The new year brings with it an opportunity to reflect on the past year and set our intentions for the year ahead. Here are five practices to help you ring in the new year with purpose.
Reflect on the Closing Year with Gratitude
Take time to reflect on 2019. Notice your accomplishments and give yourself credit for the progress you’ve made toward your personal and professional goals. Write down at least twelve things for which you are thankful. Give yourself time to soak in the feeling of gratitude for each person, thing, or experience on your list.
Practice a Letting Go Ritual
It can be difficult to let go of the past. Feelings of regret, hurt, anger, and fear can sometimes be relentless; just when we think we’re “over it,” they creep back into our thoughts. A “Letting Go” ritual can help us release negative thoughts and feelings about the past.
Step 1- Write down a list of things that are causing you to feel regret, guilt, anger, or hurt.
Step 2- Tear up or safely burn the paper with the list.
Step 3- Repeat the affirmation: I release thoughts and feelings about the past that no longer serve me.
If regrets or grudges from the past aren’t a problem for you, perhaps worrying about the future is detracting from your happiness. Try this variation on the same ritual.
Step 1- Make a list of fears, worries, or stressors that are out of your control.
Step 2- Tear up or burn the paper with the list.
Step 3- Repeat the affirmation: I release my worries to a power greater than me.
The important thing is to destroy the lists. Do not hold onto them. It’s okay to let go. You are worthy of happiness.
Set Your Intention for the New Year
Get clear on the life you desire. Focus on the way you want to feel in the new year. Then choose a guiding word that summarizes those feelings. (Some examples to spark your thoughts: Joy, Love, Peace, Action, Health, Adventure, Yes, Boundaries, Calm, Laughter, Forgiveness, Faith, Letting Go, Community.)
Complete this affirmation with your word: 2020 is my year of _________________! Post it in a prominent location as a frequent reminder of the life you are creating. You might even want to fit the word into a password you type regularly to force yourself to think of the word daily.
Use your chosen word to guide your decision-making throughout the year.
Get Clear on Your Priorities
With your word of intention in mind, get clear on how you will achieve that feeling. There are 24 hours in each day. How do you want to spend them? Think about your main priority in each of these categories:
Family/Relationships, Health, Career, Spirituality, Finances, Community
Write out your priorities. (You may want to do this with your spouse/partner to create a shared vision for the future.) For more on priorities, check out the Priorities Workbook.
Commit to One Resolution per Month
A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. What will you need to do, or not do, in order to achieve your intention and make room for your priorities?
Plan out your resolutions by choosing only one each month. Then fully commit to that resolution for 30 days. Implementing only one resolution at a time will be less overwhelming, and you’ll be more likely to stick to it. You can do anything for thirty days. Track your progress on each resolution, then at the end of each month reflect back to determine if the change you implemented is helping you get to your intention word/feeling. If it’s working, keep doing it and add your next resolution for the new month. For more on resolutions, check out the Create Happiness Journal.
I wish you all the best in the new year. I hope you’ll share your word of intention and let me know how I can help you achieve your resolutions to create the life you love.