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6 Lessons To Take With You Into the New Year

Last Updated on 5 years by Iva Ursano

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.

(this was an original post from 2018 and has been updated for 2019)

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. 2019 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 mom died in February
  • my son’s father committed suicide in August
  • I started smoking again (ugh)
  • I moved countries again (Mexico this time)
  • me and a few family members stopped talking to each other

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 2019 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.


New year new me!!


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 2019 (unless of course your 2019 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 $32! Grab your copy here.

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  1. 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. :)

    1. Haha!! Atta girl. You keep using your voice!!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. Thank you so much Poovanesh I appreciate your kind words xo

  5. 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!!

  6. Lovely words.. Thank you so much
    I really need this kind of suggestions today specially on “Stop Guarding Your Love”


  7. Thank you so much for your words. I’ve been through a lot over the past 15 years. I have Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. I married a wonderful man who treated me so special
    He knew about my disease because he was with me thru all the test and the results. He still wanted to marry me because he said all that didn’t matter. It didn’t change the way he felt about me. He wanted to be there for me to help me thru the pain and everything that went with it. We got married in 1993. Had a daughters and were very much in love. It was wonderful. But then the disease started getting worse. And I could fill him pushing me away. It was like watch your life crumbling right in front of you in slow motion. And there was no way to stop it. For 20 years I knew something was wrong but when I’d try to talk to him he always went on about how much he was in love with me and he’d always be by my side . it was 10 years of mental and emotional abuse. I saw the man I loved turn into something cruel insensitive. So in 2015 he told me he wasn’t happy. He wanted me to leave. I had already lost my indepence and my career as a Pharmacist. And I had lost my mom who was my best friend. Now I was loosing the love of my life. And even though he was treating me awful, I still loved him. Everything happened just like the Dr. Said it would. Except the part where my husband would be there for me. I went back because my lawyer said he could get me for abandonment. It was January 24th when I had to leave again. That 2 months was awful because over that 10 years he had stopped loving me and started to hate me. That’s what would make it easier for him. So thru all the abusive words I still loved him until the day he admitted that he did not care I was sick. That’s when I knew the man I loved had died. My life went down hill after that. I couldn’t pay my bills and the lawyer who promised to take care of me and get me alimony to help me pay for the people I had to hire to help me. And all the medical bills. But he lied and didn’t help me at all. And by time it was over, the money I got for the house paid dome of my debts but not all of them and he never tried to get me alimony. So I put it all in God’s hands. Now instead of being a lone all the time I found someone to take me to church and I have friends now and I’m able to get out to go to church. I forgave my husband but it is really hard to forgive someone who isn’t sorry for hurting you. His new fiance is so jealous of me that we can’t even discuss our girls. Who by the way, stayed with him and blamed me for getting sick. But I said 2020 was going to be my year. I’ve started doing something I use to love to do and I’m learning something new. I’m putting it all in the past. But I cannot take a chance on getting hurt again. I have a lot of love to give and I’m kind and loyal. But I don’t think love is in my future. A man sees me in this wheelchair and all he can think of is she’s a lot of trouble. Just like my ex-husband use to say. And if one did show interest, I’d run him off because of all the things my ex-husband put me thru. I just feel my days of being treated good and being in love is over. It’s just safer to be by myself than to risk getting my soul and heart crushed again. I’m damaged goods now.

    1. Sorry you are going through and went through all this. You are not damaged goods and you should never call yourself that. Click the restart button and have some faith and hope xoxo

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