Start the New Year Feeling One-Derful
By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.
I love New Year’s! Even though the holiday season is not my favorite time of year, I absolutely love the New Year. I’m a planner and a goal-setter, so the idea of a fresh start and the opportunity to dream and plan for the next 12 months is very exciting to me.
Over the years, I have created a One-Derful New Year’s Eve tradition that I prefer over any party, date, or event. Even if these suggestions don’t resonate with you, you can create your own New Year’s Eve that will be One-Derful and that will help you feel peaceful, happy, and excited about the year to come.
A big part of my New Year’s tradition includes journaling.
I’ve kept a journal since college, and I normally journal every morning, although I will write more often if I’m experiencing something in my life that I need to reflect upon or process.
If you don’t journal, maybe this is a good time to start. I love being able to look back on past journal entries to see how far I’ve come, how I handled situations in the past, or even where I stayed or ate during a vacation.
You can get yourself a fancy, pretty journal, or a simple one - look at discount stores, book stores, or even dollar stores! Or, use a spiral notebook!
1. Review the previous year.
Using my journal, I like to review the highlights (and lowlights) of the outgoing year. I’ll also look back on my journal entry for the previous year’s Dec. 31 entry to see how far I’ve come. This gives me the chance to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned, the victories I’ve had, and the blessings I’ve received. I like to set goals, so I look at the goals I set for the year and see if I met them, exceeded them, or need to revisit them.
2. Set goals for upcoming year.
This is my favorite part! I like to think ahead and imagine what I want to be experiencing on Dec. 31, one year from now.
A lot of personal development programs suggest you do a life areas assessment - they typically include physical health, career, finances, family, significant other, emotional health, spirituality. I used to look at the “love and marriage” section and feel like a loser, so now I do a life assessment that doesn’t include that! If you’re dating, you may want to include a “romantic relationship” section, but I just focus on other areas because I’m no longer dating.
I set goals in terms of what I want to feel, what I want to experience, and / or what I want to have. For example, I have a weight goal I want to maintain, but I want to feel light, healthy, and energized. Maybe you want to learn a language, go back to school, organize your home, or start reading or cooking. This is the time to dream, plan, and think about what you want your life to look and feel like.
3. Eat something healthy.
I’m not a drinker, so champagne isn’t on my menu, but if it’s on yours, maybe limit yourself to one glass.
Many times, people go all out with a last hurrah and eat like it’s their last meal. If you’ve ever woken up on January 1 with an alcohol or food hangover, you know it’s not a pleasant way to start the new year.
I like to have a healthy, but tasty, meal on New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Day is equally healthy. Since I generally have a very healthy diet, my New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day eating is pretty “normal” for me. I love waking up on January 1 and feeling light and healthy and ready to start fresh.
4. Start the new year with a workout.
The gym won’t be open, but don’t let that stop you! I love workout videos - I’m still old-school: I use DVD’s (ok, true confession: I still have some VHS workout tapes - they’re fun to do in my leotard, tights, and leg warmers). But there are so many subscription-based streaming workouts (Beachbody and Jillian Michaels have great ones), or just find a workout video on YouTube.
Depending on where you live, some gyms or boutique studios may be open or have special classes to start the New Year - go check them out! You can go for a walk, do some stretching, or go for a run.
Note: before starting any exercise program, please consult your medical professional(s) to find the safest, healthiest program for you.
If you really don’t exercise, don’t try to go for a 2-mile run! Start slow - go for a walk. Just move! I’ve heard it said that “sitting is the new smoking,” and many studies are confirming that our sedentary lifestyle is detrimental in many ways. I’m guilty of “getting in the zone” and sitting at my desk for 2 hours straight because I’m working on something cool. The best practice, however, is to get up and move for 5 minutes for every hour of sitting or lying down. This is why doctors now recommend that patients try to get up and move around post-surgery as soon as possible. (Again, please consult your doctor to determine the best movement program for you.) You don’t have to spend 2 hours in the gym - just 20 minutes of exercise will make you look and feel great!
5. Throw a party, go to a party, be your own party.
Honestly, most of the New Year’s Eve parties I’ve been to have been pretty lame.
My best New Year’s Eve memories have been the ones where I’ve done my own thing. I’ve thrown parties, and that can be fun if you enjoy entertaining. The majority of Americans stay home and watch the festivities on TV. They may invite friends over, but many of them are in bed shortly after midnight. So, you’re not missing out on some big bash - most people are not getting glammed up and dancing the night away with champagne and caviar. However, if that’s your thing, go for it!
I’ve traveled for New Year’s Eve, I’ve been to nightclubs, fancy soirées, and boring couch-fests with friends-of-friends. But my favorite New Year’s Eve tradition is doing what I’ve shared with you here.
After that nightmare New Year’s Eve with Dr. Drunk, I am even more dedicated to my One-Derful New Year’s Eve. It’s a great way to start a new year feeling peaceful and excited about what’s to come!
Here’s to THIS year being One-Derful for you - the year you make peace with being single and learn to be happy while you’re single, even if you’re not happy THAT you’re single.
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