It’s nearing the end of another year. Another year which has flown past in a blink of an eye. 2018 was a weird one for the world, no doubt. For me, 2018 has been one hella hectic year of growth, new opportunities, mistakes and lessons. I thought why not just mush them down into 18 lessons? Let me know what you’ve learned in this crazy year.
1- Embrace the Bad days
Bad days are normal and totally acceptable! This is one of my favourite quotes -
“Everyone wants happiness, no one wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.”
As someone who has a very persevering and overachieving drive, I find it hard to accept the phases in my life when nothing goes to plan, when I’m totally falling behind on a deadline or when I think my life is falling apart. In truth, bad days or phases are apart of everyone’s lives and they’re there to help you learn more about yourself. No one is perfect, no one is always happy, everyone experiences bumps on the road, some more than others, but don’t beat yourself for it, embrace it!
2- Waking up early is key to a productive day
I never thought I was a morning person until 2018. By starting my days early, I feel 10x more productive and ready to take on the day. I find my brain works best in the morning after a refreshing sleep, so I’m able to squeeze all the tedious school work in the early hours and I’ll end up with plenty of time in the afternoon to do whatever I really want. Not convinced? This article seems to sum up all the benefits + tips!
3- There is nothing to lose in putting your hand up and volunteering
This is one my favourite lessons of 2018. Why? Because by simply putting my hands up and volunteering, I was able to meet so many new people, be exposed to a whole new industry, eat hella good vegan food and have the best job working for the best market in sydney ! When I heard that a new vegan market was being introduced in Sydney, I automatically knew I wanted to be apart of it. I filled out a volunteer form on their website purely because I wanted to help out, but fast forward a year, and I now manage the social media for @sydneyveganmarket and @dogsofsvm and get to be part the best markets ever!
4- Learn to cultivate daily habits
creating daily habits have been a life saver for me this year. When things get super busy and hectic, it’s easy to feel meh. By creating daily habits, I was able to stay on top of things and feel my best regardless of any bumps in the road I came across. And i’m not just talking about physical habits, also mental habits! Try cultivate positive habits into your everyday life which will help you focus better, procrastinate less and be more productive.
5- Plastic-free shopping is so much easier than thought
I’m still in the progress of ditching all plastics surrounding my life . Currently, I probably sit around the 70% plastic free mark, however making the conscious effort to ditch plastic has been so much easier than thought! I invested in some cloth net bags for produce, bamboo/metal straws, heaps (maybe too many) funky reusable cups, bringing my own containers and simply just saying no to unnecessary plastics when I’m outside.
6- Use a planner!
Ahhh, this is one of my favourite things. I need a planner to keep my life on track, I basically can’t function at all without a planner. And by planner I mean the hard copy books you lug around in your bag. I somehow can’t seem to do online calendars or planners but if you prefer that over a hard-copy , utilise that baby! By writing things down, you are more likely to go out and fulfill your goals. You can also prioritize your activities and keep an eye out on your work.
Ps, it helps to have a super cute planner like this one from Frankie. EVen better, get creative and create your own bullet journal! I used one this year and loved it!.
7- Social Media isn’t all a bad place, I’ve met some good friends
Social media has been given a bad rep, and yes, if you utilise social media in the wrong way, it can go horribly wrong. However, if you use this platform for the better, the benefits come pouring out. This year, I was able to meet so so many new people through my Instagram account. I had the opportunity to go to events and tastings where I got to meet some of the nicest people and bridge new friendships. And it helps so much when you share the same interests!
8- Read more!
I sound like my mum, but reading is seriously so important if you want to develop better literacy skills, general knowledge and just expand your creativity and imagination. I’ve always been a huge book nerd and as I approach my more senior years in high school, I’ve seen the huge benefits of reading. And i mean, nothing is better than a cup of hot tea and a good book, rightt?!
9- You can never eat too much fruit or drink enough tea
hehe, do I need to explain? I just flipping love my fruit and tea. period.
