6 Lessons To Take With You Into the New Year

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The new year is fast approaching. I can’t even believe it’s already Christmas. I sit here alone and type this out for you on Christmas day. I’m alone this year. I celebrated last night with some of my expat friends here in Guatemala. Fun was had by all. I knew I’d be working today but that’s ok. When you love what you do it’s not work.

So I’ve been sitting here reflecting on the holidays, the last week of December and the work I need to do and also reflecting on the last year. 2018 was a trip, amirite? Phew. Such an interesting mix of good and bad. I can’t say I had more bad than good but I certainly had some distressing moments. Here are the ones that stand out in my mind:

  • my earnings took a huge hit in February
  • I had to beg and borrow from family to carry me through the next few months
  • I started smoking again (ugh)
  • the man I was dating for a year went back home to the US in May
  • me and a family member fell apart

So you can see, I had some rough patches. I’m still struggling with a few of them, the ones that are in my control, like smoking and getting my earnings back up. The rest are out of my control.

Ah well, those are behind me now.

I don’t make it a habit of wallowing in the sorrow of days gone by. Neither should you. What’s done is done. Take what you need from the situation and leave the rest. Anyway, I look back and think about all the things I’ve learned and all the things I need to carry with me in the new year.

I’d like to share them with you. And, like me, take what you need and leave the rest.

6 Lessons to Take With You in the New Year

Immerse yourself in learning new things.

I’ve taken courses, read pdf’s and eBooks, watched YouTube tutorials and webinars, you name it, I did it. I used to hate learning anything new. I always thought it was too time consuming and I was too dumb. Both are false. The things you learn are valuable and will help you on your journey in life, whatever that may be.

Take some time each week to learn something new. You never know when you’re going to need it or how useful it will be for you in the future. And you aren’t dumb either. You can learn anything you put your mind to.

Use your voice more often

Stop letting people walk all over you. Stop letting people take advantage of you. If you say yes and mean to say no start saying no. Learn to value yourself and your time. Take a thick black magic marker and draw a solid boundary line between you and others.

Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t agree with everyone just for the sake of fitting in or to avoid an argument. Find your voice and use it. Speak up and speak out. People will learn to listen and respect you more.

Get up fast when you’ve been kicked down

I’ve been kicked more times than I can count. Every new year I always start with “oh this is gonna be the best year ever” and then month after month something stops me or kicks me down. Nothing keeps me down. I wipe away my tears, brush off my butt and get back up fiercer than before.

When something doesn’t go our way, it’s the Universe keeping us from something that is no longer good for us or trying to get our attention and steer us in another direction. Things happen for a reason. Sorry to have to throw that cliche at you but it’s true.

We may not find out the reason for a very long time. That’s ok. Just get back up anyway, rethink your strategy and start something else.

Stop guarding your heart

Stop being afraid of love and holding back on love. There is nothing bad or ugly about love. Everything about love is beautiful. I loved a man who I knew was eventually going to leave me. It didn’t matter. I loved him anyway and it was one of the best relationships I’ve ever had. I will never regret that love. I grew so much as a person because of it.

Love is to be felt, enjoyed and shared. Don’t regret anything about love and stop locking up your heart. You’re only depriving yourself of the most beautiful feeling in the world. Yes, sometimes hurt comes after love. Love is still more beautiful and powerful than any hurt. Embrace love.

Push the envelope

Go knock on doors you wouldn’t normally knock on. Say yes to things, events and opportunities that you normally would say no to. Tackle new projects head on. Jump at chances that are placed before you. Step outside of your comfort zone and start having more faith in your abilities.

We say no to new adventures or opportunities because of lack of self confidence. We don’t think we’re good enough, smart enough or whatever enough. You most certainly are good enough. Say yes more to things in the new year and figure out how to do them later. The answers will come. Trust me on that.

Leave the pain behind

Whoever or whatever hurt you in 2018 or previous years must be left behind. Holding on to all this pain serves you no good whatsoever. Pain is very debilitating and heavy. You will never be free to move forward in the new year or with your life if you keep hanging on to pain and grudges.

Do yourself a big favour. Release it all now. Forgive those who hurt you. Write yourself an open letter to all who have hurt you ( I call them truth letters), pour out all your anger and hatred, and then let it go. Burn or shred the letter and move on. You have got to get rid of this pain once and for all. You’re only hurting yourself more and more.

An open letter to all who hurt me

This is by far one of the best ways to free yourself from anger, hurt and pain. This is what I do when I have to write an open letter to anyone who hurt me.

  • sit quietly with no distractions
  • turn on some nice soft music and light candles or burn essential oil (lavender is best)
  • notepad and pen or computer in Word, whatever, just start writing
  • get out all the hurt, the things that annoyed you and made you angry
  • write until you can’t write anymore
  • read it back, cry your eyes out, breathe deep and then
  • burn it!

Trust me on this one, you will never feel so much liberation until you do this. This is one of the best forgiveness and release techniques I have ever done. Try it and see.

Remember, it’s new year new me time, right? It’s important to look back at what went wrong, what went right and what didn’t go at all. Take all these things, evaluate them and formulate a new plan and stick to it!!

You don’t want a repeat of 2018 (unless of course your 2018 was magnificent and mind blowing!).

If you’re ready to move forward in the new year with a new attitude and piss and vinegar and need a little help or direction, you may want to check out my self help guide. It is jam packed with actionable tips and tricks to get you on the right path to the life you deserve!! From Hell to Happiness is now on sale for only $16! Grab your copy here.


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  • I relate to this on so many levels! As I need to work on the above things as well. 2018 was the year I had to learn to be vulnerable and open in order to have a successful relationship. Leaving the pain behind is an ongoing struggle I intend to master.

    Finding your voice though; well, I’ve always been good at speaking my mind. Maybe a little too much. So maybe my lesson could be to harness it a little bit. :)

  • I’ve never had a problem finding my voice as I speak my mind a little too much sometimes. What I cold learn this year, is to hardness my mind speaking a bit. :)

    The above list I can relate to on so many levels though as 2018 was the year I had to learn to be vulnerable and open in order to have a successful relationship.

  • Every day, every year.. there are things/struggles that helps create resiliency. Glad that you are able to accept, grow and move forward. Great strategies to move forward.

  • Iva, as always this post is truly inspirational. The points that appeal to me the post are the ones about pushing the envelope and writing an open letter to those who hurt you. It is only when you pour out all the hurt in your heart that you can accept and move on with life.

    • Thank you so much Poovanesh I appreciate your kind words xo

  • I honestly couldn’t agree more… all that you talk about resonates with me so deeply. They are lessons learned in past (and previous years) and some new goals to take in 2019 – like saying yes to life and love without fear – or despite the fear. Great post!!

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