30/12/2014 05:28 GMT | Updated 28/02/2015 05:59 GMT

Hindsight and Happiness: What I Learned in 2014

As you get older, leave home and learn to be your own person; you become more and more grateful for the passing years and what they've taught you. And so another year comes to a close in a much more timely fashion than the last, and while you brace yourself for a flood of sentimental Facebook statuses and new years resolutions; let me get in there first and impart this one on you.

2014 was good, it was probably one of my favourite years. However what goes up must come down, and this year I've also lost more people than I can count; be it through death or through simply realising they weren't a good fit for my life. And it was not just through the ups but also the downs that some important life lessons were shaped and formed this year, things I felt were important enough to share. My goals for the year of 2014 were seemingly practical for an irresponsible teenage student with a borderline drinking problem and no job, as I was at the time. Get a job, get a house, lose some weight, travel more, do more things that make me happy, blah blah blah. And while I am still a somewhat irresponsible teenage student, I can say with confidence that I more than achieved everything on that list. I'm self sufficient in a job I adore, I've surrounded myself with wonderful people, and I am more successful than I imagined I would be at the age of 19. I wouldn't go so far as saying I have it all together, but I'm alright.

As you can imagine, getting to this point took some shuffling, swapping people out and hard learned lessons with their share of setbacks. This is not a sure-fire guide to happiness, however these lessons I've learned have made my life a hell of a lot easier:

1. Your comfort zone isn't your home. Do you feel safe? Great, but that's all you'll do if you stick to what you know. This year I learned to take risks and reach out, even if I look stupid. After all, isn't it all about having no regrets and leaving nothing left unsaid?

2. Double texting isn't a crime. Yes, you may be told it's annoying; but they love it really. (perhaps not when you're drunk, but that's okay.) Double texting = caring enough to break the rules. You're all welcome.

3. You're better than that. No settling for anyone that doesn't treat you right; be it 'friends', family or other halves. That's right, you can walk away from family that isn't making you happy. I regret nothing.

4. Let it go. I know, we've heard this many many times this year; but really. Any energy spent on something that upsets you is energy you could put into improving something elsewhere. Let it go, let them go. It's not worth it. YOU are your priority.

5. You forgive for you, not for them. We live in a culture where grudges and hard feelings are commonplace, but I've come to realise the only person I hurt is myself when I harbour a grudge towards someone else. They sure as hell don't care, so why should I? Like I said before, let it go. Bad for the soul and all that.

And there we have it, five things to take into 2015. I haven't thought about my resolutions for the coming year yet, but I'm sure they'll be deliciously cliched and sickening. I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and happy new year.