Every year I reflect on the lessons I’ve learned so that I can remember what I achieved and inspire others to reach their own dreams and goals.
I’m all about actionable advice and these lessons can be understood and implemented right away. Giving up on excuses and moving into action is the only way I’ve seen to do the cool things that everyone else wishes they could do but haven’t realized are within their reach.
These are the killer lessons I’ve learned in 2017:
I can conquer fear and so can you.
2017 has been a year of conquering fears. I did the uncomfortable things that I previously always put off and this allowed me to break through fear. The secret was to schedule those difficult activities and not care about the outcome.
Those fearful activities included: public speaking, sharing vulnerable thoughts on social media, going on dates with girls I’d never met and acknowledging my weaknesses. All of it was very challenging but when I look back, that’s where the growth has come from in 2017.
You can crush your fears too. Give it a go and disconnect your mind from what might happen.
I can overcome addictions and so can you.
In previous years gone by, I ignored my addictions. I pretended they didn’t exist and that I was a Cookie Cutter Citizen – I defiantly wasn’t. 2017 made me discover who I wanted to be and give up those addictions to make room for what I wanted in my life.
No longer did I lie to myself. While the addictions felt amazing, overcoming them felt ten times better. The key to beating these addictions was getting help from someone other than myself and holding myself to a higher standard.
I also became compassionate with myself when I fell back into old ways and allowed myself a few slip-ups.
You can look your addictions in the eye too and decide enough is enough. Try it.
I can be focused and so can you.
I’m typically all over the shop. 2017 brought a real focus on minimalism and I used this life hack in every aspect of my day-to-day living. At the end of it all, the new focus I created gave me:
– More time
– Fewer material belongings
– Higher quality relationships with my family, friends and colleagues
– More money
– Outstanding results in blogging
Focus is not about being more productive; it’s about doing less.
“Subtract all the noise and what you’ll be left with is a phenomenal sense of focus that you can use to achieve your big goals”
If my noisy, disorganized mind can become focused then so can yours. Try subtracting.
I can give to people that have nothing and so can you.
One of the highlights of 2017 was spending Christmas Day with the homeless and giving everything I had at that point in time to people who needed it the most. I gave my time, money, inspiring ideas and network to anyone I encountered on Christmas Day.
This very special day taught me that I have enough and that fulfillment is found in places you may not have looked yet.
“Putting a few dollars towards presents for the needy is nowhere near as good as being with them and giving them the human connection that they really seek (not the money)”
You too can spend a festive day with people who have nothing. Sign up in advance so you don’t forget or come up with excuses.
I can be kind and so can you.
2017 has been about thinking before taking action. Instead of defaulting to angry behavior I chose to think first and react later. This hack has allowed me to be kinder to everybody. If a car cuts me off in traffic, I now consider the consequences of shooting my mouth off and trying to seek justice.
If someone close to me says something I don’t like, I try not to sound superior and allow them to have their own point of view. We can all be kind when we stop and think first.
We need more kindness in the world and it starts with you. Try being kind and see how good it feels.
I can do major, unplanned travel and so can you.
Wow, Japan was fun in 2017! I went there with only two days to plan and got on a last-minute flight. Normally I’d insist on having months to plan and trying to predict every step. This time, I embraced the fear and just went to Japan without any plans.
“Uncertainty and lack of planning leads to freedom and unexpected exploration”
Some of the best experiences are ones where you don’t know what to expect (especially when you don’t speak the language of the place you’re going.)
If I can book a trip with two day’s notice then so can you. Try going overseas last minute and getting away from your habits and normality. It will allow you to return with a new perspective.
I can do public speaking without preparation and so can you.
My public speaking skills have improved in 2017 but never did I think I could speak without preparation. 2017 proved this idea to be false. Many of you suffer from a fear of public speaking and one of the best things you can do is to practice without any notes or idea of what you’re going to say.
Preparation can often lead to over planning which carries a whole new type of fear. If I can go from being scared of public speaking to placing in the finals in several public speaking competitions, then so can you.
Try doing public speaking without preparing, on a topic you know well.
I can invest well and so can you.
Money has always been something I wanted to master so I can focus my time on other things like blogging. 2017 was the year I finally started investing not just in myself and my development, but in investments that have a financial return.
I used the Warren Buffett strategy for stocks and using index funds, as well as dabbling in higher risk investments like cryptocurrency.
Both strategies proved to be winners. The biggest thing I did though was spent less and automatically deduct money from my income, and place it into investments. You can start from any financial position and invest any amount of money.
The key I’ve found is to make investing a habit and automate it. You also need a balance of risk and to have a bit of high risk in your portfolio.
If I can invest well with no finance degree then so can you. If you don’t know where to start, read “The Barefoot Investor” (that’s what I did).
I can be better with my time and so can you.
Less coffee catch ups and more time with like-minded people were certainly wise decisions in 2017. I stopped trying to please everyone and said no more often. I delivered each no with respect, positivity and humbleness.
I invested my time in activities like blogging, reading and relaxing. This gave me more of what I wanted and less of other people’s priorities. Trying to make everyone else happy is a loser strategy that will make you busy and feel like rubbish. Choose yourself first when it comes to time.
If I can find more hours in the day and do what I love then so can you. It all starts with saying no more often and knowing what you value. Invest your time like you would your hard-earned money.
I can start a business and so can you.
For around five years I’ve put off starting another business. 2017 was the year I created my social media consulting agency and begun my coaching business. Both these business ventures allow me to help others and get paid to do what I love.
For years I talked about starting another business after my previous ventures but I always thought I wasn’t good enough and didn’t have enough value to deliver. I was wrong.
You are probably wrong too about why you can’t start a business tomorrow. Try it. Start asking for money from people who could use your expertise.
I can fall in love and so can you.
Smashed my goal this year of finding a proper girlfriend. It wasn’t fate; it was intentional and hard work. There’s someone out there for all of us including you. Be bold and begin the search if you haven’t already done so.
I can eat healthy and look after myself and so can you.
Earlier in 2017, I made the decision to have a few casual wines again. Things got way out of control and I fell back into my old ways. Thankfully, after a couple of drunken months, I quit again and am now back to where I want to be. I can have one wine and be all good.
Food was another area that I let get out of control. I had an ice cream or two and that led to a mild sugar addiction. This sucked my energy away and made me feel tired. I also discovered through lots of experimentation that I wasn’t sleeping enough.
I now insist on a minimum of eight hours sleep despite what the “Hustle Till Your Dead” picture quotes say. This has given me a newfound energy and allowed me to outperform in the area of my passions. We have to look after ourselves otherwise we can’t enjoy life to its fullest.
If I can be disciplined and look after my body then so can you. Treat your body well and life will be even more incredible.