I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions….promises I will inevitably break, that end up being more harmful than helpful!
However there is still something special for me about the start of the New Year.
I want to mark and recognise it as important in some way, and I do see it as an opportunity to focus my energy and intention in a new direction.
A time to take stock and process what I have experienced in the past twelve months.
A time for letting go, saying goodbye, mourning, celebrating my achievements and contributions, gratitude for my many blessings and appreciating the amazing people that enrich my life.
Its also a time for noticing how many things I thought were unmanageable, unbearable or just plain horrid, that have in fact turned out to be more than I could have possibly hoped for. Another chance for me to see how well the universe has my back!
As well as looking back, I want to start the New Year with an intention to show up, be seen and consciously create the life I want to live. So here I share with you my 11 step process for setting off with your best foot forward! You will need at least one hour of your precious time, some paper and pens (coloured ones if possible), a way to play music and a comfortable space which you can declare as sacred for the duration of the process.
New Year Intention Setting
- Review the past year – Take some time to remember your year. Go through month by month making a note of what you experienced, the key events, highlights and lowlights. It doesn’t have to capture everything that happened, just note down what stands out for you.
- Notice what feelings come up for you now as you remember these things. Are you in touch with any unmet needs? – If so, take a moment to mourn what you would have liked to have been different and be with yourself in compassionate awareness.
- Say a prayer / offer a sincere wish to the universe for the well-being and happiness of anyone who your heart has closed off to in the past 12 months – This can be a tricky one! Is there anyone you feel angry or resentful towards? Take a moment to wish them well and set yourself free. A Loving Kindness Meditation can be helpful here or you can just say to yourself: May they be well. May they feel safe and secure. May they feel loved and cared for. Take an extra moment to wish this for yourself too.
- Notice and express any gratitude for your experiences or people who have supported you over the last 12 months – Celebrate by dancing, singing or by sharing with someone what you are grateful for. This is a good moment to play one of my favourite songs! Grateful: A love song to the world
- Notice what you would like to let go of as you step into a new year– What thoughts, behaviors, beliefs or relationships no longer serve you? What have you been clinging to that is actually not aligned with who you are or your purpose? Awareness is the first step to making any powerful change and just intending and connecting to the willingness to let it go can be the start of a new perspective.
- Ask yourself what you want to experience more of as you step into the New Year –Are there places in your life you want to let yourself be seen or show up differently? What is calling you to transform or create? Is there something you would do if only you had enough time or money? If only you were thin enough, clever enough, brave enough? What is your hearts desire?
- How do you want to feel in your body in the next year? Take a moment and let yourself really feel what your body is longing for. Is it lightness, bliss, ease, freedom? Do you long to feel strong, alive like a goddess? Let these delicious sensations sink into your bones!
- How do you want to feel in your relationships? – Friends, partner, family etc. Connected? Warm? Authentic?If your relationships were all fully satisfying, how would it feel?
- How do you want to feel in relation to your work or contribution to your community? What would make life really wonderful for you in this area of your life? Imagine how you would like to feel when doing your work or making your contribution…Inspired, appreciated, grateful, energised?
- Set some intentions AND find some practices that support you in living these intentions. – Pick your top three and visualize yourself doing these things. Add in lots of detail – colour, sound, texture, smell. Feel what is alive in your body as you imagine yourself doing these things. Is it joyful? If not check your intention and practice, and see if it needs changing. Find an intention and a practice that spark energy and joy in you.
- Finally, find a way to anchor this experience –Is there an image that comes to mind? Print it out or make it a screen saver on your phone or computer. A piece of music? Find it and play it. Make it a ring tone on your phone or the song that wakes you in the morning. Do you want to make a vision board or draw a picture? Do it! And put it up somewhere you will see it everyday!
Bonus gift! My favourite practices for living my intentions. Remember – Practices are something we DO, not something we think about!
- Meditation. Always at the top of the list. Just 10 minutes per day of mindfulness practice can make a big difference. If you want help starting, try Headspace which has a free App and is also available online.
- There are lots of studies showing the health (both physical and emotional) benefits of journaling. I write down my thoughts, feelings, hurts, disappointments, fears, as well as all my ideas, hopes, desires, celebrations and gratitude. Gratitude diaries are really marvelous things, but the parts of you that are afraid to be joyful also need to be heard. Write it all out and breathe in the peace!
- Creative expression – drawing, painting, collage, vision boards. I have watercolours and lots of coloured pens on my desk so I can get some serious doodling in whenever I feel like it. You can download some fabulous colouring in for grown ups here or some mandalas here.
- Dance to one song everyday. Easy!
- Gratitude practices – Try writing three per day, or joining a Facebook or email gratitude circle. Can’t find one? Start one yourself.
- Desire Map – Affiliate Disclosure – if you buy the Desire Map through clicking this link I receive a commission.
- Walking meditation – Plan a daily walk into your diary and use the time to be mindfully present with your body, your breath, your feet on the ground. Breath deep.
- Remember you have a body – Set a mindfulness bell or alarm to go off at several intervals throughout the day. Use the bell as a reminder to connect with your body. Notice your feet, arms, belly. Gives thanks to your legs for carrying you around, your hands for holding the pen, your neck for holding your head!
- Build community – look for groups to join, start a weekly potluck, women’s or men’s circle.
- Permission Slips – what do you need to give yourself permission for so you can show up and be seen? Check this space for news of my Daring Way™ workshops based on the research of Brené Brown
- Mindful Eating – Choose a meal every day, or at least once a week to eat mindfully. This year I have enjoyed reading both Thich Nhat Hanh’s, How to Eat and Geneen Roth’s Women, Food and God.
- Taking in the good – Rick Hanson’s clear and transformative process for balancing out our brain’s negativity bias. I am including two links one is a step by step process and the other is a podcast.
I wish you an abundance of joy, peace and connection as you step into the New Year. May you be well.