The New Year can be a bit of a letdown. If you don't have any plans by the time Christmas rolls around, you can feel like a bit of a social outcast or a loser. At the last minute, you may try to find a party you can go to or a local event to attend. If you're beyond the point of desperation, you may even find yourself drinking away your sorrows at the local bar or pub alone.
At times like these, it's good to remember that New Year's eve is just another night. There's no reason to put undue pressure on it, even if you have had some memorable experiences in the past. Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy yourself, regardless of the situation. If you're scrambling at the last minute to try to figure out something to do, you're probably not alone.
There is still time to get creative, so don't write off the night yet. Here are several things you could do if you are all out of ideas.
1. Plan a Trip
If you want to make New Year's eve memorable, you might consider planning a trip. It's probably a little late to try to book an affordable flight or a night at the hotel, but you could still drive to a nearby city or town for a change of pace and atmosphere.
People develop neural pathways out of habit. When you remain in the same environment for a long time, those neural pathways continue to strengthen. There is nothing like new experiences and travel to help you get out of a rut and gain new insights and perspectives (your subconscious mind works in the background even while you're not).
2. Go to Dinner
Your options might be a little limited if you're planning a late night dinner. Moreover, some of the best places in town might be booked up already. However, people are generally light and easygoing where food is involved, so dinner can stimulate great conversation among friends or with your significant other. You could also pair dinner with other fun activities like bowling or a movie.
3. Stay Home
Some people might prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle by staying in. If so, consider doing something a little different at home. Turn off the harsh lighting and meditate for a bit. Have a glass of wine. Sit in front of the fire. Perhaps invite some friends or your significant other over for some light conversation.
Some of you gamers out there might get a kick out of hosting an old-fashioned LAN party or even a Nintendo 64 Goldeneye marathon. Film-lovers might have a fun time riffing on The Matrix trilogy or a Arnold Schwarzenegger movie marathon. Cater to taste.
4. Host a House Party
I have always loved house parties; especially when there are a lot of people around. Even at the last minute, you can still go out and pick up some soda pop, chips, snacks and liquor, so logistics aren't a big issue. There isn't a lot of preparation required, though you might have to tidy up and clean up if you're not in the habit of keeping your space immaculate.
This can be all the more interesting if you bring disparate groups of friends together and watch what happens. Whether they jive or they run and hide, it will probably make for a good story.
This probably isn't for everyone, but some of us entrepreneurs get a sick pleasure out of working when no one else is. If you want to set goals, get ahead, beat the competition, get a head start on the coming year or map out a plan of attack for 2014, you might consider tending to business matters on New Year's eve. Just don't burn yourself out.
Bloggers might get together with other bloggers and write guest posts for each other until dawn. Podcasters could record a special New Year episode reporting on the details of their party. Online marketers could host a Google+ Hangout.
6. Go Club-Hopping
I have done this once, and once was more than enough for me. I tagged along with a couple of friends who liked to drink, make out with strangers and facilitate drama. I can't say that I recommend it, but it did make for a memorable experience. If club-hopping suits your style, be my guest. Just go with people that you actually like.
7. Organize a Flash Mob
Taking into account the trends from this last year, perhaps a "Harlem Shake" (*eye roll*) flash mob is in order? The hard part is in planning it. The easy part is execution. It doesn't have to last long, and you will definitely have a fun time.