A Guide to Starting The New Year with a Bang

Ivette Epps

Feature Image: Sylwia Forysinska

We’re just a few days away from the time of year when many of us feel overwhelmed by New Years resolutions and unrealistic expectations. Once the Times Square ball drops, the majority of the world feels obligated to enter the New Year with the “new year, new me” mentality. But, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to think that way. Towards the end of every year, we overthink our accomplishments, or lack thereof, as well as time we may or may not have wasted on certain people or things. This may be cliché, but everything happens for a reason. There has undoubtedly been bumps in the road this year, but the outcomes of our hardships almost always outweigh the challenges we face. To help you overcome your challenges, here are a few lucky traditions that you might consider implementing into the new year. With them, you’ll be left with endless positivity and luck, and a positive mind can take you to many places once you learn how to make a routine out of it.

Deep clean your house.

This one has been embedded in my head since I was a young girl. A clean house going into the new year will give perseverance and help you feel refreshed.  A deep cleaning consists of scrubbing floors, scrubbing the bathroom tub, vacuuming, sweeping, changing the bed sheets, replacing toothbrushes, doing laundry, and dusting away all the negativity that built up throughout the year. You can also rearrange your room if you feel that will help you look at your new year’s resolutions with a different perspective. If you’re already neat and tidy, doing a deep clean of your house may be a quick, simple task, but you can also take this time to clean other necessities you use on a daily basis. For example, clean your makeup brushes, reorganize your books, rearrange your closet, clean out drawers that you haven’t opened in awhile, etc. There’s always something to clean up or make use of again.  

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Clear out clutter or things you don’t need anymore.

This goes along with deep cleaning your house, but is often a longer process. If you’ve ever seen a hoarding documentary, you know how time consuming it can be to throw things away, even when you have forgotten that certain items even existed. Personal belongings such as jewelry, journals, pictures, gifts from deceased relatives, birthday cards, yearbooks, or letters can always be stored away for memory keeping. However, anything that is expired (e.g. make-up, medication, food, etc.) shouldn’t be coming with you into the new year. If you see yourself having clothes that no longer fit you or, better yet, clothes that you’ve never worn before, donate them or pass them along to a loved one in need of new clothes. Throw out socks with holes and ripped underwear while you’re at it. Not to worry, many stores are having after Christmas sales, so take advantage and start up a new delicates collection. And yup, this also goes for worn out shoes or heels that make your feet hurt after wearing them for only an hour. Throw away anything that is broken. Out with the old and in with the new.

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Place money around your house.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard that it’s good luck to leave money in places around the house. Store money in places you know it will not be touched, and you’ll be setting yourself up for year-round good luck and endless opportunities for income. If for some reason you don’t feel comfortable leaving money around the house, try leaving a dollar bill or two in your wallet or in your car. Yes, this is the opposite of the superstition that placing your purse on the flood leads to misfortune. This next year, leave less room for negative superstitions and, instead, make room for positive ones. Your mindset and how you choose to pursue your goals will come into play, but it’s important to be optimistic of what’s to come.

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Start organizing what you can change.

Don’t start the new year disorganized. Start off on the right foot by getting a yearly planner, a calendar, or a journal where you can organize your tasks and notes. In order to feel in control, you have to be organized. In the new year, keep track of all the dates your bills are due on, know when you’re most important events are, know what days work best for you to do laundry or your academic work. In order to succeed and remain organized, you have to have that mentality that this is your year. You get what you make of it, right? You accomplish what you set your focus on throughout the year. This is easier said than done, I know, but don’t allow procrastination to be your excuse as to why you can’t get certain tasks done. We all have a priority list — just rearrange what’s on that list and try to make organization one of them this year.

Healthy eating and exercise.

Losing weight, exercising, going on a new diet — these New Year's resolutions seem to be at the top of most women’s lists. Why is that? Because it’s important to take your health seriously. To do so, you need to have willpower and a positive mindset. Period. It’s extremely hard to be consistent with most goals or tasks, especially if you’re putting your energy into many different aspects of your life. Luckily, you don’t have to go to the extreme of going vegan or eating a ketogenic diet (the low carb diet) to lose or maintain your weight. Plus, drastically changing your diet can make you very sick. I know eating healthy is hard for a variety of reasons, namely because healthy foods can be expensive.

There are days when you may debate eating a pricey salad or settling for a stop at your favorite drive-thru restaurant. Many of us are guilty of this, but try not to make a routine out of this. Try cutting down on sugary drinks and, instead, drink water. If water is too bland for you, add some flavor that has lots of Vitamin C in it. And trust me, you will easily cut back on fatty foods if you start eating more meals from home. The more you cut back on spending money on fast food, the sooner you’ll see the results that will push you to take it to the next level, such as signing up for a gym. Make a change for yourself this new year by taking care of yourself, physically. Exercising and staying fit will not only help you maintain your weight, but it will  also help boost your immune system once the seasons start to change. You’re welcome in advance.

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“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

There comes a point every year when we feel overwhelmed or burnt out because we have too much to do in too little time. Ironically, we always feel this way once September hits and now everyone is ready for the new year. Let’s end this negative cycle by having effective time-management skills. We’re all guilty of not giving ourselves enough time to pamper ourselves, let alone to complete certain tasks or assignments on time. Time management is different from having organizational skills. You have to be organized first before gaining time management skills. In order to live a balanced life, you have to manage your time for work, school, going out, networking events, going to the gym, maintaining a healthy diet, binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix, etc. All these activities have one thing in common and that is your time. For the new year, learn how to prioritize your time and save distractions for a day when you have less things to do. Avoiding moments of stress can actually help you accomplish all the goals you set yourself in the new year. Mental stress takes a toll on us and can delay our ability to meet deadlines. In short, wake up early, prioritize, set deadlines, take breaks, and learn how to say no to extra work.  

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Cut the toxins out of your life.

This should be a resolution that lasts all year long. Don’t wait for the new year to put your foot down on how you should be treated. I want you to take a moment to remind yourself that you don’t have to feel guilty or nervous about removing toxic people from your life. Proudly say goodbye to unnecessary drama, negative mindsets and people, and to self-criticism. Be open for more happiness in your life. There will always be enough room for positivity and new experiences.  However, you won’t be able to get there if you have toxicity holding you back. But, don’t cut yourself short if you fear being alone. If you need help getting out of a toxic situation, make it a resolution to seek professional help first. There’s always a way when you’re ready to be happy freely. Remember, if you have self-love, this wouldn’t even be on your list.

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Who’s ready for 2019? Tell us your New Year's resolutions below.

Ivette EppsComment