New Year’s Ritual


Yes, it’s true… another year has passed and a new one lies before us. I don’t know about you, and for me this time of year is a mixed bag. I find myself looking back over the past year and counting my blessings, going over the many lessons I learned, and immerse myself in gratitude for the love, connection, people, and experiences that have filled my life.

The other thing I find myself thinking about, and sometimes dwelling on, is that I realize how much I didn’t do or complete that I had intended at the beginning of the year, and I sometimes find myself stuck in regret. Why is it that I can more easily be drawn to the negative than the positive? Does this happen to you too?

Luckily for me, I have developed and practice a New Year’s Ritual that helps me release the negative and open myself up for the positive. It’s simple, doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and sets me up for a fantastic new year ahead. I thought you’d like to use it, or add it to, whatever ritual you already practice. Enjoy!

New Year’s Ritual

There are 3 simple steps to this ritual. You can spend as much or as little time as you like on each one. The thing that makes this ritual even more powerful is when you put yourself into the feeling place as you move through the steps. Be intentional, clear some quiet time, and get ready for an opening!

  1. RELEASE – Bring to mind and think of the things that happened or that you did over the past year that didn’t feel so good. This might be things like: a disagreement or fight you had with someone; an embarrassing situation you found yourself in; a promise you didn’t keep (or that someone didn’t keep with you); you gained some weight or didn’t work out or ‘eat healthy’ like you committed to; you’re holding onto a grudge; you judged someone without knowing all the facts; you said or did something you wish you could take back. Other things you might like to release are specific emotions that keep you feeling stuck like: anger, guilt, pain, worry, fear, resistance, frustration, jealousy, disappointment, or hate.

You might choose to write down the list of things you want to release. Writing helps to ‘get it out of you’, and also can be used in a ritual of release.

Now that you have these things top of mind, the next step is to get into the feeling place of each one. Recognize that it was in your life for a reason, and like all things, in some way it was here to do some good in your life or to teach you a lesson. Thank it for showing up and playing a part in your life. And now that is no longer necessary, you may release it. Ask it to leave your life, your mind, and your heart, leaving behind only the lessons.

If you wrote your release items, you can do a ritual to release them. Either shred them in a shredder, burn them in a fireplace or the flame of a candle, or simply tear them up and throw them in the trash.

If you didn’t write them, you can figuratively release them by visualizing them in the palm of your hand and offering them up to the sun or moon or to the flame of a candle.

  1. GRATITUDE – Bring to mind and think of the things that happened or that you did over the past year for which you are extremely grateful. This may be things like: spending time with family and friends; falling in love; achieving a goal; overcoming a health crisis; enjoying a vacation; solidifying a partnership; your new car; your parents or kids are healthy. It may also include ‘regular, everyday’ things like: having an income, your home, food to nourish you, being able to see and walk, being alive, clean water to drink, your cell phone and computer to connect you.

You can write these things down and use them to refer to later to remind you of all the great good that has been a part of your life.

Feel the feeling of gratitude deep in your heart. Rest in this space and allow it to envelope you with its beauty and glory. Know that you are worthy and deserving of feeling this way in every moment. You are innately worthy and deserving to feel good, and the fact that you have enjoyed these things over the past year is proof of it. Breathe it in. Rest in gratitude.

  1. INTEND & OPEN – Now you are ready to open yourself to the New Year. This is where you bring to mind and think of all the things you’d like to have happen in the coming year. For this one, it is best to write a list so that you can also ‘write it’ on your subconscious mind. You’ll also have it to refer to you as you move through the days and months ahead. Write down: the experiences you’d like to have; things you’d like to do and who you’d like to do them with; things you’d like to accomplish – specific goals; people you’d like to spend time with; health, physical, and spiritual goals; business goals or the amount of money you’d like to make; day trips and vacation plans; improvements to your home, etc.

Now that you have your list, read through it and feel the feelings that each one will bring. It is in the feeling place that the ‘thing’ has its true meaning for you.

Now, let’s take it a step further and a little bit less tangible – Write how you’d like to feel. Things like: happy, fulfilled, content, peaceful, joyful, loving, loved, accomplished, complete, confident, courageous, kind, patient, etc.

Setting the intention to bring more of these feelings into your life on a regular basis will help you to live and be in this space every day.

I would suggest focusing on a few of the words/emotions as a sort of your ‘go-to’ feeling place for the coming year. These words can also serve as a guide for making decisions in the coming year.

Now, you can do one of two things: 1) Keep these lists with you and read them every day. This will keep them top of mind and help you stay on track with your intentions. It will also keep you motivated and energized. 2) You can burn or throw away your list knowing that your intentions are within you, and trusting that the Universe will hold them and bring them to you. Both ways work.

I hope you enjoy this ritual and I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences when you do it. Keep in mind that it’s not only a New Year’s ritual, you can do it anytime to get back on track and give you a boost. The combination of clearing, gratitude, and intentions is powerful – just like you!

Wishing you an outrageously awesome and blessed 2017!

With love,





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  1. Dixie Rivera

    Hi Sue!
    Thank you for an amazing ritual! I always try to think of ways to get my kids thinking about their goals for the New Year and they always look at me like I’m so corny! (I know they’ll still remember these things). I love your suggestion and think I’m going to this with them as a family. I’m going to give them each step on pretty paper and have them make their lists ahead of time. We have a fireplace, which if you remember, is quite significant for us as this is where the house fire we had started. I think it will be great to release the first list into the fireplace. When I visited with Shaun she took me to the Amitabha Supta & Peace Park. Here I learned of prayer ribbons. I thought it was such a wonderful idea. I bought a prayer ribbon recently (easy to make also) and I’m going to have them add their goals for the New Year and and special prayers they might want to add. Thanks again! Hugs!!!

  2. Nancy Wilson

    Hi Sue,
    Enjoyed reading your New Years Ritual and am going to use it myself. You’ve always been so intuitive but knowing how to use that intuition in a positive and productive way is really key. Appreciate your input
    The best to you,
    Nancy Wilson


  1. Happy New Year! | - […] we shared with you a New Year’s Ritual, so you could move ‘cleanly’ into 2017 without the baggage you…

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