My New Year Ritual: Reflect and Correct

ig-2017-new-yr-journal

Original IG post: @sikadee

Happy New Year! Wow, December was a busy month for me. Sorry, I’ve been MIA for a while but I’m happy to be back.

The end of the year and the beginning of a new year is always a reflective time for me. This year I was doing a lot of last-minute rushing around but I did finally get the chance to do what I like to call “my reflections and corrections” last Monday since offices were closed for New Year’s Day.

I’ve been doing this end of year ritual for a couple of years now and it’s really interesting to go back to old journals and read what I thought of past years and how I was going to approach the new one.

Last year was jam-packed with trials, travel, and changes so my reflections ended up being about 9 pages long. Luckily it was a rainy day outside so I had plenty of guiltless time to spend gathering my memories and learnings from 2016. I normally organize it by highlights and lowlights of the major buckets of my life (like health, friends, family, activities, professional, etc.) but last year was so all over the place that I kind of just did a brain dump – which was pretty therapeutic in addition to being reflective.

bye2016

I actually just now realized that I only wrote down highlights for the year and didn’t have any real lowlights that I was holding on to. This is HUGE for me. By no means was it a perfect year but the way I approached the harder obstacles for this year was way different than I would have in the past.

I used to be a horrible grudge holder. After someone did something that offended me or upset me in any way, I would decide to hold that against them forever. I’ve been working on forgiveness and didn’t really feel like I was gaining that much headway but it seems as though this HAS to be evidence that I’m making progress. I’ve been called dramatic before haha (who hasn’t?!) but maybe I’m starting to mellow out. 2015 was a tough year

I’ve talked about it in previous posts but 2015 was a tough year for me. Physically, spiritually, and emotionally. That year kind of kicked my butt then dragged me through the mud to add insult to injury. Looking back at it now it was kind of a purging year. I purged a lot of people that I believed would be around forever, I purged a lot of old ways of thinking, I purged levels of innocence and naiveté that I was holding on to – that year basically came to tell me “Hey little lady, you don’t know shit. Here. Let me show you. *proceeds to kick my butt left and right*” And it was right. I didn’t know shit.

At the end of 2015, I did my year-end ritual of reflections and actually wrote down a list of the horrible things that happened. I then ripped that page out of my journal and cut each thing out individually with the intention of ceremoniously forgiving them one by one and burning them once I was done. It was a cool idea but I ended up having half of those things sitting on my desk for the majority of 2016 because I simply wasn’t ready to forgive them.

I was holding on to the pain of those events figuratively and literally. It’s so symbolic to see your unhealthy mental patterns manifest themselves in your life physically. I had to let go. It wasn’t until the end of last year (I think right before my birthday in October?) that I finally just threw the remaining ones away. I needed to be free of those negative events whether I was “ready” or not.

So, that’s the long way of saying, I’ve grown a lot. Doing my reflections helped me to further acknowledge that. I am more at peace with the happenings of life and acknowledging my role in the things that happen to me. That is such an amazing development.

hi2017

After I did my full reflections (sans lowlights!), I wrote my affirmations and predictions for the year to come. I didn’t even mean to do this really. I just started writing out what I envisioned for the upcoming year and what I wanted to happen and it just turned out that I wrote them out as affirmations. These turned out to take up 5 pages in my journal and honestly they were mainly just continuations of things that I started in 2016.

Overall it took me 5 hours to do my reflections and corrections but it was SUCH a great use of time. I encourage you all to adopt this habit and see how much clarity it gives you when approaching your day to day life. I’m always an advocate for self-awareness.

While 2015 was my year of purging and it was painful, 2016 was my year of healing and it was so beautiful.

As corny as it sounds, it’s true. Today, I am so much more self-assured and trusting of myself than I was a year ago. I truly believe 2017 will be EVEN better.

I turn 25 in the fall. I’ve deemed it my Golden Year because I turn 25 on the 17th in 2017 (that has to mean something!). I’m looking forward to what I accomplish and how I will grow even more. My fave cousin (pretty much my soul sister) is always my buddy for yearly goal planning and we deemed this the “Get it done” year. I can’t wait to build amazing memories and reflect on all of it as it becomes time to prepare for 2018.

I wish you all amazing 2017s, full of growth, joy, and accomplishments beyond your wildest dreams. While it may not always be painless, I pray that it will be meaningful and propel you towards your greater good.

2017-the-adventure

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Do you have any end of year traditions that you do to prepare for the year to come? Or have you similarly noticed some positive changes in your life from the previous year that you’d like to celebrate? I’m curious to hear of your rituals and reasons for celebration in the comments!

(photo source: @lettersparrow)
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