If you know me well then you will know that I do not put much store into goal setting as an annual activity at the end of the calendar year.
However I am very into rituals as part of life and was very taken with one idea which is to visualise what you would say to your closest friends if they were round for dinner on 31 December about your achievements and setbacks over the previous twelve months. It is a great way to focus the mind. Below is another exercise that have used myself and also shared with clients. I invite you to consider it as preparation for the New Year which could be 1 January, or Chinese New Year or in line with the seasons so here in the UK the official start of Spring is 21 March. Take whatever date works best for you.
The day before the new start perhaps tomorrow for some, set aside some time alone [alternatively perform the act with someone who you can share stuff with easily] and tune into what you want to see in the next year.
Follow these steps:
1. Create a space for yourself. The ritual element gives the act more meaning and energy. So light that candle, say a prayer, take deep breaths, burn incense, add in some appropriate music [I can recommend anything by Deva Premal].
2. Say goodbye to 2010 properly. Take out a sheet of paper, and begin writing all that you are ready to let go of from the last 12 months and even prior to it, all of those things that you recognize have served their purpose and are no longer needed in your life. By “properly”, what I mean is that there is a way of letting go. So, rather than saying “I’m so done with that” with an edge of regret or disdain, shift your energy to being grateful for the presence of this thing in your life, and the acceptance that it was there for a reason and there was a gift in it. This can be harder than it seems but is so worth it if you can see what it has given you.
3. Letting go. In a safe way, burn the piece of paper, and as you do so give thanks to God, the Universe or whomever it is you appeal to with such things.
4. Celebrate! When you are finished, it is so important to celebrate. Not only does it lock in the experience, but it is an acknowledgment of this loving, important thing you just did for yourself. Celebrating can happen in many different ways: maybe pouring a glass of fizz; or eating some dark chocolate; perhaps taking a luxurious bubble bath; or eating a slap up meal with a loved one.
5. Invite in the new. On the first day of your New Year, or as close to it as you can get, take some time to tune into and get clear on all that you would like to invite into your life for the next 12 months. Again, create your space and take out a sheet of paper writing out your intentions: what you would like to see show up, both externally i.e material things and internally. This can be done as a list, a letter to yourself, a drawing, whatever works for you. When you are finished, seal it in an envelope and keep it somewhere safe that you woll remember to take out and read in 12 months (it helps to mark a reminder on your calendar).
6. Act as if it has happened and walk your talk. Don’t simply sit back and wait for these things to show up. In the days, weeks and months that follow, consciously choose to think, speak and act in accordance with the intentions you set. Dare I say it, set some goals and milestones, hire a coach to inspire you and help keep you on track, enlist a good friend to help hold you accountable. All of these things help sustain the energetic path you have created.