photo: Corbis

New Year's Eve is all about self-reflection, and so it's the perfect time and setting to put all of your best intentions for your new goals in the coming year. So instead of setting your typical New Year's resolutions, try something new and festive where the focus is still about what you want for yourself. 

Skeptics might think the rituals below might be silly and/or superstitious, but from personal experience I have partaken in these fun traditions for years as part of New Year's family gatherings. More recently I share these annual customs with friends as a way of bonding through our life goals. So instead of believing you'll have bad luck if you don't practice these rituals, simply by putting your faithful intentions about your dreams, and wishes out in the open that alone is already starting your new year with a good start. 

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Take a look at the following traditions and do which ever resonate with you. Yes, they might sound wacky, but these beliefs go back centuries . . . so why mess with tradition? Which ever you decide on, make sure you have all of your materials ready to go because when the clock strikes midnight, you don't want to be left out in the cold. And remember, have fun!

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Walk around the block with an empty suitcase

photo: Giphy

Objective: Good luck in travel

This one is always the toughest to do because: "What will the neighbors think!?" But you'll have the last laugh when those people see you coming and going with all of the traveling you will do in the new year. 

There are different variations of this tradition. Some say you can just leave the empty suitcase outside your door, while others say you should walk around the block. I've done the latter because the first time I did that I ended up going to Japan! So I humbly suggest the more you walk, the more you will travel. 


Put a bay leaf in your wallet

photo: Giphy

Objective: Have a prosperous year 

This is one of the newest traditions I have incorporated on New Year's Eve. It's not typically a known one, but it is practiced a lot in South America. Place a couple of leaves in your wallet and you will see a more prosperous year than before. And don't remove them. Leave them in there. Let them dry up! Sure, you might lose them bit-by-bit as they crumble, but that's a natural process. Just do not take them out yourself. You wait and see, and watch your wallet will inflate. 


Eat lentil soup

photo: Giphy

Objective: Good fortune

In line with the bay leaves is lentils and lots of them. Some cultures believe that lentils represent coins because of their shape, so you should either have a bowl of lentils on New Year's Eve or have a bag of the tiny veggie nearby, or both! A bowl of lentil soup never hurt anyone. 


Sweep the past away

photo: Giphy

Objective: Out with the old, in with the new

A clean home is a happy home, which is why it makes sense to do it especially well on New Year's Eve. The most crucial aspect to this ritual is that you are extremely mindful of the action of sweeping out all of the old bad vibes out of your home. So with each sweep of dust, have your door open, and say it out loud: "Goodbye terrible past, see you never!" Or whatever you need to say to get that intention of "good riddance" out there. 


Throw a bucket of water out the window

photo: Giphy

Objective: Throw out the negative energy

This tradition is just the same as sweeping. You want to get rid of the old negative energy, so by putting those bad memories into a bucket and tossing it out, you are making the intention be known. Get out of my life for good! It's also sign of cleansing your new year. 


Eat 12 grapes at midmight

photo: Giphy

Objective: For good luck all around

Grapes are known as a symbol of fertility, abundance, transformation, and blessing. So it makes sense that you eat 12 grapes (one grape to represent each month) for the New Year. I like to step it up a notch and eat as many grapes as I can. 


Change into a new pair of underwear at midnight

photo: Giphy

Objective: A new beginning 

This is my most important tradition of all. Once you are done with the rituals 1 through 5, having a new pair of underwear is vital because at midnight you must change from the old to the new ones immediately. Yes, you will also be eating grapes at midnight, so perhaps you can get someone to help you with one of these tasks. That also makes it more fun! 

So what's the point of changing into new undies?? Just as we sweep out the bad vibes, and throw out water to get say goodbye to negative energy, a new pair of underwear represents a fresh start, and, most importantly, hopeful and promising intentions for the new year.  

But first you must really think about what you truly want for the coming year. Is it love, friendships, money, peace, etc? Once you pinpoint your main aspiration go out and buy a new pair of underwear. Here are the colors that coordinate with the goal. *Represents what I've heard from my own family. 

  • Blue: tranquility, wellness
  • Yellow: prosperity, wealth, success, *better friendships
  • Red: love, passion, romance
  • White: happiness, peace
  • Green: a better life surrounded by nature, *more money
  • Pink: harmony

  • So go out there and conquer 2016 like a champ! Happy New Year!