When I was growing up my dad and I would watch football on TV on New Year’s Day. We’d eat black-eyed peas for lunch. My dad said they brought you luck.
I still like black-eyed peas, although I don’t watch much football any more. On New Year’s Day I spend time reflecting on the last year and thinking about the next. I don’t make resolutions, which are usually about goals and end states. Instead I focus on how I want to spend my time, what my priorities are. When you’re busy it’s easy to let your day-to-day activities get out of sync with your values. I need to recalibrate.
My other ritual is to listen to Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, usually one of Karajan’s recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic. I’ve listened to a recording of this every New Year’s for twenty years now. It’s another reminder to look beyond the mundane.