Do you want to run clear away from 2017 and jump right into the New Year?
Guide yourself through a reflection of the past year, blessing and releasing 2017, and setting intentions for the year ahead with a few mindful questions. Grab your journal and get cozy!
Like many, I use the week between Christmas and New Year’s to reflect on the past year and plan out the year ahead. This includes reading my journals from the past year. These journals are sometimes hard to face (there is weeping and gnashing of teeth!) and it feels most important that I do it. For me, if I didn’t clear that junk out, I’d carry it with me the whole year ahead, forever. I need the space during this time of year to clear out the past year’s baggage, so that I am lighter and more powerful in the upcoming year. Facing who I was a year ago and looking in the eyes of what the past year brought, gives me courage to know that I can face anything the year ahead brings. It’s hard to see it in the worries of the day (which scream out in my journal like a broken record). Looking at a year’s worth of worries always leads to me to say - hey, what was that about? I am still here! And big things happened. This process always helps me reconnect with the wonder and magic of life.
And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.
-Rainer Maria Rilke
Setting the Stage
Looking back on the past year will most likely not be easy. There might be a lot of rough stuff to look back on, not many changes or way to many changes! I invite you to bring it! Let yourself feel into it. Create space for all the feels and give yourself some time for this process. It is worth it.
Look back on the past year. This could be looking back on your journals, or a calendar and thinking back to what you where up to throughout the year. Once again this year as I reread my journals, I was shocked by everything that happened. (That all happened this year, what???) It is a little like a communion with my past-self. I think both, “Oh no, lady, you don’t know what you are in for!!!” and “It will be ok, so much has settled in massively better than it was before.” It is weird to have both thoughts hopping about simultaneously and that is the exquisite mystery of life. Chances are some disparate thoughts will show up, let them coexist in your writing and reflection. Let it be.
What "mistakes" did you make? When did you fall down and stay down? When did you fall down and get back up?
What gifts have this year given you? (Remember to look for areas of growth and transformation in addition to tangible results.)
What did you create in 2017?
If 2017 could be summed up in 3 words, what would they be?
What message would you give to yourself a year ago?
Now you have the opportunity to clear out the energy from the past year. Take time to write everything you would like to let go of and release from 2017. It can be especially healing to write whatever you’d like to release on paper and burn it up in a little fire ceremony. This can be as simple as writing what you are letting go of, blessing it, and releasing it by throwing it into the flames.
What can you forgive yourself for?
What can you forgive others for?
What are you letting go of from last year?
When you forgive, you in no way change the past - but you sure do change the future.
Setting intentions invites an alignment of our hearts, mind and action. It carries with it the knowledge that we are already whole and there is nothing to fix. Every action we take during the year to align more closely with that Intention is a blessing and a gift we give to ourselves. Each time we remember our Intention can bring us back to breath, to ourselves and lift us up.
Here is why I am all about setting Intentions instead of New Year's Resolutions. Sadly, New Year’s Resolutions often look like things we feel we should be doing to fix something that’s wrong with us. When they aren’t fulfilled 100%, they are used as a tool for beating ourselves up with. Resolutions are also usually coming from a scarcity mindset (what you don’t have or can’t do), versus an abundance mindset (you are whole and are fulfilling your heart’s desire). To shift this, think of what you’d like to invite more of in your life.
The best New Year's Resolution ever was that of my friend Karla Archambeault: “More Hots Tubs”. She did in fact create a year with significantly more time in hot tubs. That is what I call a brilliant Resolution! I prefer to think of Intentions, rather than Resolutions, for the New Year.
Now, think big picture- what do you want more of in your life? Grace, spirit, love, health, joy? What intentions does your heart feel called to? Write those down. Then take a moment to envision what that would look like in your daily life. If you want more wisdom, does that look like more time in libraries or listening to podcasts? If you want health, does that mean going to the Farmer’s Market and getting more massages? If you want joy, does that mean creating a weekly gathering with friends or listening to more music?
What intentions does your heart feel called to?
If you could pick 3 words to guide your upcoming year, what would they be?
What actions would align with your attention in real-life ways?
What do you want your life to look like a year from now, December 31, 2018? Use the questions below to guide you towards bringing that to fruition.
What would you like your life to look like 12 months from now?
To manifest that in 2018, what will your life look like 9 months from now? How about 6 months and 3 months?
What will you create in the next month to move closer to your vision for the year aead?
What will you put in place to remind yourself of your vision for the year? (I.e. A Vision Board or Collage in a place you look every day? An accountability partnership with a friend or life coach? A plan to journal daily or weekly?)
Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow's reality.
Elizabeth Hill is the founder of Green Heart Living and author of "Green Your Heart, Green Your World". To learn more about Elizabeth and her work, go to www.greenheartliving.net