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  • Belinda M

New Year’s Eve: How to have an awesome one – guaranteed!

My husband Don is a sceptic, especially around anything touted as guaranteed! Therefore, back in January 2016, I was extremely grateful when he agreed to join me in an experiment that would result in a ‘guaranteed’ fun New Year’s Eve.


What we agreed to do was to write down on small pieces of paper things we were grateful for; things that made us happy; people and situations that we appreciated all the good things we experienced. We then put these notes in our New Year’s Eve Jar and we did this for the next eleven and a half months.


The label in the jar said:


“This January why not start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about the good things that happen. Then on New Year’s Eve empty it and see what awesome stuff that happened that year.”


On the evening of 31 December 2016 we poured ourselves a beverage (or two), sat outside in our Australian summer, and tipped out the notes. One by one we read them to each other. What a revelation! We had soooo much to be grateful for; so much to appreciate; wonderful memories of events we had forgotten; connections with friends and family; we had overcome challenges; and we had had many good things happen.


The best notes had the date on them (don’t forget this, as we did on some) and gave detail and context of the event/situation/person(s) involved. Some notes were simply gratitude bullet points; some were more detailed; all were wonder-full. It took us two hours to get through them all.


We have now been doing this ritual every NYE since then, so this 31 December 2022 will be our seventh time. Each year it seems to take longer as we have truly relaxed into this routine and talk and talk; reminisce and laugh, as we remember the year just passed.


We look forward to this activity so much now. It's better than a party in our humble opinion. This may be a function of age, as when we were younger, we both did love to party!


A huge thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert who first introduced me to this gratitude activity. Thank you, too, Angelina Eynon for reminding me it was from Liz in the first place!


If you are considering instigating, or carrying on, a family ritual, I can’t recommend this activity enough. Even Don, the sceptic, loves it and that is massive endorsement!

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