It's the second week of 2018.
If so, what was your biggest takeaway from 2017?
What nuggets of wisdom are you bringing with you into 2018?
Continue reading to find out what these 11 inspiring, incredible women took away from last year.
2017 was a busy year! I worked a full-time job, I invested into my side-hustle, I met people from all over the United States and attended more and more networking events, I met people from all over the world thanks to my full-time job, I had surgery, I quit my full-time job, I rebranded my entire blog into a virtual studio with service packages, and my boyfriend and I decided that I would move back to Spain at the end of December so we could finally start creating a life together. This past year, I learned A LOT. My biggest takeaway though, is that everything works out at their own time - and to never rush something.
Most of this year was a lot of trial and error, waiting for the right moment, and listening to my gut when it came to decisions.
Before, I used to rush things, never taking a moment to think things through all the way, and would ignore my gut even though I KNEW something didn't feel right. During 2017, I learned that my intuition and my gut always knew better and if the timing doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't and there's no use to keep pushing it. Patience is the key factor here and really honing in on your intuition to know when it is a good time and when it's not. I've learned to trust the process a lot more and have faith that the Universe knows when things are supposed to play out. That faith has saved me from a lot of anxiety, worry, and has given me situations and opportunities better than I ever planned for myself!
- Cassandra, The Quirky Pineapple Studio | @tqpinapple
If I have one big takeaway from the past year, it’d be to trust the timing of your life and be kind to yourself in every season.
As life unfolds, learn to trust the pulls of your heart because they are there for a reason. Dig and do the deep heart-work. At times it can get harder before it gets better, but it’s always, always worth it.
Your year may not have ended where you thought or planned for it to be, but step back and take a look at the whole picture of your life. You may just discover that that season was preparing you for something far greater than you could have ever dared imagine. Nothing is ever wasted.
Clearing out the ‘weeds’ in the soil of your life makes room for the goodness that’s inside of you to truly bloom and flourish. Watch as clarity comes, along with a whole new appreciation for what you’re made out of. So be kind to yourself and show yourself grace. In and out of every single season.
- Bethany Morris, founder of The Free Woman | @thefreewmn
My personal word for 2017 was "Speak".
I tend to be a people pleaser, so speaking my opinion when they're different from the opinions of others, or might cause some waves is really hard for me to do. My biggest takeaway from this year was that our voices were given to us for a reason. There's power in our thoughts, opinions and words, even if they go against the status quo. Speak up, dear sister. Your words are needed to change the world.
- Joanna Waterfall, founder of Yellow Co. | @yellowco.co
Without a doubt, my biggest takeaway from 2017 is this: keep it simple.
In the world of online entrepreneurship, there’s an underlying (and oftentimes overwhelming) message of do more, create more, hustle more, be #alltheplaces and do #allthethings. And believe me, over the past 12 months, I’ve tried. My intention for the new year is this: stop overcomplicating things, keep it simple. Simplicity means spaciousness. It means intention and reflection and heart. I am enough - it’s enough - to show up as myself, with courage and purpose, to take deliberate and wholly aligned steps, and to say yes to what lights me up.
- Kate McCarthy, brand voice mentor | @katekmcarthy
For me, 2017 was the year for huge personal growth and forcing myself outside my comfort zone.
I took leaps that I wasn't sure I could make and formed connections I wasn't sure I was ready for. And sometimes, I wasn't. But one of the biggest lessons I learned this year is that done is better than perfect. I'm a hardcore perfectionist trying to slowly but surely wriggle out from underneath the weight of perfection, one step at a time. I've let perfectionism hold me back so many times in my life, but this year I said "no more." Even if things didn't look exactly how I thought they should, I just went for it anyway. Maybe something didn't turn out the way I thought it was going to, but often this year, it turned out even better. But I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't just done the dang thing.
Another great lesson I'm taking with me into 2018 is that you are never obligated to do what everyone else is currently doing. And sure, that sounds like a total "duh" statement. But especially in the world of blogging, it can be so easy to consume everyone else's content and start putting the same exact stuff out there as everyone else. Well, that doesn't work. Because creating things that look like what everyone else is doing will never help you stand out. It will never help you operate from a place of confidence. And it will never help you carve out what YOU are truly passionate about. If you stay in your own lane and do what feels right for you, that's where you'll shine. That's where the magic is.
- Bria Nycole, blogger at Tendril Wild | @bria_nyc
My biggest takeaways from 2017…
EMOTIONALLY: I am in control of my actions and reactions, and emotions do not control me. When something happens that I don’t like, I can either get upset and hang onto the upset, or feel it for a moment and let it go. I’m far from a master of my emotions, but life is hell of a lot easier when I choose the second option. So much of life is lived in the mind; we choose how we shape our realities.
FINANCIALLY: Being self-employed, everyone talks about making a lot of money, which is totally fine. Who doesn’t want to make $100K, right? But I am incredibly happy and fulfilled making less. I spend more time in the outdoors than at restaurants or bars, and the things I love most in this world, like climbing, cooking, drawing, and spending time with the ones I love, don’t require much overhead. I would rather work less (or work on things I love but may not necessarily bring in a ton of money, for now) and live more.
