2016 has been without a doubt one of the most incredible, mind-bogglingly awesome years to date. I spent most of this year traveling the globe, embracing new experiences, and forging a path of emotional, physical, and mental self-discovery. Sounds like mumbo-jumbo, I know… but honestly it’s true. Everyone like to brag that this year is their year… and, in my case, it actually was!
So, in the spirit of the season, I decided I would share 16 lessons life taught me in 2016… the good, the bad, and the embarrassing. You ready?
- Sure, accept the things you cannot change. But also… fight hard to get what you want! Stand up for what you believe in and never let anyone infuse your dreams with doubt.
- Know which clothing silhouettes work for your body and stick with them. What looks kickass on someone else won’t always look good on you… this is something I’ve had to learn a few too many times. (Read as: too-tight pants, dance music, and one generous rip down the crotch.)
- Don’t let your wardrobe staples stain. Your deodorant should keep your whites and blacks streak-free. AXE’s new Anti-Marks Protection Antiperspirant features a new formula with anti-yellow stains and no white marks technology specifically designed to keep your style on it’s A-game. And those stress-heavy meetings with the boss? Worry no more! (Read more about AXE’s new Anti-Marks technology below!)
- Spend your hard-earned cash on experiences. See the world. “Stuff” can get lost, outdated, or destroyed… but memories will last decades. Give in and wanderlust the hell out of your planet.
- Taste everything at least once. You may have convinced yourself you don’t like escargot but you haven’t had it prepared with butter and pesto by your friend’s French grandmother. (Tip: extra butter makes everything taste better)
- Take 30 minutes for yourself each morning. Visit your favorite coffee shop, read the newspaper, play Angry birds… just do something relaxing that’ll start your day on the right foot.
- Learn how to sew. It may sound silly but in a bind you’ll save time and money by making your own alterations. (Refer back to #2’s cautionary tale).
- In a professional social setting, know your boundaries. Cutting a rug at the office holiday party is fun but leave the twerking at home. [See more of my office holiday party do’s and don’ts over on Esquire].
- Edit your closet at least twice a year. A tried-and-true method is to turn all of your hangers with the hook facing your closet door. As you wear an item, replace it in your closet as you normally would (hook facing away from closet door). After 6 months, remove all pieces with hooks facing forward… easy edits!
- Accept criticism. But don’t let it undervalue your hard work.
- Stock your wardrobe with at least two of these 5 classic outfit staples: a slim-cut pair of khakis, fitted black denim, white sneakers, white t-shirts, and brown boots.
- Invest in a stylish umbrella (think the kind with a hooked handle and menswear-y print) … you’ll look ten steps ahead of the other guys when it’s raining. It’s the most dapper-y of accessories.
- Drink a lot of water. It sounds silly but it’s something I only started doing this year and it’s quite literally saved my skin and overall health. Aim for at least one 8-ounce glass every 90 minutes!
- Try a funky new accessory this year. Maybe it’s a thick-rimmed pair of glasses or a pastel-colored snap back. Accessories are the easiest way to step out of your comfort zone without closing that very comfortable door behind you.
- Treat yourself to one ridiculously good meal each month. Gather friends (or treat yourself) and check out one of the latest foodie crazes or neighborhood hot spots. Savor it and, best of all, order that extra appetizer. These nights with my friends are among my favorite memories from this year.
- Spend one weekend each year alone. Go to the mountains, rent a beach bungalow, or spend it solo in your neighborhood. Talk to yourself and give yourself 72 hours of distraction-free “me time”… absolutely nothing else has had a more profound hand in my success than checking out of life for one weekend each year.
Well there it is, folks! Which lessons do you identify with most? What are your own life’s lessons? Let me know in the comments below!