16 Things We Learned in 2016

The new year is in full swing an we’ve really been reflecting on the past year and all of the things that 2016 has brought us. We’ve had a lot of great experiences, and some not so great ones, but that’s what life is all about, right? So here are 16 things that we’ve learned this year, and are reflecting on.

1.) Don’t stop your grind – This year I’ve really learned that keeping on your grind is important, and working for the things you want even more so. I’ve felt like I struggled at the beginning of 2016 with my job situation, but I really powered through; got a slightly better job, and was able to finally get my own car with money I worked for. I know I don’t have to tell you guys, but working a day job is HARD, and working for your goals and something you want is even harder. However the way I felt when I was able to buy my own car with money I earned from all that work, was totally worth it. So stay on your grind, and don’t give up. All that hard work will pay off in the end. -H

2.) Manage your time wisely– For me this year I’ve learned to juggle my day job, with blogging, and my work as a photographer. I haven’t always been successful at times haha, but I’m managing my time more and more efficiently. I’m kind of proud that the blog didn’t slip into it’s major winter slump this year, and Sara and I were able to keep everything going along on track. That seems like not such a big deal, but we usually struggle with consistent posting and social media in the winter, with all of the holiday things we have going on. So that’s progress! πŸ™‚ -H

3.) Plan plan plan – One of the major reasons why we posted more consistently this year than we had in the past is that we double downed on our planning. We try to meet at least once a week, and hash out plans and ideas for new posts and put them in on a calendar. This has helped us SO much. It works even if you’re not a blogger. You should try to plan out meals, what you’re going to do for the week etc. Trust me, it will help you get much more done and be more accountable for your time. – H

4.) Try something new, even if it might flop – I feel like this is a lesson I learn every year haha. Earlier in the fall we tried to start a podcast, The Evening Brew. Well it didn’t go so well. It was the wrong time, we were trying to be too much like other things, not like us etc. Even on a technical side with editing and mics things were bad. So we decided to kill it. Even though it totally didn’t work out for us the way it was I’m glad we did it. I feel we learned a lot and we can go back at it and really make it our own.  We never would have know if we didn’t try it out and see. Look for the updated version of The Evening Brew in a few weeks… -H

5.) Never give up on your art – I’ve struggled a lot with balancing my day job with my work as a photographer. I felt very discouraged that I wasn’t doing as much personal photography, and for clients, as I wanted to be doing. I felt really bad about it at times, but in those times I would be reminded that I shouldn’t give up. This past year I had a couple of showings of my photography in gallery and even got 3rd place in a juried show in West Virginia. I also got the pleasure to work with some great photography clients. So in these times I was encouraged to not give up the full photographer dream, and that I do have talent and can make art people(and I) love. -H

6.) Saving is better than spending – 2016 has been a year of really learning to manage finances in my adult life more. Not that I ever had a ton of money lol; but with fitting in important things like a car payment this year, I’ve learned that managing your money better is important. Adult life kinda sucks, but it’s just the way of it. Sometimes you have to forego a night out, or a new pair of shoes so that you can pay a bill, or buy gas. Managing money has really become an important feature this past year for me and I’ve slowly but surely learned that it’s definitely better to save than spend (even if it’s not nearly as fun). -H

7.) Treasure your friendships – This year has taught me to value the good times, and my friendships with people. Since graduating I’ve missed a lot of my friends more and more. Being away really made me appreciate and make the most of the small times I do get to have with them now, and the great times we’ve had in the past. So treasure the good times you’re having with your friends now, it may be harder when your lives evolve. -H

8.) Have fun! – Trying to “get my life together” so to speak has taught me that balance is important and as much as you need to stay on your grind and achieve your goals, its important to set aside time for fun and your friends. You need a bit of downtime or else you’ll burn out. Even if its just taking time to go get ice cream, or relax and watch a tv show, its important to have fun, and get to have downtime. -H

9.) Step out of your comfort zone! – This past year I got a new job and had to be more upfront with people, and be bolder (which I did not like to do) At first I would get nervous and be afraid to “put myself out there” but I just kept doing it, and it’s become second nature for me, I don’t even think about it now.   -S

10.) Have more patience! – I can tend to be impatient and want to have/get things done as soon as possible, but I’ve learned that good things take time to happen. It’s a lot less stressful to let things happen when they happen. I still tend to be impatient with certain things but I’m working on it. Lol – S 

11.) Be more disciplined, and accountable! – I’m essentially my own boss with the blog and my job so over the last year I’ve had to learn how to manage my time better and put my priorities first and follow through when I say I’m going to do something. – S

12.) Be nice! – I feel like this should be common sense, but it seems like everyone will have a reason to be mean or get annoyed with other people. Working in the public with people can definitely be a challenge some days, but you have to remember that everyone has issues and you never know how their morning was. I always remember that I’m representing my business and never want others to think I’m mean. – S 

13.) Plan EVERYTHING! – As Hannah said earlier we started to plan our content more and we’ve had a lot more posts this year (who knew?) But I also planned out my weeks and days for my work and personal life. I’m so much more productive when I plan out what I’ going to do all through the day rather than just wing it, plus I feel better at the end of the day/week when I know it was more productive. – S

14.) Relax more! – I use to constantly be working and never stop because I felt like I was being more productive. But I learned that it’s better to have one or two days of relaxing and recharging yourself for the rest of the week. Since I started to do this more I stopped feeling as drained. – S

15.) It’s okay if your goals don’t pan out !- I had quite a few goals for 2016 and they didn’t happen. But I learned to keep working towards them and never give up. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true. I had to learn to keep working towards my goals and not give up. – S

16.) Tomorrow is a fresh start! – There’s always days that are rough or you don’t achieve everything you wanted to achieve, I definitely had them. But I remembered that tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start. You have a new chance to make the day amazing and do more. Since it’s the beginning of the year it’s the best time to start fresh! -S


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