Rituals to Close Out the Year and Start a New One

new year

It’s easy for these last 10 days of the year to feel like just a swirl of stuff you get through until normal life resumes in early January. But these long nights are such a great chance to be still, think deep thoughts and take steps to make important and exciting new things happen. If you just keep moving from one event or errand to the next, you miss a big opportunity to course correct. Here are my favorite rituals to close out a year and start a new one:

Spend a day reflecting, planning and thinking big.

It’s one thing to want to do some year-end review and goal-setting for the new year, but if you don’t carve out a chunk of time for it, it’s not going to happen. I’ve signed up for one-day goal-setting workshops before to make sure I showed up and did the thinking (I’m not a natural planner and can get really resistant to the whole idea). This year I got inspired by this post by my colleague Rosie Molinary, A Summit of One and have marked in my calendar for Friday, January 13th. I’m going to go somewhere beautiful, perhaps the Athenaeum here in Providence, with my planner, notebooks, and a huge mug of tea, then take myself out to lunch later. I’m an introvert, so the thought of doing this alone makes me incredibly exciting, but you may want to get together with a couple of friends who are supportive of you and your dreams (no bad juju allowed).

If you’re more artsy you might like this cool Exploding Box and Year in Review project from Jennifer Lee, creator of the Right-Brain Business Plan.

My friend Judi Ketteler talks about setting work goals, life goals, and soul goals, which I love, she talks about that here.

Find the right planner.

There’s no one thing you can buy that is going to change your life and solve all your problems, but a good planner comes close. =)

I did a lot of searching for the planner that works the best for me last year and landed on the Passion Planner. (I’m not an affiliate for them, I just love their planners!) I’m sold. It gives plenty of space for you to plan your work and your life and built-in space for recording what goes right, looking back at each month and planning out the year ahead. I get the smaller one so it can fit in my purse.

Do a New Year’s ritual.

Last year I did 108 sun salutations on New Year’s Day, which I wrote about here.

It was the first time I’d ever done this particular ritual and I have to say, I did have a very different year. I broke my income goal by Halloween, lost 10 pounds, and started working with some very big-name ghostwriting clients. We also got a dog. You could give yourself a card reading with your favorite deck of cards (whether it’s tarot or something like Caroline Myss’ archetype cards. There are plenty of folks who can do the readings for you, I love Meredith Mendes here in Providence, she does readings for you over email for $40. (If you reach out to her, tell her I sent you!)

I also never start a year without fixing big pots of collard greens (for money) and black–eyed peas (for luck), which is a Southern tradition that I got into when I lived in Alabama growing up. Just typing that sentence about it is making me really hungry for some Hoppin’ John.

Start How You Aim to Continue

Whatever you want to do more of in 2017, do at least some of it on New Year’s Day. If you want to be in better shape, go for a walk. If you want to be calmer, meditate or journal. If you want to meet new people, get out and circulate. If you want a deeper relationship, invite your partner to do something. My point is, put your money where you’re mouth is and show the universe what you want by doing it to whatever extent that you can.

What about you? I’d LOVE to hear what you do to say goodbye to one year and start the next one fresh. Share your rituals with me below. Thanks!

I’m taking next week off from the newsletter. I hope you have a fun and fulfilling holiday break! Sending you peace from Rhode Island.


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