Have you ever heard of the ritualized idea that what you do on the first day of the new year will continue on for the rest of the year? If you spend a lot of January first sleeping or arguing, the rest of the year will contain that.
I first heard of this from my friend Ginandjack. Eventually, I changed the tradition to a week long ritual of sorts. I LOVE the concept of it and I find that it really does work. Here’s my eight day long ritualized tradition.
December 31st, Day of Regret
- Do things I don’t want to do in the new year but absolutely must get done.
- Reflect and journal as needed
- Divination for lessons learned, if needed
- Clean the entire house
- Food shopping
- Settle debts, return borrowed things, lend things out as needed.
- Schedule or pay bills early if possible
- Contact people I want to see LESS of next year
- Do only the things that you want to spend most of the year doing.
- Life a healthy lifestyle.
- Do things that I want to encourage more of moving forward
- Do not spend money (unless something MUST be paid for today and cannot be paid for earlier)
- Eat foods that are considered good luck such as long noodles, circular foods, and so on.
- Avoid doing chores such as laundry, dishes, and so on (unless necessary)
- The first “random” song I hear during the New Year (ie, not one I know is coming or expect during New Year celebrations) can be taken as a prophecy.
- The second song I hear should be one I choose that I want to be thematic for the upcoming year.
- Divination is king
- Visit or talk to people I want to see more of. (Sometimes I’ll bring food or salt with me as a New Year’s Luck Gift)
- Nothing leaves the house (items)
- Do not lend or borrow anything out.
- No tears or you may cry for the rest of the year.
- Wake up and get moving early (for me) in the morning.
- Make bread
- Make offerings
- Watch the sunrise
- See midnight in my region
- Start routines I want to continue
- Pay bills or schedule bills
- Buy things I want to spend money on this year (vegetables or fruit are a great example), if I want to or need to. I prefer to try going to entire week without spending any extra money, but that’s just me.
- Accomplish tasks I want to do more of, but don’t necessarily feel are as important as the things I wanted to do yesterday. An example might be I read a book yesterday and watched TV today)
- Continue what I’ve already started
- Keep doing tasks I want to do more of during the year, but didn’t get to the days before.
- Hop back on the bandwagon for things I intend to do everyday or on a schedule but already missed a day.
- Remember to live my best and most healthy for me lifestyle
Obviously, this is a lot to observe and some of it requires prep. For example, if I intend to do New Year’s visits and bring gifts, I will actually prep them on the 31st and leave them in my vehicle or put them in a gift bag which clearly indicates what it’s intended purpose is. All of those items are things I won’t want back – like tupperware and so on.
I have noticed that the order in which I do things matter. For example, one year I decided to wait until the fifth day of the year to pay all my bills (my bills are all due at the middle or end of the month). For the rest of the year, I almost never paid the bills earlier than the fifth and a few times only just remembered to pay them before the due date. I normally always pay them on the second, so this was an odd change for me. The next year I switched back to paying them on the second and the other eleven months followed suit.
I also like to make sure I’m making changes from my previous routine if I decide I don’t like that routine. A good example would be changing to “work from home” clothes rather than just straight up pajamas or wearing the kind of style that you prefer rather than what’s “easier” (like you prefer cottage core but your easier style is sweat and a tee).
There are, of course, some things that I’d like to do more of but can’t. Swimming is one of my most favorite things in the world to do. However, I don’t have access to a pool in the colder months so I sometimes but on a bathing suit and listen to a water based soundscape for a while or I’ll take an extra long bath. If it’s warm enough, I’ll even drive to a beach and stick my feet into the freezing water.
(Did you know Rhode Island, where I’m from, does a polar plunge each year? A polar plunge which is when people go for a swim on the first of the year. Spending the first of the year on a beach is always nice. It’s a life goal to participate in that one day).
I know a lot of people do the first day of the year thing, but I like to extend it for the full week, to get any new routines off to a good start. Plus, then there isn’t as much guilt if you skip something due to lack of time or energy or whatever.
Anyway, that’s what I like to do during the first week of a new year. I find the tradition does tend to represent the rest of the year, but maybe that’s just me. What do you all think?