In my last post, I shared a few tricks I use to maintain my inner peace. Today, I want to share a ritual I like to practice during the holidays, as I prepare to transition to the year ahead.
You see, the New Year also brings my birthday. So, right after the holidays, I celebrate another year of being alive and I set my sights to the year ahead.
In this post I’m going to share this method that helps me prepare for the year ahead.
1 - Take some time to decompress.
I take a break from work and people, and find times of solitude, even in little chunks, to allow myself to just be. No expectations, no pressure. No negative self-talk. Take out the words should / should not, need to, must / must not. Instead, I listen to my body. Maybe a nap or some sun and a walk is in order. Read a book. Have that hot chocolate.
Once you’ve given yourself enough time to decompress, you will feel it in your body, as you begin to feel like yourself again. If you feel like “ah, I don’t want to start doing stuff just yet” listen to that. It probably means you need a bit more time to allow yourself to decompress. So, don’t rush it. Allow yourself to just be. It’s amazing and this is an incredibly productive process. Trust the process!
2 - Put the past year into perspective.
When you have sufficiently decompressed, you will begin to feel like you are ready to do some introspection. Here are some prompts I use to help me with this:
A list of things that I’m proud of, make/made me happy, things I feel in love with, moments that brought me joy. Start with the things that make me smile when I think about it.
A list of aspects that I am grateful for in 2022. This helps me tap into the best part of myself.
Now that we have started on a positive note, we can begin to peel off some layers. **note - pay attention to the language of these prompts. Note how I don’t use judgmental language or frame it negatively. I love myself, I value myself and, therefore, I want to treat myself the best way possible. Negative language does not help me with that. I chose to use positive and empowering language, instead.
What are some of the challenges that I faced?
How did I face them?
What are some ways that I can face these challenges better next time?
What are some things I wanted to complete this year but didn’t get to it?
(being very gentle with myself) Why didn’t I compete these? (Again - please hold back the judgment, because it serves no purpose.)
Did I not complete it because maybe it doesn’t align with my core values that I have been actively practicing? (Analyze, not judge. Analysis looks at facts, not emotions. Judgment is emotion driven and tends to ignore facts)
3 - Release some aspects in your life that no longer support you being the best version of yourself. Now that you have put the past year into perspective a bit, look at what you need to release that is no longer helping you be the best version of yourself. Sometimes it means letting go of people, projects, and behaviors, and sometimes it means better boundaries for yourself. Understanding what serves you and what doesn’t is fundamentally important for your inner fulfillment.
To quote Marie Kondo, the queen of decluttering physical spaces, “The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one's hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”
We are going to take a page from her wisdom and declutter our minds. We are going to ask ourselves “Does this person/ thing/ project/ activity spark joy?” If the answer is no, release it.
These three steps have been a time tested method for me in the past decade. It has helped me reconcile the past year, find closure and be at peace, and set off to the new year with the kind of energy that I like.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Wonderful 2023!
With much gratitude,
PS: If you want to start off 2023 with balanced energy & renewed motivation, I invite you to visit the Mind Spa for a session. For a first-time customer, I recommend booking a 60 min Mind Spa Experience ($89) or if you are a returning client, book a 90 min Mind Spa Experience ($139). Book here