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A New Year's Ritual: Resolve Not To Make Resolutions

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On New Years, we tend to make resolutions which are usually promises to do something "more, better, or different" as our society seems to revolve around the notion that there is always room for improvement. We vow to exercise more, get a better job, fall in love, or find a different way to handle our stress. But does this really do us any good? Most of us start the New Year with the greatest of intentions of keeping our resolutions, yet by March (or even by the second week in January) we may not find ourselves so "resolved." We revert back to old patterns and often begin beating ourselves up for not sticking to our resolutions. Could there be a way to ring in 2010 that serves us better?

Every year, I take a different approach to resolutions. I resolve not to make any. Instead, I engage in a co-creative process of reflection and intention. On December 31st every year, I conduct a "Year in Review." Month by month I reminisce about events that happened, people I met, places I visited, lessons I learned, and so on. I record them in my journal and reflect upon them. What is so great about looking at the year in this way is I am able to notice how I have grown and express gratitude for all the year's blessings. What is also interesting is to think about the behavior, beliefs or habits that I'd like to leave behind. We all have our regrets and learning experiences, yet a lot of us tend to cling to them much longer than we need to.

On this New Year, I invite you to follow this process and feel free to amend it any way that inspires you.

1. On December 31st, carve out at least an hour of uninterrupted time for yourself. Get comfy, quiet, light a candle, perhaps put on some music. Begin by writing your "Year in Review." In a journal, go through each month, beginning in January 2009, and write down anything that you remember - accomplishments, events, blessings, lessons learned, struggles, funny moments and so on.

2. After you have gone through the year, on a separate sheet of paper, write down what you would like to leave behind in 2009. For example: being obsessed with an ex, bad eating habits, overuse of a substance, limiting beliefs, repetitive/disruptive thoughts, overuse of Facebook, consistent self-scrutiny, road rage, swearing and so on. When you complete this list, burn it or rip it up into tiny pieces to really get rid of it!

3. If you so choose, share your year in review with someone close to you. See what they recall, reminisce, and share a couple laughs.

4. Make a toast or light a candle to the end of the year. I encourage you to say a prayer of gratitude for 2009 and declare you are letting it go. At midnight on December 31st, 2009, toast to releasing anything that no longer serves you.

5. Either later in the day or on January first, begin to co-create/manifest 2010. Light a new candle, put on uplifting music, get comfortable . . . set the mood.

6. Find a blank sheet of unlined paper. As a suggestion, write at the top, "This or something better for the highest good of all concerned. And so it is."

7. Without thinking or analyzing, write down anything and everything that comes to mind that you would like to co-create/manifest in 2010. Be specific, be creative and think big; however, your list should be at least 70 percent possible and believable. Write until your brain is empty - don't worry about being greedy! Important: write everything in present tense in the "I am" and use verbs to enthusiastically express what you want. For instance, "I am joyfully and easily securing a new job that is professionally fulfilling and offers me the opportunity to do what I love."

8. Choose a place to display your list - somewhere that only you can see it, treat it as something sacred. Or you can create a manifestation box and include this list as well as pictures and objects that are symbolic or meaningful to you.

9. As much as can throughout the year, review your list (everyday is ideal). Read what you wrote aloud and feel free to add to it. January first is not the only day of the year in which you can call in what you want! I encourage you to think about the list frequently and believe in the possibility of your manifestation power.

10. Throughout the year, observe with gratitude as things in your life begin to manifest. Celebrate AND do not beat yourself up or get discouraged over what is not happening. Focusing more on what is abundant in our lives ALREADY is the best way to generate more abundance. And remember that sometimes our time-line and the Universe's time-line may be different.

Then on New Year's 2010, conduct your 2010 year in review and kick off the next year with the same process!

No matter what, resolve to live your life in line with what you truly want to manifest. Rid yourself of any emotional, mental, physical, or interpersonal clutter so that you can get out of your own way. The thing about the co-creating and manifestation is that it takes action as well as thought and belief, so resolve this year to take steps to truly LIVE your best life.

Happy New Year!

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