When The Bachelor announced in early September that Arie Luyendyk Jr. would be the upcoming season 22 leading man, feelings were mixed. As Emily Maynard’s runner-up on season eight of The Bachelorette back in 2012, he certainly wasn’t one of the franchise’s most likely picks for his own season — in fact, many assumed fan-fave Peter Kraus would follow up his run on Rachel Lindsay’s season of the Bachelorette with the role. But after recently resurfacing Luyendyk’s entire season to get viewers reacquainted and ready, ABC has now announced the premiere date for the new season, and it just so happens to fall on the perfect date for settling in for a night of TV.

The Bachelor season 22 will premiere on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 at 8pm on ABC. That’s right — New Year’s Day. We can’t really think of a better way to nurse the NYE party aftermath and get ready to face the real world after some holiday downtime than by watching the race-car driver start his second shot at finding love.

Luyendyk, 36, previously admitted to Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan that he wasn’t nervous about his upcoming return to reality TV. “I think sometimes when you’re on The Bachelorette and you jump right into being the Bachelor, for me it would’ve been too soon,” he said. “This feels more natural. I’m not concerned what people think. I’m just focused on the outcome. I want to find my person and will do whatever it takes!”

As for what he’s looking for in his “person,” the former Bachelorette contestant says his ideal woman will be “independent, strong, and still gentle.”

So far, there’s been no word on the contestants who will vie for Luyendyk’s love, but the show has a great track record of keeping things interesting (need we remind you of “Whaboom,” from Lindsay’s Bachelorette season 13!?) — and we have no doubt that there’ll be lots of fun (and drama!) to come.

Will you be watching The Bachelor season 22 premiere on New Year’s Day? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photo via Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty)