I never imagined that at 25 years old I’d be over the idea of going out for New Year’s Eve. When I turned 21, I told myself that all my NYE celebrations thereafter would be epic. My expectations including a big closing out to my year—every year—that would open up the next year with my confidence on 10. In reality, what I always got was swollen feet after wearing painfully cute heels, a hangover, and a bank account that even the brokest college student would find depressing. Let’s not forgot the slight cold that resulted from prancing around in a mini dress in the dead of winter. Yikes.
If there is anything that I’ve learned from my last attempt at celebrating New Year’s Eve by hitting the club, it’s that going out for NYE is absolutely overrated—and most people secretly hate it in the first place. Fear of missing out (FOMO) puts into our heads that if we’re not in the club “turning up” as though tomorrow isn’t promised, then we are not bringing in the new year on a good note. But if you call freezing in a long line while waiting to pay overpriced NYC cover charges bringing in the new year “the right way,” then I honestly don’t want to be right.
While we don’t go to sleep on December 31st and magically wake up as a brand new person come January 1st, New Year’s Eve is still the perfect time to set the tone for what you want the following year to be like. Even if you aren’t one to set resolutions, I bet there is a small part of you that can’t help but feel invigorated by the reality of a new year approaching. I’m 99% sure it’s all psychological, but if it motivates you to seek results, then why not.
Every night, after I’ve put my best foot forward working all day, I tune into ’90s sitcom The Wayans Bros. to unwind—it’s my personal form of self-care. And on December 31st, 2017, I decided to stick with that routine.
Sprawled out on my throw rug hysterically laughing at Shawn and Marlon Wayans that New Year’s Eve, I jotted down some of the most important things I aimed to accomplish in 2018.
The goals I set at the top of 2018 were long term—things I wanted to work on beyond that year alone. I didn’t want to focus on losing weight, eating better, and pressuring myself to do those kinds of stereotypical resolutions (though I actually accomplished that stuff, too). Instead, I focused on the fact that I want to be happier, personally and professionally. I thought about how I want to chase my passion—writing about beauty—rather than chase money from jobs that leave me drained and depressed. I set goals to network with people I admire in my field and learn from them.
After setting these intentions, I ended up parting ways with my last draining job. I put most of my energy into freelancing and branding myself as an expert in my field. I’m by no means at the top of the pyramid, but I’m definitely creating the life I’ve imagined for myself.
My life has changed a lot (for the better) since New Year’s Day 2018, and I truly believe it’s because I spent my day laughing and relaxing, not drunk and hungover after blowing money the night before. It set the tone for my year and set me up for success. From connecting with some of my favorite beauty brands to learning more about writing as a profession, 2018 has been one of the best years that I can recall. There have been ups and downs, of course, but I’m in a much better mental space than I was in 2017.
As the year closes and I reflect back on my 2018, I remember the goals I jotted down for myself while watching my favorite sitcom, and I’m amazed by how many I can now cross off the list.
I plan on bringing this same energy into 2019. And, yes, I’ll be enjoying the comfort of my own home (or a loved one’s) to fuel my entrance into the new year with positive vibes—not hitting the club. If you’re looking for better ways to spend NYE, I suggest relaxing and doing things that will be beneficial for you in the longterm. Reach out to a family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while just to check on them. Reflect (do’t dwell) on the things you wish you would have accomplished in 2018. Make a vision board and plan of action for the new year.
Do anything but guilt yourself into going out because “it’s the thing to do.”