I’m a big fan of setting goals and of reveling in the journey; of releasing all which doesn’t serve me and of taking on new projects; of making space and of filling my cup.
For me, creating balance is always part of making a shift.
The New Year is the time I’ve chosen (along with countless others) to indulge in these practices through ritual. Whether you simply write some resolutions on a scrap of paper or make grand gestures to manifest a brand new life of your dreams, it’s no matter. Any action taken toward your heart’s desire is a powerful and meaningful thing.
So I’m sharing my personal New Year’s ritual in the form of a mini-workshop, just in case you need some extra inspiration to get you started on sorting out what you want to manifest this year.
But just like I say in my annual New Year’s meditations, every day is yours to start brand new. Use my practice to start your new beginning on any day you’d like. I practice a different version of this activity on my birthday (my personal New Year’s Day).
I like to practice this ritual with a group or a partner (I share my list with my husband every year, and for the past few years, he’s created his own), but feel encouraged to make this a private event if you hold your dreams closer to your heart.
My ritual has been pieced together from more than a few sources, including my good friend Alexandra Jamieson, author of Women, Food, and Desire. I enjoy collecting new and inspiring questions all the time to add to the next year’s practice.
Warning: This ritual does require a little fire, so be safe!
[Part 1] Reflect on the Good: Answer each question by free-writing for 3 minutes.
▻ What did I do right this year?
▻ What are all the goals I accomplished?
▻ What were my most magical moments?
[Part 2] Examine & Imagine: Take your time to answer each question thoughtfully.
▻ Intentions: What do you want out of this year? (Focus on feelings and qualities rather than specific outcomes.)
▻ Concerns: What are you worries about this year? (You can include worries about yourself and others.)
▻ Boundaries: What are some things you’re sure you don’t want to do this year? (Focus on the ones you actually think you might be tempted to do.)
▻ Desires: If things were really going well, what would you love to have happen this year? (Keep this list aspirational and realistic rather than fantastical.)
[Part 3] Release by Fire: Create release statements for your fire ritual.
Write a list of 5 (or more) ideas, habits, or feelings you want to leave in the previous year. Start each statement with “I release”. Example: “I release the idea that I’m not worthy of a loving relationship.” Read each statement out loud before burning it in your fire.
If you’d like to keep your list as a reminder of what you want to let go (sometimes it’s hard to just shake it off), make a copy and keep it with your other lists.
[Part 4] Manifest: Write present tense “I am” statements about your goals.
An “I am” statement is a present tense statement that puts your success in the here and now. Example: “I am a best-selling author, talking about my book in the media and all over the world.” (I’m affirming that one like crazy.)
Make a list of 5 (or more) strong “I am” statements that feel so good that they might inspire a tiny smile when you say them out loud. (If they make you little nervous, even better!) If you are setting both professional and personal goals, create separate lists of 5 “I am” statements for each.
These statements will serve as affirmative mantras for you to repeat again and again throughout the year as reminders of where you’re heading. The more you say them, the more focused you’ll be on your goals. And when you stay focused on your goals, your thoughts, words, and actions will lend themselves to making your goals a reality. Bonus: When you speak your affirmative mantras out loud and in front of other people, you’ll start to attract the help you need to make your dreams come true.
[Part 5] Pick Your Word: Create a one-word manifestation tool.
Pick one word as a theme for the new year; one that expresses the spirit of all you want to manifest. Can’t think of a word? Look closely at your answers to Parts 2-4. Do you see a theme to your answers? Is there a quality you need to possess or a habit you need to develop to manifest a few or more of your desires? There’s your word!
My word for last year was discernment. With every opportunity, I reminded myself, “If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a no.” I forced myself to be mindful in all my decision-making.
Pick your word, print it out or draw it really big, and put it somewhere you can see it all the time. Heck, add some glitter and frame it. Manifesting is a huge friggin’ deal!
[Follow up] Keep your lists together in a place where you can access them often.
I keep my New Year’s release and resolution lists in my pink desk organizer, so I can grab them whenever I’m feeling unfocused or stuck. They’re always winking at me, right below my inspiration board and tucked in front of my Buddha Doodles Gratitude Journal.
For more talk on goals and manifesting a life you desire, join me in my private Facebook group here. There you’ll find thousands of loving, supportive people, all on a mission to live more mindfully. See you there!
PS – Have you tried my 4-Minute Workshop yet?
If you’re looking for a new tool to manage stress and anxiety, download my totally free 4-Minute Anxiety Workshop interactive workbook. You’ll also get info on my 21-Day Soul Cleanse, a total mind-body-soul cleanse created by me and a holistic nutritionist.