Blogger Hoang-Kim wears a orange ruffle dress by La Petite Robe di Chiara BoniI cannot believe I’m writing this, but today I turn 26! I’m truly grateful for all I have including a supportive family and boyfriend who loves me unconditionally, an incredible job I love doing and y’all! Thank you so much for allowing along, reading my posts and being so amazing. I absolutely love it when y’all tell me you love something you purchased after seeing me wear it or were inspired by my style. Some of the most asked questions and comments are on how successful my life is and how I am where I am today. I’m still incredibly young and have a lot to learn. However, I do have a few tips and tricks. So today in honor of turning 26, I’m sharing 6 things to do to be happy and successful.

Blogger Hoang-Kim wears a orange ruffle dress by La Petite Robe di Chiara BoniBlogger Hoang-Kim wears a orange ruffle dress by La Petite Robe di Chiara Boni

  1. WORK HARD – This is first of the 6 things to do to be happy and successful because no amount of talent, or IQ or anything will ever replace it. My parents were willing to let me try and do anything as long as I put in the effort. When I figure skated, I worked hard on and off the ice – pushing my body and sometimes skating through injury. When I competed in pageants and especially training for Miss USA, I pushed myself more than I imagined. I worked 9-10 hour days as a reporter where I carried my own gear, shot my own video, edited my own story and went live on my own. It was exhausting, but then I would come home and hit the gym for two hours or more. Co-workers and superiors recognize and respect hard work. You can control how hard you work and that’ll pay off. You cannot control how much talent you have or how much more talented someone else is. But you can outwork them.
  2. PERSPECTIVE – A good friend of mine said this quote and it really stuck with me. “I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now.” My family members are refugees from communist Vietnam. I wake up every single day grateful to live in a country with freedom, democracy and human rights. I’m beyond appreciative I have the ability to pursue my dreams. Realizing the good in your life and what you have to be grateful for it makes being happy much easier. For example, a year and a half ago, my Dad suffered a traumatic brain injury. We didn’t know if he was going to live or not. I was stuck in Nebraska, so far from home in Texas. I would have given anything to make my Dad better. Designer clothes, a successful job – none of that mattered if my Dad wasn’t going to live. Or worse if he completely lost all of his memory and would have no idea he was loved by his family. He’s much better now, but he’ll never be 100% again. But now, every single time he texts or calls me, even if it’s at the most inconvenient time, I’m grateful.
  3. DO WHAT YOU LOVE – We will work a good chunk of our lives, so we might as well do something we love. However, I understand being practical and having to pay bills. I’m lucky I love TV journalism and I will make a living doing it. If there is something you want to pursue, but you cannot quit your full-time job, spend extra time at night or on the weekends working toward your dream. During the week, I spend more than half of my morning working on my blog. On the weekends, I am hardcore grinding on my blog. I’m shooting new looks, responding to emails or writing up posts and scheduling content. I even clock late nights after getting home at midnight and stay awake until 2 or 3 am finishing posts to make sure I publish on time. The Alchemist is one of my favorite inspirational books because of its message: And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
  4. GOAL SETTING – I am a huge big picture thinker. You may recall this from the post I did with Johnny on having a happy long-distance relationship. Goal setting definitely one of the most important tips out of the 6 things to do to be happy and successful. Once you know what you love, set goals and try to achieve them one by one. My ultimate goal is to one day be a network news anchor. I have a plan on how to make that happen. When you think big picture, the little stuff doesn’t matter. Plus, having a plan means there is something to keep track of. If you fall short of a goal, you know you need to rev up for the next one.
  5. HAVE PATIENCE – Honestly, this is something I am working on improving. However, I will admit I have grown leaps and bounds from when I first started. I think a lot of millennials forget how young we are. While life is precious and short, when it comes to dreams, it takes time. You cannot work hard for three weeks straight and expect your wildest dreams to come true. I competed in pageants for 10 years before I finally competed at Miss USA. I did not get to work as a reporter in a good city right out of college. And my blog did not amass a huge following overnight. Keep working hard and be patient. I turn 26 today and while I feel the pressure of 30 around the corner, I’m still young. Plus, there is a lot of time left to work my booty off and to accomplish my goals.
  6. ENJOY – All seriousness aside, live a little! Yes, work your booty off, but have a little fun too. There are weekends where I carve out a couple hours to grab brunch with friends or catch up on Supergirl, This is Us, The Flash and Arrow. When I go home to visit family, I am home with them. I am present and I am soaking up their company. For all my patience talk, time does fly by when it comes to the moments you want to hold on to. I wish I have more time with my parents, but they are not getting any younger. I wish I could hang out with my siblings all the time, but now I live far away in a completely different state. Don’t live with regrets y’all.

Blogger Hoang-Kim wears a orange ruffle dress by La Petite Robe di Chiara BoniBlogger Hoang-Kim wears a orange ruffle dress by La Petite Robe di Chiara Boni

I hope you enjoyed this list of 6 things to do to be happy and successful! Most of all, I hope they help you on your path toward living a fulfilling life. Now, I quickly want to talk about this incredible orange dress! The stretch jersey fabric and silhouette are incredible. Also, the drama and volume on the one shoulder are stunning. This dress is truly a work of art.

Orange one shoulder ruffle dress by Chiara BoniOrange one shoulder ruffle dress by Chiara Boni Orange one shoulder ruffle dress by Chiara Boni