Tired of the same old New Year’s traditions (or lack thereof)? Here are a few ways that you can freshen up the turning of the year or make it a little more reflective and meaningful.
Clean out the cobwebs and the clutter before the eve of the new year.
Take an hour or two to literally clean house and get rid of whatever you don’t need anymore…even if it is only in one room where you spend most of your time. Spend a little time puttering and making the room more functional and appealing as a way of preparing for the new year. This has benefits at an unconscious level and will mentally create more space. Then decide what you want to welcome into that spaciousness—mentally and physically. Will it be gratitude? Self-care? Abundance? Will it be a piece of art to inspire you? Or a beautiful flowering plant, or a photo of you with your nearest and dearest? Take action on that on the first or second day of the new year in whatever way is meaningful.
Let out the old, let in the new.
Just before midnight (or whatever time you celebrate the new year if you have kids—we used to do it at 9pm), go to a back door, or a window at the back of the house, and open it to symbolically let the old year out of the house and say “thank you” (or, I suppose, “good riddance”). Then at midnight, open the front door of the house to welcome in the new year and all the good things that it will bring.
Create a milestone keeper.
This is especially good for kids, teens and young adults as well as those of us who tend to forget or negate all that we have accomplished. Find or make a beautiful container either by shopping the thrift stores, saving a cookie tin, decorating a jar or using a special family heirloom (old jewelry box, crystal bowl, violin case)—whatever is appealing and meaningful. Cut slips of coloured paper—again whatever colours appeal-and have them placed nearby—perhaps in another small, lovely little container. Anytime in the coming year when you have stepped outside your comfort zone and done something brave or accomplished something new or met a goal, write that on a slip of paper, fold it and add it to the container. This can be done with gratitudes too. Then at the end of the year (or anytime you are feeling discouraged) you can read all of your slips of paper and remind yourself of all that you have done, and/or of your many blessings.
Conspire to make the world better.
Take some time to talk about, or think about how we can make the world a better place. With family or friends or on your own, brainstorm ideas and then pick some action items to schedule into 2018:
- random act of kindness on particular days
- volunteering for a shelter or charity fundraiser on another day
- taking part in Earth Hour
- taking flowers to the hospital or nursing home to give people who have no visitors a little boost
- walking or busing to work once a week
- cleaning up garbage on the beach or along the hiking path in the forest
- calling or visiting someone who could use some company
Put it all in the calendar by month or, if possible by day.
I wish you all the very best for the new year and hope that it brings you many moments of joy and peace, the company of good friends and dear family, and all that you need to live a life of abundance and gratitude.