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It’s that time of the year again when we get to take a good look at the have-beens, should’ve beens, could’ve beens and get real with ourselves about the direction (or lack thereof) our lives are taking. It’s also the time to declare resolutions of what we need to change and start doing moving forward.

I have always loved the idea of the new year. A fresh start that can be taken independent from the past X years of your life. A blank page to finally be able to write whatever grand story it is you had in mind. And a clean slate devoid of regret, ill feelings and doubt if you so choose to let them go.

I started my blog a long time ago with a different name and a different me. It was called Mon Beau Monde or My Beautiful World because it was meant to be a diary of how I saw my little nook of life and I chose to see it as a magnificent space and blessing. Maybe somewhere along the way I stopped seeing things as beautiful and magnificent and the world a little crippling but I like being able to look back now and see how my life has progressed since.

I thought the past year has been uninteresting but I realized I’ve done a lot of amazing things, gone on amazing trips and have dealt with different kinds of obstacles thrown my way. In terms of actually seeing the world, I have been blessed to have gone to Europe (Germany, France and Italy), Guam and Vietnam for the very first time. I’ve also been able to see more of the Philippines the past year with trips to Boracay, Cebu and Bacolod. I guess in terms of work I’ve been able to work with a lot more people and brands, blessings I will always treasure. I’ve also tried my hand at different things like writing for print and being published for the first time which has always been a dream of mine. (Thank you, Style Weekend for the trust.) I met so many wonderful people and have realized through the year the ones I ought to keep. It sounds terrible, I know, but I’ve also learned to weed out the bad seeds despite it being difficult sometimes. The people I have in my life are such blessings and I want to keep my circle that way – one of love, trust and support.

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here because despite me oversharing embarrassing ¬†memories and childhood stories, I do like to keep things light. But right before I started my blog about 4 years ago, a really close family member passed and it’s been kind of difficult to get past that. To cope, we’ve been spending Christmas and New Year’s elsewhere, mostly back home in Michigan but celebrations there haven’t been so festive the past few years either. Last year I was blessed to have been able to spend Christmas in Bethlehem and end the year on a beautiful, spiritual note. And this year is even better because we’re finally in the Christmas spirit again complete with buying decor and decorating, playing Christmas music (including my non-stop singing of Do You Hear What I Hear), and just being excited again for the holidays. I think it’s such a big and important step and I’m very happy that we’re at this place now.

I hope your year has been filled with steps forward and the resilience of spirit to power through despite whatever it is life has thrown at you. I’ve very recently been reminded of how short life is and I hope that all of you are blessed this year with the grace to follow your happiness, wherever it may lie. Love, light, hope and an endless stream of positivity for all of you. May your 2015 be so much better than the past years of your life.

Thank you so much, dear readers, for being such a huge part of my life. This blog has been so therapeutic and such a positive force on my life and it wouldn’t exist without all of you. Let’s continue to have an ongoing dialogue this coming year. I love nothing more than hearing what you have to say and knowing that something resonates with you, on any level. To those I’ve met, via Bloggers United, via Twitter or Instagram, thank you. Please know I really do appreciate each one of you.

And to end this post on a good note, here are some resolutions of mine this coming year. Share yours? Are resolutions still a thing?

My Resolutions

1. Start waking up early. And sleeping early. And doing whatever it takes to get that done. (Like popping an allergy pill. Kids, don’t try this at home.)

2. Start living a healthy lifestyle. Even if Chia Seeds are somewhat pretentious and really expensive.

3. Saying what I mean and meaning what I say. This is usually done but I want to reinforce it especially when it comes to work. If it’s a No in my mind, it should be a No out my mouth.

4. Weeding out the negative people in my life. Again, this has been done rather effectively the past year. But I need to stop being affected by those I’ve already cut off. It’s hard to see your friendship fall apart especially knowing you’re letting it, but sometimes, people that affect your life negatively need to be let go.

5. Be on time. Or early, whenever possible. I am always late. Maybe it’s because growing up I’ve learned the hard way that call times are never what they are. This notion has been severely and constantly reinforced by fashion events that never start on time (mostly after an hour or two of waiting.) It’s stressful constantly looking at the time while I drive and I don’t need to be even more on edge than I already am.

6. Be better and do better at whatever task is at hand. Especially when it comes to work.

7. Keep learning. Youtube videos, looks like we’ll be spending a lot of time together. For those who want to take free online courses, I recommend Coursera.org.

8. Take bigger risks. High risk, high rewards they say. I need to not be crippled by a fear of failing that I am rendered immobile and stagnant.

9. Go out of the house and socialize a little more. Even if it’s just an added night each month.

10. Exercise. Do yoga? Wii Sports?

11. Be kinder, nicer and sweeter to everyone.