Last Updated on 1st February 2020 by Sarah Sarsby

The good, the bad and the ugly

To celebrate my 24th birthday yesterday, I decided to write a post on 24 things I’ve learned over the last 24 years. Mid-20s, I’m such an adult now!

I love my birthday and spending time with all the people I care about, eating too much cake and taking time for myself. And I love the presents, of course.

However, as much as it’s really exciting to turn 24, it’s also a time for reflection. In these 24 years that I’ve been alive, I’ve learned so much – some good, some bad and some in between. With that, I wanted to share 24 of the most important things I’ve learned over the years with you.

1. Pursue what makes you happy, not other people

This is some of the best advice I could ever give. It’s your life and you should choose how you want to live it.

2. Beauty is a perception, not a fact

There’s no such thing as a perfect person. Who you might think is the most beautiful person in the world, will do absolutely nothing for somebody else.

The quicker you realise that there’s no set way to look and that beauty can take many different forms, the better you will feel.

It’s still a journey for me, but I’m getting there.

3. Start that project you’ve been saying you will for the last 20 years

I’d encourage anyone who is wanting to start a project to do it – you won’t regret it! I know I should’ve started my blog sooner because I absolutely love it.

4. You get what you work for, not what you wish for

Getting to where you want in life, be it a house, a car, a job or launching your own business, takes hard work and dedication. The best things in life are worth working for and sitting around not acting on what you want won’t get you anywhere.

5. Know yourself

It’s really important to be self-aware and understand your strengths and weaknesses because it allows us to grow as individuals.

For example, I know that I struggle with empathy sometimes and try to work on it. On the flip side, I also know that I have a good work ethic and always try to do the right thing.

6. Take responsibility for your actions

This is a big one for me because I’ve come to realise how much I despise it when people can’t own up to mistakes or don’t know how to say sorry. We all make mistakes, it’s just a part of being human, but you should own it and take responsibility for your errors. You’ll gain a lot more respect in doing so.

Which brings me to my next point…

7. You’re going to make mistakes

And that’s fine. It’s where you’ll learn the most about yourself and others.

The most important thing is knowing how to learn from your mistakes and continue with your self-growth.

8. Be forgiving

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to brush off the issue and forgive. Not everything you disagree with needs to be a drama.

9. You’re in control of your own life and have the power to create change

That job you hate – you can find a new one, that person that keeps hurting you – you can cut them out, that car you want – you can work your ass off for it and get it.

You are in control of your own life and you can make changes, even if they’re difficult.

10. Don’t compare yourself to other people, you’ll always lose

Building on point 2 – ‘beauty is a perception, not a fact’ – playing the comparison game is dangerous and you’ll never win. We look for the things in other people that we feel we’re lacking ourselves.

But seldom do we look at ourselves and celebrate what we like.

The thing is, when you compare yourself to somebody else, you’ll always lose because you’re not them. And they’re not you. And that’s a good thing. There is good and bad in all of us, but that’s what makes us who we are.

11. Your unique power is you

To reiterate the point above, your uniqueness is what makes you stand out from the crowd. Believe in yourself and embrace your faults as well as your strengths.

You’re a valuable contribution to this world.

12. It’s okay to have high standards

You don’t need to settle or ‘make do’. If you think somebody has acted out of line, let them know how you feel.

13. The law of attraction is real

Mindset is everything and a shift in perspective can be all you need.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right

Henry Ford

We can’t always change what happens in life, but we can certainly change how we react to situations. Think positively.

14. Practice yoga

The sooner, the better. Incorporating yoga into my life has made such a difference to myself, both physically and mentally.

I thought it would be some hippie bullshit and I didn’t get the whole zen thing but yoga hahs genuinely changed my outlook on life for the better. Plus, I feel more at peace with myself than ever before.

If you’d like to read more about the benefits of yoga, check out my post on 6 reasons why yoga is so great.

15. Remove toxic people from your life

A smaller circle of true friends is better than a larger circle of fake friends. If someone adds no value to your life, is unsupportive of all your decisions and makes you feel negative, drop the dead weight. It’s for the best.

When my arthritis was bad, I learned a hard truth about which of my friends were there for me and which weren’t. As much as it was painful at the time, after I cut those people out, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

Get rid of those toxic people, you’ll feel much better once you’ve cut those ties.

16. You’ll never stop learning

And that’s so exciting. Who knows how much more you will have learned in the next 6 months? It’s what keeps me motivated, especially with this blog.

17. Don’t limit yourself

You can achieve whatever you put your mind to. Don’t ever say you can’t, instead say “how can I”?

For instance, you want a house that costs £1 million. Instead of thinking to yourself I’ll never be able to afford that, look at ways you can get that house. Maybe you could get into the property market, maybe you could look at investing or maybe you could launch your own business to help you make that money.

18. You don’t need to go out drinking every night in your 20s to be “living the life”

I’m perfectly happy not getting drunk every weekend and I’m 24. And I’d say I’m living my best life. Plus, my skin is waaaay better since ditching those heavy drinking nights.

19. Set goals and achieve them

Setting goals helps you keep focused. If you want to get your dream job, look at the stepping stones in between that will help you achieve that goal. Whether that’s work experience, an internship or a certain qualification, have some manageable goals in mind and smash them.

20. Cancel plans if you need to

And don’t feel sorry about it. Your friends and family will understand if you can’t make it and you can always rearrange for another time. You’ve got to put yourself first sometimes.

21. Have no regrets

Experiences, both good and bad, shape who we are. If something bad has happened to you, look at it as something to learn and progress from, rather than a regret.

For instance, having a shitty relationship in the past has helped me appreciate who I’m with today.

Bad experiences can give you perspective and clarity, and even though they won’t feel that way at the time, reflection is a beautiful thing.

22. Fuck the naysayers

Maybe one of my favourite points in this list. Fuck anyone who doesn’t believe in you, doubts you unreasonably or tells you that you can’t do something. You can and will do it.

23. I’m an introverted extrovert

Most bloggers I come across are introverts but I’m definitely an extrovert. Just an introverted one.

I love the company of other people, but I prefer small groups or one to one situations, I find these scenarios energising. I’m definitely not one for massive crowds. But I also don’t like having too much time to myself.

24. I’m surrounded by some truly wonderful individuals

I love the people in my life. I love my family, I love my boyfriend and I love my friends. I feel so grateful to have the people I do in my life and feel like everyone else should be jealous, my support circle is awesome.

These are 24 of the most important things in the 24 years I’ve been alive. What important things have you learned over the years? Share them with me in the comments down below!