17 Things I Have Learned This Year

The end of a great 2017 is coming. It has been a year full of changes, a lot of tears and struggles, but also many moments of joy. Endless hours spent with loved ones and the realization that crappy stuff can happen. The best thing of all is being able to make it out alive, healthy and even stronger than before. It’s so interesting how many things can a person learn, experience and witness in a year and most of them he wouldn’t even be able to imagine that they could happen to him. That’s why I decided to write down the most important things I have learned this year.

For my life 2017 was a period of vast changes, both happy and sad, new beginnings, a lot of failures and many caring and loving people around me. I obtained my university degree (which I don’t know what to do with), I went from a good-paying job (that made me anxious 24/7) to one in which I’m underpaid and sometimes not paid at all (it’s ok to make mistakes), I realized I have the most amazing boyfriend (that never lets me down and is always there for me), I started my blog (which was the most important step out of my comfort zone so far), I had some good friends by my side (to make beautiful memories with) and for some brief seconds I thought my life would be over (a car was in my traffic lane heading towards me). After all, I would say it was an interesting year in which boredom never hit my door. Even the not-so-happy stuff keep you busy, right? 😛

So, I dare say that the things I have learned this year made me grow wiser, to become more mature and learn some important life lessons, which I’d like to share with you. Hopefully, some of them will be useful to you in tough situations and help you be more prepared when they come.

17 Things I Have Learned This Year

red turtleneck outfit

-Less is more.

We often use that moto when it comes to fashion styling, but actually, it applies to more aspects of life. Buying and consuming less has become my favorite thing this year and a great challenge to myself. I decluttered my space by buying and keeping only quality stuff and giving away others that I’ve never used once in the years of owning them. This way I can easily keep order in my space and I don’t waste my time tidying around.

-Comparing can steal your happiness.

Stop comparing your body, your face, your wallet, your life to other people. The only thing you will achieve is to feel self-pity because there will always be someone “better” than you. After all, you just see an image. You can never know the struggles of anyone from just seeing them nor how hard they had to work for something. Instead, just work on becoming the best version of yourself, focus on the great things surrounding you and just live YOUR life.

-Getting out of your comfort zone feels so liberating.

For the first time, I did it! I got out of my comfort zone so many times, with the most important one this blog. I was too scared of what would people think and say about me, that I postponed it for years, but now here I am and it feels great.

-Listen to your body and its needs. 

This year I was full of stress and that is something you could see on my body. The signs were telling me to slow down, but I was unable because there were always things that had to be done. “I have to work in this job I hate, I have to exercise daily, I have to do the things that please everyone etc..”. The truth is, you can’t ignore the signs for long and you will have to take a break whether you like it or not.

-Let go of the past and move on. 

That’s a thing that I’ve learned its importance in the previous years, but 2017 didn’t let me forget it either. Being able to let go of the past is not easy at all, but when you manage to do it, you will feel 10 pounds lighter. Stop playing the victim, blaming yourself or the others. Just accept that it is something you can’t change and stop reliving it over and over. The only thing you’ll achieve is hurting and holding yourself back from happiness.

Things I Have Learned This Year

-Exercising is critical to your mood. 

Exercise kept me sane in a period when my levels of stress were really high. Now, I’m never going back to not exercising at all. It feels great when you do, plus you are improving your body health and image. It’s a win-win situation!

-Work hard and smart, nothing good comes easy.

If you are an ambitious person and have some big goals, you need to work really hard for them. No one will work for you and the universe doesn’t owe you anything to make them happen for you. But, be careful. Working hard is just one side of the coin. The combination of smart and hard work is the path to success, otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.

-A good plan that starts today is better than a great one that starts tomorrow. 

Like Keith Abraham says in his book “It Starts With Passion: Do What You Love and Love What You Do” you can’t wait for the perfect moment and conditions to start something, cause they will probably never come and you will wait forever. Instead, focus on today and make it the perfect moment to start working towards your dreams.

-Early rising is so productive. 

When you wake up early you have more time to get things done. Also, after you get used to it, you will feel less grumpy and very energetic throughout the day. You are getting this advice from a person that used to go to bed at 5:00 am and woke up at 1:00 pm.

vintage striped skirt-You will meet failure many times and in forms, you didn’t expect

…and it will feel mentally draining and frustrating. But, that’s the thing about it. Only this way you’ll learn what you did wrong and find a way to fix it. Success is all about trial and error and having the strength to go for it again and again.

