SGR 026 | How to Have the Best New Year's Eve Ever


It’s that time again! A new year, a fresh start… are you ready for 2018?

We love New Year’s because it’s a designated opportunity to push the reset button. You can start new habits, drop the not-so-good ones, and revamp your life - as individuals and as a couple.

If you’ve been listening for awhile, you know we’re very into rituals of connection. These are routines you’ve established with your partner that take place with consistency. Participating in these rituals gives your relationship that good, loving feeling.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in a particular way can be a ritual of connection.

Setting the intention to have breakfast together every morning before work can be a ritual of connection.

Going food shopping together after date night can be a ritual of connection.

Use the transition to 2018 as an opportunity to prioritize your relationship and commit to rituals of connection for the next year. Not sure how? Be sure to listen to this week’s episode, as we’re talking about:

  • Why it's important to celebrate New Year’s Eve
  • What New Year’s means for us
  • How to start 2018 with intention
  • Setting goals you’ll look forward to following through on

If you want to get a jump start on your 2018 Resolutions, be sure to download The Couples’ New Year’s Resolution Cheat Sheet.



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Show Notes:

SGR 002 - Getting Back to the Honeymoon Phase - One Habit at a Time
SGR 013 - When Marriage Doesn’t Feel Like A Fairy-Tale
SGR 015 - How To Get Your Partner To Support Your Life’s Dreams 
SGR 020 - Surviving Thanksgiving

Short on time? Here’s a list of today’s topics and when to listen:

Why it’s important to celebrate New Year’s Eve - 2:24
What the new year means to us and our relationships - 8:00
How to start 2018 with intention - 13:12
Letting go and moving away from not-so-good things - 15:24
How to set goals that you can look forward to - 16:55
Supporting one another in your goals - 20:18
Meredith and Marina’s takeaways - 27:36


Meredith: Hey there! And welcome to episode 026 of the Simply Great Relationships Podcast. We’re so glad you could join us today. I’m Meredith Silversmith and this is Marina Voron. And today we’re going to be talking about “How To Have the Best New Year’s Eve Ever.”

Marina: Wooh!

Meredith: Woohoo! New Year’s eve next week! We’ll be covering - why it’s important to celebrate New Year’s, what the New Year really means to us and to our relationship, how to start 2018 with intention and how to set goals that you can look forward to, following through on and how to support one another in each others goals which is really key. So make sure you stay with us until the very end because we got a great bonus for you and we’ll tell you how to get it.

Marina: I’m really excited about this episode.

Meredith: I love me some New Year’s.

Marina: I love me some New Year’s. I love me some really positive, healthy, non BS goal setting motivation. So I’m really excited because I love the concept of doing that individually and in the context of the couple.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: So, why is it important to celebrate New Year’s?

Meredith: It’s one of those things, you know, and I feel like there’s people who hate New Year’s Eve.

Marina: Yeah!

Meredith: And there’s people who love it and I think it’s all about the ritual. So, you know, we talk about rituals of connection a lot but New Year’s Eve is a really nice ritual because you know it’s coming every year. It’s a Holiday where most people have off and you can create rituals for yourself as an individual and for your relationship around that which sends the message that your relationship is important.

Marina: Mhmm! I think it’s just a really nice way to also just to have a kind of new start. To press the refresh button. So how do you like to celebrate New Year’s?

Meredith: Oh yeah! So, we’ve got actually a bit of a ritual. We’ve got a ritual for Tom and I but also a ritual with some of our closest friends where we’ve really just been spending New Year’s together for as long as I can remember. At least the past five or six years, we’ve spent it together with my friends, Jess and Danny. And we’re not huge party-ers so usually get together at home and eats a lot of food and maybe cocktails and just really having fun. So that’s been for a couple of years and then when kids started coming into the mix, we kept going. So I think that’s something that’s really important. Even though life circumstances were changing, we adapted to accommodate that. Now it’s a ritual where her daughter is involved and she’s experiencing part of that ritual and Tom and I really enjoy and look forward to that. So I think that’s super fun.

Marina: I love that cross generational ritual happening here.

Meredith: Yes!

Marina: That’s lovely! I mean, I bet, you know, for her growing up, remembering that ritual, I wonder how she is gonna internalize that and if that’s gonna be something she brings into her relationships which is really awesome!

Meredith: Yeah! Very cool. What about for you and George?

Marina: You know, George and I love to party. We love to go big for New Year’s. We have a couple of kinda quirky rituals like we always get new underwear for New Year’s.

Meredith: I didn’t know that. I did not know that.

