The word ritual
is defined as : the established form for a ceremony as well as:
a: ritual observance specifically : a system of rites
b: a ceremonial act or action
c: an act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner
As 2020 came to an eagerly anticipated end and I reflected on what I wanted to manifest in the new year it dawned on me the ritual I found myself performing like so many of us do at this time. The ritual of making resolutions at the beginning of a new year has been around for hundreds of years dating back to the 17th century.
For years I would perform this ritual of setting aside time on New Year's Eve or New Years Day to write in a journal my 'resolutions' for the year ahead. Most of what I would write down would be personal goals and ambitions, some realistic, some not. As I continued to perform this ritual every new year I would look back on what I had written the previous year to see how much progress I had made with my resolutions, only to be disappointed I had not accomplished a majority of the list. I found this ritual of writing down resolutions year after year self defeating and discouraging so a few years ago I decided to make a change in my yearly ritual.
I decided instead to set intentions for the year ahead and write them down also in a journal. An intention is defined as: what one intends to do or bring about
I prefer the idea of setting an intention to making a resolution as it is something which feels more driven by purpose and soul than obligation or ego. Intentions feel more meaningful to me as they come from my authentic self, they are not motivated by external influences. Intentions feel bigger picture to me as they are what I would like to express or share with the world which is an outward expression of my energy and from my heart.
When I used to make resolutions in the past it felt like an obligatory ritual, defined by society as something I 'should' do. I never liked how I felt before, during, or after making resolutions.
When setting intentions I go within and tap into my soul to ask how I can serve others with the gifts which I have been given. This sense of being in service makes it easier for me to set intentions as I see intentions as the outpouring of our energy from within.
I now very much enjoy my new New Year's ritual of finding some quiet time and space to write my intentions for the year ahead in my journal and while doing so tapping into my heart to manifest what it deeply desires for the year ahead. I then ask the Universe for assistance in helping me stay focused on my intentions.
I invite you to create your own New Year ritual of setting intentions and releasing them to the universe.