2016 what did I learn? the life lessons I learned this year.

Ringing in the new year. 

I wasn’t sure if I was going to do a reflective post on the year as I didn’t want it to come across like a “look what I achieved aren’t I great” braggy type of post. This time of year is great for reflecting and setting new goals for the next year. There is something so optimistic about starting a new year afresh and turning a new page. 

This year I had lots of highs, I also had plenty of lows too but a lot of these I keep behind the scenes. I feel I have done a lot of growing as a person the past year. As I get older I question things more, should I be married with kids? should I leave my job while I am still young? I over analyse things. 

Here are some of the things I learned about myself this year.

Never stop working on yourself and your happiness. 

It all started with a pretty planner and a 100 day challenge. Wanting to rid myself of feelings of “ick” I set out on a little journey of self discovery. Now you don’t need a happiness planner to do this but the habit of reflecting on the positive things that happen each day and practising gratitude was something that gave me great contentment and I learned a lot about myself. 

Taking control of my own attitude and realising you have great power to lead a fulfilling life that you want was an eye opener. 

I was caught in a rut of plodding along, reacting to things that happen to me instead of going out and getting them. 

If you want to read more on this I have more blog posts here. 

I learned more from losing than I would from winning. 

I actually don’t know how I ended up in the finals of two blog awards but both came with their lessons. Losing sucks but I am more grateful for the loss and what I learned than the possible win. I spent a lot of time comparing myself to my peers but thankfully I learned to take the positives from it and used them to better myself, my blog and the content I create. 

Most of all I met some really deadly people form going to these awards ( not to mention the free bar! we all know what happened at the free bar, Home with the Haworths! I am blaming you for that hangover)

What am I waiting for?

“Agh sure I will start youtube next year when I get a laptop and I can make videos”, I said to myself in September, there was four months left in the year so what exactly was I waiting on? So I took the plunge and got myself my laptop and started my channel in the November. So what if they aren’t perfect, so what if I look like a rabbit in the headlights. Zoella didn’t start off by being fabulous so I set of on achieving one of my goals and I am delighted. Making the videos has opened up another creative outlet for me to get stuck into. 

I had the same anticipation for doing craft fairs. “No I will do one when I have more experience”?, so I booked my first craft fair with six weeks to make stock. I then done my Christmas fair which is something I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing the previous year. 

Sometimes I wait. What I am waiting for I really don’t know. Someone to tell me to do it? I don’t know but next year I won’t be taking as long to be making decisions. 

It’s okay to put yourself first. 

Wether its someone being intrusive or overstepping your boundaries its okay to say so and get rid of it from your life. We all have them, toxic people or situations. Don’t let people take advantage of your niceness for their own gain. Its okay to be selfish with your time and who you give it to. 

 A big learn for me is that I hate drama, negativity and noise. If you have people in your life who don’t enlighten you then its oaky to cut them from your life or limit how you engage with them.

Its your life after all.

Go with the flow. 

As much of a control freak I can be I learned that sometimes it is fun to just go with the flow and see where things can go. I had a lot of opportunities this year through my blog, from working with brands to getting featured in magazines. I have had days where I wanted to pinch myself, these little victories are great for giving you a little boost when you need it to keep you going and working harder. 

Push the comfort zone.

I got on an aeroplane all by myself! three times. Getting an invitation to the Laura Ashley press day and seeing that it was in London, “ah that is a pity”, why? So I looked up flights. Feeling brave and a few words of encouragement from friends I hopped on that plane and not just once! 

The most liberating thing I have done this year. I am a very nervous traveller but the people I met the other side of the flight was well worth it, the opportunities it brought too. 

Hopping on a plane alone might be small for you but it was a huge victory for me and I have a few trips planned for 2017 up my sleeve to push me out of my comfort zone some more. 

I now have the bug for exploring. 

You have choices. 

Rapidly heading towards 30 and feeling empty at the thoughts of living a life that society says I should be living I had the epiphany that I can choose how I live my life. 

If I want to be the lady with ten cats then I can, other people sticking their noses in and giving me their opinion on what I should be doing at this stage of my life should make no influence on how I live it. 

I don’t have to live the life my parents, your parents or siblings live. 

What have been you learns from this year? I really enjoyed reflecting on the year and planning some goals to achieve next year. 

Thanks  for read ing and thank you for all of the support and kindness. 

See you in 2017. 




  1. Stephen
    January 3, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    Thanks a mill Catherine! Great blog!! 🙂

  2. Stephen Paterson
    January 3, 2017 / 5:47 pm

    Hi, can I ask where you got the happiness planner please? Thanks

  3. Catherine Carton
    January 1, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    Thanks so much for reading Victoria x Life is really too short for anyone who drains us, Hope you have a wonderful 2017 full of adventures and opportunities. Happy new year. Catherine.

  4. Victoria
    January 1, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    This is a lovely post Catherine, I'm sure 2017 holds great things for you. You're so right about it being okay to be selective who you give your time too. I've really noticed a difference since I started to do that. Happy new year x

  5. Catherine Carton
    December 31, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    Thanks so much for reading! I am so excited for my NYC adventure in May, nervous but more excited x I wish you an amazing 2017.

  6. Anonymous
    December 31, 2016 / 6:28 pm

    You should definitely go big and come visits the states! I grew up in New York City so I can give you the inside scoop <3

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