Marina: Yeah! We always get some nice champagne. We go on like a champagne shop.

Meredith: Okay.

Marina: Because important.

Meredith: Yeah! Very important.

Marina: And usually, we just plan it. It’s just the ritual around it is that we plan like a really big kind of new exciting party night and we make a big deal out of it and we always spend it together, we spend it with friends. It’s like we don’t have a specific thing we do. The ritual’s more around the planning and co-creating that experience that work on a share in.

Meredith: Oh, that’s really nice! So your focus is really on having fun and creating positive memories, not necessarily what those activities or memories are but just that they’re being created.

Marina: Yeah, exactly!

Meredith: Awesome! And you know what? It’s a really good way to start the year of on the right foot, right? I know in two weeks when our clients come in, we’re gonna hear some upset and some horror stories about New Year’s. And we’re trying to prevent that by talking about this topic today because I feel like there can be a lot of expectations and some of them unspoken and then when they’re not met and there’s disappointment, it can just lead to a lot of conflict and then you’re starting off 2018 being angry with your partner or feeling let down by your partner. And that’s not a good way to start a year.

Marina: Yeah! Like is that the tone that you want to set? I’m a big believer in setting a certain tone and staying with that tone and that’s not the tone you wanna set. I think it’s important to kind of put New Year’s in context, though, because you go into New Year’s after months of just holiday upon holiday upon holiday. And we’ve talked about this in previous episodes, there’s a lot of emotionally charged stuff going on. It’s almost like I wish New Year’s was in April where you are not coming off of such a busy season. So it makes sense, right? To put it in context, it makes sense that sometimes New Year’s can be a little emotionally charged just because of where it falls in the year and where people are emotionally at but I think being very intentional, planning, having a ritual of connection can really counter that and help make it a really positive experience. Almost like end to the craziness of the holidays and beginning of a new comer era.

Meredith: Yeah! Definitely! And I think to be forgiving also. To take into account that the holidays were probably really hectic and busy and stressful and to have realistic expectations for New Year’s.

Marina: For sure. So what would you say the New Year means to you?

Meredith: I guess it’s definitely like a refresh button. Although I’m a big proponent of not waiting until the New Year, you can hit the refresh button anytime, but it’s sort of a really nice, clean, built in refresh button where everyone’s in the same mindset. So it’s on TV, it’s in the media, it’s your friends and everyone’s kinda talking about it. So it’s a little more present. But it’s an opportunity to start doing things differently and to really draw a line between the past and the future.

Marina: Yeah! And I think it gives you kind of an opportunity to start working on new goals and new challenges. I personally like, this is another kind of quirky thing. I don’t know if you know this about me but I like to take on a hobby, a new hobby every year.

Meredith: Oh! I did not know that!

Marina: When I made kombucha for a year, I made candles for a year.

Meredith: I didn’t know that those started on New Year’s! Now it makes sense! I just thought you were picking up a new leisure activity.

Marina: It is! But I feel like for me, that coincides with like, “In this year, I will hone this skill.”

Meredith: Okay!

Marina: I think a year is a palatable, like a mentally palatable amount of time. And I think there’s so much growth in learning that can happen in a year at that to go through it and say, “I can accomplish this much in this finite, manageable amount of time.” It’s really great and it really helps connect to a sense of motivation. I think people get really overwhelmed when they feel like they have to do something forever.

Meredith: Yeah! Definitely.

Marina: Whereas to say like, “I have this goal for this year. This year will come, this year will go. I have this goal for three hundred and sixty five days. I'm gonna see how it works for me.” Really helps you connect with that sense of motivation, with that sense of  “I can do it”, with that sense of “This is what’s gonna drive me”.

Meredith: Yeah! And it reduces the overwhelm. That’s a really good point! Forever’s a long time. So quality year and end your best for that year and then if you want to continue from there, you can. That’s a really good point. I think it’s, you know, again, during that line, it’s an opportunity to become a bit of new you or a bit of a new couple. It’s like, “Okay, that was 2017, this is 2018. If we want to do it differently, we can.” And again, just having that motivation and that fresh start. I think a lot of it’s mindset and perspective to the flavor of the season.

Marina: Yeah! And I love that! I think it’s a much needed perspective especially coming off of the holidays that you don’t have to be stuck in something that’s not working for you. You don’t have to individually be stuck in a certain role that’s not working for you. As a couple, you don’t have to be stuck in a pattern that’s not working for you. You get to say, you get choice, you get autonomy, you get to decide what it looks like.

