There’s a lot of hype and momentum around setting New Year’s resolutions each year.
Although the intention is good, it can bring up anxiety for a lot of people…including me. A sense of urgency, pressure and expectation can inadvertently derail even our highest intentions.
Many people start off the year strong, but by the end of the first quarter, if not sooner, those carefully crafted resolutions fall to the wayside…all but forgotten.
Even though I’m not a huge New Year’s resolution person, I believe it’s extremely important to honor transitions in our lives and the first of the year is a perfect time to reflect, reset and refuel.
I keep my New Year’s ritual simple because it’s easy to get overwhelmed which can undermine our best efforts.
As a depth psychotherapist, one who is focused on depth psychology, shadow work, integrating the unconscious, being mindful and conscious in every moment. . .it’s super important that we set ourselves up for success by honoring the turning of the wheel and ritualizing the huge threshold to a new year.
I shared my quick 4-step process on video and invite you to tune into the most important aspects of my New Year’s ritual here. You’ll learn:
While this is a simple and quick process, I invite you to take the time you need whether that’s 10 or 15 minutes or one to two hours.
You’ll want a notepad and something to write with so you can capture your thoughts.
You can close your eyes or keep them open if you prefer. Keep your feet on the ground if possible.
Begin with three deep breaths.
Take a moment to go all the way back to January 2020. In your mind’s eye walk your way through the winter of 2020, tuning in to observe what you were called toward, where you were called to rise up…
Maybe you had some big thresholds of initiation. Maybe you had some big victories, personally, at work with your family, with your health.
Move through the springtime, the summer and just observe.
Start by simply observing where you came from. Observe the victories.
Tune into the three things in the last year that made you proud.
Isolate one thing from your personal life (relationships, family, personal goals); one from your professional life (goal, aim, something that you wanted to create and follow through on); and something spiritual (in your inner world such as mindfulness, gratitude).
When you look back, what makes you feel appreciation, pride and gratitude? What accomplishment makes you feel satisfaction and contentment?
Identify three victories from 2020. Write these three things down in your journal. These are your wins from the past year.
One of the biggest challenges, when we move forward and begin to focus on the next year, is that we can easily and quickly forget about all the successes. It’s super important to take the time to integrate and own our successes.
If we don’t register our wins internally in our mind, body and hearts then we easily focus on what didn’t go right and what we didn’t get done. Our mind has a negativity bias. We actually have to take a little extra initiative to anchor into ourselves those wins.
Look back over the year and consider three things that you’d like to change from 2020 to 2021 in three areas: personal (relationships), professional (career), self-development/intrapersonal experience (spiritual).
As an example, in my personal life, I really want to be more present when I’m with my loved ones.
When you’re ready, open up your eyes and write down the three things you’d like to see shift in each of those areas—personal, professional and spiritual. These should be very tangible and specific.
Notice your breath as we go through this process. Keep yourself in a state of ease, calm and appreciation.
Again, close your eyes if you wish.
In this idea of like increases like and the opposite heals, when you look at those three things that you want to see shift from 2020 to 2021, what is one action step that you will commit to that is the opposite.
If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same result (like increases like).
Select one thing that you are tangibly committing to doing differently for each one of those that you just decided you want to change.
What is one tangible action step? Just one for each of those!
If we change one thing each year in your personal, professional and spiritual lives and really commit to that. . .it sets you up for success.
Back to my example about being more present with my loved ones. The tangible action step I will commit to is that I’m going to plan a regular date on Friday night with my partner. We’ll do something fun, explore our city and leave our phones in the car. This is one action step I’m committing to create more presence with my loved ones.
What is one tangible action for YOUR personal life? What is one action step for your professional/career life? What is one thing you can commit to doing in your inner life, spiritual life?
Write down three action steps that will create the shifts you want in the next year.
When you’re sitting here a year from now, what are the three core desired feelings that you want to create more of?
One of the feelings I want to create is more spaciousness and ease. More contentment and joy. I want to feel more abundant. Even more in control of my finances.
This comes from me taking action in that direction.
What are the feelings you want to embody? Write down three words for 2021.
Use those three words as a filter. If something doesn’t align with one of those three words you selected. . .then don’t do it.
When you use those three words as a filter, everything in your life becomes intentional. You set it up in a pyramid with your three words at the top and all your thoughts and actions filter down through them. What are you focused on? What do you want to create intentionally? What are the actions you’re willing to back it up with?
This is your simple, four-step process! It’s a very straightforward way to acknowledge your wins of the past year, to get clear about what you want to see shift, commit to those action steps and then codify it in those three words so that everything filters through that lens.
Please post your three words in the comments!
Sending you so much love as we transition to the new year!