There’s something special about the rituals surrounding a new beginning.
Greeting a new morning with meditation, journaling, and a fresh cup of coffee.
Going to Target to shop for new school supplies—the freshly sharpened pencils and brand new notebooks feeling full of possibility.
Picking out the perfect playlist to listen to at the beginning of a road trip.
The habit to pause in the midst of transition helps me usher in a new start, inspiring me as I adventure into new territories.
One of my favorite rituals for transition happens in the liminal space between Christmas and New Years. The last week of the year can be filled with extended family gatherings and leftover Christmas cookies. The beautiful disruption of the holidays also provides extra space to move forward with intention.
In high school, I started the habit of intentionally ending the past year and welcoming the new one. I’d find a cozy corner in my favorite coffee shop, Cafe Diem, sometime in the final days of December. After ordering a latte and splurging on a chocolate chip cookie, I’d open my journal, flipping past the cursive-filled pages of the past few months’ processing. I would start by jotting down memories from the past year: highlights, major events, and patterns of personal improvement. I’d list which relationships, books, musicians, and moments shaped me the most. Then, I’d speculate about the next year, anticipate what was in store and write out intentions for growth.
Long after my latte was gone, my introverted soul would unfurl onto the pages to ground and renew me as I processed the season. The unknown year ahead felt less and less daunting, more full of potential. Of course, my hopes and goals never unfolded exactly as imagined in my journal, but taking time to think through my intentions bolstered me with purpose in the coming months.
Over a decade later, the busyness of life (especially during the holidays), makes it tempting to push this tradition to the back burner. But rhythms of transition continue to punctuate my life, signaling the simultaneous endings and beginnings. Whenever I choose to carve out time for a ritual to name what is ending and call ahead what is coming, I find clarity and hope.
Another temptation I can easily fall into in this time of year is setting lofty goals for the “new and improved” me. Resolutions and goals are motivating in the moment, but they fizzle out embarrassingly quick in the past because they weren’t grounded in specific, sustainable, or values-driven habits.
Reflect & Envision is a workbook I’ve designed to help me continue the ritual I started years ago in Cafe Diem. I am sharing this gift to empower you in initiating the fullness of the new decade - 2020. The guided questions will draw attention to stand-out moments from 2019, and bring mindfulness to how you’re doing in the present. My guide will encourage your dreams about the coming year, and will create a plan to help you grow. This workbook is designed to shed light on your own personal values to support you in sustaining growth.
Reflect & Envision includes a step-by-step process in four sections:
Spend time remembering the last year. Pay close attention to what key moments stand out from 2019 and how they shaped you. Name the moments of joy. Acknowledge what you need to grieve. Celebrate the ways you’ve grown.
Check in with how you’re feeling in the moment. My guide will remind yourself of who you are to help you determine where you want to head.
Give yourself permission to dream about the coming months. Don’t worry about practicality just yet; put your hopes into words. Get to the root of your desires as a compass for moving forward.
With a vision in place, you will be able to think through how to make your goals happen.
I hope you can take time to go through this workbook for yourself. Whether it’s a few hours tucked into a quiet coffee shop or curled up on the couch for a few moments before everyone else wakes up, I invite you to “welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
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