Embracing New Beginnings

New Years 2021

Happy new year, and welcome to 2021! The past year brought different journeys and challenges to everyone, but an overall experience we shared was growth. Last year’s events prompted introspection, reflection, and personal development; and although it may not have been easy, we are stronger and more in tune with our inner selves as a result. While we might want to leave 2020 behind altogether, I intend to hold on to my experiences and the growth I gained from the struggles. I am reminded of George Patton’s quote “Pressure makes diamonds.” Perhaps 2020 provided pressure that made us feel more like diamonds in the rough, but it will be wise to utilize these lessons as we progress into 2021 and set intentions for the year ahead.

Lunar New Year

New Beginnings & Traditions

The New Year is a celebration that embodies releasing the past and making a fresh start. We can simultaneously embrace what we have learned from 2020 and the opportunities that 2021 holds. I’d also encourage taking advantage of the increased spiritual meaning that the genesis of a new year brings. Cultures all around the world have different traditions that are spiritually symbolic to usher in the new year with intentions. People in Spain eat 12 grapes at midnight to represent good luck for each month in the new year. In Denmark, people throw old dishes against their doors to get rid of bad spirits. Italians eat a dinner with lentils on New Year’s Eve because they are coin-shaped and represent prosperity. The Chinese New Year occurs after January 1st because they celebrate the first lunar cycle of the year. They decorate with red because it represents wealth and good fortune. These traditions are practices that capitalize on the abundance and potential of the new year. 

Growing up, we too had a tradition of ringing in the new year by going outside onto our front porch, lighting a candle and then jumping down off the steps while blowing out the candle at midnight. Then we would shout “Happy New Year” at the top of our lungs wondering who might be able to hear us in the valley below. When I asked Mom where this tradition originated from or the significance of it, she wasn’t sure. Though to this day she swears that the year her candle blew out on its own before she was able to do so was the worst year ever (2020 excluded). It seems that traditions can be as valuable as the importance you assign to them…

Intention Setting

My Method to Beginning the Year

I like to take my time and start preparing for my intention setting before the new year even begins so that I can take time to contemplate my areas of need and abundance. I set aside time to intentionally consider, and then just let my thoughts mull for a week, two or even more. And then I strive to establish the mindset I want to achieve for the new year and set intentions rather than making new year’s resolutions. Resolution is a noble word, but so much pressure has been attached to achieving resolutions that the potential feeling of failure can be more harmful than the effects of setting resolutions to begin with. Setting intentions can equate to resolutions, but they also require engaging with your spirituality and recognizing what you really need rather than focusing on more material-oriented goals. If you reflect or meditate on the ways 2020 was abundant for you—are these areas you will still focus time and energy on in the new year, or are you satisfied with how they fulfilled? Consider your ideal areas of growth and utilize an abundance mindset to help you gain forward momentum toward reaching your dreams. 

Moon Phases

I went in-depth into ways of letting go and the significance of full moons in my blog post last week. As we begin a new journey of months, I plan to enjoy paying more attention to the symbolism and significance of moon phases. The moon was full for the last time in 2020 on December 30th and I used that day to reflect on what I went through in the last year. I sorted through the good and the bad, my strengths and weaknesses, and my successes and obstacles. Full moons represent completion; this last full moon signified the completion of an entire year, so I intend to accept the year in its entirety as I prepared to move beyond it. I also spent time thinking about where I could release and let go to make space physically, emotionally and energetically for where I would like to focus my attention in the year to come.

The first new moon of 2021 is on Wednesday, January 13th. New moons symbolize new beginnings, and I plan to create the vision board at the front of my journal that evening. I also plan to host a virtual Vision Board Workshop that evening at 7:00 pm EST as well. It will be hosted on Zoom, so if you would like to join send me an email at julie@jmbliving.com and I’ll send you an invite.

Mindfulness, Spirituality and Your Personal Preferences

Mindfulness and spirituality are most beneficial when they are attuned to your personal preferences. Take time and consider what practices you want to incorporate mindfulness and spirituality into in the new year. Be intentional about finding what resonates with you personally and connects you to your dreams and abundance. 

Here are a few ideas to consider when brainstorming your dreams for 2021:

  • Decide a keyword (or multiple) that you want to be your theme(s) for your year.

  • Envision a color for your year that serves as a reminder or embodiment of your dreams/goals. What color do you want your year to look like? Incorporate that color as a theme in your life throughout the year through clothing, decor, etc. to serve as a reminder of what you’re working toward.

  • Imagine yourself as happy as you can possibly be. What aspects of your life or feelings are at the root of this scenario? What can you do to ascertain them?

strategy to achieve my dreams 

Many people struggle with resolutions because they are absolute goals instead of measured initiatives with realistic time goals. I implemented my strategy to achieve my dreams when I designed the JMB Living Journal. Each issue is a journal/planner for three months of each season because it is easier to set and achieve goals when they are made within a realistic time frame with tangible intentions that help you reach them. When determining what you want from 2021, consider establishing seasonal steps forward that you can reasonably achieve in your ideal period of time. Take this further by considering what you can realistically accomplish toward that dream/goal in the coming month. Then create a habit of doing at least one thing that moves you in the direction of at least one of your dreams each day. Your daily action doesn’t have to be huge - lots of small steps, taken consistently will move you forward in the direction of your dreams.

The new year is a time of celebration, excitement, and renewal—setting your dreams/goals and mindset for the year should be joyful and invigorating, not burdensome. Give yourself some grace when thinking about what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. Good things take time and the only standards you need to be held to are your own. 

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