21 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 21 Years

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The year 2012 has brought me many wonderful moments and memories including the celebration of my twenty-first birthday in April.  From a little girl I had always imagined what it would be like to turn twenty-one.  As the years swiftly flew by I watched many of my girlfriends celebrate their 21st birthday in their own style and I eagerly anticipated my own.

The days leading up to my twenty-first birthday bought about a time of reflection and consideration for me.  Not only to plan my future: my goals, dreams, ambitions and hopes of the years to come but also a wonderful time to reflect on the years already swiftly gone by.  This gave me a deeper understanding how the past twenty-one years have helped me grow as a woman and define the person I am today.

Over the past year I have complied a list of 21 lessons I’ve learned (shall I make that present tense ‘learning’?) in the past year which I would love to share with you; in hope that you may be able to gain some inspiration in your journey through life. . .

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1. Never stop trying.  You may fail more than once or twice but don’t give up.  Where there is life – there is hope.  Failure is only a sign that your growing not that you lack success.

2. Deeply treasure your family.  Out of all the people in the world there is a tight, small circle of people who never lose hope in you, who are there for you 24/7, who never stop praying for you.  They may have a few rough bumps but learn to appreciate them as priceless people.  You’ll be blessed times over.

3. Work hard.  This in an element that my Dad ingrained in me since I was a little girl.  I have vivid memories of him reminding me that “hard work never killed anyone, Clare.”  This year I have been so blessed to gain just a tiny glimmer of the rewards that hard work can bring by earning my first pay-rise from a very proud and satisfied manager!

4. Treasure good friends.  Not just ones that are there for you when its convenient them or when things are going smoothly.  True friends will stand by you in the thick and thin.  I’ve found myself a handful of simply wonderful friends and the blessing that I have received from them almost brings me to tears!  There is nothing more precious than the value of a true and faithful companion!

5. Capture memories and special moments.  When I traveled around Europe both in 2010 and this year I arrived home with literally thousands of pictures and min-videos.  There wasn’t a thing that I didn’t record in some way, shape or form!  It’s a fantastic way to re-live the past!

6. Have a firm faith.  There was a time in my life I wondered where God fitted and maybe you’ve wondered that too.  But it’s been in the past year that I’ve figured it’s actually the other way around.  I want to fit into God’s plan for my existence.  Whether you believe in God or not I think it’s pertinent to have a faith.

7. Good health is priceless! Take care of what you have now.  No amount of success or money can replace superior health.  I am without doubt you’ll appreciate it when hitting a few more milestones!

8. Learn from the past. Don’t regret the past or let is stop you from moving forward. Some of the best lessons I have learned have evolved from a mistake or decision I have made in the past.  I’m a true believer that the best is yet to come!

9. Remember that happiness is your responsibility!  Don’t let people, circumstances or your location withhold your happiness.  Take it into your own hands and create your very own, unique masterpiece!

10. Appreciate wisdom.  The most valuable individuals in my life are the ones that have been there before me.  They know the struggles and triumphs that we face.

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11. Fall in love with being a woman.  Embrace your femininity!  I have to confess there is nothing I dislike about being a woman!  Strive to be more elegant, sophisticated and stylish.  For me, personally I’ll never stop improving and growing in this area!

12. Embrace change.  Life will never stop changing.  Just when you think it’s perfect – it will change – so embrace it, expect it and learn to enjoy every moment.

13. Meditate.  Don’t let life get so busy that you don’t have time for reflection, thought and contemplation.  Sometimes its in the quiet, alone moments that you can gain some of life’s most luxurious moments.

14. Never let yourself stop growing, changing and developing.  It’s when you cease to do these things that life can become stagnant and boring.

15. Happiness does not come from monetary expense or luxury.  The most amazing and extraordinary moments you’ll have will come from the simplest forms of happiness.  Watching a sunset for example.

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16. Smile.  You make yourself much happier and will brighten the lives of those around you too!

17. Miracles surround you everyday.  Open your mind to them.  Life is a miracle in itself.  Your heart that never missed a beat, the fact that you woke up healthy, happy, and with a roof over your head is a miracle!

18. Get our of your comfort zone!  Never stop being adventurous!  Just when you think you are comfortable in your zone, its time to step out and stretch those boundaries!  Dare to be an adventurer!

19. When tough times hit you remember there is a purpose and a plan behind it all.  It’s hard when you’re in the middle of it all but don’t let go.  Never give up.

20. The early hours are the best.  Quietness, solitude there is something completely amazing about this time of day.  Don’t let it slip by.

