By Catherine Anesi, LCSW, RM
2020! Wow, what a year!!! (Yes, one that deserves three exclamation points, at least.)
It has been challenging … at best! A world pandemic, a politically divided country, and most of us have had to regroup and change the way we do business and run our families. It is safe to say that most people are feeling ungrounded and insecure about the future. And what a perfect time this is to take stock before we ring in the new year.
Every year for at least the last 20 years, I have had a personal tradition of reviewing the
previous year before entering the next. I set aside an evening before the new year arrives to journal. I create a space that is comfortable, quiet, and conducive to reflection. I light a candle or a fire, and some years I have invited one or two special people to share the evening with me. I journal on what has happened during the past year. ALL of it – things that I intended to accomplish, things that I actually created intentionally, things that happened that I didn’t intend or expect, and things that happened that I expected. I journal on the miracles, the losses, and the joys. I allow all the events and experiences that I am feeling angry, ashamed, or sad about to surface and I intentionally surrender them and let go. I let go of things I need to forgive myself or others for. I relive the moments of joy and happiness, and I write down the events, things, and people I am truly grateful for. I feel cleansed and clear when I am done. Then I begin to think about and journal my dreams and intentions for the year ahead.
Three-step Process for Creating an Incredible New Year:
Let Go of Any Unfinished Business from 2020. Forgive yourself and others. You will feel lighter after unburdening yourself from the past.
Make a List of All that You Are Grateful for from 2020. Actually re-live the wonderful feelings that you experience when living in gratitude.
Think About What You Want for 2021 and Write it Down. Be as specific as you can be. Don’t be shy – Think BIG! What have you got to lose? You will feel wonderful and excited about the new year coming.
2020 was not what we expected, but we have made it! We have been challenged and have had to stretch ourselves to new limits. Congratulations! Now let’s begin 2021 with a clean slate and think BIG to create an incredible new year!