"But Heidi, this post came out after NYE. What's the point?"
My idea behind this post is that the New Year does not, in fact, end on New Year's Day. These are just some thoughts I have on how to start off a year well, or at least the way I celebrate the start of a new year. Happy 2016!
1. Spend some time on reflection and relaxation.
While I generally do most of my reflection on New Year's Eve, I do my best to take some time off right at the beginning of the year to reflect on the last year, prepare for the next year, and emotionally recharge. The holidays are busy. It's nice to have the time off.
2. Set some goals for January.
These are not the same thing, for me, as New Year's resolutions. I make New Year's resolutions - kind of - but the big thing is that these goals are totally doable within the first month of the year. It sets a good tone.
3. Remember that the New Year is not the year.
Back in the distant past, when I was a piano student, I would often flub the first measure or two of a song. Today, I got into a fight with my mom over a misunderstanding. However, the mistakes and problems of the beginning of the year do not reflect the last part of it, or even tomorrow.
4. Start a new practice, and don't rush it.
From what I understand, there are people who resolve to go to the gym at New Year's. I have never even once been inclined to make that goal. The new practices I am recommending can be much smaller. Last year, I added meditation to my schedule, and I've decided to bring it back this year. I also added a solid Sabbath last year. I'm working on what exactly I'd like to integrate into my life this year, which brings me to the second part of this tip. When I say "don't rush it," I don't mean "procrastinate." I mean that you should take the time on the reflection stage, and when you've answered "what would I like to change?" and "what small thing would bring me happiness?", then it's time to start the practice.
5. Remember that this is just an excuse to start fresh.
If life feels like it's entering a new place at New Year's, great. If not, don't worry about it. Just love the time for what it is.