26 things I've learned in 26 years image

Yesterday I turned 26. It feels kind of crazy that I’ve passed the mid-20s mark. I’m an actual adult with my own responsibilities. Wow.

Since last year’s ‘25 things I’ve learned in 25 years‘ blog post, a fair amount has happened. Here are just some of the highlights:

  • I moved in with my boyfriend
  • Survived (just about) 3 lockdowns
  • Learned how to cook some awesome meals
  • Got my first sponsored blog post
  • Worked with almost 40 brands

I honestly love celebrating birthdays so much. This year wasn’t quite how I imagined it, though, as I spent the day self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19. However, I’m looking forward to rearranging all my canceled plans and celebrating with my favourite people. But this time indoors self-isolating has given me time to reflect on the past 26 years and everything I’ve learned.

So, in this blog post, I’m going to be sharing 26 things I’ve learned in 26 years. Big learnings, small learnings and everything in between.

1. Rest, relax and recover

I’m a bit of a busy body. I just like doing things. But living throughout the coronavirus pandemic has taught me that sometimes you’ve just got to rest and relax. Life is easier and more enjoyable when you look after yourself. And recovering from COVID-19 by not over-exerting myself has been paramount.

2. Get fresh air

Getting fresh air is so important. I love my lunchtime walks with Mckenzie and being outside away from screens is so good for my mental health. This is something the pandemic seems to have taught a lot of people.

3. Blue cheese coleslaw is elite

And you won’t change my mind.

4. I’m happy

This is the best life lesson of all. I’m truly happy. I love my life and all the people in it.

5. Surround youself with people who benefit your mental health

Cut out any toxic people or people who make you feel negative. Instead, surround yourself with people who benefit your mental health. These are the people who genuinely have your best interests at heart.

6. I’m not the best listener

I try to be good at it but listening is not my strength. I digest information much better through reading it. It’s time to work on my listening skills!

7. Makeup and skincare make me happy

A lot of people say that buying beauty products is unnecessary. I can agree to a certain extent, but if it makes me happy, I can’t see what the problem is. I don’t have an impulsive beauty purchasing problem nor do I spend loads of money on products. Makeup and skincare are my passions so I’m happy to spend money on them, even if my collections are a bit too big lol. Investing in things that make you feel good is the key to a happy life.

8. Learn to let things go

Sometimes, it’s better and easier to let things go. Nobody is perfect and people are going to do things that annoy you. If someone is important to you but has a few traits that bother you, as long as they’re not harmful, 9 times out of 10 it’s best to just let it go. You and the other people will feel better if you don’t argue over something that ultimately doesn’t matter.

9. Exercise

When you’re not in a good workout routine, it can be difficult to get into one. But I promise you’ll feel so much better when you do. Exercising is so good for our physical and mental health. If you keep consistent and push yourself to work out even when you really don’t want to, then you’ll feel a lot better about yourself. Plus, you’ll get fitter, stronger, leaner and all that other good stuff.

10. Perseverence is the key to success

I genuinely believe that steady, consistent effort is the key to success. When things get tough, it’s easier to give up than to continue. That’s why projects fail because people don’t push through or think of new ways to make things work. Persevere and you will see results.

11. Invest in a juicer

Like, now. I love my juicer and all the healthy drinks it creates. Carrot, orange and apple juice is my current favourite! Delicious and good for you? Yes, please!

12. Skills take time to develop

Although I pride myself on having good writing and grammar skills, there’s still more to learn. Skills take time to develop and perfecting your craft is almost impossible. After all, there’s always something that you can work on to improve your skillset. But this also makes learning skills exciting as there’s always somewhere to progress to.

13. Healthy is not an appearance

I repeat, healthy is not an appearance. If you constantly eat junk food and don’t put on weight, you’re still not fuelling your body properly. You should take care of your body as, after all, you’ve only got one. Having said that, being too strict isn’t good for anyone and having some bad food every now and then is fine. It’s all about striking the right balance.

14. Failure is normal

It’s how you bounce back from failure – by learning from it – that counts. Successful people turn their failures into ammunition to enable them achieve more.

15. I might actually enjoy jogging

I know, I know. This isn’t me. But I went for a jog recently and I actually kind of liked it. Am I… evolving?

16. Pretentious people are douches

End of discussion. Avoid these people as much as humanly possible. They never have anything nice to say.

17. Be happy in your job

This point feels like an obvious one but I can’t stress its importance. You spend most of your day at work, so if you spend each moment miserable, your life is likely not going to feel very enjoyable. Having a job that makes you happy, or working for yourself, makes your world a brighter place.

18. Support others

If you’ve ever started a new project or hobby, starting out can be daunting. Putting your name out there and getting recognition can feel very difficult in the early days. All you want is some support, right? Well, everyone experiences this so being supportive is a great thing to do. It encourages people to follow their dreams.

19. Wear SPF every day

Yes, even indoors. It’s so important to look after your skin. But I won’t go into that now…

20. Spread kindness

Be kind to others. It’s not difficult. Ask people how they’re doing, compliment cute outfits and be generous. It truly is infectious.

21. Ask questions

Being curious and inquisitive is a blessing. You can learn so much about others by asking questions and being open-minded. People have a lot to give and being curious will allow you to learn, grow and flourish.

22. Friendships change

Sometimes, life just gets in the way and that might mean you lose a few friends along the way. Your friendships will likely change as you get older too as you gain more responsibilities and have less time on your hands. This means seeing people less frequently. But often, the time you spend with your friends is quality when you do see them. And that counts for more than anything. I value this a lot and love catching up with friends when I’ve not seen them for a while.

23. Daily affirmations can make a difference

Simple affirmations like “I am strong” or “today is going to work out fine for me” can help shift our mindset from being negative to being positive. These simple statements set intentions for the day ahead. I didn’t think daily affirmations would work but they do, especially if you stay consistent with them. We can rewire our thought pattern to looking at the world with kinder eyes. Positivity attracts positivity and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

24. Some people won’t be your cup of tea

And there’s nothing wrong with that. Not everyone’s going to like you and you’re not going to like everyone you come across. It’s fine and you don’t need to worry about it. It’s just how life is and there’s no point in forcing a relationship that simply isn’t there.

25. Have fun

I may be 26 now but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun. Age has no limits on how joyful your life can be. Have a great time.

26. Be true to yourself

That’s what makes you who you are after all. And nobody else can do it better. The world would be a very boring place if we were all similar.