This time of year you see many posts, articles and blogs about reflecting, letting go and releasing the year that was and setting resolutions or intentions for the New Year ahead. It’s easy to get confused by all these ideas, processes and rituals to choose from and for a recovering perfectionist like myself makes the process ten times harder and a lot more complicated than it needs to be! I’m certainly a big believer in revisiting the year that was, what you’ve learnt, achieved or maybe what you would like to do better and using that as a basis to also recognise acknowledge and honour myself for those achievements or growth or just to give myself a big pat on the back because of how far I’ve come!
The New Year has never really been a party time for me because I’ve always loved the simplicity of viewing it as a fresh start, the opportunity to think about how to create my life differently or define a new vision of my life. Some years this has been easier than others and quite frankly there have been many when I was feeling so dark that it was more about getting through the next year than achieving, growing or creating. Whatever it looks like is exactly how it’s meant to be so don’t get caught up in thinking it needs to be an earth shattering goal setting session with 20 odd goals or intentions. You might find that simply one goal is enough for you at this stage of your path. And that is perfectly ok!
Remember you are enough just as you are and try not to get caught up in comparing yourself to others, particularly when we have access to social media that can cause us to draw comparison good, bad or otherwise! But I wanted to share my little ‘ritual’ with you as I’ve created a simple 3 question starting point and you can make it as big or small as you like but from my experience it’s all you need to give yourself the opportunity to learn from the past, what to focus on for the next and what to be open to over the next year. That way it’s not overwhelming or complicated and a great starting point if you are new to reviewing and intention setting. I also find that keeping your goals, intentions or ‘resolutions’ to a smaller number makes them less overwhelming, easier to plan action steps and therefore easier to actually achieve rather than forgetting about by the end of January! Once you have sat with these questions and reviewed what is important to you or a priority for the coming year, it is at this point you can choose your ‘intention’ for the coming year or if you feel more intuitively guided I would sit with your reflections in meditation and see what word comes to you. Don’t forget to honour yourself and where you have come from and take this time to really be in the present moment as well. It’s easy to always be looking forward and while this is useful to see the big picture and work on action steps to achieving your dreams. You mustn’t lose sight of the importance of being in the present moment and giving yourself time to just ‘be’ exactly where you are today! So you might like to have your journal or notepad with you as you follow this process. Firstly I start with reflecting on the year, not for too long...I try to stick to 10 mins or so...but just a recap of each month what was great and maybe anything that wasn’t so great or was challenging. Try to be objective here as you review your year and don't get overly caught up in the emotion of it or get dragged back into reliving it too much. You might like to jot these down in your journal as it’s about now you start to see just how much you really achieved or got through and you didn’t even realise. It’s surprising how hard we are on ourselves and don’t celebrate enough of the little wins, rather we are quick to push the expectation bar up higher and push ourselves to the next target or goal! Just sit with this feeling now, maybe put your hands over your heart and honour yourself...the year and allow yourself to take a few really deep breaths in and out, allow yourself to embrace that journey and the person you are right now today. Pat him or her on the back!! Then I want you to write down these three questions in your journal and take time to think/feel into the answers.
What do I need to let go of from 2018?
What do I need to be more open to in 2019?
What should I focus on in 2019?
I also use an oracle card deck during this process as I find it’s incredibly accurate and also a bit of fun! This year I randomly used three decks I happened to have at my desk and pulled three cards from each while asking each of the three questions.
Have some fun with this part, it doesn’t have to be serious...think playfully and dream big! Draw your answers if you prefer a more visual creative look to your answers. Just do whatever feels good to you! Don’t get hung up on doing it ‘correctly’ or ‘perfectly’ as I’ve learn't this is such an individual process....it’s your journey…your life so do whatever resonates with you as you step into this space of reflection, intention and creation. Once you have finished the questions you might like to sit in meditation again and feel into one particular word, symbol, animal or whatever image it might be that holds your intention for the whole year ahead. Funnily enough for 2019 I had three words come forward and as I write this I realise the number 3 has featured heavily for me and 2019 also is a 3…..some synchronicity there!
My words are Intention, Creativity and Peace. They all relate so aptly to the focus of my next area of self-awareness which is to be more conscious of my thoughts, as we know our thoughts create our reality and I know that I have some work to do on keeping my thoughts, my intentions, as positive as possible! And also to maintain that inner peace even when there is chaos and stress swirling around me and to focus on exploring my creativity side and writing more! When I have my word/s or symbol I like to make a visual image so that I have that as a reminder. It might just be the word written on post it notes around my house or a colourful drawing or a make a digital screensaver for my phone and laptop. The sky’s the limit here on how you do this; let your creativity and your imagination shine!
I find this process works equally as well if you choose to do it at the end of each Month or at Full or New Moon time. It’s a great opportunity to check in with yourself regularly, especially if you prefer to make mini goals and keep focused on the progress of your intentions and to keep expanding your goals. It allows for you to then get more creative or engaged with the process once you get the hang of it or as your mindset grows. Give it a go and see how it works for you! As always follow your own intuition and do what feels right for you, so you might want to tweak this in a way that works for you. But if you do give it a go I would love to hear how you find it so get in touch! Sending you love and light for 2019 and beyond, may this be the year you start living the life of your dreams!