“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 

–L.M. Montgomery

We’re all guilty of making New Year’s resolutions and breaking them, but the important thing is to declare affirmations and plan for the future. These little rituals are hopeful and help make life a little easier. If you have a goal to work towards and something to look forward to, that’s all you need to give life meaning.

Make Affirmations

“Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.”-Emily Dickinson

To make resolutions for a new year is to believe in tomorrow. When we want to mend our ways or simply be a bit better, we turn over a new leaf. It’s also incredibly helpful to literally think of a clean slate: to see everything as blank and brand new is very refreshing. 

The most common resolutions are, of course, to lose weight, eat healthier, quit smoking, drink less, exercise more, etc. It may be time to rework these ideas. Of course, we all want to be healthier, but sometimes it helps to be less specific with goals. Instead of just losing pounds, think of the new year as an opportunity to begin new, better routines. Fad diets usually don’t work very well; it’s about changing habits and lifestyles. If you can cultivate a healthier routine, it’ll gradually take effect, and, most likely, you’ll see long-term results. 

Good New Year’s resolutions are all about intention. If you sincerely want to be more patient, loving, kind, and less anxious, it’s the desire that works as a driving force. It doesn’t really matter if you mess up one day and indulge too much in your vices, for every day is a new opportunity, a fresh start! 

Inspiration from the Greats

We celebrate New Year’s Eve with champagne, fireworks, funny hats, balloons, confetti, and streamers. It is thought that whomever we kiss at the stroke of midnight is who we’ll love and be within the coming months. Kiss any loved one; it doesn’t matter who! We say goodbye to the previous year and let go of old disappointments. 

“Each age has deemed the new-born year the fittest time for festal cheer.” – Sir Walter Scott

Mark Twain was a bit more pessimistic (but certainly realistic) than some of the other great writers and wits we’ve quoted in this blog. Saying that “Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever.” Let us hope that, by the end of January, we keep the hopeful, cheerful spirit of the New Year alive and well!

And, of course, there’s no greater witticism than that of Oscar Wilde: 

“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”  

Even with a good heaping of cynicism to keep us warm, it’s really never too late to change, to better yourself, to be the best version of yourself!

How to Keep Them

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and the days of auld lang syne?”

Little good luck traditions can’t hurt. After you’ve had your New Year’s Eve dinner of ham hocks, black-eyed peas, and collards (for wealth), you’ll be ready to stay up all night until a whole new year ascends upon us. 

  • Most sing “Auld Lang Syne” (a Scottish poem from the late 18th century that literally means “old long since”).
  • In Colombia, people run around with empty suitcases to ensure a year filled with travel and adventure. 
  • Some people open all the windows and doors and even throw water out the window (in Puerto Rico to banish evil spirits).
  • In Denmark, people jump off chairs for luck.
  • Smash a plate and eat 12 grapes when the clock chimes midnight (to represent the 12 months of the year).
  • Some do the Polar Bear Plunge! Go swimming in ice-cold water. This has become a tradition but is a bit extreme! With all the germs and sickness floating around this year and most of us recovering from a bout of Covid, it might be wise to skip this one!
  • We all know that the Chinese Zodiac is very lucky; 2023 is the year of the rabbit.

“Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well and serenely, & with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day…is too dear with its hopes & invitations to waste a moment on the rotten yesterdays.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

To help keep your resolutions, 

  • Write them down. Either where you can see them or, if it’s a more personal wish, some people write them on a piece of paper and tuck it away in a box, sometimes forgetting about it until years later. Some people even get a little pagan and bury their wishes and resolutions in the ground beneath the moon. Making a wish on a star is always a nice touch! 
  • Be open to change. If we don’t truly accept the natural progression of time and want to grow, it just makes it that much harder. This is why daily affirmations (all year) are good for the spirit and keep us focused.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Take a cue from Emerson and live in the moment!

For more inspiration, life hacks, and information on all things beautiful, check out Nabila Khashoggi’s blog!

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