The beginning of the year always becomes a time of reflection for me. Reflection over the past year to discover what I can improve upon in all aspects of my life. I’m a big self-improvement promoter…I think it’s totally honorable to be constantly trying to better yourself and strive for enlightenment and in turn, self actualization. An example: Criticism is okay if it’s critical and you take it critically, not personally. Stress is okay too, depending on how you perceive it.
2014 was a year of learning for me. Life learning especially. Although I’m positive I learned more than 14 things in a year (you learn something everyday, right?) Here are 14 notable things I learned in 2014, and 15 things I want to learn in 2015.
1.) Attitude is truly everything. It’s amazing what happens when you adjust your attitude. PMA guys. Positive Mental Attitude. A PMA is contagious…if you have a good attitude about things, it’s noticeable and addicting to others. It will rub off on those around you because you’re setting a premier example.
2.) How you deal with things is 100% your choice. YOU are the only one in control of your mind. You have freedom of choice. Choose wisely.
3.) To truly stop caring about what others may think. Of you, your life and what you’re doing with it. Put simply, you only stall yourself from your full potential if you are in constant turmoil over others’ opinions. Do your thing and do it proud, even if others are judging you.
4.) Don’t dwell. Dwelling makes you miserable. When you dwell, you’re miserable and when you’re miserable people don’t want to be around you. Go away.
5.) Take a deep breath first. Before lashing out when faced with a stressful situation or experience, take a deep breath and compose yourself before you react. A good piece of advice I’ve grown up with is: ‘Act. Don’t React’. Like above ^, no one wants to be around someone behaving neurotically…go away.
6.) Appreciate and use what you have. This is a big one, I think. In today’s world, it’s way too easy to buy more than you need. I’ve gone on quite a buying fast lately, and it has really helped me save money but it has also helped me get creative again (all that stuff I kept buying was cluttering my creative brain). Instead of looking in my closet and saying the aged old, “I have nothing to wear” I try to look at all that stuff and think…”how can I wear this differently than I usually do?” And this one obviously pertains to more than overstuffed closets.
7.) Learn from your hardships. Often times, the reason we are faced with hardship is because we need to learn something. So, don’t dwell on your hardship, but find the lesson hidden in there and most importantly, learn from it.
8.) Don’t doubt yourself or your potential. Self-doubt is destructive. Kind of links to #2…self-doubt is your choice. If you don’t believe in yourself and what you’re capable of, neither will anyone else.
9.) Help others. This is karma. What goes around comes around. Random acts of kindness as well as charity go a long way. Not only does it benefit the ones you’re helping, it benefits you-it makes you feel good.
10.) Everyone has a story. We are all unique individuals. We each have a personal story, which is undoubtedly interesting because life is interesting.
11.) Face challenges with vigor (physical and mental). Stand up straight, shoulders back, chin up and plow right through. The only way out is through.
12.) Dress for the weather. Both literally and figuratively. No, you shouldn’t wear a tank top in 15 degree weather just like you shouldn’t do something important without being prepared. Bring out your inner boy-scout.
13.) Read. Knowledge is power. No one and nothing can take your knowledge or education away from you. Read to know.
14.) Be interesting. Never say you’re bored…only boring people get bored. ;)
Now, I won’t know exactly what life lessons I may learn this year as I’m sure they’ll be plentiful, so my 15 item list of things to learn in 2015 is a planned one…more or less a set of goals that will hopefully help me grow as a person.
1.) Learn a foreign language. I would like to become bilingual. Of course that is something that will take longer than a year, but this year I will start the learning process.
2.) Listen to more Ted Talks. I have only recently become enamored with Ted Talks, and guys…I’m a little obsessed. So far, I have a list of about 15 that I want to watch. I find them very inspiring and motivating.
3.) Live simpler. Lately, I’ve become more interested in the concept of minimalism. Not to the extreme of course, but with the notion that value is what is important, not the sole acquisition of things. I’ve just about finished reading this book, which has been very helpful.
4.) How to crochet. I’ve got sewing and knitting down, now I’d like to move on to crocheting.
5.) Explore CLE even more. Yes, I’ve been a Clevelander my entire life, but I still have a lot of exploring to do, especially now that our great city is getting its heartbeat back.
6.) (To go along with #3)…Quality over quantity. I’m increasingly aware of the importance of this fact. Quality always goes farther than quantity.
7.) Less TV time, more reading time. I’m sure I will learn more from reading than watching TV.
8.) Body language. I need to learn how to improve my body language. The other day, I was talking to this girl I didn’t know who told me she noticed I was fidgety when I talked-this instantly made me self-conscious because I know I’m fidgety when I’m nervous. It seems body language is often overlooked and I’m convinced (after watching Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk) that if I learn to fidget less, it will help me overall.
9.) Learn more about antiques. I got all these books a year or so ago that are about everything you need to know in relation to antiques and I have only ready one and a half. I’m inherently interested in antiques as it is, but all the knowledge I can get on the subject is okay with me.
10.) One word. Chocolate. For how much I love chocolate, I find it necessary that I learn more about it and how it is made and perhaps even experiment with chocolate making, myself.
11.) Learn how to stay better organized. I’m one of those people that’s like a half organizer…I like organization, but I can exist okay when things are disorganized because there tends to be a method to the madness. So my problem is more in the maintaining organization.
12.) Retention. I’m reading this book right now called Moonwalking with Einstein, and it’s all about how you can train your brain to remember anything. Something that is indeed a helpful skill when studying to retain information on a subject.
13.) Learn how to cook a roast. I love to cook, but I have never attempted to make my own roast. So this year, I will learn how to cook a roast chicken, turkey, beef what have you AND how to properly carve it.
14.) Time management. This one is ongoing. I have been getting better over time and this is for sure something that takes a lot of time and practice to nail down. It is amazing how much you can do in one day.
15.) Take a yoga class. Never have, but always wanted to take a yoga class(es) because I think it’d be my type of exercise…I’ll start with the basics first though before I get into all that hanging from the ceiling stuff. ;)
What are 15 things you want to learn in 2015??