The first step in setting intentions for a new year for me has nothing to do with the new year, and everything to do with the past year. Learning to make peace with my recent year is the first, and most important, step during my new year rituals. It is also the most difficult.
To make peace with my past is not easy. It is easier to choose to not accept what happened, or what did not happen, or to ignore how I feel about it.
The problem that I have found is that when I do not acknowledge or accept my past year, my intentions for the next year become tainted. I unintentionally drag my past into my future, and set intentions that are trying to compensate, or usually overcompensate, for the past. Fast forward a few months into a new year, I am now doing something yet cannot remember why I am even doing it.
To make peace requires me to slow down. When driving on an open highway really fast, I cannot read the signs along the road. It is only once I slow down that I can read the signs that are right there for me. These signs usually direct me towards needed and important change.
Reality is full of the wisdom that I need to hear. This is a time for inner harvest. The fields are ripe for picking and this end of year ritual to make peace is my invitation to see what this year’s crop has for me.
During this time of inner harvest, I am forced to see my truth and cannot hide from it. The truth is not good and it is not bad, it is what it is. Any discomfort that I may feel in the face of the truth is a reflection of how I feel about the truth.
Reflection has become a powerful tool to help guide me, as I can learn from my own experience and remember what I might have forgotten.
Here are 11 of my reflection prompts that I use to make peace with the past year…
What did I learn about myself?
What new skills or knowledge did I gain?
When did I feel inspired?
When did I feel discouraged?
What was most difficult for me?
What sparked joy for me?
When did I feel most myself?
When did I feel least myself?
Who am I appreciative of?
How did my identity evolve?
What does my heart desire?
I hope these reflection prompts serve you as you make peace with your past year.