Lessons

Pant + Top set: Oak & Fort (similar); Coat: Dawn Levy Design (similar here and here); Boots: Alexander Wang; Hat: Club Monaco (similar)

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all rang 2017 in with your loved ones! I personally enjoyed a night in watching Netflix and hanging out with my family, you know, grandma style. Although 2016 was a year filled with controversial political decisions and celebrity deaths, it was a great year for me personally. I hit so many personal milestones and quit my full-time job to focus on my business. So with the new year upon us, I wanted to share with you guys the 5 things I learned in 2016.

How to say no
You’d think this one wasΒ easy, but it took me 25 years to figure it out. In 2016, my blog began to grow, and while at first I was keen to please brands, I realized that I had to do what was right for me. This meant finding the courage to state my worth and sticking to it. I also realized that I don’t have to kill myself to try to be at every event, every single time I’m invited or take onΒ something I’m not super passionate about.

Dream big and work for it
I have always believed that the sky is the limit. While setting goals for myself last year, I dreamed big. I made a list of brands I wanted to work with, and where I wanted my blog to be by the end of the year. Sure I didn’t get everything I wanted, but I worked my ass off and got pretty damn close!

Rejection is a part of life
As a blogger, I’ve had to become comfortable with putting myself out there. That means approaching brands, sending proposals, and really chasing what I want. While this comes with many triumphs, it also comes with its fair share of rejection. As a Leo, I hate the feeling of rejection because it hurts my pride, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s nothing personal. Brands that have previously said no to me come around when the time is right. Most importantly, rejection doesn’t equate to failure.

Admit when I’m tired
Like any other human being, I have my days. Everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes, and I’ve learned to admit it when I am. There was a point in my life where I took no days off from my work, which I realized is incredibly unhealthy. This year, I learned to admit when I’m tired and take a break when I need it. The world won’t crumble if I don’t answer emails for a day.

Give structure to my life
In my initial days was a full-time blogger, I wouldn’t change out of my PJs. I would do the dishes in the middle of the day and switch on the TV when I felt like it. While I still do that on the odd occasion, I’ve learned to give my life a little more structure. That means changing out of my PJs as soon as I wake up, and heading to a cafe to work.

So, while 2016 was a memorable year, I intend on learning and achieving even more this year. Here’s to 2017!

Photography by Erin Leydon

Follow:
Share:

58 Comments

  1. January 1, 2017 / 11:12 am

    Happy New Year Siffat, it was great to be introduced to your blog last year! I’m so about the part about giving your life structure, when working as a freelancer, full-time blogger etc, it really helps to change your mindset when you act like you are still living in 9-5 city. Wishing you even more success in the new year! ( :

  2. January 1, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    Happy New Year Siffat!
    I love the lessons you shared with us as well as your outfit!
    I still find it incredibly hard to say ‘No’, but on a personal level too, which means that I often end up taking on too much! Learning to say ‘No’ is one of my resolutions for 2017!!
    Julia x
    http://www.thevelvetrunway.com

  3. January 1, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    Loving the look Siff! You grew so much on a personal and professional level in 2016 and I couldn’t be prouder of you! <3

    -Didier
    http://www.didieryhc.com

  4. Terri
    January 1, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    Love your looks, fab style!!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR
    & Much love,
    HER FASTEST FASHION

  5. January 1, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Happy New Year Siffat. I can totally relate to everything you’ve said. I believe that if we don’t dream and work hard for success, we will spend the rest of our life regretting not being active. Not everything comes easy but hard work pays off.

    http://www.mydailywear.co.uk

  6. January 2, 2017 / 1:31 am

    omg I love this all grey look grey has been my top colour recently !! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Happy New Year to you and your family!! Dominica from http://www.its-dominica.blogspot.co.uk

  7. January 2, 2017 / 1:42 am

    Happy New Year, pretty girl! Amen to getting more structure! I totally need to work on that in 2017 too <3

    Blessings,
    Edye | http://gracefulcoffee.com

  8. January 2, 2017 / 6:52 am

    I love this monochrome look! you look amazing! and your lessons are really great, learning to say no is top of my list!

    http://www.prettyinleather.net

  9. January 2, 2017 / 10:38 am

    My goal for this year is to start saying no and put myself first instead of others. All my life I have been thinking about others first but then something bad happens and you realize that nobody is there for you but your family! So here’s to a beautiful 2017 and may our dreams come true, be healthy and love each other! x

    Yiota
    PinkDaisyLoves

  10. January 2, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    I love this list and I second everything on it! From learning to say no and to adding some structure to life. How much I love to work in pjs in the bed, I automatically get more lazy and it’s easier to put on a movie instead of replying to those emails! – And you look flawless as always, so gorgeous with the statement lips to the grey! Xx

    Babe, have a lovely 2017!
    http://www.thefashionfolks.com

  11. January 2, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    Happy New Year! Your lessons could be my goal for the next year! The power to say NO! Guess I am too kind and I never say no. I have to learn this!

