16 lessons learned in 2016

I’m not one for New Years resolutions; despite the promises I make, this time next year I know I’ll be just as indecisive and addicted to sugar. Controversially, 2016 has been an amazing year for me, so as I look back, I thought I’d share a lesson or two. 

1. Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned 

A sentiment we can all agree on looking back at 2016, sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned. For me, 2016 has been a year of surprises; yet despite the tears along the way, it’s been one of my best yet.

2. Take the risk

Be with someone who makes you challenge yourself to take that risk. Quit your job and travel, find something you love doing, or be inspired to change your lifestyle. You won’t regret it.

3. Travelling will always be worth it

Anyone who follows my blog will have heard about my travels this year, yet few saw the indecisive tears as I tried to make up my mind. In hindsight, it was the best decision I’ve ever made and all my worries were pointless. Leaving me with a real realisation of how small we are and a desire to see more of the world, I’m so glad I listened to my gut.  

4. Stop straightening your hair

Another moan of mine – my post-anorexic hair that refuses to grow. My 2016 secret? Ditch the hair straighteners, cover it in coconut oil and eat a balanced diet. You won’t be rapunzel over night, but it will help. 

5. Be less materialistic 

It’s funny how quickly you adjust to wearing the same five outfits again and again. That said, I won’t be binning my shoes and bags just yet.

6. Don’t get obsessed about a job 

I’m as career driven as the next girl who dreams of editing Women’s Health, yet don’t let a job stand in the way of living life to the full. 

7. Don’t be scared of moving 

What’s that expression about humans not being like trees? In 2016 I’ve moved house twice, lived out a backpack for six months and felt at home in the some of Asia’s worst hostels. I’m not saying this is the way to do it, but if you’re not happy, don’t be scared to move on. 

8. Be kind

I vowed not to mention Brexit or Trump in this blog, but 2016 has been a year of scary decisions. More than ever this is time to be kind, to respect those we share this world with and be ready for whatever 2017 has to offer. 

9. Wear suncream 

Looking back over this year’s photos, there is no explanation needed here. 

10. Don’t let food scare you

Despite being fully recovered, anorexia is a part of my mind I have to keep under control. This year I faced massive challenges as I left my routines behind and set out to try new things. Sure, I put on a pound or two and lost a level of fitness, but it reminded me not to be scared of trying new things. 

11. Don’t let change scare you

Something I need tattooed on my arm (or maybe just stuck somewhere I can see it) – a creature of habit, I’m a sucker for a routine. This year I’ve learnt that sometimes embracing change isn’t such a bad thing after all. 

12. Be with someone who notices when things go wrong 

And someone who helps you fix things when they do. 

13. Salmonella is the worst

Another one I don’t need to explain. If you want to test how much someone loves you, live through three days of salmonella with them. 

14. Don’t focus on the number on the scales

A key moment in my recovery was learning I didn’t need the twice a day weigh ins to make me feel ok. Ditch the scales – you’ll be happier and healthier without them. 

15. Write things down

For the first time in a very long time, this year I’ve kept a diary. Something I’m sure I’ll look back on in years to come, collect your memories and travels in a blog or a battered moleskine. 

16. Be excited for what comes next 

As I sit on the train on the final day of 2016, I’m so excited for the challenges this new year has to offer. A blank page, who knows what’s coming next. 

Wishing you all a very happy New Year! 

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