New Year’s Rituals

I have a month-long New Year’s Resolution process that most who hear about it think sounds insanely complex and taken far too seriously. It includes reading journal entries to find trend lines from the past into the present. It includes participating in and sitting with the Quest.

It encompasses a few hours of looking back on the previous year like a project post-mortem, and then looking ahead at what I want to accomplish in the year ahead.

2016 Rocked. Just not the way I expected it to. 

When I set out into 2016, I wasn’t sure who I was or what I was about. I joke that I’m very good at being spontaneous as long as it’s on my to do list.  In 2016, spontaneity was my entire to do list. With the guiding principles of following my heart and truly helping others, I set out on an exploratory mission. I intended to do rock-themed adventures along the way to keep things light and fun.

Among the anticipated rocks in my path, I did go to rock camp. The Adventuresons made it to the Rockies. I even visited a prehistoric mound of rocks in the shape of an eagle.  But it wasn’t all rock ‘n’ roll.


Sometimes we are rocked by news or information that shakes our world. We are rocked back. Knocked over. Five people in my immediate circles died in 2016. Many of them family. Some of them young.  I have no fewer than 4 coworkers who lost a parent in 2016. News and realizations from so many places in my life shook everything I believed to be true to the ground.

When you’re hiking, a rock in the path can twist and ankle, or require going over or around. 2016 set a few of those obstacles on my heart’s path.

Of course, rocks can also be the bedrock beneath the surface. I didn’t see it. I didn’t know about it. I definitely landed on it. I set some foundations in 2016 that I didn’t know were possible. Had some realizations about myself and my world that I needed to have.  Hitting “rock bottom” is not fun. But it’s sometimes necessary, and it can be good.

Creating and Holding Space in 2017

Just like I’ve done for the past 2 years, I’m going to set my goals for the first three months of the year, and reassess them in March.  This allows for fluidity and adjustments with new circumstances.

I looked at the place where all of my 2017 Quest prompts intersected and landed on a delightful and powerful paradox.  All of my Questing led me to the value of creating and holding healthy boundaries. Through boundaries, I can be more free. By holding boundaries, I can create space for new ideas.

With boundaries on my own space and time, I give myself room to create, and room to speak up.  With boundaries held for others, I must ask more questions, and take the time to respond, not react.

Just as I’ve done in years past (I’ve got this down to an art), I’ve identified the daily, weekly and monthly habits that help me meet my needs regularly, and that support my goals.

By the end of 2017 I intend to:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate program on Mythological studies
  • Have Salvaged published – regardless of method
  • Take good care of my health – including losing the weight that I gained in 2016
  • Hone my storytelling skills

Today, I’ll write on tiny slips of paper the words that signify beliefs that don’t serve me. The ideas and concepts that I need to leave behind. I’ll burn those bits of paper, and leave the ash to fertilize the new year’s growth.

I’ll clean the house this weekend. Part of my New Year’s ritual. From top to bottom, I’ll clean 2016 out of the dust and off of the cobwebs. I’ll throw a bag or two for charity donation into the trunk of the car.

After that, I’ll do a small creative act. A tiny art project. Something small. Something new. To plant a seed in the New Year.


2 thoughts on “New Year’s Rituals

  1. See, now, this is a way of approaching New Year’s Resolutions that actually resonates with me. The .. ritual elements that you have in play feel powerful and genuine and also really sensible, which is fantastic! The burial of the old year and birth of the new is beautiful, and reassessing in March .. just, yes.

    I wish you the best of luck!

  2. Pingback: 2017 buried deep grace under the sorrow | Alicia K. Anderson

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