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It’s December 31.  It can be common to think about how to celebrate the coming of the new year at midnight or creating new years resolutions to start the new year off to a clean slate as you say goodbye to the old year.  Have you ever taken time to really reflect on the year that you’re leaving behind in a mindful way, almost as if you’re creating a ritual to release the old and make room for the new?  It can be very healing to do this!  If you can allow yourself some uninterrupted, quiet time to do this, that is ideal!  Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Journaling:   Take some time to write out some of the happy, important, or life changing moments that happened this year, whether they are big or small.  If you make journaling a regular practice throughout the year, it can also be helpful to take time to reflect on what you wrote over the past year and even write out a summary for yourself.

  2.  Gratitude writing:  Take some time to write out what you are grateful for that has happened over the past year and why.  As you reflect on both happy moments and struggles, what helps you to be grateful about the experience?  It can feel easier to be grateful about happy moments, but so powerful to identify gratitude for struggles.  For example, did you experience a heartbreak that pushed you to focus on self love or rediscovering yourself again?  Did you lose your job but it created space for you to find more ways to pursue things you are passionate about?

  3. What have you learned:  As you reflect on the year, ask yourself what you have learned and how the experiences have been helpful for you, rather than “why did this happen to me?”  It can be helpful to write this out.

  4. Make a list:  Create a list of what you would like to leave behind with the old year and what you would like to bring in for the new year.  You can create 2 columns and title them “leaving behind” or “letting go of” and “bringing in” or whatever titles feel good for you!  Maybe you found yourself struggling with anxiety and you want to leave that behind but want to bring peace or inner happiness into the new year.  Perhaps you struggled with loneliness and want to leave that behind and want to bring in self love or love in general, or struggled with lack of fulfillment and want to bring in inner joy, or struggled with clutter (whether physical or mental) and want to bring in clarity and relaxation.  Take some time to really reflect on what this means for you.

  5. Meditate:  Take some quiet time to connect with your heartspace, connect with God, source, the universe, whatever resonates with you, and focus on your breath as you find peace in the moment.

  6. Mindfulness goals for the new year:  Someone recently shared with me a project they completed in an undergraduate philosophy class on “way of life.”  It included daily meditation, daily gratitude writing, reading 10 pages of something inspiring each day, and giving up social media for a week.  What habits or routines would you like to create in your life to help you feel more at peace, more in the moment, and more grounded or centered? What are feel good things you “get to do” rather than feel you “have to do”?  You can start off with committing to a week, like the class did, but see if it’s something you can integrate into a new way of life for you, to be practiced each day!

Enjoy your time reflecting on releasing the old and bringing in the new!  Have a wonderful new year!

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