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4 Alternative Ways to Enjoy New Year’s Eve

December 26, 2013

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My favorite New Year’s Eve to date was when I was 10.  My parents and grandmother bundled my brothers and me up in our snow pants, blasted the heat in our minivan, and drove to the lake. It had long been frozen over - perfect to lace up our ice skates for a night of pond hockey.  Five other families joined us as we sipped hot cocoa around a bonfire.  As we counted down the seconds, said “Happy New Year!” and kissed, I remember feeling so full of love and joy it’s almost indescribable. I woke up the next day feeling happy and ready to take on whatever came my way in the coming year.

Now as an adult, I think it’s safe to say that many of us wake up on January 1st feeling less than 100%.  The result of too much bubbly or a long night on the dance floor, ringing in the New Year can often lead to a not so fresh start.

New Year’s Eve is often thought of as a night of indulgence, but beneath all of the glitter and noisemakers, the holiday is a time to prepare ourselves for a New Year, a new self, and a fresh start. While many of your New Year’s Eve options probably include drinking, eating decadent food, and watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, I am here to tell you that there are other options to start your year rejuvenated with intention and love that won’t leave you reaching for Tylenol in the morning.

Here are four great ideas for a fun and rejuvenating way to spend New Year’s Eve:

Attend a yoga retreat: Ring in 2014 during a sun salutation. Many yoga centers and studios will be hosting retreats or single classes to allow you to end 2013 and welcome the New Year in a reflective, inspired way. Does your town not have a yoga studio that’s offering a New Year’s session? No problem. Purchase a yoga DVD and invite your closest friends over to practice together and say Namaste.

Be active: Welcome the New Year with an endorphin release. Register for a fun run or go night skiing. Running clubs all over the US host late-night fun runs and ski resorts will extend their hours. Don’t forget your hand warmers!

Host an intention party: Invite your best friends over for socializing and snacks.  Before midnight give everyone two slips of paper.  Have everyone write down 2-5 intentions for their New Year twice.  Put one in a shoebox and keep the other.  Everyone will have the option of sharing their intentions – but don’t force anyone if they don’t want to. Sharing will likely result in a lot of laughs and wonderful conversation. Put the shoebox away for one year and invite the same group over next December 31.  You can share the old intentions as you create new ones for 2015.

Cozy up with a book: Don’t feel like socializing? Even though it may feel like it, it’s not a requirement. There is nothing wrong with settling in for the evening in front of your fireplace with your favorite novel or magazine and enjoying a delicious meal solo. Enjoy your evening while reflecting on the past year and setting intentions for how you’d like to spend 2014.  After all, how often do you find the time to have complete peace of mind?

My biggest piece of advice for an alternative New Year’s Eve is to simply enjoy. Be with the people you love most at the place you want to be.  Whether that’s out with a large group of friends and strangers, with your loved ones around a bonfire, or meditating with other yogis, your happy place is wherever you want it to be.  The most important thing is that you welcome 2014 with open arms, a peaceful mind, and love in your heart. Wishing you health and happiness in 2014. Happy New Year!

How will you ring in 2014?