Why you should give New Year more attention than Christmas

When I say we should mark New Years Eve with more gusto than Christmas; I’m not talking about quaffing cocktails at ticketed events that lose their shine as soon as midnight strikes.  I know at least a few people who are glad that Covid has put a stop on that this year!

What I’m talking about is the simple reliable ritual of the turning of a new year. 

The phrase ‘New Year, New You’ is a little hackneyed… I’m not advocating waking up on 1 Jan and vowing to become a better, more confident and slimmer person from this day forth.  Yet, you are not the same person you were on new year’s day 2020. 

A LOT has happened this year.  And also maybe nothing at all with months of the same old working from home, not having fun, not seeing friends and family, not holidaying.  No-one could have predicted that those early rumblings of a virus in Wuhan would give us the year we’ve had.

It’s so easy to look back and wonder if there’s much point getting intentional about the year ahead.  We tried turning Covid into an opportunity in lockdown 1 when everyone took up break making and learned a new skill; it’s wearing a bit thin now.

But we easily overlook all the good things that did happen.  The things we did learn.  The relationships that strengthened.  The action we took despite all of it.  The things and people we’ve learnt to appreciate so much more.  And how we can appreciate ourselves so much more for having navigated it and come out mostly sane!

A few years ago I started to make a ‘Year List’.  A list of things I wanted to do in the new year.  To start with it was about holidays, events and experiences.  Over the years it’s grown to include things that grow me as a person.  Things that challenge me to be more me!

I love compiling this list.  It feels more like a ‘present’ to myself than any token Christmas gift.  How indulgent.  To really think about what you want to bring into your life and how you want to grow through experience.

But… some things would never make it off the list.  They would roll over to the next year, and the next year.  As they did they started to become even more unattainable.  There was an inevitably that I would never get to them.  That I would continue to fail.  And that felt pretty disempowering.

I needed more than a list!

I started to pull ideas together from different sources.  How could I really leave behind the challenges of the year just gone?  How could I shift whatever in me had stopped me doing what I wanted last year and the year before that.  How could I get so much energy and faith in what I wanted to create for myself that my doubts and fears would collapse.

My New Year Ritual was born.

This ritual is so good I can’t wait to get Christmas out of the way so I can really focus my attention on New Year.  I look forward to it so much! 

Here are the 7 steps

  1. I review EVERYTHING that happened in the year just gone. The good, the bad.  The stuff that was out of my control and what was in my control.  The things I achieved.  The things or people I lost.  Everything I gained.
  2. I look back at the ‘bad’ stuff and consider what I learned. What and who I should forgive – often myself.  And I let it go.
  3. I look back at all the ‘good stuff’ and consider what must be true about me for these things to have come my way. I give gratitude and ‘bank’ the skills, learning and energy.
  4. I then let myself dream. Really dream.  What do I want in life this year?  I consider all aspects of my life.  Visualising my best possible year.
  5. I consider what might stop me. The external conditions.  But more importantly the secret fears.  I give those fears space, understand how they’re trying to protect me then redirect them.
  6. I plan. I consider what steps I need to take in January for something to happen in July.  I consider the ‘means’ goals that will enable my ‘end’ goals.  I commit to action
  7. Finally, I consider WHO I am in the year to come. I’m not who I was.  I am the person who deserves and loves the year I’m now living.

This…. is why I love New Year.  What better present to give to yourself than a life you cherish and want to wake up in every day.

This ritual has served me well.  I’ve run a marathon, set up a business, learnt new skills, become part of and grown communities and built the most amazing friendships.  I’ve also let go of a lot of stuff that wasn’t mine and no longer met with my vision.

It’s the reason why, despite all its challenges, 2020 was actually a good year!

So, what would you let go of?  What do you dream of? Who do you want to become?

If you’re ready to give New Year and 2021 your full attention, you can join me for the 2020/21 New Year Ritual.  Over 7 days I guide you through the 7 steps live on Facebook.  Interested? 

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