Preparing For The New Year
As the Christmas season chugs through its final days, we all start thinking about the new year. A time for change, a time for reinventing ourselves, a time to look back on what was and look ahead to what will be. The new year always holds a bit of excitement, at least for me personally, because it is the closing of one door and opening of another; both in the real world and in Neopia. It is also when users everywhere become really confused about the Neopian calendar and the numbering of the years, so let’s get into that first.
You see, Neopets was founded in November 18 years ago (in 1999, real world time), meaning the website is 18 years old. That is why, just recently, we celebrated the 18th year of the site with a massive celebration. We look at 1999 as year 1 on the Neopian calendar. This calendar follows along on dates just like ours, so January 1st is the New Year. So on January 1, 2000 in the real world, Neopia entered year 2. In November of 2000 (November of Year 2), Neopets turned 1 year old. This is why the age of Neopets and the current year of Neopia are so different. As such, we are now entering Year 20!!!
Now that that little tidbit is out of the way, we can jump into how you can prepare for year 20!! Whether it’s just before the new year strikes, or a few days after, it is never to late to get a fresh start.
The first thing you should do is celebrate! We made it to year 20 in Neopia, that is super exciting!! It means we didn’t suffer a Y2K-like bug that caused the Virtupets Space Station to come crashing into Neopia Central. Woo-hoo! Gather around with friends, heat up some cups of borovan, and set off fire crackers and streamers into the early hours of the morning. This monumental year only comes around once, enjoy the festivities.
Now that you are all worn out, enjoy a rest day in bed and use that time to really ponder the last year. What neo-goals did you accomplish? Were you able to get 10 million NP in the bank, or paint your pet their dream color? Think back fondly and enjoy the successes you had. But when you look back, also look back on the things you didn’t quite accomplish...maybe that stamp album could use a few more stamps, or you got close to achieving a trophy-winning score in Meerca Chase II. Don’t get disappointed, add them to your list of goals for the new year! And while you are at it, try to think up some new ideas and goals to go after. Year 20 is going to be a great one for all of us.
While you are working on that list, there is another list you can start thinking about too: your resolutions. Not really accomplishments that you want to achieve, but what kind of behaviors do you want to apply to your life and make habit. Perhaps you want to make a resolution to save more NP and spend less on frivolous things or nerkmid gambling. Maybe you want to be more generous with your friends and strangers and randomly gift out items on the Neoboards or to the Money Tree. Or possibly you just want to be more social, join a new guild. Some other ideas include sprucing up your NeoHome (when was the last time you touched that thing?), or putting your pets in a better room at the NeoLodge (come on, it really isn’t that expensive to upgrade from that cockroach infested tower).
So now you’ve got two lists: your goals and your resolutions. You won’t be able to achieve them suddenly overnight, if you could you would not have waited until year 20. It’s a slow process, and it’ll take some diligent hard work. Start with just one or two things from each list, make a pact with yourself that you’ll invest at least 25,000 NP a day into your bank account (if one of your resolutions is to be a better saver). Or promise yourself to play at least 10 flash games per day to hone your skills and get you closer to new, shiny trophies. When it comes to games, practice makes perfect, and making it a habit of playing games every day is how people earn so many gold trophies on their lookups!
If you want change to happen, you have to make it happen. Altador wasn’t built in a day! Check your list frequently to make sure you are sticking to it, and also picking up more habits that you wanted to. And it is even helpful to add new things to the list throughout the year, it isn’t just a one time occasion! Make self-improvement and sticking to your resolutions one of your resolutions! It seems hard at first, you’ll be a bit overwhelmed, that is why I recommend taking it one step at a time. Don’t try to do all three hundred of your bullet points in the first week, it’ll be too much and you will be too likely to just give up on everything. One or two things at a time, slow and steady wins the race. Once something becomes a comfortable habit, add in the next, and then the next, and continue from there. With patience and perseverance you will see some real change in both your attitude and your bank balance. Those dream pets are getting closer every day.
I have a task for you as well, a goal / resolution for you to keep: learn more about Neopia’s history. The Neopian Times, the Book Of Ages, and all the old plots are all wonderful resources to see how Neopia has grown and evolved over the years. Look back on all the old characters, all the stories that have come and gone, we may be entering year 20 but there are over 2,000 years of Neopian history to be discovered. One of my favorite things is studying that history, and I think it is a lesson all Neopians should learn. Now that we are entering such a monumental year, there is no time like now to appreciate where we’ve come from.
Happy New Year, and I wish you the best of luck making all your dreams come true this year.