You guys liked my last post about 2017 a lot so here’s another one. This time I want to give you as much value as possible by summing up the 17 most important lessons I’ve learned in 2017. We learn so many things every day if we are open-minded and experience things without judgment.
Here’s my top 17!
- Books improve your life. I’m a slow reader but this doesn’t stop me from reading books that have a few hundred pages. I’m not talking about fictional books, though. I’m sure reading lots of fictional books will change your life too but the books that have had the hugest impact on me this year were all non-fictional. I am working on a blog post with all my book recommendations, so watch out if you’re interested. In the meantime, read about my all-time favorite book here.
- Animals are the physical embodiment of love. A couple of months ago we got a baby kitty and since she’s been with us my whole family is a lot happier. Just watching her play gives us so much joy. Unlike humans, animals don’t judge occurrences like we do. When something happens to us, we categorize it as good, bad, or something in-between. Animals, on the contrary, experience reality the way it is. They have a natural instinct to avoid pain or death but they don’t judge other living beings the way we do. They don’t care about outer appearances and they don’t think about the past or future. They live in the moment at peace with the world. They don’t have “self-love issues” and they don’t have any prejudices about others. They simply live their lives to the fullest.
- If you spend money with a peaceful mind, you’ll always have more than enough. If you start worrying that you might run out of money the next month or you fear there won’t be any new streams of income, this will manifest. AFFIRMATIONS are key! You should read a few key affirmations every day. Include them in your morning or evening routine and you’ll see changes very soon. I’m going to write a whole blog post about money soon because this has been a huge issue in my life and I know everybody is interested in this topic as it concerns all of us!
- You don’t need to cut your hair. I’m going to use the animal analogy here because it displays how unnatural cutting your hair every month is. Do YOU know any other species on the planet that cuts their hair? 😀 Of course, you can cut your hair as often as you like. There is no law that states how often you should cut your hair and into what shape (unlike in North Korea where there is a small selection of hairstyles legally allowed to choose from haha check it out). If you don’t cut your hair AND treat it well, there’s no need to cut it. Like ever. Unless you get annoyed, but then it’s still a personal desire, not a NEED to cut it. Just refrain from using chemicals (like parabens or silicone), air-drying, straightening or any kind of unnatural heat exposure. If you want natural, healthy hair, leave it be. Most people have damaged their hair so badly throughout the course of their lives that getting back to a natural hair treatment requires some time and patience but please try it! My hair has never been this healthy. (Of course, eating a plant-based diet based on fruits and vegetables helps a lot too.)
- Just do it. Very often our biggest obstacles are our fearful thoughts and doubts. You have to try things to know if they work out or not. And if they don’t, they don’t. (Check back on #2 on this list and try thinking without judgment.) Whether it’s building a gym routine (don’t give up after the first week), starting a new hobby, writing an Instagram post or a blog post, starting a new career or whatever you’ve been thinking about doing. Just start with the first baby step and many bigger steps will follow. One day you’ll look back and wonder how you’ve managed these things so well.
- Instagram has changed and is now more about aesthetics than ever before. I spent hundreds of hours on Instagram analyzing trending pictures and trying to understand the new algorithm. What I found out: Now you have to post VERY good pictures to get a decent engagement and new followers. Your picture has to be so interesting at the first sight that you attract many new viewers via Explore. It has to be breath-taking in some kind of way. This could be extreme foodporn (aka chocolate overload, fries, etc.), sexy pictures (sex sells…), cute animals or breath-taking nature. These are just a few that come to my mind.
- You don’t have to be super productive every day. It’s okay to be lazy sometimes. After all, what’s the point in forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy if you can’t give 100%? Some days are meant to be lazy days. And we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves if we can’t “hustle hard” every day. Listen to your heart and do what makes you happy.
- Fit people are fit because they’ve made sports a habit. Real life example (my life): You’re not going to become a fitness addict by forcing yourself to the gym every day. You’re going to become a fitness addict by forcing yourself to go to the gym for a while until you get so used to it that you don’t have to force yourself anymore. After a while, you’ll get so hooked on the benefits that you will actually look forward to your next workout. Try it! 2018 is your year.
- You can meet your best friends on social media. Especially if you follow a certain niche such as vegan food on Instagram, you’ll meet tons of like-minded souls. I have met so many amazing people in 2017 such as Alexa with whom I’ll travel to Bali for a month! Actually, most of my friends are people I met through Instagram now. Simply because I get along so much better with people I share lots of interests with. Social media changed my life to the positive!
- Walking is medicine. I used to suffer from chronic back pain but since I’ve gotten my Fitbit and set my goal to 10k steps per day, it’s disappeared! If I don’t meet my step goal and spend a lot of time sitting in chairs, it comes back…
- Healthy toothcare is just as important as a healthy diet! I always thought organic toothpastes were “healthy” until I learned a lot from Annette Jasper. Check out this (German) blog article for more info. A life-changer!
- Dressings are the key to amazing buddha bowls. It took me dozens of bland buddha bowls to realize this! Haha! You can find my favorite buddha bowl + dressing recipe here.
- Lightroom is more complex than I thought. I switched from mobile to desktop editing after I got my new MacBook end of June. This is both positive and negative. There’s a whole science behind editing colors, as I learned in Youtube tutorials. You have endless possibilities to create your own, unique style with this editing app. On the other hand, you can mess up your pictures big time if you “over-edit” them or the different settings you apply don’t synchronize. I’m still far from professional but you can watch my editing video here to get inspired.
- You can stay healthy and keep your weight on holidays. My tip: Rent an Airbnb and prepare your own food as I did in Tenerife. Depending on the country you travel to, you can stop at fruit shops and stock up for the day. Fruit makes a great meal and snack. Simple sugars provide you with the energy you need to make the most of your day and help you keep that beach body until AFTER your holidays. 😉
- Calorie restriction is bs. There’s better ways to lose weight or reduce body fat, such as HIIT workouts which I recently fell in love with! I tried restriction for a while because my fitness trainer recommended me to do so but it was terrible. Never again! I’m grateful for the experience though.
- You can save lots of $$$ by making your own nut milk! And another thing I learned: If you want REALLY CREAMY porridge, you must use nut milk instead of oat milk or rice milk. My all-time favorite recipe is the buckwheat porridge from my ebook. Have you ever tried buckwheat flakes? Discovering them changed my life!
- Food photography techniques! Apart from Instagram algorithm changes, food photography is what I’ve learned most about in 2017. I get asked about my camera soooooooooooo often but people don’t understand that the lens and lighting are much more important than the actual camera. I listed all my equipment and a book recommendation in this post. I still learn every day. My #1 tip: PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. There’s no “secret formula” other than this.