Dear Mentor: How do you view the new year?

Dear Mentor,

Do you make New Year's resolutions? How do you view the New Year? Do you celebrate New Year's Eve in any special way?   


from guest mentor Ann Boyd

Not everyone enjoys making New Year’s resolutions, and I think that is just fine. I spent many years resisting New Year’s resolutions — the whole concept seemed forced to me. But for the past few years, I have appreciated going through this list of questions to reflect on the past year, as well as this list of questions to help think through goals for the next year. Since the end of the year feels so busy to me, I allow myself all of January to set reasonable goals for myself in the coming year. By the time January 31 rolls around, I feel like I have a sober sense of direction and a clear idea of where I’m headed.

My husband and I also have a tradition of going out to dinner around the start of the new year with some good friends of ours. We’ve known each other for years, but are in a stage of life where we hardly ever see each other. So we really enjoy having this annual double-date — it gives us a chance catch up and reflect on the past year. We dress up a bit, making it our own little New Year’s Eve, even though we avoid December 31 (too difficult to find a babysitter). And staying up past midnight is strictly optional.

A few weeks ago, my husband handed me an intriguing article about spouses giving each other year-end performance reviews. We’re currently in negotiations about the possibility of doing this. Clearly, such a thing could be disastrous if conducted with the wrong spirit. But since our relationship is in a healthy place and since we appreciate being intentional and communicating well, I can see the benefits. In the same way that a good workplace performance review should not reveal any surprises (your supervisor should communicate well about any difficulties throughout the year), a spousal performance review should merely be an opportunity to take stock of the current state of affairs and (ideally) help move things along to the next level of blissdom.

In the positively frivolous category, I have made arrangements this year for all members of our family to own a pair of red undies — to wear for good luck on New Year’s Day. A tradition from my Italian heritage!

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