10- Set a morning/night routine
The organising freak in me is coming out again but I find I get so much more done in a day when I stick to my morning/night routines. Try set your bedtime to the same hour frame every night (when you can) or give your body a quick morning stretch before you start the day. Whatever your morning/night routine looks like, sticking to daily practices has so many benefits!
11- Essential oils are a godsend
We introduced essential oils into our home, car, skincare, food, basically into our whole life midway this year. And hoooo boy! I know essential oils have almost become a ‘trend’ or a ‘thing’ this past year on social media, and yes, I definitely had my doubts, but after going to a essential oils workshop, I was so intrigued. Doterra Essential oils are the pure extracts from plants, which can be anywhere from 50-70 times more powerful than herbs. Just one drop of Doterra peppermint essential oil = 28 cups of peppermint tea! I’ve seen drastic results by using essential oils for sleep, skin, mood, bloating and even to prevent sickness ! We’ve also started diy-ing skin and body products such as shampoo, so we’ll have to see how that goes!
12- Move yo body!
I’m sure you’ve heard this one enough but seriously, moving your body is one of the best things you can do for both your physical and mental state. Go for a walk, bicycle ride, run, yoga, even light stretching, kick the ball around, grab some friends and play some tennis, basketball, etc. There are plenty of ways to get your heart rate up! When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins release a positive and ‘feel good’ rush to your mind and body, thus a major role on your mood and mental state!
13- But make sure to give yourself sufficient rest and days off!
Over exercising is a thing. And so is not giving your body the rest it needs. It’s super important you give your body relaxing, chill and not so strenuous days so you can avoid any injuries and so you can feel your best. at one point this year, I was going on super hard runs too many times a week. Not only did I end up injuring my ankle but I felt completely exhausted mentally almost constantly. Lesson learnt- Take things slow and rest rest rest!
14- Spruce up your room and create a vibe, it helps
I love my room. It’s homy, cosy and exactly where I want to be if I’m having a hard day. Add plants, posters, tapestries, fairy lights or whatever floats your boat. Establish a vibe and atmosphere which is ‘you’ ! My favourite pieces in my bedroom have to be my salt lamp, dream catcher, plants, fairy lights and my dark blue linen sheets.
15-get some plants
plants plants plants. Become a plant mum/dad and bring in some greenery into your life. It’ll force you to take on responsibility roles and can give you something to focus on. Alsoooo,Studies have proven that house plants improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15%), reduce stress levels, and boost your mood!
16- Don’t stress over useless things!
Oh sasha! Don’t stress over the smallest, useless things! This is still something I’m in the process of learning but definitely something I am adamant to overcome. I could be doing something so much more worthwhile with my time. Someone please explain to me why I’m so damn stressed about the smallest things!
17- Pick up old hobbies
Recently I’ve been finding myself at the piano trying to learn a new song and I think I’ve rekindled my love for music. Instead of falling into the trap of staring into the screen whenever I’m bored, I try make the effort to pick up a new hobby or an old hobby. That could be drawing, music, dancing, sports, etc. You would be surprised by how much joy it can be to pick up something you thought you had lost, or prove to yourself that hey, I’m actually not bad.
18- Just go for it
A few months ago, my mum and I started up a new biz called BiBiMBAP, a Korean Vegan food stall at the Sydney Vegan markets! For the longest time mom and I have wanted to start up our own vegan food business, however we had our doubts and just kept on pushing it to the side, it was just a side thought. After seeing the success of Mylk & Bun run by the babe Liz, we decided to just go for it. my mum has previous restaurant running experience so on some level we knew what we were going in for, however we didn’t anticipate such a welcoming first market response. We were so flipping happy and can’t wait for our future markets! EEEK! I can recall plenty of times during the lead up when we were both unsure, and even I suggested we should drop the idea, it would be too hard for us to manage. My mum told me that we were just going to go for it, and we did, and we cannot be more happier that we went through! Just like Nike’s tagline- Just do it!