How to (Realistically) Start the New Year Right

I don’t know about you, but my Januarys usually just stink. The post-holiday let-down and re-entry struggle after vacation are REAL, as are the slightttttly tight pants, a house full of glitter and laundry to put away, and overwhelming thoughts about a WHOLE new year stretching out in front of me. While others are making resolutions, I can barely make a grocery list without feeling like it’s all just too much, and we should probably just finish off that egg nog in the fridge, anyway… After 30+ years of trial and error, here are a few thoughts on: How to (Realistically) Start the New Year Right.

New Years Toast

How to (Realistically) start the New Year right

1. Say No. Protect your and your family’s sanity the last few weeks of December! Does everyone in your family and large circle of friends love you and want to see you for the holiday? Of course. Can you attend 27 parties in two weeks in three states and survive? NO. Though it’s tempting to overextend yourselves, saying “yes” and then being miserable, just isn’t worth it. Make a plan that brings joy and peace, and stick to it.

Wrapped presents

2. Wait to make Goals. Don’t make yearly goals until February. Let January be what it REALLY is – a recovery month! You know it will be at least half way over before you actually get those decorations down, anyway. Instead of stressing over what the New Year looks like for your family, just buy those groceries, get the kids back into their school routine, go to a yoga class, pack up the elf on the shelf (thank the lord) and give your mind a break. Even if you completely “failed” at number one, you can restart here!

Ice cream cone

3. Consider these categories, and think outside the box! When you are ready to jump into list-making and goal-setting for the year, avoid the common pitfalls (we all know them). Instead, go on a date, grab a glass of wine, and maybe think of three categories: On goal for overall health, one goal for fun, one goal for others. Maybe that’s starting “meatless Mondays” or finding a great counselor; the second could be a family outing or get-away for you and your spouse; and the last could be a monetary donation or volunteering within your local community. The possibilities are endless, AND constructive!


Instead of December 31 feeling like the ultimate “Sunday night”, let your hair down a bit, drink that last glass of champagne, and rest easy knowing that you’ve got time, and you’ve got this.

I hope that these tips on How to (realistically) start the New Year right have been helpful! What are your strategies for starting off the year on the right foot? I’d love to hear them!

Rachael is an old soul with a passion for great stories, and the people that tell them. Mom to Titus, age 4, Rachael married her high school sweetheart, Andrew, nine years ago, and life has taken them on some wild, beautiful rides since. Originally from the Midwest, they have relocated to three different states in the last four years, living in South Tampa since the spring of 2017. A homeschool graduate, Rachael holds a bachelors degree in communications & political science and is a former PR pro. During downtime, she enjoys classic films and literature, history, great food, design, working with service organizations, and being active. You can follow Rachael’s personal blog at