“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next years words await another voice” TS Eliot
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a restful and enjoyable festive holiday. For this month I wanted to focus on the potential opportunity, which a new year can bring.
Over the past few years I’ve developed a new fondness for New Year’s Day. I used to not pay any attention to the 1stJanuary (apart from a nursing a self induced hangover) but now I use this day for reflection, to wave goodbye to the year gone and welcome in the year ahead.
I feel it’s important to acknowledge the past year; our achievements, our growth as well as what we have learned and what challenged us. New Year’s is an opportunity to close the past twelve months so we can mindfully enter next year. New Year’s is a time for a fresh start. The 1stof January marks a clear and useful boundary between our past and future.
My own way of saying farewell to the past year is by clearing my pin board on 31 December. On this pin board I add various cards, tickets, photos etc. which I collect throughout the year. And so essentially this pin board holds my memories and experiences of the year and by mindfully removing them, I acknowledge each of them and clear space on my board for next year. Other ways of reviewing your year could be by re-reading your diary or calendar, or looking through the photos you took on your phone. So with 2018 given a decent send off, it’s time to focus on the year ahead.
Now I am not necessarily talking about the classic New Year resolutions. These are renowned for being unsuccessful. A recent survey showed only 12% of Britons kept to their resolutions, and 43% of people gave theirs up by the end of January. So I advocate for avoiding resolutions. The last thing we need to begin 2019 with, are failed resolutions to beat ourselves up with.
Instead of resolutions (e.g. lose weight, quit smoking etc.) how about creating a vision in our imagination of what our year ahead might be like. This can be done by a number of ways. One of my favourite is to create a vision board from pictures/slogans of magazines.
I was lucky enough to attend a workshop at the end of 2017 where I had the luxury of two days to create my own vision board for my future. I still have my vision board and I glance at it every day to remind me of my life goals. And oddly enough as we say farewell to 2018, I’ve realized that I’ve managed to manifest quite a bit of my vision board into reality already. It seems by creating a visual of my future and holding it in mind (via my daily glances), I have unconsciously added some parts of it into my life. There’s something magic about creating a vision for our future.
I would caveat that I ensured my vision board was pretty realistic. There was no winning the lottery, becoming famous or the world’s best therapist (alas). Instead there were images of meditation, laughing with friends, and words of hope and faith. I covered my board with lots of sparkly stars to remind me to keep playing and not to neglect my inner child.
If a vision board doesn’t quite sing to you, there are other ways to manifest your vision for your future. For example:
- Create a mental visualization of your vision, which you can regularly meditate on.
- Write a letter from your future self to your current self, which lays out your vision as if you’ve achieved it.
- Draw a picture of your vision
- Create a Pinterest board of your vision
- Write a list of things you want to achieve (a tad basic and not very creative, but if you like a list it might work better for you)
- Make an audio recording of your vision
- Author Susannah Conway has created a free workbook, which closes 2018 and welcomes 2019. It’s pretty long (at 60 pages) and detailed, so I would advise to pick and chose the parts, which resonate with you most to complete.
I hope the above has helped inspire to find your own way to say goodbye (and thank you) to 2018 and a proper hello to 2019. A New Year is a fantastic opportunity to introduce positive change into our lives no matter how small. Any change, which moves us further to where we want to be, is a move in the right direction. Happy New Year!
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash