I’m a big believer in rituals. In many ways in our Western culture, I feel like we’ve lost the magic and power of what a ritual can bring to our day-to-day lives. Other than a few really big milestones, like weddings and deaths, we don’t celebrate many rituals in our lives.
One of the reasons why rituals are so powerful is because they mark a beginning and an end. Plus, they provide a “container,” which helps us move forward. So, there’s really no better way to end an old year and begin a new one than with a ritual.
Now, I know many of you use this time during the start of a new year to set goals or resolutions (I did myself for many years). While getting clear on the specifics for how you want your new year to look is definitely a good thing, it may not be the best place to start. (After all, look at how many New Year’s resolutions “bite the bullet” just a few weeks into the New Year.)
I think taking the time to end the last year with a ritual before getting into the nitty gritty of what you want your new year to look like is a far more effective way to actually turn your goals into reality.
My friend Christine Arylo is the one who introduced me to the concept of using a ritual to end the year, and I like to use a variation of the one she taught me.
Rather than jumping into goal setting (& failing), take the time to end your year with a powerful ritual instead. @MichelePW
So, the first step in a ritual is to prepare the space. I like to light a candle and select music. (I actually spend some time choosing the candle and music, to make sure they’re just right for the situation.) Some people use chimes or Tibetan singing bowls, some people use essential oils or incense, some burn sage or place crystals around the space — basically, do whatever works for you.
Along with preparing the physical space, also take some time to prepare the emotional and time space — clear your calendar, turn off email and Facebook, close your door, let your family know you’re not to be disturbed, etc. You could even leave your house and go to a coffee shop or a restaurant, if you prefer.
My end-of-the-year ritual has a lot of journaling involved. What I like to do is really think back and review my year, first taking time to celebrate my successes. (Think about it – how often do we pause to celebrate our successes? We are so quick to rush on to the next thing, cultivating a feeling of being perpetually behind on our mile-long to-do list, rather than feeling good about what we accomplished. When we don’t pause to celebrate, it’s almost like those successes never happened.)
Next, I forgive myself for my failures, so I can move past them. (If you acknowledge your failures, you can take the learnings and wisdom with you into the New Year, and leave the failure in the old one — skip this step and you may find yourself doomed to repeating your failures over and over.)
In addition, I weave into the ritual any other things I want to up-level for the new year. This year, I wove in a money ritual to celebrate the publication of my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.
I end the ritual by burning and releasing what I want to leave in 2016, and by being grateful for the lessons and growth I received.
Then I do something fun to celebrate! Maybe I’ll sit in a hot tub, or eat some chocolate, or even go out with dear friends (which is what I did this year).
Now that I’ve properly closed the circle with 2016, I can now dream into 2017 and what I would love to manifest. (And yes, that includes some goal setting and marketing plans in order to actually bring my dreams into physical form.)
If you want to learn more about daily practices and systems around attracting more money into your life, you may want to check out my new book “Love-Based Money and Mindset” on