Drawn Agency

What is New Year's to You?

Almost everyone has rituals around the New Year. While the rituals themselves — some reflecting upon the year that’s passed, others looking forward to the one ahead — are probably unique, their purpose rarely is. Most of them are designed with two goals in mind.

The first is improvement: Be more creative. Be more productive. Be nicer. Be less nice. Be healthier. Be better.

The second is appreciation: Be aware of what the past year has given you, what you hope that the coming one will deliver, and be grateful for both.



A New Year's resolution that's tough to ignore. Photo: Jordan Whitfield/Unsplash

“I usually like to list some goals for the coming year, personally and professionally, like everyone else, but the one tradition I have — or actually, it is more of a habit — is that I take the week between Christmas and the New Year to clean my working space. That week is usually fairly quiet, so I find a little extra time to clean, purge, and organize my space to be ready and to feel optimistic, like a blank canvas ready for a new creative work. I can then walk in on the morning of January 2 with fresh resolutions in tow and dive into a new year in a space that’s ready to get me started off in the right direction.”

— Bryan Taylor, DRAWN Founder / Creative Director


“I usually wait until my birthday in early February to consider resolutions and take a self-inventory, which leaves New Year’s Eve and Day wide open for revelry.”

— Josiah Martens, Design Fabricator


I am going into this New Year with the intent to start all new traditions. I am recently married and graduated, while also living in a new place and working at a new job. Of course, I intend to do the traditional reflecting on the year and practicing gratitude for all of the great things that have happened, but I am excited to see what new traditions present themselves this year.”

— Kristen França, Content Coordinator


Many of our New Year's rituals help us to determine who we want to be in the coming year. Photo: Kristopher Roller/Unsplash

“I try to avoid resolutions altogether, but instead pick projects that will stretch me creatively and intellectually. Maybe that’s the same thing, but I like the idea of trying to do something practical that reflects where I want to be as a person.”

— Dave Merwin, Developer


“My success rate with resolutions is extremely poor. I have always felt panicked and would pick a resolution that my friends suggested, which resulted in a lot of fad diets and frustration. The panicky feeling I get during the holidays, in addition to being raised with 'a little bit of hippie,' has led me to recognize the Winter Solstice as a time to reflect on the current year. Winter Solstice celebrates the return of the sun and is a great reminder that everything is always moving and changing. I take the time between Winter Solstice and New Year’s to set intentions and recognize significant events from the past year.”

— Kate Trahan, Content Coordinator


“The last days of the old year come like the quiet reclamation of something good and earnest and found. It's the time to celebrate family and friends, and make a proper festival out of it! I like collecting and following rituals from different countries — wearing white like in Brazil, eating twelve grapes at midnight like in Spain, slurping buckwheat noodles like in Japan, and making a fortune-filled phyllo dough pie like in Bulgaria.”

— Slavka Eberhart-Garah, Brand Manager


“I usually make a list of the highlights and more challenging things that happened over the year. And then I make a list of things that I hope and pray will happen in the next one, with specific hopes for myself and my epic husband and kids.”

— Dala Botha, Senior Designer

What will you do as 2017 becomes 2018? Photo: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

“The week between Christmas and New Year’s is typically spent with family, as it’s the one time we all get together each year. Taking time off from work and my day-to-day life allows me to relax and recharge, and start the new year fresh.”

— Mary Flatley, Brand Manager


“The changing of the year is a time for reflection and looking forward. I love to learn, so each year, I choose something to dedicate my focus to for the year. One year, I studied Italy. Another year, I delved into my personal sense of humor. Early on in this tradition, I spent the year learning about the color pink. Prior to that year, I disliked pink. The year ended with a beloved pair of hot pink pants and a hearty appreciation for the grand spectrum of pinks in the world.”

— Thea Albright, Brand Manager


“I seem to spend New Year’s Eve differently each year, whether it’s volunteering at my church’s youth group, setting off lanterns with friends, or just spending an evening catching up with close friends and family. But it always involves the people who matter most to me, and that, to me, is a fitting way to usher in the New Year: taking stock of my closest relationships and reflecting on who I am and what my purpose is.”

— Madison Lancaster, Assistant


“I kind of have this anti-resolution thing, but a few years back, after reading The Secret, I started writing lists of things that I wanted to achieve (or see happen) in the coming year. The idea is not exactly to work toward what's listed, but rather to put it out there into the universe with the intention of drawing it to you. At first, I did it (somewhat skeptically) as an experiment, but I found it interesting how many of the things on the list actually did come to pass — even if it took a shift in perspective to see it that way. The other thing that I do is to write a blog post that takes stock of the past year. My favorites include a ‘By the Numbers’ breakdown.”

— Casey Butler Harwood, Brand Writer