Life & Travel

This Time Is Yours: 5 Ways To Ease Into The New Year

As the calendar turns another page into 2024, the opportunity for a fresh start is newly upon us. The excitement to take on new endeavors and personal goals is at an all-time high, and the blank slate of the new year provides us with a renewed sense of optimism for what lies ahead.

With all the buzz surrounding the new year, the pressure to take on our resolutions can make it challenging to gain clarity on what steps to take first. That’s why welcoming the new year with ease can set a positive tone so you don’t burn out before the end of January.

To help, we’ve provided five practical and mindful ways to enter the new year with a sense of ease and readiness.

Take Time To Reflect and Release.

Before diving into the new year, take a moment to release all that you might not have achieved or experienced in the past 12 months. While it might have been nice to mark every goal down as “complete,” there’s no need to carry that defeat into the new year.

Reflect on all the achievements, moments of growth, and lessons learned — no matter how big or how small — and celebrate yourself for them. You did your best; and now it’s time to reshift your focus on how you’d like to approach the new year, judgment-free.

Equally important is letting go of any negativity or regrets that may linger and release what no longer serves you to make space for the opportunities that lie ahead.

Cultivate Moments of Gratitude.

No matter what foot you've entered the new year on, it’s important to embrace it with a grateful heart. Everything might not have gone according to plan, and you may have some residual angst from 2023, but taking stock of what you’re entering the year with — and even the things you no longer have — is worth noticing. Start a gratitude journal or even a gratitude jar to keep track of all the great things coming into your life, and look back on all the positive moments you’re taking into with a sense of appreciation.

Take the Pressure off Your Goals. 

It seems like everywhere we turn, there’s endless talk about our goals and vision boards. Sure, it can be exciting to daydream about all the things that you’ll accomplish by December 2024, but it’s okay to take things day by day. Setting quarterly goals that focus on specific areas of your life could be the approach you need to see growth over time. Give your goals time to develop and give yourself the grace to win, fail, and learn along the way.

Organize and Declutter Your Space.

There’s no better way to bring in the new year than by clearing out your space. Not only does it release the clutter from your personal space, it releases it from your mental space as well. Give away or sell clothes that no longer fit the vibe for the “new you,” delete old apps and photos from your phone that are taking up too much space, and reorganize those forgotten places around your home. If it no longer serves a purpose, let it go.

Put Yourself First. 

Sometimes, the start of the year can feel like “self-improvement overload,” which can make January feel overwhelming before it even starts. That’s why, in the first couple of days or even weeks of January, it’s important to listen to your inner voice and cut out the noise.

You know what you want. You know what you desire to get out of the new year.

And if that means unplugging from the internet and social media so you can start 2024 on your own terms, give yourself permission to do just that. Practice self-care, sleep in a little, ignore those emails, and take it easy in the gym. Remember that this is your year. Start it on a note you’ll be proud of.

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Featured image by AleksandarNakic/Getty Images



Stacey and Dalen Spratt

How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.

I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.


The Scorpio man and Pisces woman form a relationship that is heartfelt, sincere, and not for the weak. There is an immediate connection and familiarity between these two, being that they are both water signs and are both ruled by their emotions. They are on a similar playing field in life, yet they go about their desires in love in a very different way.