5 Ways to Reset Yourself for the New Year
(Originally written for xoNecole.)
We’re officially in the last month of the year. It took a while to get here but we made it! Many of us are using this time to set new year’s resolutions and assess the success of this year’s goals. It’s a last-ditch effort to accomplish the things that are still pending and create a new set of goals to begin in January.
While I recognize and appreciate everyone’s excitement and willingness to brainstorm and create resolutions to become better people next year, I am often devastated by the amount of unwinding and processing people don’t do before moving on to a new year. It’s almost as if people expect new doors to open without closing the ones they’re leaving behind.
Part of moving on – even if it’s just to a new year – is processing all the grief, pain, triumph and joy that the current year provided. It’s understanding how this year’s events transformed you (in good ways and bad) to the person you are today. And, it’s recognizing what can go with you into next year and what should be left behind.
It’s just as important to end this year with loose ends tied as it is to begin a new year with a fresh perspective and new energy. Keeping that in mind, below are a few ways you can reset and re-center yourself this year, to ensure you’re starting your new year off right!
PROCESS THE YEAR
Every year brings with it a new set of wins and losses. Some of us have experienced breakups, some of us have experienced new love. Some have lost loved ones, and others have experienced the birth of new life. Some of us have battled depression and others may have come out of theirs. Whatever this year brought you, it’s important to take the time to process it. Write down the lessons you learned from each situation, come to terms with how each big moment made you feel, and reflect on the transformation those moments afforded you. Walk away from this year with a summary of pivotal moments and an understanding of how they’ve shaped and shifted your life. Doing so will allow you to enter next year with an appreciation for the direction your life is headed.
HEAL FROM ITS HURTS
If you truly believe the new year is a new start, you must heal your heart from this year’s pain. Starting your healing process before the start of a new year is critical to ensure you approach the new year with restored hope. It’s important to work through the pain you experienced this year before embarking on new journeys next year. If you are not fully healed (or at least trying to heal) from what happened in 2018, you threaten the fulfillment of all that can happen in 2019. Don’t go into next year harboring ill feelings about people, places, or things; instead work on healing from the pain associated with them.
This year you may have fallen short. You said and did some things you’re not proud of. You’ve made mistakes – I know. Many of us have that same story. Before entering the new year, forgive yourself for it all. Stop feeling bad for yourself and stop beating yourself up. What happened in 2018, stays in 2018; leave your mistakes here and don’t look back. The only things you should move forward with are the lessons you learned.
As you wrap up this year, it’s important to acknowledge how you feel about things – particularly yourself. What did you want this year to bring? How have you manifested those desires? What are the ways you stood in your own way? What are things you’ve spoken over yourself? Ask yourself difficult questions. Get into your own mind and figure out where you may have lost control, or where you have been completely victorious. Taking time and thought to answer these questions can help you identify key habits to work on next year. Resolutions aren’t just about achieving goals, it’s also about understanding the self-work that must occur to reach those goals. It’s about abolishing insecurity, doubt, shame, and regret to truly operate in your calling, become a better you, and get the work done.
LET IT GO
One of the worst things you can do entering a new year, is bring old baggage with you. In order to fully flourish you must learn to let things go. Healing can help take care of letting go of the emotional and mental bondage the painful moments caused, but sometimes you must let go of the things that didn’t happen, too. Harboring hurt from the unmet expectations of this year, only prevents you from hoping in the goodness of next year. So, let go of all that didn’t happen this year. Let go of feeling let down. What you expected of this year may not have transpired, but you can’t hold that against next year. Let it all go and step into the new year fresh and free. (And while you’re at it, let go of the toxic people, places, and things too.)
Before you rush off into the new year, use this month to cleanse and reset in preparation for 2019. While you will always bring parts of this year into the next – after all, you are just an iteration of the things that happened to you in past years – it is important to end each year at peace. If you’re going to start anew, truly start with a renewed spirit and energy, by processing, healing, forgiving, reflecting, and letting go. I promise it’ll make your resolutions even more attainable.