MISC/ADDITIONALLY: Sometimes “self care” means giving yourself a (loving) kick in the ass. (Get out of bed. You need to exercise, not take another bath.) // I do not owe an explanation of who I am to anyone. It is not my job to make them “get” me, or water myself down to be easily digested, processed, or categorized by anyone else. // Working hard without vision is the quickest way to burn-out. Pull has greater staying power than push. Find the vision that makes you so excited to wake up every day; it pulls you forward.
- Amanda Sandlin | @amandasandlin
This has been a year that I have loved greatly and despised immensely - simultaneously.
It has been a year where I have had to question who I am, what I stand for and what my future holds in my personal and business life. Ultimately, after much thought and realization, my biggest takeaway for 2017 is this: I have got to focus on me, myself and I for a change. For the majority of 2017 I have focused more-so on others and how I can please them. Yes, I am one of those people-pleasing types and I can tell you that doing that will wear you out. It will drain you of everything. I lost my motivation. I lost my sense of direction within my business. I lost sight of my own goals. I forgot that I was my own person and not just a business owner, mother and wife. I lost me - big time. How can I live a happy, productive life if I lose sight of myself? I can't. So for 2018, I vow to put myself first and show people who I truly am.
Cheers to new beginnings,
Melissa | @mnexpressions
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from starting a blog and sharing my truth in 2017, it’s that there is tremendous power in sharing your story. By choosing vulnerability in weakness, honesty in insecurity, and transparency in imperfection, we give others the permission to bravely and authentically live out their purpose.
I never imagined that I would share some of my deepest insecurities over the internet or on my social media accounts. What would people think of me? What would they say? But as I shared my past struggle with re-touching myself in photos and being insecure about my body and size, I realized that there were hundreds of other women that felt the same exact way. I realized that by being honest in my insecurity, it not only freed me from fear, but it empowered other women - it conveyed the truth that no-one is alone in this journey of life.
People are waiting for someone to speak up. They are waiting for someone to give them the permission to feel the way they do - for someone to have the bravery first so that they can step into their own bravery in return. Because guess what? People want the truth. The world has enough photoshopped lives. When we choose to display reality, people not only relate to that, but they are instantly refreshed and relieved.
The world is waiting for your creative expression, your honest truth, your authentic identity to step forth… to speak up… to stand out. So, be bravely confident in your story because every single part of it contributes to who you are in this very moment. And in the act of sharing it with others, you actually empower them to boldly step into the truth of theirs in return.
- Ashton Long, founder of The Authentic Woman | @theauthenticwomanseries
My biggest takeaway from 2017 is that just because a situation is hard, doesn't mean you have to be hard on yourself.
In 2017, I was working in my dream industry and making a name for myself. But it was challenging! I was burnt out by the end of the year. At times, I had doubts and wanted to quit because it was so overwhelming. Like what kind of loser can't handle following her dreams? I felt like it should've felt easier. But now I know if it feels hard, it just means there's a lot of learning to be done and experiencing to be had... not that you aren't worthy of following your dreams. Instead of quitting I treated myself kindly, did my best, and now I know better how to be in the industry and prevent burning out.
- Hien Hong | @hienhongyoga
My biggest takeaway from 2017 was that God’s grace covers my gaps.
I had to learnt to not let weaknesses, insecurities or doubt cloud me from pursuing all dreams I had but rather allow God to work through them.
Although my 2017 looked very different to what I had imagined, I appreciate the fact that it taught me to embrace the situations and learn to be present in them, allowing them to teach me and train me for the future.
- Hannah | @hannahmurphy1
Beautiful women, if there is one (incredibly powerful) thing that I can share with you that has softened me, lifted me and seen me soar in 2017 - it is that you are L O V E D.
You are loved so incredibly, unconditionally and irrevocably L O V E D.
Let that sink in.
Say it to yourself.
Whisper if you must.
“I am loved.”
These words are infinitely powerful and transformative. Use them often.
It was by accident that I started to use this as a mantra to myself. And ever since I committed to intentional loving myself in word, thought and action, life has been one blooming rose bud after another.
Now, whenever I encounter challenges or setbacks from the outside world, whether it’s a friend letting me down or a professional project falling through - hell, I’ve even used it during difficult yoga poses when I’m feeling ‘not good enough’ - I say to myself “I am loved”.
Of course at first, it didn’t come naturally. There was massive resistance from my monkey mind! But over time, saying to myself “I am loved” became like an embracing hug from the dearest, most golden friend.
So wholehearted beauty, I offer you this to you and hope that it too may lighten, illuminate and lift you with every passing intentional act. Say it often, and say it loud, “I am loved”.
- Eugenia Twomey, Oh My Yogini | @eujat
What about you?
What was your biggest takeaway from 2017?