Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions; Do This Instead

Looking for a new New Year's Eve tradition? Skip the resolutions and do this instead - The Confused Millennial


This post was originally published on 12/30/16! While the overall sentiments are still true in this post, I make reference to some things that applied to 2016 and 2017! Either way, it’s how I do New Year’s! Plusss if you read this post, I think you’ll have a better overall understanding of some of the content that’ll be coming at you in 2018! I’ve been cookin’ up all sorts of good stuff 😉!

Hey hey party people!

If you caught this post on Monday, you probably know that I typically spend this week eating my weight in cheese, wondering what I am doing with my life, while binge watching whatever crap I’ve been avoiding during the Fall season (I am looking at you Ben & Lauren).


I typically look at this week as “the lost week” and while other people are planning their lives for the coming year resolving to become happier and skinnier versions of themselves… I am over here reading my Astro guide and Chinese New Year predictions.

That’s right folks, I don’t do resolutions – I try to predict the future!

I really dislike the unknown and the more “prepared” I can feel for whatever apocalyptic shit is coming my way the better! Last year was the year of the Monkey according to the Chinese calendar – which is why everyone had such a crap year. While everyone was freaking out I was over here chuckling away thinking, “that silly monkey… what a tricky trickster.

Luckily for me and the hubs we were spared in the Monkey’s mess. Eric’s horoscopes all said he would have “the midas touch” this year and go through some big career and financial changes – which totally happened so bless UP people!

Me on the other hand… I was told I was going to be broke AF this year. Call it a chicken or the egg situation, but after learning that this year was all about me getting on my creative soap box. At the time I thought was ridiculous because I hadn’t done anything creative in years. But then the Universe intervened and through a fortuitous series of events I ended up launching TCM during Q1, (I can totally see the celestial gods were right!)

…I digress though back to the coin…

So yeah I was told I was going to be super broke this year and basically should just focus on building a foundation and finding my voice. I call it a chicken or an egg situation because I decided not to really seek out any new business this year. That’s right folks, I am a full-time entrepreneur and coach and I did not seek out any business this year (AND I SURVIVED!)

I decided to focus on my own lane. Focus on friendships. Focus on wedding planning. Focus on ME (because I was 26 and I had no responsibilities other than my new health insurance plan). I made the decision in January to not focus on trying to create any new revenue streams in my life.

If new clients came, great.

If new financial opportunities arose, awesome.

If I needed money I could always go back to waitressing.

And guess what happened?

I did make money this year – I wasn’t totally broke or anything. I still maxed out my IRA contribution and am going into the new year with a wayyy too cushioned emergency fund which means that next year I am going to start doing some big girl ish thanks to my friends at Invibed’s wealth coaching and start investing!

Where am I going with all of this?

Well, last year Eric and I decided not to do resolutions anymore. They typically left us feeling way to #basic than we cared to be and guilt-ridden by March for falling off the wagon. Instead, we decided to start a new tradition where we each write a letter to ourselves to be opened on NYE the next year.

The letter basically consists of the following:

– Where we were at closing out the previous year

– What our “predictions” are for the new year in our relationship with one another, with ourselves, with family, friends, our careers and our finances.

– Any random hopes, thoughts, or wishes

Truth be told, we were closing out 2015 bingeing One Tree Hill and totally stole the idea from when Lucas and Haley would write out their predictions for the coming school year. Who else wishes they would bring that show back!?


I am really excited to open them on Saturday night and share with you guys on Monday how things turned out!

Do you have any non-traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations or beliefs? Drop me a comment and share!

Alrighty folks, see ya next year! <— Haha ya get it?


Looking for a little extra reading this weekend? Check out the top 10 posts on TCM for 2016:

  1. 12 Books Everyone Should Read In Their 20s
  2. Patience & Stalking: A Millennial Love Story
  3. 6 Months After Those Weird Period Underwear
  4. 10 Tips To Email Etiquette
  5. An Honest Stitch Fix Review
  6. 5 Fall Date Night Ideas For Any Budget
  7. How To Spend The Week Between Christmas & New Years
  8. Overspending? Avoid These Daily Pitfalls
  9. Life Lessons from Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life
  10. Bumble BFF: What It’s Really Like


Looking to finally stick with those NYE resolutions? Grab TCM’s Goal Setting Guide!

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  • Candy Kage
    December 30, 2016 at 9:51 am

    We do this at Thanksgiving and think it would be a great idea for New Years. Setting a new routine around our home.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Really? What made you guys decide to do predictions for Thanksgiving?

  • Jamie
    December 30, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Love that idea !! And love that you stole the idea from One Tree Hill even more. Obsessed with that show!

    xx, Jamie

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Haha yasss! Me too! and so is the hubs so it just made sense haha! Happy new year!

