Musings from Bahraini entrepreneur, design agency creative director and magazine editor, Wafa Alobaidat

Since the threat of the "end of the world" is now gone, we now come face to face with the realization that another year is over, and a new one is about to begin.

I don’t believe in New Year's resolutions, I forget them early on in the year, and my goals change from month to month depending on situations and moods. Not to mention that with every passing day in December, work piles up as everyone attempts to wrap up the year's work in time to enjoy the holidays.

For me, New Year is a time to do a few certain things. Reflect over the last year is one, and go over the all the things I have managed to achieve, taking a moment to pat myself on the back for items that I've done well, and remind myself of how I could have done better at others.

Also, it is a time for me to de-clutter my mind, reassess, and reorganize the direction of my life. Those that have seen my office space know it is a tad messy. It's no secret! I am a paper hoarder, careful not to throw anything away in case I need something again in the near future, and sometimes I even avoid filing in case I lose track of where I filed things.

As the year came to an end, I became determined to file the piles of paper on my desk, organize my contacts, and back up all my work. I also took that opportunity for me to reorganize my closet, and clear out my summer wardrobe to make room for leather jackets, vintage blazers, and scarves.

Most importantly, though, I took the last few weeks of December to recoup for the next year, and reevaluate my long term goals. If you've been following me on Twitter, you'll know that I've been very open about my investment opportunities with Sketchbook, and by doing so I began gearing up for the next year both mentally and physically, aiming and hoping to close the biggest deal of my life in March.

I have realized that the de-cluttering of a space does not necessarily imply a de-cluttered mind. We meet people on a daily basis that are organized, with their to-do lists and their attention to detail when tackling day-to-day tasks; and we also meet some who are all over the place, late to all meetings, and have piles of junk in their cars. Yet I have come to realize that just because you are organized does not mean your mind is free of clutter.

It is more important for me to spend some time arranging my mental thoughts and goals, careful to prioritize and focus on the items that matter for this coming year. If we do not make some time to de-clutter our ideas, and make sure we mark the end of a year of trial and error, and the start of a new one, our past years start to blur into each other, exhausting us, allowing no room for improvement.

Taking some time for mental preparation allows for a clutter-free new year, and a focus on what should matter for us in 2013.

Wafa Alobaidat writes a bi-monthly column for Khaleejesque and muses on fashion, art, culture and culture shock in the Middle East. Wafa is also the editor of Sketchbook magazine and runs design and PR agency Obai and Hill.

To get in touch with Wafa, email her at or follow her on Twitter @fashionambition

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