5 Ways to Kick Off the New Year Without a Cleanse, Detox, Kickstart or Challenge

January 7, 2020

Happy 2020! I love a good New Year’s Eve ritual and I hate, like hate, hate waking up anything other than refreshed and raring to go on New Year’s Day. However, like life does, it went and got all lifey on me this year.

I unfortunately injured my back really badly the day after Christmas so I rolled right into 2020 in terrible pain, needing help using the bathroom and generally the opposite of refreshed and optimistic.

But so often that’s just the way it goes: we have plans for things to go the way we want them to and life throws something at us that we must deal with. This used to stress me out so freakin’ badly but I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) that life rarely goes according to my perfect plan.

Whether your New Year started off like mine or it was totally fine, there’s no right or wrong time to have a fresh start.

I’ll be doing my ritual this coming weekend now that I’m upright and in less pain, but regardless of my injury there’s a few things this ritual doesn’t include and that’s a cleanse or a fat loss kickstart.

Many of us feel feel totally off our nutrition and fitness game given the hustle and bustle of the last few months. Or we may just be fed up with old habits that don’t work for us and are seeing all the many, many social posts about detoxes, cleanses and other knee jerk reactions to feeling out of sorts right now.

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If you’re ready to clear up the confusion and mixed messages you’ve heard about hormones, diet and exercise; to feel at home in your body at last; and to be healthy and happy again, welcome.

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I ask us all to take a breath…… Just a breath

Instead of thinking about how we can lose weight or make more money in 2020 or whatever other ads are filling up your Facebook feed, let’s just take a breath and really settle into where we are right now with gratitude and move on with some peace and certainty instead of desperation for things to be different in the coming year.

If you have some fitness or nutrition or get in shape goals for the New Year, it’s all good, I’d encourage you to do this ritual anyway to get more grounded and live more on purpose in the New Year.

There are so many areas where I want to grow, expand, create and transform and most of them all took a backseat this past year with the editing and launch of Hangry, so I’ve got my work cut out for me! But this ritual I’ve done for about 20 years now helps me embrace it all.

It’s a simple act of closing out the last chapter, in this case the year’s end but you can do this anytime, with gratitude and renewed excitement for what’s next.

Here’s my 5 Step Ritual For a Happy New Year & Fresh Start

Create a fresh, clear space

For starters, tidy up. Most of us feel calmer and less distracted when we wake up to a tidy home instead of a mess. So make time to tidy up and clean up so you wake to an environment that doesn’t feel like a total mess!

I know I feel behind right out of the gate when I wake up to dishes in the sink or toys all over the floor or papers piled high on my desk. We don’t want to start the New Year or new phase feeling behind but rather like there’s a clean slate to create exactly what we want.

If you can get new sheets for your bed or new PJs do it! At the very least, wash your bedding and pajamas to wake renewed.

It’s also a great idea to avoid alcohol this night or anything else that disrupts your sleep as we are trying to start the next chapter refreshed.

Spend the evening by candlelight to signify the peace of mind, simplicity and quiet calm that we want to create in the new year. By 7 or so have all lights off and your home a glow with warm, calm candlelight. Or if you’re like me and your Christmas tree is still up, it also gives a dreamy glow.

Create a mindset of abundance

Put out some fresh fruit in a beautiful bowl on your table as a symbol of the abundance that you want to attract in the new year. Donate some money online to an organization you believe in or give some cash to a homeless person in your neighborhood or better yet volunteer during the day before you come home for your ritual. Do something that makes you feel like you have more than enough and that your abundance will help you do more good in the world.

Make a list of everything you’re grateful for right now and give special thanks to the good stuff that came in 2019.

As rough as it may have been, there was good and there were lessons and this is the time to really be in gratitude for it.

Now make a list of everything you want to let go of in 2020.

Whether they are habits, relationships, old ways of thinking, emotional reactions, any of it and then over the sink, light it on fire and let that baby burn. Just let it all go.

Finally, make a list of what you want to create in 2020

You don’t have to map out exactly how you’ll get there during this ritual – although I encourage you to this week because a resolution without a plan will likely be an unfilled resolution as we ring in 2021!

Just let yourself dream big, without having a clue how you’d get it don’t be afraid to say what you truly want for yourself or your family this year.

That’s it, my New Year’s ritual! BUT remember, there’s no set day that you must create your next chapter. It’s not about rules or getting it perfect, it’s about intention and you can set that intention any day you choose and these simple steps help you be very intentional about it.

This was my thirteenth New Year’s Eve living in New York City and my family in Montana loves to ask me every year if I will be in Times Square for the big night. Haha, as a New Yorker I can’t imagine anything more annoying than to be in Times Square on New Year’s Eve!

It’s so crowded and cold and every year I wonder, “Where does anyone pee??”

People show up at 2 in the afternoon to get a spot to watch that ball drop and that makes at least ten hours without a bathroom….that makes me anxious, ha!

I hope this ritual helps you gently let go of 2019 and embrace the opportunities to do better in 2020. If I can help you in any way or you’re ready to become a patient and we’ll dig in together, please reach out to me at

Dr Brooke Kalanick, ND, MS, LAc

Dr Brooke Kalanick is a naturopathic and functional medicine physician specializing in thyroid issues, autoimmunity, histamine intolerance, and women's hormone issues including PCOS, perimenopause, endometriosis and infertility. She is the best selling co-author of HANGRY: Balance Your Hormones & Restore Your Joy in 5 Simple Steps. She is also the co-host of the Sarah & Dr Brooke Show podcast. To learn more about Dr Brooke click here.

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