  • Shi Hui
    December 30, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    You are so positive in this post! I love that you took time out for yourself. Have a Great 2017!

    Shi Hui | IreviewUread

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Thank you! Happy New Year!

  • Tilley
    December 30, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    1. You contributing to an IRA as an entrepreneur is SO IMPRESSIVE. Trying to get on that level.
    2. I love this idea!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 30, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Haha thanks girl! I’ve maxed it out the last 4 years! I save up throughout the year so in January each year the money is already set, and I pay myself first at the start of the year, rather than waiting and seeing what I have left to contribute at the end of the year.

  • Sara
    December 30, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I really enjoyed this post–what a fantastic way to start the new year as well as honoring the past one.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Thank you Sara! Happy New Year!

  • Amanda @ Blissful Gal
    December 30, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    My Type A personality totally resonate with this post! I don’t do resolutions as they are presently known and am definitely one for predicting and planning for the future!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Haha love it! May 2017 bring us all the success and joy and gifts! Happy New Year!

  • Anna Hubbard
    December 30, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I love this idea Rachel! I’ve also really enjoyed reading your posts over the past year!
    -Anna |

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Thanks Anna! And that is SO sweet! I’ve enjoyed yours too! So happy we got to “meet” and get to know each other through MBN! Excited to see what’s in store for you in 2017!

  • Elly Leavitt
    December 30, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    lol I’m with ya, I’ve been eating my way through the cheese platters since december 24th. Such a cool idea to look at the future- I’m headed to that astronomy link you provided to check it out! x

  • Shalama Jackson
    December 30, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Nothing non-traditional. I don’t make resolutions but do make goals. A couple are relatively attainable with some effort and others I make a little harder with no guarantee that I will achieve them. I believe that if everything were easy then they wouldn’t be worth working towards.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:20 am

      That’s true! Happy New Year! good luck with your goals!

  • Rachel C
    December 31, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Good for you, girl! You didn’t let worry or predictions dictate your success in 2016! I bet 2017 will be ever better!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Awe thanks Rachel! Happy New Year!

  • Greta Hollar
    December 31, 2016 at 12:35 am

    I hate making resolutions too! You have had an amazing 2016, 2017 is going to be even better for you!

    Greta |

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Awe thanks Greta! Happy New Year!

  • Jennifer Anderson Marx
    December 31, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I like goals, not resolutions. Glad to hear your 2016 went well and here’s hoping for an even better 2017! Happy New Year!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Agreed! happy new year!

  • Alysa Villelli
    December 31, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I like the idea of a fresh start. Even though every day could be looked at that way, there is something about a new year! Thanks for sharing and love your voice!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Thanks you! Happy New Year!

  • Chelsea
    December 31, 2016 at 11:01 am

    You are the best!! I’m so excited for what 2017 brings. I have no resolutions really, I just want to survive. It’s wedding year. lol

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:18 am

      YAY! That’s basically how I felt last year haha just enjoy it and don’t try to plan ever area of your life! Excited for you this year! What month is the wedding again?

  • Jimmy & Tina Durham
    December 31, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Good on you, I was basically said the same to us about blogging and it won’t do well or really how do you make it a business, we are doing well and very excited about it. Hope you have a fantastic and prosperous 2017. I never make resolutions usually but this is the year to start, well sort of more like goals, to quit smoking and get healthy

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Thank you! The same to you both!

  • Mary La Fornara
    December 31, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I love this post! I’m going to start writing that letter to myself now. That Monkey really did a number on me, so I can’t wait for 2017 to get here. Happy New Year!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Yay! I am so sorry to hear about your 2016! May 2017 be full of joy, success, and happiness! Happy New Year!

  • Miss ALK
    December 31, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    What a fantastic year for you, omg!! It sounds like you blew your goals out of the water. 🙂 I love hearing successes like that! Happy NYE!

    xoxo A

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Haha thanks girl! I didn’t really have goals so it wasn’t too hard to blow them out of the water lol Happy New Year!

  • Lauren Scorzafava
    December 31, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    This is such a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Thanks Lauren! Happy New Year!

  • Andrea Warren
    December 31, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I love this idea! Not a fan of the New Year’s resolution at all. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Thanks Andrea! Happy New Year!

  • Karen Roldan
    December 31, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolution too! I usually cross the bridge when I get there.Congratulations on your successes this year! More to come in 2017! Happy new year! ?

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Thank you Karen! Happy New Year to you too!

