How To: Do a New Year Ritual



Last night, my sister and I snuggled up on my bed to do our End of Year/New Year Ritual - reflecting on this year and setting our intentions for next year. We found it truly joyful and fascinating to acknowledge what we've have achieved, the areas of our lives that we have progressed in and the areas that have changed and noting our highlights and the blessings that we’ve had. 

I shared this little ritual with a friend and she felt inspired to have a go, so I thought I'd quickly write out this blog post in case you want to do something similar.


In the past you may have set New Year's Resolutions - goals to achieve, things to change about yourself, or things to get rid of. Before I explain what we did, I want to share this with you from my lovely friend Emma, about why New Year's Resolutions may not be the best way to see in the new year...

"The trouble is most New Year’s resolutions centre around giving something up, or making some drastic change in a bid to become happier, skinnier or more at peace with yourself. Further they are often unrealistic and work with willpower alone, thereby setting you up for a big fail when your willpower wavers, as it tends to do.

They also work from the basis that you are not ok just as you are, or that you are lacking in some way and merely serve to highlight your own dissatisfaction with yourself and your life. They simply provide you with yet another stick to beat yourself up with and that’s not really going to help you begin the New Year on a positive note."


It's true though isn't it? Perhaps that's where we've all been going wrong!

Instead, how about doing something much more positive and powerful?

If you fancy it, and if you think it would be beneficial to you (to have some sort of closure, to identify areas of your life that you want to improve or to simply enjoy looking back on the year), I really recommend doing some kind of End of Year ritual/practice, like we did tonight. As I mentioned above, this involves reflection but also setting intentions - positive, uplifting affirmations said in the present tense - about what you want to bring into the New Year. 

You may have your own ideas about how to do this, but if you're not sure and want some suggestions, this is what we did...

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Dim the lights, light a candle, put on some relaxing music (I recommend this playlist if you have Spotify), munch of some dark chocolate and sit on your bed or under a duvet or blanket and get comfy. *Add whatever else you want to get you in a reflective mood here*.

Then, grab a journal and pen!

We split this into two parts: Reflection (looking back on this year with awareness and gratitude) and Intention (what you want to bring into the new year). It's best to do your Reflection lists first, as by addressing and letting go of the old, we make room for the new.

We found it easiest to make bullet-pointed lists under the following headings, but you could write it in more of a diary entry/essay form if you prefer. Some headings/lists may overlap, and some might not feel right for you. If you have an idea for a new heading, make one! Go with what you're inspired by.

REFLECTION:

  • What I did well this year 
  • What I didn't do well this year 
  • What I made progress with this year 
  • Highlights of my year 
  • What I am grateful for this year
  • People who came into my life 
  • Anything that stops me being my best self (negative patterns, behaviours, tendencies) that I want to let go of/leave in 2017

INTENTION:
  • What I want to work on next year 
  • What I want to do less of 
  • What I want to do more of 
  • My intentions for the year (write them in present tense, e.g. I have enough money to live comfortably, I am forgiving, I am open-minded) 

Optional extra (actually, everything is optional, but if you don't have angel cards or the idea doesn't resonate with you, you can leave this part out. For us it was the best bit though!).

ANGEL CARDS

If you have a deck of angel cards, now's the chance to get them out. If not and you'd like to try this, you can buy some or download the Angel Answers app for free and do virtual ones!

How we worked with angel cards for the new year (if you're using the physical deck):

  • Be open-minded and open to answers
  • Shuffle the deck of cards
  • As you are shuffling, ask a question out loud or in your head (e.g. "What do I need to focus on in 2018?" or "What do I want to bring into the new year?")
  • Stop shuffling when you get the feeling to stop - you'll know when it feels right
  • Draw 3 cards, by either a) picking the top three from the pile b) seeing which ones jump out when shuffling or c) spreading them out and picking the ones that you are the most drawn to.
  • Read the explanation and additional readings (found on the card and in the book that comes in the box)
  • Write these down in journal under a separate heading.
  • (If you did this last year), reflect on last year's angel cards - have they been relevant this year? 

If you're using the app:

  • Click on the 'Browse Cards' button
  • Close your eyes and swipe from side to side to "shuffle" the cards
  • As you're "shuffling",  ask a question out loud or in your head (e.g. "What do I need to focus on in 2018?" or "What do I want to bring into the new year?")
  • Do this until you get the feeling to stop
  • Tap on the card that you've stopped on to reveal the card
  • Read the explanation and additional readings (found on the card and in the book that comes in the box)
  • Repeat this process with two more cards
  • Write these down in journal under a separate heading.
  • (If you did this last year), reflect on last year's angel cards - have they been relevant this year? 

Last night, we had a look back at our angel cards from this time last year and it was so interesting. For example, one of the cards Katie drew this time last year was 'Cleanse and Detoxify' . Last night, when she reflected on what this could have meant, she realised that this year she had given up shampoo and conditioner (chemicals) in favour of washing her hair with natural substances, started using natural skincare products, stopped taking any form of medication (hayfever tablets, inhalers etc.), she'd been consciously trying to produce less rubbish waste and she'd taken up a vegan diet. Do with that what you will, but we thought that was pretty awesome.

MEDITATION

We didn't do this part tonight, but I intend to do so sometime before midnight on New Year's Eve!

Ideas for a New Year's Meditation:

Dim the lights, light some candles, put on some music and sit or lie in a comfortable position covered by a blanket or duvet.
  • Meditate on your intentions for the New Year (if you've decided on them). Repeat them over and over. Say them in the present tense.
  • Ask aloud or in your head what your intentions for the New Year should be. What comes up for you? What do you think of? What are you visualising? What feelings arise? What words immediately spring to mind?
  • Reflection - What am I grateful for this year? Say thank you for each thing/person/situation/memory/lesson.
  • All of the above or anything you can think of!

Those are my suggestions for how you could say goodbye to this year and hello to the new year. But you could do anything you feel like doing! It's powerful stuff, the Law of Attraction. This time next year you will be able to look back on what you wrote and see what came up for you over the year and how this compares to your intentions and angel cards. 

I also really recommend reading Emma's blog post for more ideas (she also explains the benefits of setting intentions and how to do this).

I hope this has inspired you to at least do something! Happy reflecting and intention-setting and I wish you so much love and light in 2018 xx

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