15 Meaningful Things to Do On New Year's Eve

Make the last day of the year extra special!

Image with illsutration of a person celebrating New Year's Eve

I've always felt butterflies in my stomach on New Year's Eve. The thought that it is the last day of the year and with its end will begin a year no one has ever lived before, it all makes me excited and a little bit nervous too.

Now we could easily not care about this day and treat it like any other day and it wouldn't feel any different. But as you're here, I think that you want to make it special and live the very last day of the whole year with gratitude and good thoughts.

So, I bring to you 15 ideas for what you can do on New Year's Eve. Some of them can be done alone and some with other people. There's no pressure to do anything more than what you're genuinely excited to do. More than anything, you should feel relaxed on this day. So, only pick what you love, and have a beautiful day.

These ideas are all rooted in gratitude, hope, and spending NY eve with positive spirits. I hope you find them helpful! Happy New Year's!

What to Do On New Year's Eve

1. List all you're grateful for in 2023

One of the most meaningful things you can do at the year's end is list all of the things that you're grateful for happening in 2023. With our minds, it can be easy to overlook the good parts of the year when looking at the unfortunate sides. So, we have to make an effort to look where the grass is greener.

The tip to doing this is just to get started with what tools you have. You can use a journal or mobile app like Gratitude. Make it special but not to the point that it gets in the way of actually writing things down. Choose the simple route so that you can focus on what you can write about.

Think of the people who were there for you, the lessons that you learned, the fun days that you had, beautiful moments that you shared with someone, any great movies/series that you watched, the books you read, changes in your life, things you let go of, and so much more.

2. Make your 2024 vision board

Another wonderful thing you can do to enter the new year with good energy is to make a vision board! A vision board is the visual representation of your goals in the form of photos and affirmations.

Here's my guide on making the perfect 2024 vision board. It's not only useful and motivating, but so so fun to make! You deserve to take this time to dream and visualize what you want in life.

3. Write gratitude letters to people you are grateful for

One more way of ending the year with gratitude is to write letters to the people you love, thanking them for being there for you. Prepare to shed a few tears as you do this because truly, expressing your love and gratitude to someone makes you feel so much!

Make a list of the people you want to write letters to and start writing them. You can again do this physically or digitally with the Gratitude app. Aim for authenticity and vulnerability, not perfection.

You may feel that you don't know how to write well. My tip is to write what you can. You're not publishing a novel, just writing a letter to someone who deserves it.

4. Write your intention for 2024

Writing an intention note for 2024 is another activity similar to a vision board in its purpose but much quicker. All you have to do is write your hopes and dreams for the coming year. Express how you want it to be different, the things you want to achieve, and what you want to carry into the new year. how you want to feel.

You can decide on a ritual to read this note on the first of every month to realign with what you were aiming for at the start. It is really helpful to get back to the things we wrote when we were feeling hopeful as it gets us back to that state. Staying persistent requires practice and this is one of the things you can do.

5. Host a gratitude party at your home

Invite your close friends to your home and do some gratitude-sharing activities.

  1. In one activity, let's call it "I am grateful for..." where each person shares at least three things that they are thankful for in 2023. Before starting, you can let them know that there is no judgment about what they will say and there is no pressure to say anything grand.
  2. The second activity, let's call it "Thank you friend" where each person expresses gratitude to every other person in the group. This of course works when they know each other but even if they don't, it can be funny to see what we can be grateful for with a stranger.

6. Have a potluck dinner

In continuation with the party idea, it'll be super fun to have all the guests bring one dish that they love making and appreciate it all together.

7. Write a letter to your future self

Write a letter for your future self one year from now. What do you hope for them? How do you wish they are? What do you want them to remember?

Write all you want for your one year older version. I am a fan of writing letters to my future self. When I get the letters, it's incredibly surreal to read what my past self had written for me. I highly recommend you try this out.

I use the FutureMe to send letters to my future self and they get delivered to my inbox.

8. Take a day trip

Another idea is to take a trip to your nearby town, or museum, or go to the beach (if that's an option). Anywhere close by, maybe even a loved one's house. Ending the year with an experience you know you'll enjoy is never a bad idea.

9. Go for a long walk or hike

Clear your mind, reflect on your life, and count your blessings, all in the lap of nature. An early morning walk is one of the best gifts that you can give to yourself. To make it more special, you can pack a mat, some sandwiches, take your camera, and music speaker, and invite a couple of friends. Just imagining it makes me excited!

10. Prepare a special meal for yourself

A beautiful way to care for yourself and spend time alone is to prepare a special meal. It could be something you saved on Pinterest or Instagram. Give yourself a treat and enjoy a wonderful feast!

11. Watch a heart-warming movie

This idea goes super well with the previous one. I loooove watching something as I eat a tasty meal. Not every day but on special occasions when I get to treat myself.

You can watch animated movies like Soul, Encanto, Zootopia, Up, Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, and so many more. Or, Greta Gerwig's Little Women, Good Will Hunting, Pride & Prejudice, Harry Potter, Mrs. Doubtfire, etc. The options are too many!

Or, you can go to the cinema and watch what interests you there.

12. Have a video call with people you love

Let your friends and family know that you'll be having them on a group WhatsApp call and bond over your memories together. You can even do the activities I suggested in the house party idea!

13. Start reading a book

Another way of ensuring that your New Year is fun already is to start a book before the calendar changes. Here are a few recommendations on what you can start reading.

If you ask me, I'd say begin a book series you've been interested in or Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It's the greatest book I've read about hope and it will surely stay with you. It's also a very doable read, with only 200 pages.

14. Have a mini-concert

Make a playlist of your favorite songs you like to sing or dance along to, dim the lights, and let the concert begin. I am sure you'll feel exhilarated as you let yourself enjoy your most-loved tunes. I always hold a pretend microphone as I do this. It's the greatest!

15. Print photos from 2023

And to wrap it all up with the last idea for this post, you can spend some time choosing your cherished photos from this year and print a photo album. You can get it done from a local shop or use an online tool like Vistaprint who will get it delivered to your doorstep. Another beautiful way to end the year...

And, that's all! I hope you enjoyed this post and will try out some of the ideas I suggested. Do share this post with your friends and family so they can get inspired too. I wish you a marvelous new year!

Continue Reading: 100+ 2024 Affirmations for a Happy and Healthy New Year

Aarushi Tewari

Aarushi Tewari

The writer and affirmations speaker at Gratitude, Aarushi believes that one of the most effective ways of feeling inner peace is by being grateful and having a loving self-relationship.

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