Life lessons of 2017.

Hi, my name is Haley. I’m a 27-year-old girl, or should I say woman now that I’m over the age of 25.
I don’t feel 27 years old, but here I am living the life of 27 years on earth.
Here are my ramblings for the 2017 year.

1. Turn off phone notifications for a productive life.
I did this at the start of the year when I decided to do my 30 days no social media challenge. You can read about my experience here if you like.
In this time I realised that having so many buzzing notifications was interrupting my flow and it made me admit that I was addicted to those little buzzing notifications. It was distracting me from my purpose, my goals, my study and concentration.
Now I have ALL notifications for every application turned off. The only notification I have on is email because it can be regarding business or university.

2. I cannot let fear control my life.
This year was full of fearful moments in my head and my head alone. I started up a project called Atomic Sunflowers because the name is unique and different and the premise was that every flower must grow through dirt. It stemmed from a duo I was involved in called Sunshine State with one of my good friends.
However, I was so torn by this decision to start up another creative endeavour that I barely created anything at all.  Another factor was that I was so frightened of people finding out that I was sharing poetry, stories, videos and creative musings.
We tell each other “don’t care what others think” but the reality is we do care because we like to be accepted, it makes us feel good.
I realised that I couldn’t let this fear control me anymore, I cannot let people from my past or present have the power over how I live my life.
We suffer worse in imagination then we do in reality.  Majority of people really don’t care what you do with your life, they’re too busy caring about their own.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt.

3. Writers just write.
Every single year since I was 16 years old I have gone back and forth with writing goals. I’ve written novels and then never touched them again. Scribblings in notebooks in various locations and posts on the internet spread across different addresses like wildfire.  But never have I fully focused my energy on sitting down and completing a story, or sitting down and just simply writing.
Writers. Just. Write.
It has nothing to do with being in the mood or inspiration. It’s about showing up and working regardless, putting words on paper and editing, editing, editing.

4. I am responsible for the way I feel.
Own your shit.
This was my mantra this year. Own your feelings, your responsibilities and your circumstances. Own your shit.
I am responsible for the way I feel about the past and all the emotional trauma that comes with it. I am responsible for my current circumstances, the life I live, the people I associate with and the industry I choose to work in.
I am responsible for my words, my actions and the way I choose to live my life every day. Nobody in my past or present is forcing my hand, telling me yes or no or what I can and can’t do.
Of course, there are always things I cannot control but I have to accept that and focus on what I can control.  I cannot change the past but in the wise words of old Rafiki “oh yes the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”
5. Simplifying and decluttering my space to make room for whats important.
I read a popular book this year titled “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
And as the title suggests it is life changing. I am naturally an unorganised, cluttered human being who procrastinates tasks until the last minute and throws things around when I have a spark of creativity. So it was important to cater to my lizard brain and make things easier for myself in 2017. So naturally, I turned to knowledge and learnt how to properly tidy my living space.
I feel like this is a skill that gets skipped over in life, just like how to pay your taxes and change your car oil. Self-care is something we have to figure out ourselves which is why a lot of us feel overwhelmed, anxious and depressed.
But this book was my Bible, I read it three times and was so inspired by it all I decided to review it on YouTube.

By simplifying and decluttering our space we can make room for the things that truly matter and tidying up no longer feels like a chore because I now know how to tidy efficiently and correctly to optimise my living space and wellbeing.

6. Do not multitask! Have discipline,
I have always had significant trouble with multitasking. I am such a spontaneous, all over the place with ideas person that I go from one task to the next and become distracted minute by minute.
Once I fully accepted this flaw in myself I was able to say “okay, let’s change this habit.”
Because it had become a bad habit fueled by years of unfinished projects and unaccomplished dreams.
After completing my tidying journey (I am yet to digitally declutter my files and notebooks of writings) I took a hard look at my daily habits and tidied them up too. I decided to implement a few strategies.
– Put my phone on silent or turn it off completely when studying or in a lecture theatre.
– Do not have my phone in the room when I am writing my book and disconnect from the internet.
– Set a timer for an hour if I have multiple tasks to complete that day. That way I can hyperfocus for an hour, have a break and then move onto the next task.
The last habit was the most efficient for disciplining myself and getting shit done. It allowed me time to focus and sometimes when the hour was up I found I was in such a great workflow that I continued to work for another hour on the set task.

7. I cannot do everything at once.
Rome wasn’t built in a day so they say.
I have lived a life of wanting to do everything all at once, becoming overwhelmed with those ideas and then doing nothing at all because I am overwhelmed.
This pattern has repeated constantly until I broke the cycle last year. By setting a time each day for each goal I was able to achieve more than I have ever previously achieved.
I have always been interested in everything all at once, perhaps that’s why I find writing my calling. Writing grants the ability to write about everything. It allows freedom of ideas and stories to be told.
In 2017, I really struggled with decision making and decision fatigue followed. I was exhausting myself mentally over starting another blog/side hustle focused on my passions for freelance writing, studying and reading. I didn’t want it to be associated with my name because I didn’t want people I knew to find out, but as time ticked away I realised how ridiculous that was and how proud I should be for posting about my passions.
I tried working 30hours a week while studying full-time and made myself sick from exhaustion. I wanted so badly to be financially secure and afford life. But I can’t do everything at once. I’m not superwomen and my wellbeing needs to come first.

8. I cannot live for my fantasy self or the idea of who I should be in this world.
I realised I was working hard for my fantasy self. My fantasy self who wears nice clothing made by tiny hands in China who are overworked and underpaid, my fantasy self who can afford a deposit on a nice house in the valley and get married in 2018 even though I am a broke ass bitch.
This wasn’t who I was and I can’t expect to do all that at once.
In my reality, I hate buying overpriced clothing made with unethical standards. I buy clothes from Op Shops and ethical places like Groceries Apparel.

I can’t expect to work 30hours and study full-time and purchase ethical items on my current wage.
It’s not about spending money for me, it’s about having the financial freedom to do and purchase the things that are important to me from companies who are ethical.
I want to have a wedding where my dress isn’t traditional and I don’t spend thousands of dollars on it. To me that shit is ridiculous. I just don’t value it and would rather wear a simple white dress that I can wear again and again over the years.
I want to get married to the man I love, not the dress I love.
Even though all this is impossible right now, my reality is different to my fantasy self and I love that. It’s a great feeling letting go of the idea of who we should be, what we should or shouldn’t say and what we should or shouldn’t value.

9. Your kindness and compassion is a gift. Carry it with you.
I used to be ashamed of my sensitivity. It made me feel vulnerable. I despise it when people talk down to others, even if that person is supposedly wrong or they don’t value the same thing.
Learning to respect each other’s opinions and varying thoughts is what will turn the world around. I am sad when I see posts attacking people, calling the majority stupid or sheeple. It is counterproductive and achieves nothing. All it does is make the other person feel better because they believe themselves to be smarter than the majority.
Be kind, everyone is fighting a battle, everyone is learning, growing and evolving and thinking you are superior is one of the worst traits we have carried throughout history.
I will always listen before I speak, always read before I write and always think before I take action. It has been both a negative and positive aspect that I value. It has stopped me from doing stupid things but it has also stopped me from taking risks and growing as a person. It is a double-edged sword.
But my compassion and kindness is something I hold dear, I learnt that it makes me strong and powerful in the face of adversity and rage. It makes me believe in the good people carry, even if it is but a flicker in some.

– HaleyP1060038.JPG


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