An Intentional Start to the New Year
During a recent coaching call, I asked my client Marissa for permission to share some of her new year traditions. I loved the intentions behind each idea and knew many of you would as well. Below, Marissa shares those ideas. I encourage you to try one or all of them! Thank you Marissa sharing.
I used to feel all lot of pressure over celebrating New Year’s. Will I have a party to go to? What if I don’t have someone to share in a midnight kiss with? What can I bring to the party that everyone will enjoy? However, over the past few years, New Year’s has become one of my favorite holidays. It all changed because while I still celebrate socially with friends and family, I also make sure I set aside time to review the year that is ending and create intentions for the year about to start. This practice has changed my life and I wanted to share a few of the things I do with you.
The Jar of Limiting Beliefs - Starting in December I label an unused jar, “Limiting Beliefs”. I cut out scraps of paper and put them in the jar along with a pen. Each time I have a thought come through my head that is limiting in any way, I write it on a slip of paper, fold it up and throw it in the jar. These could be thoughts like, “I don’t have time to do things.” to “It’s too late for me to accomplish that.” Even if I’m questioning it, I write it down and put it in the jar.
Some time after Christmas, I pull out all of the slips of paper and ask myself the following questions (from Byon Katie’s Four Questions):
Is it true?
Can I absolutely know that it is true?
How do I react when I think that thought?
Who would I be without that thought?
Then I turn the thought around. For example, “I don’t have time to do things” becomes “I prioritize my time intentionally.” I write out my new thoughts on a post-it note and place it on the cover of my new journal for the year. These are the thoughts I want to bring with me into the new year.
The Year of the End Purge - My house is full of stuff. Most of this stuff I don’t need all of the time. At the end of the year, I make go through my closet, my bookcases, my kitchen - pretty much everywhere and get rid of what I don’t need. I have seen how doing so opens up space for new energy to come in, so the end of the year is a perfect time to let go of things I no longer need.
Social Media Unfollowing - This one is a new practice for me, but one I’ve found extremely helpful. I will go through my lists of people I follow on social media and if I am not getting something of value from that account, I will unfollow it. I have learned over the past year, that what I focus on expands so I want to be super disurning when it comes to where I put my attention. If I feel negative emotions when viewing the content of an account, I don’t need that account in my feed. If I find I miss an account, I can always add it back and do so intentionally.
Mind Map Goal Setting - My final practice for preparing for an intentional new year is to create goals in a mind map. I start by writing in the center, the year and a few words that capture what I want to experience that year. For 2018 I wrote, “receive ease”. Then I break it out into different areas of my life - career, money, relationships, health, community, fun - and think about how I want each of these areas to feel. (This year I am going to make these represent each area of the bagua.) For example, I want my health to feel vibrant and optimal. I sit with that feeling and then write at least three action items I want to do or accomplish that year that would make me feel vibrant and optimal. So staying with health, I wrote morning routine, run a 5k, love life, and mindful weight loss. I then continue with the other areas until I have a complete mind map.
I write this all on a white board and hang it where I can see it each day. I update the board throughout the year with what I have accomplished with a check mark. Throughout the year, I make adjustments in my space to support these goals I created at the start of the year. At the end of that year, I then copy that map into my journal and add in any other accomplishments in each area that I may have achieved that year. Then I start the whole process over again. This mind map is one of the most powerful goal setting exercises I’ve ever done. I put in a lot of time and intention at the beginning and then watch as my year unfolds accomplishing at least 70% of the map each year.
These are just a few ways in which I practice leaving things that no longer serve me in the year that was and setting aside time to intentionally create the year that will be. I look forward to this time of year and hope that now you will too! Here’s to our best years yet!