  12. Tamara
    January 2, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    Rejection is always hard but it’s part of life! Happy 2017 and I hope you keep learning things along the way!

    XoXo,

    Tamara – LoveofMode.com

  13. January 2, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    Happy New Year, darling! Every one of the point mentioned are ones I’ve had to learn in the past year also. Applying such to this year, I believe you’re on to a greater course.

    I do hope you have a great year.

    Funmi xx
    http://www.funmialabi.co.uk

  14. January 3, 2017 / 6:49 am

    Giving everyone a big hand that made it to be awake enough to post a blog post on the first! Great lessons.

    http://whoisericjess.com

  15. miri
    January 3, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    I love these photos, Siffat. I am happy to see that 2016 brought lot of good and positive things into your life. And I am sure 2017 will be even better year for you. I agree that giving your life structure and knowing what you want is essential for success. Thank you for sharing another lovely post!

    X
    Miri

    http://currentlywearing.com

  16. January 3, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    Wish I could rock a hat like you! So pretty
    xx,
    arelisapril.blogspot.com

  17. January 3, 2017 / 10:37 pm

    Congrats on reaching most of your goals for 2016! I’m sure 2017 will be even more awesome for you πŸ™‚

    platosclosetpreferred.com

  18. January 4, 2017 / 6:09 am

    I work from home and I’m still in the phase of staying in my pjs all freaking day! I need to find motivation to get out of the house!

    Caitlin, Beauty & Colour

  19. January 4, 2017 / 9:52 am

    Beautiful post! So happy for you and for achieving so many of your dreams! Keep up with the amazing content x Hugs, Mary

    http://marypolka.com

  20. January 4, 2017 / 2:10 pm

    Happy New Year Siffat! You hit all the points I want to get better at! I definitely need to learn to say no and admit when I am tired. I tend to overworked myself that in the end it does not good! Cheers to a successful 2017!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

  21. January 4, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    I love that idea of learning to say no and I am still working on it! I need to get better to saying no to a lot of requests at this point and time! I love your whole look, the monochrome gray is gorgeous! Also, I am in love with that hat!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

  22. January 4, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    These are inspiring life lessons you have learned, thanks for sharing with us! The one about rejection resonates with me. As I am beginning to reach out to brands, that is definitely a fear of mine. But I also like how you learned to say no and to only work with brands with really align with who you are. That seems so important to be an authentic influencer πŸ™‚ Great post!

    xoxo
    Serene

  23. January 4, 2017 / 6:31 pm

    All Grey is one of my favorite choices – it always looks chic and laid back at the same time!

    XX from Germany
    Jecky
    Want Get Repeat

  24. January 4, 2017 / 7:24 pm

    Seriously, you have the most gorgeous face. Love your gorgeous eyes. You look incredible! Great post!
    Thank for sharing!
    Have a fabulous 2017 my darling!
    Much love, Len
    http://www.lenparent.com

  25. Amy Arnold
    January 4, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    So proud of your awesome 2016! Great lessons too. Happy 2017! Obsessed with this a grey outfit!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  26. January 4, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    I love this grey monochrome look, girl! I love and agree with all your goals here, much are the same as mine, including taking time to rest. I tend to overwork myself and often wait for a cue from someone else to give me the okay to take a break, which of course I shouldn’t need to wait for. Thanks so much for sharing and may all these goals come to fruition for you this year!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

  27. January 4, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    Absolutely love this look! Happy New Year and thanks for sharing your personal insights. Saying no is something I have had to learn too and it has taken me more years than you, believe me! Again, all the best for 2017 – all will be good.

    ANOUK

  28. January 5, 2017 / 12:27 am

    Firstly, I love this outfit! I live for a great monochrome look.

    Secondly, thanks for this post! Great advice and very insightful.

    Wishing you the best this year!

    nialangleyspeaks.blogspot.com

  29. January 5, 2017 / 12:43 am

    Thanks for share these amazing advices with us
    xx

  30. January 5, 2017 / 3:09 am

    I’m still hoping to learn a few of those things myself so I’m glad you were able to achieve that in 2016! Hope you have a fabulous 2017!

    β™‘ Jaime
    http://thejaimeissue.com/

  31. January 5, 2017 / 6:50 am

    Gorgeous pics and look <3

  32. January 5, 2017 / 9:04 am

    Love the pictures babe, the all grey look is amazing on you β™₯
    And so funny that our layout is so similar – looks like we have the same (of course amazing πŸ˜€ ) taste hahaha πŸ˜‰

    xxx
    Tina
    http://styleappetite.com

  33. January 5, 2017 / 5:48 pm

    These are all such great lessons and applicable to so many other things–especially the how to say no one!