Meredith: Yeah! Absolutely! So, let’s talk about how to start 2018 with intention. I’m kind of obsessed with this word “Intention”.

Marina: Me too.

Meredith: I bring it up a lot because it’s this concept of you’re not just floating through life like bouncing off. I was thinking of a, what’s it called, like a ping pong machine? Where you just getting bounced….

Marina: Flown in every direction.

Meredith: Is that a ping pong machine?

Marina: I think.

Meredith: Is that what it’s called little football things?

Marina: Yes.

Meredith: Okay. You’re getting bounced from thing to thing and you just kind of floating through and you don’t have control whereas you actually have a lot of control.

Marina: Yeah!

Meredith: And if you’re setting yourself up or your relationship up with certain intentions, you’re more likely to reach your goals, you’re more likely to walk that path, you’re more likely to have the life that you wanna have and the relationship that you wanna have. So, I mean, Gosh! Why not?

Marina: Yeah! I also think intention is so connected to our emotional world.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: When we set an intention to do something, we’re really setting an intention to want to feel a certain way while we’re doing it. And connecting with that sense of intention as opposed to just coasting and letting whatever happens happen allows you to connect that feeling that you want to feel so much more. And I find myself saying it in session all the time. I’m like, “Intention, intention, intention.” Be intentional about the way you want to feel and the way you want to make your partner feel. Don’t just expect a feeling to create itself.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: When you have that intention, you’re doing the things required to get to where you want to go.

Meredith: Yeah! Absolutely! So, you know, there’s some questions you can ask yourself to start thinking about your intentions. So what would be maybe if you want to give some examples. So if a question to ask yourself is, “What do you want 2018 to feel like and look like?”, what would be like an example of an answer someone might have?

Marina: So, I mean I can give you a personal answer, right? For me, I have a couple of intentions already that I am thinking about for 2018. I really want 2018 to be a calm, organized, productive, on a personal level. My intention is to, you know, I don’t have to tell you that we have a lot of things going on. You know, to emotionally and mentally manage the workload in a much calmer way.

Meredith: Mhmm!

Marina: Right? So, I started with, “How do I want to feel?” And what I looked at is, “How did I feel in 2017?” And I definitely had these moments of overwhelm.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: Looking into 2018, my intention is not to completely say I will never feel overwhelmed, but to say, I want to create a lot more calm around this process.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: So, that is my intention and what that looks like is to put in a better system around getting things done that caused the overwhelm.

Meredith: That’s a great example. Makes a lot of sense. So, if you can listen to that and say, “Okay, how do I want to feel and get really into with that?” And “What would it look like, if I were feeling that way?” Sort of work backwards, that’s a really good way to get in touch with what your intention is going to be. And you have to consider yourself as an individual and then yourselves as a couple, right? “What do we want to feel? What do we want our life to look like?” Those are two separate processes. And our bonus this week is gonna help you with that. So be sure to check it out!

Marina: Mhmm!

Meredith: The other piece being, you know, we’re talking about intention, what do we wanna add in, what do we wanna gain, what do we wanna feel. But there’s only so much space in your world than your life. So, you also have to work on letting go of some things and moving away from some things and how do you think they can work on that?

Marina: So I think it is just like the example that I gave, what I wanted to let go of is overwhelm. Right? I realized overwhelm is not doing me well and I want to let go of it. So I want to essentially almost like crowd out the bad by intentionally putting in the good. So, it’s almost like thinking about the feelings you had and the habits you had that didn’t work for you, what’s the opposite of that?

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: What do you want to crowd out the bad stuff with that’s the opposite of that bad stuff? If you felt a lot of anger, do you want to create a lot more calm? If you felt a lot of hostility, do you want to create a lot more connection? If you as a couple felt a lot of disconnect, do you wanna create a lot more connection? Right? I think it’s really about scanning the feelings you didn’t like holding.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: And figuring out what the opposite is.

Meredith: Makes a lot of sense. So you go through that process, you set your intention, you use our bonus from this week to do it, and then you can start to look at goals. Right? So intentions are a little more vague. Intentions are feelings and vision and vibes. I sometimes say, “This is sort of the path I want to walk, but goals are ‘where am I going?’”, you know.

Marina: Yeah! I like to say that intention is the gasoline and the goal is the car.

Meredith: Okay.

Marina: You need to fuel for the car to go, the car gets you to where you’re going.

Meredith: Okay!

