“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” - Brad Paisley
Both children and adults are like are fascinated by the passage of time, though it is more so the children who find the concept of a New Year a completely magical idea. The idea of a new year, a fresh start and celebration of life is loved by many so why not celebrate it in a meaningful fashion?
As with many parts of life, you may find reflection of the past year to be an important leap pad into the new year. Take time out alone, and as a family, to say goodbye to the year of 2019 with some love and appreciation. Perhaps go around the dinner table discussing the best moments of the year, what’s been appreciated the most and what everyone is looking forward to. One area of of Psychology which affects conversation is anticipation - mentally preparing for and expecting a certain outcome or result. Most anticipate happy experiences and this feeling results in the human brain desiring more dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter which acts as a stimulant to prevent pain and cause excitement.
Create an environment which improves the expectation of happiness and shape your call to action in a positive way.
If you’re like the majority of people, you may find yourself to be carrying some baggage from the past which isn’t benefiting you in the slightest. This may be feelings of anger, exhaustion or self-judgement. Discuss with your family what burdens you all plan to leave behind. Perhaps write them down on small pieces of paper, then scrunch up the worries and throw them into the bin.
Once you’ve discussed the past year and plans for the future, let the kids stay up till midnight and have some fun. I remember eagerly anticipating the fireworks of new year every year - some years have been more memorable than others but ultimately it’s the memory of waiting for the clock to strike 12 which was simply fascinating. Not only are we going into a new year this year, but we’re entering a new decade! Doesn’t it almost feel like 2010 was just yesterday, yet simultaneously a whole lifetime ago?
If letting the very young people stay up till midnight is a daunting idea, consider changing the clocks to midnight at a more reasonable hour. Toast the New Year with sparkling orange juice, let them blow their horns and use the little sparklers before being tucked into bed. During this time, it might be a nice tradition to take a family photo - and see the collection of annual New Years days photos build every year. They don’t need to be perfect, but a little memoir will be something to admire and look back on after some time.
And finally, but perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to take some time out to praise yourself for all the things you’ve done well this year. The responsibility and work load on all our shoulders seems to only be increasing so applaud yourself. Forgive yourself for the times you missed the mark, say thank you for all the mini miracles and keep yourself open minded to the year ahead.
From Head of the Class, Happy New Year.