“Woke up this morning with my mind set on loving me” sung by Jamila Woods is the theme for this year. Perhaps more accurately this is the theme for the rest of my life.

2019 with all its beauty has exhausted me. I gave much more than I received and played small in both my personal and professional worlds. There were many nights where I asked myself: Why do I keep giving to people who did not honor me? Why do I say yes to lesser things that clearly did not serve me? Why am I also not able to receive fully from others?

The closest answer I have come to is: I have never learnt how to love myself, deeply, fully and consistently. 


Time is in many ways an illusion but one of its purposes, at least to me, is to help motivate me to start new chapters, new habits and new affirmations. One of the strongest time related moments to restart and recommit is the start of a New Year. So with this New Year and new decade my message to you is simple and certainly not new:

Love yourself.  

Be selfish, because only when your cup is full and overflowing can you share and give to the world consistently and sustainably. 


You will likely hear and read this message said in various ways by various people especially at the start of the new year and for good reason. It is time we honor our individual selves in order to honor the collective. It is time to let go of that guy who has never chosen you but keeps you “around”, let go of the excuses you make up for others, let go of the toxic friends who only take but never give. It is time to let yourself sleep those 8 hours, let yourself dance when no one is watching and when the world is watching. It is time to fully celebrate and be celebrated and that starts with celebrating yourself first. Whatever you have planned for 2020 I hope it is rooted in honoring yourself, respecting yourself and loving yourself because only from that place can you fully give. 


If you need more confirmation, here is essentially the same message said by the Queen of inspiration, Oprah, starting at minute 13 (yes, an Oprah quote is a must here): 

This mindset shift is easier said than done. It will require changing your thoughts, words and actions including your daily habits. It will be easy on some days and harder on other days. To make this easier for myself I have done these 3 things that have truly helped me however simple they may sound: 

  • Heart-Centered Morning Routine: I always start my morning by connecting with my heart. What I have recently added is to give some time to compliment my heart. Tell your heart it is beautiful, full and shines so bright. Say out loud specific things you love about yourself and feel gratitude towards yourself for being them.
  • Full-Centered Music: I have a playlist that inspires and reminds me of my magic. Here it is incase you are into the same music. Music has the power to speak to our souls and change our moods so make a playlist that reminds you of the beauty and importance of being full. 
  • Accountability Buddies: I have 3 accountability buddies where once a week we meet to check-in on our hearts, aspirations and actions. We even have a shared Google document to document our progress. Having disciplined check-ins is key.


Now, let us end with a beautiful song by Jamila Woods titled Holy for you to kickstart your new year, new decade and a beautiful you today – not tomorrow. 

With Love & Appreciation,



  • Aida Murad

    Entrepreneur Coach

    Aida Murad is an Entrepreneur Coach focused on founder well-being, an artist and passionate connector. She has worked for over a decade building social enterprises in the US and MENA region in education, fashion, food, health and technology industries. She is a firm believer in the power of creative industries to create social change and to showcase that she organized the first festival in the US to celebrate refugees talents in the creative industries. Previously, Aida co-founded a sustainable fashion company, managed over $300m in philanthropic and development funds for the public and private sectors as well as designed youth and entrepreneurship programs globally.

    She is a recipient of the 2017 FHI 360 Impact Award for Woman Leadership, 2017 Most Voted RAW Artist, 2017 Inaugural artist for GoARTful and 2016 FHI Emerging Leaders. Aida appears regularly on global TV networks and platforms including Harvard University, Reuters, Voice of America and TRT World speaking on the power of will in adversity. Today she spends her time advising social enterprises and foundations, serving as Co-Director for NEXUS MENA & Arab Diaspora, creating socially impactful art and writing for Thrive Global.