Marina: So, if you need kind of a context, I just find that it’s a very easy visual that resonates with people. But goals, much more doable, right? So how do people get clear on their goals? Because I think that’s where people kind of fall into trouble and where people set themselves up for a lot of internalized disappointment and failure. They’re not too clear on their goals. Their goals are too vague. And then they will go, “Well, I didn’t do it”

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: So how do people get clear on their personal goals?

Meredith: Again, I think you’re asking yourself some questions to get that clarity. And this is hard. It’s hard. You may know exactly where you wanna go but if you’re not specific enough and you we’re not realistic enough. You know, people talk about smart goals and I’m sure people have heard of that specific measurable “A”. Oh my gosh! “E” what’s the E? Actionable?

Marina: Actionable.

Meredith: Attainable?

Marina: Attainable, yeah!

Meredith: This is a good quiz. Realistic.

Marina: Time sensitive.

Meredith: Yeah! Time limited.

Marina: Time Limited. Something with time.

Meredith: You can go with smart goals. That’s what it is. But point being, you wanna know when, you have to be able to know when you’ve made it and you have to be able to work backwards from the ultimate goal and know what are the steps I could take that are actually gonna bring me to that end point. So, some questions you can ask yourself is, “What makes this important to me?” Right? That’s your motivation. What’s your “why”? That’s essentially what that is. “How will I feel when I’m working towards this?” Again, filling that motivation bucket.

Marina: I also think this is a really important question to draw distinction from the question that people usually ask themselves which is, “How will I feel when I achieved this?”

Meredith: Mhmm!

Marina: There are a lot of goals where being in the process of achieving it is the good enough as opposed to being at your end result. Something like, “I know this is everybody’s goal is to lose weight.” Being in the process and really knowing and feeling you’re being physically active, you’re eating well, you’re staying hydrated is much more important than once I hit the number on the scales. So, that’s what I really wanna challenge people to have a bit of a shift. Instead of asking how will I feel at the end, it’s how will I feel when I am well on my journey.

Meredith: Yeah! That’s a great point! And then you wanna get a little more specific in terms of what you need. Right? So, “How will I feel?” That’s great. “What do I need? What do I need from me as an individual to get there? And what do I need from my partner and from my relationship to get there?” Because those tangibles are really important.

Marina: Yes! I think getting really clear. Answering those questions thoroughly. Really going for the bigger picture answer is really important and then breaking it down to those small, doable, actionable, realistic steps.

Meredith: Yeah! Yeah! And going through that process individually on your own. And then coming together with your partner and sharing what you came up with with them. Right? Letting them into your world, letting them into your thought process. They need to know what’s important to you and what you’re doing and where are you headed because A.They can support you and offer that encouragement and B. You want them to help you stay on track to some extent, right?

Marina: Yes! You don’t want them to police you.

Meredith: No.

Marina: I think this is where couples butt heads quite a bit. But I think the letting in part, and then, again, we’ve talked about co-creation of a shared visions and goals. Episode 013, where we talked about “When relationships don’t feel like a fairy tale.” Episode 015, “How to get your partner to support your life’s dreams.” Those are really good episodes to go back to and listen and make a ritual, a date night of sharing your goals, of co-creating couples goals together and of being accountability partners, not police officers for each other.

Meredith: “You said that you are going to lose weight. Why are you eating that?”

Marina: Yeah! Exactly! You know what that is? Not sexy.

Meredith: No! Not sexy, not connecting and not supportive.

Marina: Yeah!

Meredith: Don’t do it.

Marina: But what is really supportive is, “Hey we’re working in this together, why don’t we cook dinner together?”

Meredith: Yup! Or, “How can I support you in achieving your goal? I wanna help. Is it helpful if I buy… Is there any other particular foods you need me to buy? Or not buy? Let me know what I can do.” So, you’ve done your individual work, you’ve come up with your individual feelings and what you need and your goals and you’ve shared that with your partner. And hopefully they’ve done the same and share it with you. So now you’re going to create your joint goals, your couple’s goals. How would we do that?

Marina: So, I think the first question is, “How do we want our relationship to feel?” This is the magic question that I think is the foundation of everything. “How do we want our relationship to feel in 2018?” Start with the feeling. And this is, again, where you can go back to, “What were maybe some feelings you didn’t like holding last year as a couple? What were some feelings that you loved holding last year as a couple?”

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: “What were some feelings that maybe were missing for you last year as a couple.” Use last year as kind of an evaluation tool and say, “This is what worked. This is what we want more of.”

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: “These are the feelings that maybe brought us down. Let’s replace those with the opposite of them.”