-Some people are not willing to pay for your services,

…but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. I know sometimes you need a certain job to help you pay the bills, but when you are not getting paid by the one that hired you, don’t stay in the hope that he will one day, because most likely he won’t. Working for free is called volunteering and I believe it’s a great act, but not when your contract says otherwise. How do you expect to meet great opportunities if you have come to terms with mediocrity?

-Patience is a virtue,

…but not easy at all. I’m a pretty impatient person who gets bored easily, so telling me that I have to be patient is like a kick in the balls (not that I can know how that feels 😛 ). You can’t expect results overnight and jumping from one thing to another, most likely, won’t get you anywhere. However, you can be certain that you will see results if you commit and work hard on what you decide to do.

-“To-do lists” are important 

…especially for prominent people (that’s me), because they hold you accountable, instead of letting you wander around and waste your time with meaningless staff.

-… the same applies to setting up goals. 

Having goals gives you a purpose to work in a certain direction and helps you prioritize the important stuff.

emporio armani red turtleneck-Things are never black or white. 

Even the worst and toughest situations you might face, have some important and very useful lessons to teach you, which will follow you for the rest of your life.

-Dare to follow your guts, even if the others insist it won’t get you anywhere.

Even if it turns out they were right and you didn’t achieve what you hoped for, do you want to live the rest of your life wondering what would happen if you had gone for it…?

-Give love to the people that deserve it and tell them how you feel. 

Sometimes it’s so good for someone to hear your feelings towards him, even if he knows them already. I used to be the kind of person that didn’t show emotion and preferred to keep stuff for myself. This way I gave the impression of the tough emotionless girl that can handle and cope with anything that comes in her way. Of course, this was far from the truth. I just preferred to suffer in silence, so I wouldn’t seem weak. However, when I started to show emotions to the people I love, it felt liberating and I’m not going back to the emotionless mode anytime soon. 😛

I dare say that all the things I have learned this year were so important and critical to the way I’ll make choices from now on.

Question of the day: Which is the most important life lesson 2017 taught you? Feel free to tell me in the comments section below!

Looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store!




  1. December 5, 2017 / 6:36 pm

    This is a great list, Kate! I 100% agree with you on all points! Here’s hoping to even more (easy, please) life lessons in 2018!

    • Kate
      December 6, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Thank you, dear Daneen! Have a great (and easier) year ahead too!

  2. December 5, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    Just because you love someone with all your heart, that doesn’t mean they’ll ever love you back.

    • Kate
      December 5, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      Then you have two options: Love them just because you feel good doing so or give your love to someone else, who is more worthy and gives you love back! Thank you for stopping by!

  3. December 5, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    Excellent post Kate! I love this blog, keep it up!

    • Kate
      December 6, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  4. December 5, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    A good self awareness post.

    • Kate
      December 6, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  5. December 5, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    I love how you not only talked about getting out of your comfort zone, but you actually did it. Some of life’s greatest discoveries are made there if you only have the courage to take those steps. Good for you!

    • Kate
      December 6, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Exactly! The most important knowledge regarding life is happening outside our comfort zone! Thank you, Emily, for stopping by! 🙂

  6. December 6, 2017 / 12:34 am

    I would move on from my existing work as soon as possible if they didn’t pay me!

    • Kate
      December 6, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      You would do correctly! It’s so annoying when people don’t pay you just because they don’t want to!

  7. Guest WPBlogger
    December 6, 2017 / 4:29 am

    Very interesting post Kate. This is really awesome knowledge you learned!

    • Kate
      December 6, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      I did learn a lot indeed! Thank you for stopping by!

  8. Rehmat
    December 6, 2017 / 10:33 am

    Thanks for these quite interesting lessons you learned. It’s normal for all working people especially 9 to 5 jobs… At least you reflect what you learned. Wishing you a happy and a better year ahead…:)

    • Kate
      December 6, 2017 / 4:25 pm

      It’s normal, but it’s not the right thing… 🙁 Have a great new year ahead! 🙂

  9. Lisa
    December 7, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    I really enjoyed your article. Those are some really great lessons to have learned in 2017. Also, they are very wise. I can certainly relate to the less is more. I know I spend extra time cleaning, due to stuff I’m holding onto. It’s always a great feeling when you’ve cleaned something out (closet, drawer, cabinet..ect) and get rid of the clutter. It just makes you feel better.

    • Kate
      December 21, 2017 / 5:53 pm

      My thoughts exactly! The room looks cleaner and I feel less stressed being around a few useful stuff! Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

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