New Year's Eve Celebration Rituals | Bali Health Retreat - Escape Haven

How To Switch Up New Year’s Eve Celebration For New Year’s Day Ritual

new year rituals

How are your New Year plans looking as you read this? Are you planning outfits for a big night out? Looking forward to a quieter, more intimate evening with close friends or a loved one? Or are you assuming you will be sound asleep before the clock strikes 12?! 

Our ideal New Year’s Eve tends to change as we change throughout our life span. The big nights of partying that were once so appealing can tend to evolve as we get older and our interests change or our priorities shift. Perhaps family dynamics change how we celebrate if or when we enter into parenthood. 

A trend that has certainly gained momentum in recent years is a shift away from a debaucherous New Year’s Eve, and a focus on a positive New Year’s Day that sets the tone for the year to follow. Dawn sunrise yoga classes, intention setting circles, healthy brunch meetups or adventure days on January 1st are now a common scenario around the world. 

Spending the first day of the year with a hangover and tucked up in bed isn’t really the ideal way to launch into a brand new year (or new decade in the case of this year!) Starting a year with possible regrets, feeling less than inspired, and reaching for coffee and a fried breakfast to recover again may not set the tone for the 2020 you had envisioned!

Of course, celebration is an essential part of life and what it means to be human. If partying into the new year is your vibe, then make the most of every second – hangover and all! Around the world, cultures welcome the change of the calendar with unique New Year’s traditions of their own. In Spain, it is customary to eat 12 grapes – one at each stroke of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Each grape represents good luck for one month of the coming year. In hopes of a travel-filled New Year, residents of Colombia carry empty suitcases around the block. Residents of Denmark greet the New Year by throwing old plates and glasses against the doors of family and friends to banish bad spirits. 

While celebration is what comes to mind when we think of New Year anywhere in the world, the concept of ritual is also a special aspect of humanity and history that is also relevant around the New Year period. While celebration and ritual have some commonalities, ritual is associated with having deeper meaning and intention, performed more ceremoniously. We can make anything we do a ritual if it is something we do with presence and significance that follows a set order. For many people, making a morning coffee can be a ritual – breathing in the beans, listening to the grind, using your favourite mug, taking that first sip… sound familiar?!

While many of us may have ‘morning routines,’ morning rituals take on a touch of sacredness; they are practices we commit to and embody, tools that assist us to be the best version of ourselves and help us meet greater goals. 

So, what could a New Year’s Day ritual look like? Here are some of our top suggestions to make January 1st a day filled with meaning, power and joy.


What better way to bring in the new year than with a gratitude practice? When you wake, sit somewhere quiet and comfortable, and either mentally list or write down the things you are most grateful for in your life right now. They can be big things, or even smaller, more mundane things. Allow yourself to let anything come to mind without judgement. Allow yourself to sit with this list and these positive emotions and feel how much joy it immediately brings.


You may already have a meditation practice, or you can choose to listen to an audio-led practice on an app or device. If you are using a guided meditation, choose something that is uplifting and may even have a new year or new day focus. Calm, Headspace or Insight Timer are great apps to start with. 


Get the energy flowing through your body with some movement – try some yoga, go for a run or a walk, do something you love to do. Dance about your bedroom, jump in the ocean or hike through nature. See if there are any classes on that you love, a group meet-up, or do something in your own time and space. 

Intentions & Goals

While new year resolutions are so 2012 (right?!) creating goals or intentions for the new year is still a great idea. Plenty of studies have shown that when we set goals and check in with these goals on a regular basis, we are far more likely to reach them. The thing with resolutions is that they can have plenty of meaning on January 1st, and then fade away come February. Setting goals and intentions for the year is about making an action plan. It’s about dreaming big with your heart, and then laying the steps and groundwork to follow to make these dreams a reality. While its great to think big here, also be realistic! Choose a few things that you really want to accomplish this year and focus on those. Or break up the areas of your life and set a goal for each one (health, career, relationships, hobbies, finances and so on). 

Add a Bucket List Goal

The goals we set in the new year can often be ‘serious’ goals. It’s common to have goals such as dropping a few kilos or managing your finances better! If your list is quite practical, make sure you throw in a bucket list goal for good measure! Choose one big fun thing that you want to do that year. It may be a trip somewhere, a retreat, to learn a skill like playing the guitar or horseriding. It may be adopting a pet or living abroad. It can be more of a ‘big-picture goal’ – something that really sets your heart on fire. 


Lock in all these positive emotions and energy by making the first meal of the new year one that is nourishing and nurtures you on a physical and emotional level. Make it something delicious and make it with intention and presence. Blend up your favourite fruits for a big smoothie bowl. Mash some fresh avocado alongside poached eggs and steamed greens. Whip up some buckwheat pancakes with berries and coconut cream. Make this meal set the tone for the way you will nourish yourself all year long. Either enjoy it yourself in your own time and space or share a special meal with family and friends. 

The way you spend the rest of your day is really yours. Choose an adventure or enjoy a cosy day at home. Spend it with loved ones or bask in a solo day. Listen to what you need and what you want to do and allow yourself permission to do just that. Look at the 365 days that lay ahead of you with enthusiasm and allow January 1st to set you up with confidence and clarity.

If you happen to miss the boat on January 1st with your new year ritual, rest assured, you can enjoy this ritual any time of the year. Taking time out for a retreat throughout the year is also a perfect way to either set new intentions and rituals or create new ones. If you’re ready to book your 2020 luxury retreat in paradise, send us a message for the best dates and rates available. 


Your Escape Haven Bali Retreat offers a luxury wellness experience for body, mind and soul

We invite you to experience our award-winning Bali retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and reconnect with yourself on a deeper level, we’d love to help you rejuvenate, unwind, reawaken and experience the very best of Bali. Dive into transformational yoga and meditation classes, exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness classes and restorative healing sessions. How much or little you do is all up to you.

Take a look at our wellbeing retreat packages and luxury Bali retreat accommodation options. We’d love to hear from you and help you plan your memorable and transformative retreat in paradise.

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