Celebrate your new year of financial freedom!

In December and January, The Simple Dollar is posting a daily series focusing on specific activities you can do right now to set the stage for a great 2011. Out with the old, in with the new.

Rob Griffith / AP
The sky above Sydney Opera House lights up at midnight during the fireworks display celebrating the year turning in Sydney, Australia, Jan. 1. Celebrate the dawn of a new year and new decade by embracing the best of last year and moving into a productive and happy 2011.

Celebrate the year that has passed – and the better one to come.

It’s New Year’s Eve, which for many of us means a party or social gathering of some kind. Our social event will involve a few friends, a great meal, a pile of board games, and a toast to ring in 2011.

As you celebrate the arrival of a new year, I suggest that you do two simple things. They’ll only take a minute, but they’ll add a bit of a wonderful highlight to your celebration of the arrival of the new year.

First, think of the five best things that happened in 2010. What were the best things that happened in your life this year? What new relationships did you build? What ones did you reaffirm? What goals did you achieve? What changes occurred in your life that put you in a better place?

Such thoughts cast the year that has passed in a positive light. More importantly, though, they set the stage for a great year to come.

What else? Start the new year with one simple act that puts the year on a positive track right off the bat. Some possibilities:

Grab your spouse in your arms and give him or her a deeply romantic kiss.

Ceremoniously throw those cigarettes or hard drugs or alcohol into the trash can, then toss the trash bag out of your home.

Go jog a mile right at the crack of midnight.

Go to bed before the crack of dawn, then wake up as early as you can and spend New Years Day productively.

Call the people you want to re-establish a close relationship with and wish them a happy New Year right off the bat.

2011 is another journey, one filled with powerful possibilities. Take that first step in that journey tonight as the new year passes away and the new one arises.

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