way, single-mindedly. With almost tunnel-vision tenacity. Of course be inspired by
others, seek knowledge from them and learn through shared experiences, but don't fall
into the trap of comparing their lives/careers/relationships to your own as a measure
of success. Everyone has a unique role to play and path to tread in this world, and you
owe it to yourself and those around you to make the best of it on your terms, in your
way, in your time. Be your own barometer for success.
Survive or thrive.
This has become my new mantra when faced with stressful times. My typical mindset is
set on growth for my brand, business or personal self, always thinking about ways to expand
and meet various goals and milestones. I learnt in 2015, however, that this just isn't always
possible - some days or weeks or maybe months all you can afford to set your mind to is not
to thrive, but merely survive. Get done what needs to be done, tick off those long lists, allow
yourself to conserve that energy - both physical and mental - for those particularly stressful
times, push through and then breathe and reboot. Once you're back on track and out of pure
survival mode, you can think about how you can start thriving once more. Consciously
deciding which it will be for that day is the key to ensuring you're not over-stretched.
Celebrate the milestones.
Further to the point above, when you're thriving, remember to celebrate that fact. I cannot
tell you how many times other people - friends, family, significant others - have had to
remind me of how far I've come and how much everything as grown since I began blogging
in 2011. I still can't believe what I get to do and see and experience, and indeed how many
people seem to want to come along for that journey with me. It can be so easy to want to
keep pushing forward, but sometimes you just need to sit back and appreciate just how far
you have come.
To yourself and to others. There can never be too much kindness in this world, and there is
never a situation that doesn't call for it in one way or another. Kindness, patience and
understanding will always be the way forward in any given context.
Persistence and perseverance pays off.
Finally, this is what you must remind yourself of everyday, because it is absolutely true.
Never give up on your goals, aspirations or anything that drives you in this life, as that is
the sole purpose for which we exist: to seek happiness and fulfilment, in both the largest
and smallest of quantities, and enjoy the journey along the way.
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort,
pain, difficulty... I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life.
I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and
led them well. - Theodore Roosevelt
These are the words I am living by for the new year. I say bring on 2016.
Photos by Hannah Roche. Wearing: Michael Lo Sordo dress