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21. Anticipate the future… The challenges, triumphs, victories and failures!  Each will help you become a better, more mature person.  Plan ahead…but don’t be rigid.

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New Year’s Resolutions

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce


As the New Year approaches many of us look with great expectation, delight and hope.  The future is uncertain and mysterious.  Where will this new year take us?  How will it change us?

Each time a new year approaches a joy swells within me!  There is a part of me that loves the unknown, filled with excitement and adventure. Having the amazing opportunity of another year to improve, grow, develop, mature and strive for the best.
It also gives me opportunity to see how I have changed and developed over the past year.  Have I developed the skills and matured to the standard I had hoped?

Over the past month I’ve been considering all these things and in such times I have mentally checked what I’ve successfully accomplished and also what needs more improvement.

For a lot of us it’s easy to set goals and targets to accomplish in the coming year but how many of us actually arrive at the end of the year having our list all checked off? Well, not many, according to a study by author and psychologist Richard Wiseman. His research found that 52 percent of resolution-makers were confident that they’d achieve their goals, yet only 12 percent succeeded.

So the question prevails how do we successfully accomplish the goals that we set?

Be Specific

This year, rather than making a broad goal such as “I’d like to exercise more” or “I’m going to eat healthier this year” let’s try making it more specific. How will I exercise more? Make a plan of when and how you’re going to exercise more.  What ways can I make sure I can continually eat healthier? Plan a menu perhaps or think in smaller portions.  Small changes make the biggest difference.

Don’t Give In

If you’re anything like me you’ll arrive at the end of January and feeling like it’s time to press the refresh button and start all over again!  But you must remember that doing your best is as far as it goes.  How about reviewing what you’ve successfully achieved at the end of January and measure yourself at the end of each month?  Maybe that would make progress much easier and more fulfilling.

Do It Now

Does the word “procrastination” have any correlation with goals and success for you?  Well, for me – yes it sometimes correlates very well!  Rather than telling yourself you’ll do it tomorrow or you’ll start next week; why not start today.  Today is just as good as tomorrow or any other day!  And just think – by next week you’ll already be forming that awesome habit!

A Sneek Peek of my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions

For years I’ve been a great sucker for New Year’s Resolutions.  Even when I was much younger I’d write my goals down in a diary (in the neatest hand-writing possible 😉 and keep myself tuned throughout the year to my progress.  Well now, even as an adult not much has changed.  I even still have some of the same goals as back then!   The only thing I guess that has changed – is that my list seems to grow every year and the goals are much more defined and bigger.

Do it in the Morning!
Nothing is more beautiful than the fresh, dewy morning hours!  Perfect, new and untouched they are yours to fill and create.  This year I’m determined to wake up earlier and set aside time to meditate.

Exercise 2+ x Weekly
Really, I’m the person with NIL excuses.  I have an awesome gym membership which is open between 5:30am to 9am.  No more words needed.

Forgive and Forget
This has been weighing on me heavily for the last few months.   Sometimes people are in your life to refine and polish the bumps and unlovely parts.  I have realised that I need to learn to love and forgive even before an apology is granted as it may never come. I need to realise that everyone is doing their best in life.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.

Delete the Negative
This is actually something that has been in progress for the last year and I have been surprised at the fantastic benefits I’ve found both mentally and emotionally when I continually see the good in everything that happens to me in life. It’s my goal to keep pursing this and re-defining it.

Be Grateful and Thankful
Ah, yes.  Everyone – absolutely everyone has so much to be thankful for.  One of my favorite things to do in the quieter moments is to reflect on how I’ve been blessed and how my life has through the twists and turns turned out so wonderfully. (Even though it’s far from perfect!)  I’m committing to taking time out to remember how good God has been to me on a regular basis.

Now . . .
I could easily ramble on for much long detailing my numerous other goals but let’s list a few awesome ones for your inspiration. . .

  • Serve Others
  • Use Google Reader to keep track of websites
  • Put yourself in other people’s shoes
  • Take 100% responsibility for everything that happens to you
  • Live minimistically
  • Be curious. Learn something new.
  • Learn to apoligise
  • Realize that you’re never quite as right as you think you are
  • Let go of things you can’t change. Concentrate on things you can
  • Smile often, even to complete strangers
  • Be honest and take things face-value
  • Take time out to rest and rejuvenate every week
  • Be kind to everyone
  • Become more organized
  • Identify the problem
  • Be polite and be fair
  • Be gentle on myself and those around me