19 lessons for 2019

Can you believe that 2019 is almost here?! (I know that ’19 hasn’t even started yet and in my head, I’m already thinking about 2020. I can’t wait to do 20 lessons for 2020. That sounds so satisfying to my perfectionist brain haha!)


As you’ve maybe noticed, I am not entering a new year with a list of resolutions, but lessons. It’s a list of things that I have learned, but need to keep reminding myself to implement in my everyday life. I am not expecting any miracles to happen just because a year is changing. That’s why I don’t do resolutions – I end up with too high expectations and put too much pressure on myself. Besides, life sometimes goes in its own way and no amount of resolutions can change that. So, I’ll just keep reminding myself of these lessons and I’ll do my best to apply them in my life, regardless of the date.

  1. Life is precious. Hate to break it to you, but you won’t live forever. So make sure to make the best of your time here while you can, and enjoy your life.
  2. Be grateful. No matter how bad things may be now, there is always something good around you. Focus on the good and appreciate it.
  3. Put things into perspective. There are people fighting wars, diseases, family separation, famine… Your troubles might not be so bad after all. I like to remind myself of this Seneca quote:“We suffer more in imagination than in reality.”
  4. Stay away from energy vampires. You know those people that suck all the energy out of you? Stay away from them as much as possible.
  5. Surround yourself with people who add to your life. The people you love, the ones that give great hugs, who make you smile, who know how to listen, and who care.
  6. Learn to say no. And not to feel guilty about it.
  7. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Laugh in the face of all the challenges that come your way and laugh at your mistakes too. What’s the point of life if you won’t have fun?
  8. Also… “Don’t take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive” – Elbert Hubbard
  9. Get out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to jump out of an airplane, but try new things and meet new people.
  10. Tell people you love that you love them. Tell them how much you appreciate them and what they mean to you.
  11. Be kind. Smile at people. Hold a door for someone. No matter how big or small, an act of kindness can make someone’s day. Always be kind as the world could really use more kindness.
  12. Don’t make assumptions. It is so easy to make assumptions about people and situations, and when you catch yourself doing it try to stop. It’s such a waste of time and does nothing good to anyone.
  13. Perfection is boring. Perfectionism is a burden so try not to expect perfection from yourself, other people or life. Life is beautiful in its messiness.
  14. Don’t overthink and try to rely on your instincts more. Spinning thoughts in your mind over and over is usually a vicious circle that leads nowhere. Sometimes it’s just a noise that keeps you from realizing that the answer is already in you.
  15. Say that you are sorry. Accept and acknowledge your mistakes and apologize. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. There is strength in knowing your weakness.
  16. Be kind to yourself. In your head, when you have thoughts about yourself, are they kind? If someone else told you those things how would you react? Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Instead, practice kindness and understanding as you do with others.
  17. Find time for what makes you happy. In a world where everyone is stressed and always short on time, prioritize your happiness. Whatever it is that make you recharge make sure to find time for it.
  18. Learn to let go. Like certain things, some relationships have an expiration date. Accept that and don’t hold too tight.
  19. Be mindful. Have we forgotten how to be present? Are our minds always busy thinking about something? Do we even know how to disconnect from all the screens that we spend so much time in front of? I want to live a life where I’m present and connected to nature and other people instead of being glued to my phone all the time.



Ivona Josipovic

Ivona Josipovic is a co-founder of The Smoke Detector, writer, fashion stylist, social media manager, curious creature, chocolate lover.

1 Comment
  1. Lots of great advice here, Ivona! Thank you for sharing; I agree that it’s so important to be kind to yourself. Happy new year, I hope that 2019 is everything you hope it will be and more! Angharad x


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