6 Important Things I Learned in 2016

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers rounding up their 2016 via blog posts. I’ve decided to do the same. It’s a great reminder of what you have achieved in 2016 and a great way to look back on the learnings of the 12 months just gone.

As a 20 something (pushing on the later side of the 20s now) I’ve learned a lot in a year. Here’s 6 things that really made me stop and think through the year and have helped me personally:

1. It’s okay to be wrong 

I’m a self criticiser. If I do something wrong I take it hard on myself, but this year was different.
If I made a mistake, I kept my head high and told myself that it was just that, a mistake.
In the past I would overthink my actions and let it play on my mind, using hindsight as devils advocate and replay the situation with so many different outcomes. In reality, it can be changed and hindsight is something that should be used to make sure you don’t make the same mistake multiple times; not something to use to mentally torture yourself.

2. Your friends are your friends.

Seems like a very passive and obviously statement to make, but previously I’ve trusted so many people who have let me down; but not this year!
This last year has really made me realise who my friends are. I’ve had a few hard times, and without going into too much detail, my true friends were the first to give me a call, drop me a text or even knock on the door.
They’ve been great, and it made me understand that just because you see someone a lot, it doesn’t make them a friend. Sometimes you won’t speak to someone for a couple of weeks/months but they’re there for you whenever.

3. Money doesn’t make my world go round.

I’ve always been a hard worker, always striving for the next opportunity, working extra hours in the hope it doesn’t go unnoticed and that a pay rise may come off the back of it.
What I’ve found in 2016 is that money can wait but time can’t. Time is much more important than money.
I’d rather spend my time doing things that will make me enjoy my time. It could be spending time with family, watching a boxset on my own, travelling to new places or simply going to the pub and having a few pints with the lads; either way it’s my time and I’ll spend it on what I want.

4. I have a lot of willpower.

I’m not into healthy eating or gym going as much as I should be. I mean I joined the gym back in September and have only been a handful of times. But if I set myself a goal I will do my upmost to ensure I achieve it.
I signed up and ran the Manchester 10k in the summer. Along the way I raised some money for charity and told myself that I needed to finish the run in good time with my head held high.
Not only did I finish the race, I finished it in an amazing time of 51 minutes, which was a PB for myself and was also the fastest time out of all my colleagues who ran the same race.
I wasn’t necessarily pleased that I finished the race ahead of my colleagues, I was more happy at the fact I managed to finish it in a time that surpassed my own expectations and that my willpower had spurred me on to finish with a smile on my face!
Now I’ve signed up for the half marathon, so I need to make sure I finish that with the same feeling of self-appreciation!

5. I love brunch

Brunch is something I’ve generally associated with waking up late and ‘missing’ breakfast. 2016 (and mainly travelling) has taught me that brunch is the best meal of the day.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love a good full English, but what I love more is the fact that I don’t need to run to local Whetherspoon’s to get a greasy plate of stuff I don’t really like (mushrooms belong in hell). I can now relish in lots of eggs, bagels and hollandaise sauce at around 1pm.
Apart from the food, the restaurants that serve brunch are always so different.
poached eggs, eggs benedict, brunch, male food blog, ham
In Amsterdam, for example, I went to Bakers and Roasters which was an amazing, bright and fresh brunch café. Whereas The Breakfast Club in London was a nice urban, industrial themed café.

6. Spending time alone is fun!

As an only child, I’ve sort of gotten used to making my own fun, my own games and enjoying my own company.
However in your 20s when all your friends are buying houses and getting married, you feel the need to strive for that; and end up spending all your time looking for someone to have that with.
In 2016, I took my first city break alone. I went all the way to Norway (Oslo to be more precise) and spent three days just walking around with no real agenda or itinerary.
It was so nice to be so free, I had no specific times to stick to, nobody to accommodate for and nowhere to be.
The result? I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and learned to love (okay maybe like) my own company. I met new people, tried to make small talk in a language I had no idea about and explored a new country with just me, myself and my camera!
oslo, boardyard, travel blogger, sunny, norway, ship
I’d love to hear what you learned in 2016, and more importantly how your learnings will shape your 2017 and beyond!


  1. I’ve also realised that money is not as important as I thought it was, it’s much better to spend my time where I really want to – perhaps enjoying brunch? 😉

  2. Last year i had really good willpower to keep up my fitness programme, Lost weight too

  3. Yes spending time is a must when you have 6 young kids and I did just that and went on a hen party to Kavos with friends and yes I survived it

  4. This is a great post. They are all very important life lessons, although I’ve never really been a fan of brunch! Haha.

  5. What a good post, I love reading this and thanks for the advice, I knew that money is not important, It’s better to have a true friends and family plus the spending time alone was perfect combination

  6. Spending time alone its totally fine with me! I quite like that as well, same with friends, – they come and the go- i dont call people friends, just mates, as people are people and they change.

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