I have always enjoyed the process of ringing in the New Year. New years are new beginnings, allowing for the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months, and look ahead to what could be in the coming year.
There are several rituals I have adopted throughout the years to help me take inventory of my time spent during the last year, and to find out what to take with me into the new one.
I like to think of preparing for the new year like spring cleaning.
First, I take the opportunity to clean out my phone and computer. I delete old outdated notes, correspondences and organize my files. I take control of my inbox and remove myself from all email chains or solicitations that I don’t need or want to be a part of anymore.
Last year I opened a new email account with the intention to only use it only for monthly bills. I opened my business email for work, and then a 3rd email for general correspondence. This categorical separation has really helped me keep my areas of life free of cross-contamination.
In addition to cleaning out my digital inbox, I clean out my paper file drawers, gather all the past years’ correspondences and receipts and get everything in order for tax season, with the added bonus of sorting and tossing what no longer has use.
I love reading, so annually I make a list of the books I want to bring into my life for inspiration, knowledge, and/or pleasure. I also revisit the existing books on my shelves and donate the ones I feel are no longer useful. I reevaluate my podcast subscriptions and then branch out to explore new content and authors.
One of my standby rituals for years has been the burning bowl— an inspirational practice where you write what needs to be released from your life on paper and burn it to let go of the past. It’s a symbolic ritual to allow you to let go of anything that no longer serves you. By naming and letting go of what no longer serves us, we make way for new beginnings.
You may do this by yourself, with close friends or a spouse. The important thing is to think back over the past year and write down on paper all that you want to release. Then, in a safe place, fireplace, fire pit, or even over a sink, drop your paper into the fire and let it go.
After completing the ritual take a moment to visualize what you want for your new year ahead. You may wish to write your new intentions down or make a vision board. I believe this practice makes space for action as well as inspiration.
Another huge area of my life I spend some time reevaluating is social media. Did you know that you can actually choose what you see in your daily newsfeed? It’s true. Unfollowing, muting and unfriending all effect what you see and what you don’t.
Does your newsfeed reflect positivity, personal growth and add value to your day? I unfollow or hide people that I find are constantly negative or angry. It sounds trivial, but it can have a huge impact on how you perceive things.
During the month of September, my birthday month, I often spend time writing out my goals for my coming year. At the end of the year my husband and I make vision boards to help remind us of our dreams and goals. It’s a fun, creative process to spend an evening at the end of year doing this practice together.
I have always been a believer in being proactive about the future rather than shutting my eyes and hoping good things will happen, and vision boards help keep my goals fresh in my mind.
I spend time pondering what time was wasted this past year, and what area of my life went unorganized, or caused me missed opportunities or frustrations. I then try to find remedies.
One of the things that frustrated me the most this past year was my current organization strategy for recipes. I have recipes on paper, in cookbooks, on Facebook, emails– even Instagram!
I wanted one place for all of it, so I researched recipe apps and am in the process of combining all my recipes into one place! It’s fun and it feels great to have them all indexed!
A similar frustration for me is passwords! Sound familiar? I am researching password programs that help keep things easy and secure, so I no longer fret about misplacing them!
My last major area of reflection is taking stock of my personal development and daily spiritual practices. Does my daily practice continue to meet my needs? Do I need to switch up my routines to keep me motivated? Do I want to renew and recommit to the groups that I belong to, or is it time for something new?
Look around at your living space and office. Is there clutter? Does it serve you? Remember, to make room for the new we must first clear out the old!
I challenge you to spend some time reflecting on the past year and what you want for yourself in the coming new year. What are the things that cause you frustration and lost time? How would it make you feel if you had solutions for those things? What or who motivates you? How can you continue to become more balanced?
2020 is all about hindsight and the benefit of a new perspective. Don’t sit and wait for it. Go out. Make a change. Smile more. Get excited. Be positive. Do new things. Gift away clutter. Make your social media a positive experience and let go of gossip. Show gratitude. Do things that challenge you. Let go of anything toxic. Be an angel in someone’s life. Live a life full of intention and by example.
365 bright mornings and starlight evenings
52 promising weeks
12 months full of possibilities
4 splendid seasons
Let us welcome this new year full of things that have never been!
We have 12 new chapters and 365 chances to make this our best year ever. Let’s go for it and give it all we have!
The new year is going to be filled with new content and NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS that I can’t wait to share with all of you!