Ah, New Year’s Eve. There’s so much pressure. It’s less noticeable, with Christmas and Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice and other end-of-the-year stuff hogging the spotlight, but the pressure’s there. In the dead zone between December 26th and December 30th, your therapists’ outgoing voice mail message tells you to wait till January 3rd for a return call, or alternatively, dial 911.
Most of us need to recover from the residual stress of family get-togethers (or from the noticeable absence of family). The darkening days have reached their apex, the kids want to play endless boardgames, and the re-gifts you’ve stacked in the closet keep tumbling off the top shelf. In the middle of the night, as you lie sleepless in bed, you swear you can hear dehydrated pine needles from the Christmas trees clicking against the living room floor.
It’s hard to make meaning out of a whole year that’s just passed. A tiny, little, high-pitched voice–like one of those magic whistles only dogs can hear–tells us to do better, upgrade ourselves, do a life overhaul, before it’s too late. Make sh*@#t happen. Or at the very least, stop drinking, get off our iPhone and go to the gym.
Personally, I’ve never liked New Year’s Eve. My sense of purpose and identity has always seemed to hinge–more than I like to admit–on my ability to end December and begin January with a bang. Local excitement, “closing early” signs on shop doors, the build-up of New-Yearsy-ads, the television channels in Irish bars tuned to Times Square, with a glittering disco ball in a darkening sky… it’s seems like a set-up for a mass alien abduction.
New Year’s eve–like any other tradition–can be what we make it. It offers a culturally sanctioned frame for what can be a deeply personal pause. As digital clocks and calendars prepare to click into a whole new historical digit in the “ones” place of the four-digit year, we can stop. We can move inward as we gaze outward, backward and forward. It’s a time to bring consciousness to ourselves, our plans, our dreams, and our values. Wondering about the year that’s just passed helps us to integrate it. Thinking about the year to come helps us adjust our navigational tools to influence the trajectory of our future.
Here are three ways to change New Year’s Eve pressure into conscious gratitude and alchemical fuel for the year to come.
- Think about three things you accomplished this past year that you’re proud of. Tell someone else you know and trust. Then ask this person to tell you what they’ve noticed you accomplish this past year.
- Think about one thing you wished you’d accomplished in the last year but didn’t–at least not the way you envisioned it. What are some ways you may have laid the ground work for this goal? Are there any ways not reaching this goal may have actually served you?
- Meditate on what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. Consider the following domains: health-related, community-related, financial, emotional, spiritual, relational, and creative. Share your thoughts about this with someone who knows you well.
The Good Men Project is different from most media companies. We are a “participatory media company”—which means we don’t just have content you read and share and comment on but it means we have multiple ways you can actively be a part of the conversation. As you become a deeper part of the conversation—The Conversation No One Else is Having—you will learn all of the ways we support our Writers’ Community—community FB groups, weekly conference calls, classes in writing, editing platform building and How to Create Social Change.
Here are more ways to become a part of The Good Men Project community:
Request to join our private Facebook Group for Writers—it’s like our virtual newsroom where you connect with editors and other writers about issues and ideas.
Click here to become a Premium Member of The Good Men Project Community. Have access to these benefits:
- Get access to an exclusive “Members Only” Group on Facebook
- Join our Social Interest Groups—weekly calls about topics of interest in today’s world
- View the website with no ads
- Get free access to classes, workshops, and exclusive events
- Be invited to an exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” with other Premium Members
- Commenting badge.
Are you a first-time contributor to The Good Men Project? Submit here:
Have you contributed before and have a Submittable account? Use our Quick Submit link here:
Are you stuck on what to write? Sign up for our Writing Prompts emails, you’ll get ideas directly from our editors every Monday and Thursday. If you already have a final draft, then click below to send your post through our submission system.
Want to learn practical skills about how to be a better Writer, Editor or Platform Builder? Want to be a Rising Star in Media? Want to learn how to Create Social Change? We have classes in all of those areas.
While you’re at it, get connected with our social media:
We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.
Photo from Unsplash.