I’ll never forget December 31, 1999. Everyone was convinced that Y2K was going to bring our world to a screeching halt, and although I knew that probably wouldn’t happen, I still loved participating in the paranoia. My teenage room was decorated with strands of white Christmas lights and I danced awkwardly to Prince’s 1999 as the ball dropped. The world didn’t end, our computer systems didn’t fail, and my high school social life didn’t suffer just because I stayed home with my mom that night.
Sixteen years later, I’m a single adult woman living in New York City. Although Times Square is the epicenter of New Year’s Eve in the United States, I haven’t celebrated the holiday outside my home since I moved here. The majority of my friends don’t have the space or time to entertain and clubs are packed with people who pay outlandish markups for bottle service. Those people who look so excited to be in Times Square with branded noise makers and Taylor Swift’s bare legs? Those two million people have been corralled since arriving during the early morning hours without bathroom access. After the ball drops, they’re rushing to the subway system & scooping up every car nearby to move onto the party. Let’s not even talk about the experience of being on a train with an excess of drunk people. It’s not an experience I’d like to relive.
In what has become an annual tradition, I put on my most exciting loungewear, eat some cheese & salami, get drunk, and hope that I fall asleep before the ball drops. In years past, seeing the ball drop meant crying out of frustration over the things I didn’t achieve during the previous 12 months. While I have some of the same plans this year (loungewear, salami, alcohol), I am determined to change my energy on Thursday night. In addition to planning my menu for New Year’s Eve and an indulgent New Year’s Day brunch, here’s how I plan to set myself up for the most amazing year yet:
- Change the energy – My apartment has always been a sanctuary but living in 300 square feet can easily lead to overcrowding. I’ve spent the majority of December cleaning up and clearing out to make room for the new. I was hanging onto relics from relationships, both personal and professional, that became unpleasant reminders. Take that bad energy & kick it out of your house!
- Set the mood – Light a fancy candle, wear something that makes you feel fantastic, and do things that make you feel like the best version of yourself. For me, that means taking the time to give myself a great manicure, cleaning up my brows, changing my sheets, and listening to a playlist that keeps my focus in the right direction. Keep this in your Spotify playlists for any day you need good vibes, like Mondays, planning days, and epic brainstorms.
- Write a letter to yourself – It took me a while to adjust to this idea, but once I put it into practice I saw major results. For example, I wrote a letter to myself outlining my goals and when I revisited it unintentionally nearly a month later, I had either made real progress or achieved everything I outlined in my list. There’s no format or structure to follow. Simply use the page to have a conversation with yourself about how you’re feeling, what you want, and what is standing in your way. Write to yourself like you’d write to a friend, but use the space as a way to dig deeper into what is blocking your path. I’m a firm believer that writing a goal down or saying it out loud makes it real. I recommend writing a letter to yourself at least once a month, but some find it helpful every week. As with any advice, take an idea and make it work for you.
- Know what you want – Seems obvious, right? You don’t need to have every detail figured out, but starting a journey without a destination will only lead you in circles. Once you have a goal in mind, write it down, and then begin to break how to achieve that goal into pieces. Do you need financial resources or training? Perhaps you need to create an outline or a proposal. Turn the goal into actions, and create a plan to execute those actions. You’ll be on your way in no time!
- Give yourself permission to not have it all figured out – I am incredibly hard on myself to my own detriment. I want to do my very best at every turn, but I often let the pursuit of perfection stand in the way of execution. Don’t sacrifice good for great. Casey Neistat recently talked about this concept on his vlog (which I consider a daily must watch for creatives). Allow room for the unknown, the unexpected, and a destination change. Most importantly? Be nice to yourself.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more organization and productivity tips, goals, and insight into my business goals for 2016 inspired by some of my favorite badass ladies. Sign up to receive Love Letters for even more tips to make 2016 your best year yet!
Please leave any suggestions or questions in the comments below. We’ve got this!