SINGAPORE - There is no greater reminder to plan ahead for your New Year's Eve (NYE) outing than the thought of being surrounded by absolute chaos. Of course, it is usually too late by then.
The city's traffic is at a hair-pulling gridlock, babies (adult and infant variety) are out-crying each other, and it feels like the country is hitting a 6.9 million population right before your eyes.
And red is the most detested colour because it seems like every taxi has its "busy" sign lit.
Every year is the same.
But too often, any lessons learnt from shambolic NYE debacles are forgotten right after the countdown-high fizzles out. Hindsight is little comfort when you are trying to find transport home at 6am.
Make an early resolution: Don't be that person again.
Here is my cheat sheet to make your transition into 2014 enjoyable.
Drop me a tweet at @ zulandra and share your personal survival guide to the new year.
Failure to plan is planning to fail, said someone who probably suffered too many NYE outings.
It takes a few minutes to write down what you want to do ahead of the countdown.
But it will save you hours of needless walking, waiting and wallowing in self-pity.
Do not join the thousands wandering aimlessly like zombie chickens - similar to a headless chicken, just slower - around the city after midnight.
Beat them with a to-do list.
Start with 10 activities/locations you would like to take on - dinner, drinks or checking out the fireworks.
Then narrow it down to five that are within close proximity to each other.
Unless you have access to a presidential motorcade, forget activities that are far from each other - going from Boon Lay to Pasir Ris is off the cards.
Once you have five, choose two that you can miss without bursting into tears. This leaves you with three must-do activities.
Now, all you need is to plan your route of advancement with military precision.