Meredith: Yeah! Absolutely! And you know, a great way to integrate the new good things into your relationship with consistency is rituals of connection. So once you identify them, you’re really searching for, “What rituals of connection do we want to build in 2018.” So, go way back to episode 002, “Getting Back to the Honeymoon Phase: One Habit at a Time” and download our rituals of connection master list because that’s gonna guide you through this. That’s gonna make this process a lot quicker and easier. We even have examples on there, of rituals that can be really helpful and they touch on different areas of your relationships. So that’s a really great sort of cheat sheet to getting into couples goals.

Marina: Yeah! And couples goals don’t have to be super complex or super... I feel like couple’s goals have a bit more fluidity to them.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: Which is really nice but I think couple’s goals, this is where the intention piece is so key to connect with. And again, when you’re saying, “These are the feelings we want”, it’s like “This is the intention that we want to set for this year.”

Meredith: Yeah! And it is more fluid because you know, as we’re talking about this, I’m realizing, “Me as an individual, if I have a goal, I can be in control of the effort I put in, the work I put in, the time I put in, my commitment. And I could work towards it and achieve it.”

Marina: Mhmm!

Meredith: But when it’s a couple’s goal, I can only control 50% of that.

Marina: Yeah!

Meredith: And I have to count on and trust that my partner’s gonna invest their 50% but they may not always be able to and I may not always be able to, right? So, they can’t be as cotton dry and as, “Well, this is gonna happen by August 31st, we’re going to be happy.” or “We’re going to feel super connected.” You know, it’s more “We wanna go in this direction and we’re gonna invest the time and energy with consistency to get there.”

Marina: Yeah! And we’re gonna use our rituals of connection to create the feelings we want to create.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: That’s why I think that a master list is so great because it has the emotional-based, the friendship-based and the intimacy-based and generally, the feelings you want in a relationship are tied to one of those three. Maybe adventure is another one.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: So that’s a really, really great resource that I would definitely go back to when you’re doing your couple’s goals to get on that and allow a little bit more fluidity. It’s not necessarily smart goals when it comes to…

Meredith: Yeah. We’re not dragging the other person across the finish line, right?

Marina: Yeah!

Meredith: Can’t do that.

Marina: Yeah. So we don’t want you to just listen. We want you to listen and integrate this into your relationship. So like you said before, we’ve put together a really, really great bonus. I really love this one - the Couple’s New Year’s Resolution Cheat Sheet. You can get it at

Meredith: Mhmm!

Marina: So…

Meredith: Takeaways. What’s your big takeaway for today?

Marina: Well, my big takeaway is what you said with the couple’s goals - you’re only in charge or in control of 50%.

Meredith: Yeah!

Marina: So they need a little more flexibility, a little more wiggle room. They’re not as concrete because you don’t want to create the tension and the headbutting because you’re like, “I’m putting in 72 and you’re only putting in…”, you know. It’s more about focusing on the feeling and recognizing that this 50% is mine, this 50% is yours.” That would be my big takeaway.

Meredith: Definitely!

Marina: What about for you?

Meredith: I think I like kind of what you had shared around your New Year’s eve rituals that we do certain things that our intention is to create fun, enjoyable memories, but they are at the same time, they are also some very concrete things that we do. And I think that’s kind of cool and that’s something I’d like to integrate into my relationship. And even integrating a ritual around sitting down with this cheat sheet together and doing it on New Year’s eve or New Year’s day. I kind of love that on New Year’s day rituals of sleeping late and having a big breakfast and staying in your pajamas and just kind of creating. That’s really a reset button to me.

Marina: Yeah.

Meredith: And downloading the cheat sheet and sitting on New Year’s day and the cup of coffee and relaxing and no pressure and do it together. I actually think that would be great and I think I’m going to do that!

Marina: I think I’m going to borrow that and do that also. So we both have January 1st planned which is nice.

Meredith: Yup! I like it!

Marina: Yeah!

Meredith: Hopefully our husbands are on board but…

Marina: I get the feeling they might be.

Meredith: So that’s all for today. We hope you take these tips and start using them right away, definitely for next week. We’d love for you to continue the conversation with us on our Facebook group where we’ll be hooking you up with tips, tricks and live streams exclusively for our members. Maybe we’ll even do a little live stream as we’re doing our homework on the 1st. I’m gonna put that out there right now. Accountability. And you can find us at or click the link on our website Have a great New Year’s eve! Enjoy! Download the bonus. Be sure to have that for your low key New Year’s day celebration and we’ll see you next week!

Marina: Happy New Year!

Meredith and Marina: Bye!