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After Valentine’s Day, no moment on the calendar is burdened with as many expectations as New Year’s Eve. From TV to social media, there is an overload of messages about how this is the one night where you’re supposed to look your best, feel your most grateful for the year that just passed and be the most excited about the year to come. On top of that, no night—until next New Year’s Eve—is supposed to be as fun. Incredible. Amazing. Legendary.

For some people, it is one of the best nights of the year, worth all of the planning, traffic and primping in front of the mirror.

For some, it is an experience close to torture. But there’s help for the New Year’s Eve haters among us…help and five suggestions of better ways to bring in 2017.

STEP ONE: Stop feeling guilty, anxious or cranky. The myth that “how you bring in the New Year is how the year goes,” is a lie. A total lie. You are not condemning yourself to an miserable, lazy year if at midnight you are under the covers sound asleep. But here’s something to remember: If you start the year being true to yourself and your needs/wants/desires, then that says a lot about how you are emotionally facing the future…and what it is saying is better than any party.

STEP TWO: Text someone who you know also hates all the New Year’s Eve hype. See what they plan on doing. Decide if you want to do it together. If you both opt to stay solo, comfort yourself knowing someone else is going to be on the couch with ice cream, too—NOT living the life, but definitely living it up in the way they want.

STEP THREE. Make a plan for dinner. No matter what day of the year it is, you are going to have to eat. So by December 30th, figure out a menu or a restaurant and a person you want to share it with. This menu could be “a turkey sandwich from my refrigerator” or it could be way fancy. The earlier reservations at restaurants are easier to get on New Year’s Eve and markets stay open late enough that you can always cook. Whatever you do, buy something sparkly—from champagne to apple cider—to toast.

STEP FOUR: Ask yourself what three of your favorite things are to do. Answers can include: go to church, be at the gym, sleep. Lucky for you, all of those things are possible on New Year’s Eve! After writing your list, spend some time online figuring out how to do one of your items, be it a midnight service, a late night spin class or a brand new sleep mask to upgrade the zzzzs you plan on getting.

STEP FIVE: This is the most important step, the one you shouldn’t skip. Often the reason why people hate New Year’s Eve is because they spend it comparing their lives to others’, asking themselves if they are as fun, as pretty, as successful, as loved, as popular, etc. No comparing. One date doesn’t decide anything about the life you are living; it is the total of all 365 days and nights that made up that year that speak to the direction your life is taking. If you love it, keep up the good work. If there are things you want to change, no time like the present. Regardless, no more putting yourself down, not in 2017 or any year after.

And whatever you do, Happy New Year!

 

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