We are about to embark on the eve of a new decade. An evening of anticipation and celebration, New Years Eve offers us all a time to look back and look forward.

The New Year brings a gift of a clean slate for the 12 months ahead. It’s a time to reflect upon the past and begin anew, with new goals and dreams to welcome and memories still to be made.

Whether you are planning a big night out with friends or a quiet night at home with your family, try some fun and festive New Year’s Eve ideas and traditions this year to make the night even more memorable.

Begin New Years Eve day by spreading joy all day long! Sprinkle sparkly confetti on your tables, from the breakfast table to the dinner table. Pull out the “good” glasses and china! Have your entire family use long stem goblets today, you’re your morning orange juice and milk to your champagne at night.

Reflect on the past year. Good and bad. Have your friends and family prepare a quick list of thoughts and memories. On a sheet of paper list all things accomplished in the past year or even the past decade, as well as any worries or fears for the coming year, and even any unhappy moments they experienced in the past. After dinner, gather around a fire in the fireplace, and toss all the lists into the fire to burn. A symbol of ‘releasing’ the worries and bad memories while sharing with the universe new hopes and dreams for the future.

Have each person write one major goal or dream they hope to accomplish in the New Year on an index card. Collect them and mix them up. Have everyone select one random card to read and try to guess whose goal it is. Collectively, offer support and good luck for accomplishing each person’s goal.

Follow a fun Cuban tradition of eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The 12 grapes signify and celebrate the last 12 months of the year.

Many Italians believe that eating lentils on New Year’s Eve represents luck and prosperity. In some homes, here in America, eating black-eyed peas is thought to bring luck because this food staple saved the lives of so many starving Southerners during the civil war.

Another tradition in some cultures is to “wear memories.” Special items, such as your mother’s pearls, a grandmother’s shawl, a macaroni bracelet your daughter made in art class, etc. New Year’s Eve is a time to honor special memories of all the special people in your life past and present.

With your front door open and a broom in hand, an hour before midnight, symbolically “sweep out” any negative experiences from the past and invite in new and positive energies.

If you’re looking for love in the coming year, tradition says to wear red on New Years Eve, or wear something yellow if you’re looking for success and prosperity in the New Year.

And finally, be sure to catch the ball drop from Time Square at midnight on television. This has been an American tradition since 1907 (with the exception of 1942 and 1943 in observance of wartime blackouts). The Times Square ball is dropped 77 feet on a specially designed flagpole and has become one of the best-known New Year’s celebrations internationally, with an estimated global audience of at least one billion people!

Lisa Lelas is a bestselling author, productivity consultant & book writing coach. Come to Lisa’s 14th annual Goal Setting & Vision Board breakfast workshop on Saturday Jan. 25 at the Mercy Conference Center in Madison. All attendees will create their own personal vision boards to manifest their goals for 2020 and beyond! Register: www.LisaLelas.com/Events

Connecticut Media Group