Over the weekend, my wife Mamiko and I enjoyed brunch at one of our favorite oceanside venues. While we were waiting for our order to arrive, we performed an important year-end ritual.
We talked about all the things we appreciated about the previous 12 months. All of the things we accomplished. All the blessings we received. And all the reasons we feel proud of ourselves and each other.
It was gratifying to look back over the year and talk about (and write down) all the satisfying things we had manifested and experienced. It really put us in a good mood.
We also had fun daydreaming and making a list of all the places around the world we plan to visit over the next few years.
This annual conversation has become a tradition for us because it’s a fun, effective way to honor ourselves and generate sincere feelings of appreciation. More importantly, we found it’s a simple way to establish positive expectations and momentum for the year ahead.
In this light, I’d like to share five simple, enjoyable ways that can help you prepare energetically for the new year.
Don’t feel you have to do all of them. Try one and see how it feels. Then try another. Even the act of setting your intention to prepare for the coming year will help you move forward with positive energy.
Make a list of everything you appreciate about the year that’s ending.
Don’t struggle through this. Keep it light and fun and positive. Writing down your thoughts amplifies the power of this exercise. And talking through your list with someone is even more beneficial. (Just make sure it’s someone who loves and respects you and won’t judge anything that comes out of your mouth.)
Clean your home before the new year.
Thanks to my wife I’ve adopted the Japanese year-end ritual of o-souji or “big cleaning.” Setting aside time to clear clutter, vacuum floors, or give neglected parts of your home a deep cleaning is one of the best ways I’ve found to prepare myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to embrace the new year.
Write a list of things you’d love to do next year and beyond.
Again, keep this exercise light and fun. Focus on what you desire rather than how or when it’s going to happen. Your higher self wants you to think big, without limits. So, don’t hold back!
Write short emails to people you appreciate.
This activity always makes me feel good. When you think of someone you appreciate, write them a quick message of thanks. It doesn’t need to be lengthy. A brief expression from your heart is enough. Recently, I’ve written short appreciation emails to some old friends we ran into recently at an airport, an exceptionally helpful hotel concierge we met in Mexico, and the support team of a software company.
Send expressions of appreciation energetically.
This is best done in a meditative state. Close your eyes, focus your attention on the area of your heart, and begin breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. While staying relaxed, gently send thoughts of appreciation from your heart to anyone or anything—friends, co-workers, customers, family members, spirit guides, angels, Goddesses, trees, animals, waterways, etc.
If you’re reading this, you may have sensed me sending you some energy of appreciation this week. I’ve been feeling appreciation for my clients, course participants, colleagues, email subscribers, blog readers, YouTube followers, and all the individuals and businesses that help me run my business.
I trust that you’ll find one or more of these suggestions helpful. They’re not only useful at the end of the year. These valuable exercises can raise your vibration and help you feel good at any time.
What end-of-year rituals do you have? What helps you feel good about where you’ve been and where you’re headed? Leave a comment below.