Your pre New Year’s party is right here… Russian style

By December 28, 2011Branding, Design & Your Site

Yes, that’s me and Santa. In the former Soviet Union, circa 1986.

You see, New Year’s was arguably the biggest Soviet holiday of the year. Christmas gift-giving happened on New Year’s, with Santa not being a spiritual gift giver, but a socialist one. I remember those parties…

Typical Russian-style: Vodka, endless toasts.

Those toasts were amazing and hilarious. If you’ve never been to a real Russian New Year’s (or hell, a Russian party full stop) here’s a small taste of a toast saying goodbye to the old year (these happen pre midnight.)

“With this toast, I say goodbye to the old year. She was SUCH a BITCH in [fill in how she was such a bitch right here].”

As you can imagine, these can get REALLY creative.

A tradition that I’ve picked up on my travels that evolved the endless shots situation is the process of writing down everything I want to release with the old year and either tearing it up or burning it (my personal favorite).

I take my time during this week – pre New Year’s – to look at things that no longer work for me. I look at the quality of people I’ve attracted into my life. I look at the quality of conditions that have come into my life including: clients, money, new friends and relationships of all kinds. And I look at what I’m no longer interested in having around.

Yesterday I posted this on my Facebook wall:

NOTICE: If you don’t keep your word,
are flighty, inconsistent, annoyingly dramatic,
overreactive, conceited, angry, violent or
anything else from that family on the spice rack,
you are henceforth banished from my 2012.

The chatter that started around this was hilarious! People asked to borrow, steal, repost, etc. Please, go for it!

Then I make a new list celebrating what I want to come to me in this new year.

Now this is important, my non-Soviet friends: This second list is NOT a list of resolutions.


Because resolutions don’t work.

I refuse to psychologically muscle myself into fitting into a size 0 pant (something that should NEVER happen given I’m 5’10”) or swearing that I will never do something again – something that for whatever reason I’ve done over and over. This is psychologically jarring and completely disempowering, as these resolutions generally fall by the wayside week 3 of the new year, and you end up feeling like complete garbage.

You have to spend the time understanding why you do what you do and approach any kind of health changes in a gentle way. But that’s another blog post. Bottom line: don’t set resolutions!


The intentions I set come naturally and authentically as an expression of my natural growth over the previous year. By letting go of qualities and elements that are no longer conducive to me, I naturally step into a bigger vision I have of myself and the world.

So here are [some of] my intentions for the New Year:

I attract people who are up to playing a big game in 2012. They are people who keep their word, are fun, energetic, have integrity and a big vision for the world and what humanity is capable of. They pursue worthy causes that impact others in a positive way.

My clients are my friends, pay on time and receive excellent work that they’re 150% happy with.

My family is healthy and happy, and I contribute to this by being a part of their lives on a regular basis.

I travel when it feels good. (as opposed to “for the sake of traveling”)

I open myself to new and unforeseen business opportunities and allow myself to make more money than I have ever made.


So with that, my friends, get the crap out of your lives, stand in what you want for the new year and watch it come down the pike as you align with who you must be in order to attract that.

If that sounded like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, please read “Ask and it is Given” by Abraham Hicks and then send me a note.

What are some of your intentions in the New Year?


  • What a fabulous post, Kat. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Russian traditions! and AM going to steal the toasting to the old year! and… like you… I burn my intentions for the NEW… give all my guests a piece of paper to write what they really what to create in their new year for themselves and others. YOURS ROCK! especially who you attract. Yup. Gonna do that for me as well.

    The photo of you on Santa’s knee is priceless! and I want to thank you for sharing a cultural treasure with us. For me personally, it brings the World which I am absolutely passionate about home to me. One day, I will be there! hey! maybe that’s one of my intentions! xoxo

  • That sounds terrific! Please do take the shots thing. I still do this as well!

    Unless of course my American friends get scared of my capacity to toast… which has been known to happen… 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  • Yay! Happy advance new year to all.

    I dare say my darling wife has a term that dovetails nicely with your FB post. She calls it “cleaning house”. It may be tough to go through with it the first time, perhaps, but after that? It becomes a no-brainer, you bet.

    • Cleaning house is good! It does get easier, becomes the “norm”. I feel strange when I don’t do it. Happy Upcoming!

  • F*ck yes!!!! Love this list, and I’m not at all surprised. You freaking rock the hizzy up in this bizzy.

    And 2012?

    That bitch ain’t gonna know what happened – she’ll be dizzy and amused from you whirling through it and laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Hahahahah!

      I was hitting “approve”, and WP was like “You sure?”


      Can’t wait to play all 2012 long!

  • Awesome, Kat! Having spent a year and a half in Northern Russian and the Republic of Moldova, I know all about the parties and toasting. : )

    As for intentions, I’m right there with you. This year, I’ve gone beyond and decided that my intentions will have more power if I surround them with actions. So, for the first time in my life, I’ve created a personal strategic plan with an annual action plan – with metrics and timelines, etc. Everything seems incredibly REAL, as if 2012 can’t help but play out the way I intend it to.

    Here’s hoping your year plays out the way you intend it to, also!

    • That’s terrific! I haven’t gone quite so far as writing a strategic plan, so I’m impressed.

      It also really helps to have an accountability partner in that stuff, especially since we tend to squirm when deadlines come around.

      Have a great New Year!
      С новым годом! 🙂

Build an Exceptional Brand:
Access the Free Video Training and enter to win
a Free private (just you and me) site review.
Free Training
Authentic Brand Colors by Kat Tepelyan, get your first free chapter
Tell me a bit about yourself