5 lessons learned in 2023

5 Lessons from 2023

It is hard to believe that 2023 is coming to an end and we are already in 2024. For my fellow millennials, my brain does not quite compute that 2004 is now 20 years ago, but that could be a rabbit hole to dive into another time. 

At the end of the year, I love to reflect on what I have learned. As a lifelong learner, I don’t believe in “failure,” it is just an example of something that didn’t pan out the way I hoped and a lesson is buried in there. In this blog post, I share 5 lessons I learned in 2023. With each lesson, I share ways I came to learn and implement the lesson as well as tips to get started. 

Lesson 1: Trust yourself

It sounds easy enough but it is harder than it seems. 2023 for me personally was filled with getting adjusted to a new job, processing grief, running a small business, traveling, taking a leap of faith, and just doing this thing called life. No matter what your year looked like, it is important to trust yourself. Trust that you can figure things out. Trust that you can take care of yourself. Trust that you are stronger and more capable than you thought possible.

A few ways I built trust in myself is by trying new things. I took a stained glass class (highly recommended), new workouts, and traveled to new places. As you try new things, you build confidence and trust that you can do things you never thought. Also, it shows that you can figure things out. Another tip is to reflect on all of the times you trusted yourself before and after. Building trust also can mean doing what you say you will. For example, if you commit to yourself to read for 30 minutes, each time you do it you will build trust in yourself and be able to rely on yourself. Building trust takes time but can be very empowering.

Lesson 2: Embrace discomfort (in most scenarios)

There are parts of life that are just plain uncomfortable. Starting a new job, processing grief and loss, starting a business, putting yourself out there.. You get the idea. It has taken a lot of practice, and I am not perfect at it, but taking a moment to embrace the discomfort is the best way to get through it. For example, posting on social media (especially showing myself) is generally uncomfortable for me. In 2023, I have worked on posting more on social media and putting myself out there. I take a moment to breathe, be uncomfortable, and then hit post. Over time, it has gotten easier and more comfortable. I would not have gotten to that point if I did not embrace the discomfort initially. 

Note that this works in most scenarios. However, my PSA is if someone or a situation is making you uncomfortable or unsafe, no need to embrace it, set your boundaries and/or get out of there. 

When practicing to embrace discomfort, try to start small and sit with it for a few minutes at a time. Maybe you save the social media post to your drafts, write something you never plan to send, or practice a difficult conversation ahead of time. Find ways that help you relax after the “discomfort” is starting (such as after you post on social media). This can be deep breathing, shutting down the app, or journaling.

Lesson 3: Consistency is Key

Consistency is hard and likely why it works. I have found that if I am looking to be consistent at something, such as working out or reading, I need to set a goal. There are many tools out there to form habits or track your progress such as apps, spreadsheets, or paper tracker. I personally use an app to help me track which days I hit my goal. Now the important part of consistency is if you miss a day or activity, to jump right back in. Do not let it become a “failure” and give up. We are human and sometimes life gets in the way. Consistency means continuing, even when we fall short. 

Lesson 4: Be honest with yourself

2023 was a year of self-reflection. Particularly the second half of the year, I left a job to take time to reflect. It required becoming incredibly honest with myself. Honest about what was important to me, what I liked, what I disliked, what needed changed, what I was still holding on to, what I wanted to bring into my life. Yes, being honest with yourself can be scary, uncomfortable (see Lesson 2), and hard. However, it is from being honest that I was able to prioritize my life, take a huge leap of faith and gain further trust in myself. 

Journaling is a great way to start this process. We have a few journal prompts here to help get started. I also find that talking to a trusted friend or therapist is a great way to dig deeper and be honest with yourself. 


Lesson 5: Make room for what is important to you

We are constantly bombarded with things we “should” be doing. Spending a few minutes on Tik Tok or Instagram and suddenly I feel the need to make all of my food from scratch, develop a six figure side hustle, travel the world in a van, have a 10 step skincare routine.. You get the idea. On the other hand, we have very real responsibilities and expectations such as work, household, family, and personal hobbies. 

In 2023, I have learned to take a step back and determine what are the things I need to do, want to do, and are important for me to do. In essence, what is important to me. I highly recommend doing this and narrowing it down to a few priorities. This may be along the lines of it is important for me to have time alone to recharge, it is important for me to support my family, or it is important for me to eat clean because I feel my best. Whatever it is that is important to you, make room for it in your daily life. It can be as short as 15 minutes a day to relax, an hour to meal prep, or 30 minutes to call your parents. Take time to show what is important to you through your daily, weekly, monthly time. 

These are just a few of the lessons learned in 2023 and I have found them to be very impactful. I am far from perfect, even at these lessons, but when you approach these with intention, grace, and possibility, great things can happen. 

Do these lessons resonate with you? What other lessons have you learned in 2023? Let us know in the comments. 

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