  • Laura Romberger
    January 1, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    This was great, I love your perspective on life! I think we get so wrapped up in the idea of resolutions that we stress ourselves out so much we get blocked. I am not setting up resolutions this year but I am setting goals and intentions…lots of positive intentions – intentions to have more adventures, big or small, intentions to learn to live more simply and enjoy life more. I intend to make this my best year yet no matter what is thrown at me!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Intentions are so key for me! In the letter I actually wrote for lessons learned in 2015 “I can manifest anything” – it’s so true, we have the choice to make each year the best year yet, not matter what life throws at us. The mind is such a powerful muscle! Happy New Year!

  • Silvia Marquez
    January 1, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Such a fun post! I’ve never thought of writing a letter to myself but that is sounds like a fun and awesome tradition to start! Especially since I’m not a resolution person myself! Happy New Years!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 1, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks girl! It was SO fun opening them! Happy New Year!

  • Sydney Power
    January 2, 2017 at 2:00 am

    How fun, I have never really been big on resolutions! I like this idea 🙂

  • Manavi I Be For Beauty
    January 2, 2017 at 2:53 am

    I had so much fun reading this post dk why. Must be because of your perspective and straight forwardness. I’m not a person who would have resolutions but I do make sure to list out few goals and targets that I need to accomplish. 😀 Happy New Year.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 2, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Haha thank you! that makes me SO happy! I have lists on lists on lists too! Happy New Year! Good luck with your goals!!

  • Chelsea Jacobs
    January 2, 2017 at 8:26 am

    This is a great idea! And UGH BRING ONE TREE HILL BACK PLEASE.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 2, 2017 at 11:51 am

      YASSS!! Or even a movie or something of a spin off of just some of the characters. IT was SO good!

  • Hannah Stark
    January 2, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Congrats on your success this year! That is so awesome:) Also I am obsessed with one tree hill haha and probably watched the series more than 5 times haha thats probably super embarrassing but I can’t get enough of it!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 2, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Haha girl me too! I was actually a podcast guest last year and the host and I both had watched OTH at least 5 times over, and the episodes intro is actually the OTH theme song haha I can’t get enough of it either! It’s probably my favorite from that decade.

  • Amelie
    January 2, 2017 at 11:30 am

    This is such a great idea! I think I might steal it and try it myself!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 2, 2017 at 11:49 am

      Totally do it! It’s such a fun way to honor the previous year and have a little fun with the new one!

  • Krista Dial
    January 2, 2017 at 11:42 am

    LOVE this idea. I truly believe achieving goals is all about speaking them out and believing they’re going to happen…not just writing them down, hoping they will happen. When you write them out in a letter I think it psychologically tricks your mind to think they have happened…so your mind works towards making them happen…so cool!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 2, 2017 at 11:49 am

      Agreed Krista! In my letter from 2015 I actually wrote “lessons learned in 2015: I can manifest anything” – and it’s really been amazing to see it play out in life!

  • Jessica Lam
    January 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    You’re so full of positivity! The letter thing is a wonderful idea, I might try it out with my boyfriend for our anniversary or perhaps next new year’s haha!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 4, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Awe thank you! totally do it! It’s super fun!

  • Kayla Rivoli
    January 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    This is the freakin’ coolest idea! I would love to do something like this with my boyfriend. It’d be interesting reading a letters from this year because a lot of my fears will be either resolved or realized this time next year (grad school… eeek). Love the photos in this post btw!

    Kayla |

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 4, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      Haha thank you! What grad programs are you applying to?? Trust me, even if things don’t work out how you planned, it’s all for a greater purpose!

  • Alex Carreno
    January 2, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    This is a seriously awesome perspective on resolutions!

  • Maggie Isley
    January 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I love this message AND your voice – so real and relateable. Here’s to an intentionally amazing year!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 4, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Thank you so much Maggie! Cheers to an intentional year!

  • Kirsten Ortez
    January 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I loved reading this and I love your idea instead of New Years Resolutions! Maybe I’ll take that next year! I love your blog so much because I find it so relatable, so I can’t wait to see what you do this year!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 9, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Awe thank you so much Kirsten!!

  • Nikki
    January 16, 2017 at 2:40 am

    Loved this idea! I don’t really pay attention to the new year – I tend to celebrate more for the lunar new year. I’m pretty excited for it.

  • Ashley Mason
    February 24, 2017 at 8:58 am

    I love the idea of writing letters to each other instead! I may have to try this with my boyfriend!

  • Megan Nichole
    December 28, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    I like this idea! I think I’ll suggest this to my husband 🙂 Although I really enjoy the planning aspect of a new year, too, so I’ll probably do a combination of both!

    • [email protected] Confused Millennial
      January 2, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      Yes! totally do what works for you! I try to focus on a lot of reflection and grounding and have some fun with the predictions lol

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