How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions? Did you know studies show that only 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions and that nearly 80% fail by February?

Those aren’t great odds. Why is it so difficult to follow through with our New Year’s resolutions despite our best intentions? From a therapeutic perspective, resolution setting is missing an essential piece; honest self-reflection.

For real, lasting change to stick, we need to look back, assess, and find evidence of what’s working and what’s not in our lives. It is only from a place of self-awareness and clarity that true transformation can happen. 

That’s why in today’s episode, I’m offering you a therapeutic process to help you unpack 2021, honor your experiences and understand your own growth so you can clear the way for the changes you want to make! 

It’s my favorite sacred ritual to start the year feeling energized, clear, and ready to take on 2022!

Full disclosure, I’ve never loved all the New Year’s resolution stuff because in the past I’d make them too big or too hard and then wonder why I couldn’t keep up. Every year I’d sort of set myself up to fail and it made me feel bad about myself.

Can you relate?

I set out to create a better way, based on therapeutic and psychological tools to support real transformation. I’m inviting you into my sacred New Year’s ritual to create space, time, and the luxury to self-reflect so you can align your choices with the changes you want to make. 

You can download the complete “What Crap Are You Leaving in 2021?” guide right here. It is a step-by-step guide through the entire process, from journal prompts to a ritual burning to release what you’re ready to let go of as you move forward into 2022.

Make a date with yourself and put it on the calendar! Part of keeping this sacred is making time to honor your feelings and experiences of the past year. Set the scene for your ritual. You might want to have your favorite journal, a candle, some essential oils, a cozy blanket and beverage, and some soothing music to inspire you. 

The first step is identifying your peak experiences from 2021. A peak experience can be positive or negative– these are the most impactful moments from your year. 

My peak experiences this year were publishing my first book in April 2021 and caring for my mother through her cancer treatments. With each, I needed to unpack all of the things around the experience. What did I feel great about? What surprised me? What were the big moments and how did I feel about them? What would I have done differently? 

Remember to be kind to yourself, because it can be so tempting to focus on what didn’t go right. That’s why the second step in this process is to brag on yourself and celebrate! You will reflect on your accomplishments, big and small, from the past year. What are your greatest strengths and how did they help you throughout 2021?

For me, I can look back and see my resiliency and strength to keep going, (even when I didn’t feel like getting up at 5 AM to get my writing in for the book), I followed through with my commitments to myself and others and I am proud of that! What are your proudest moments from 2021?

Next, we move into the things you do not want to bring into 2022 with you. Time to get honest and discerning about the experiences, people, feelings, circumstances, and situations you want to release. Inside the guide, I’m giving you all of the different categories you can consider as you reflect on 2021 and all of the crap you don’t want to carry anymore. 

Here’s where you can download the “What Crap Are You Leaving in 2021?” ritual guide. 

Then, we look for the gems. I want to be clear: this isn’t about spiritually or emotionally bypassing the stuff that was tough last year. This is about cultivating your ability to look at every situation in your life and discovering what you learned about yourself. Whether it was a break-up or a health crisis, it’s reflecting on the hard times and processing what happened and what value we can take from the experience that makes all the difference to successfully making changes in our lives. 

It is human nature to have a tendency to repeat painful experiences– especially if we don’t process them in a healthy way. As Christine Langley Obaugh says, “We repeat what we do not repair.” Freud called it repetition compulsion. Without therapeutic intervention, it’s almost like we repeat similar painful experiences because we are seeking a different outcome. I don’t want that for you. 

What you’ll find in this ritual are prompts to help you bring unconscious information from the basement of your mind into the main part of the house, so you can make more mindful, informed decisions and break out of old patterns. 

So get ready to dig through the crap stew for those gems of wisdom. I promise you, they are there, but you’ve gotta be willing to dig down and get your hands dirty! It is so worth it to get a deeper understanding of yourself.

Next, you’ll move into what you DO want in 2022. What do you want to create? What would thrill you? How can you take impeccable care of yourself, body, mind, and spirit? You’ve processed the good, the bad, the ugly, the gems, and the lessons. It’s time to consciously create your vision for 2022! 

I LOVE this ritual so much and I am so excited for you to give yourself the gift of going through this therapeutic process and creating your reality for this new year. 

If you’d like more support through the process, I did a guided workshop a few weeks ago and it’s available right here. It’s a 90-minute comprehensive walk-through to help you make 2022 your best year yet! Here’s where you can grab it. 

I can’t wait to see what you create in 2022, so please, if you do this ritual, share your burn pics with me on Instagram @terricole! I’ll definitely be sharing mine! 

We survived another year! I am sending you all of the best energy, I am incredibly grateful you are in my crew and as always, take care of you. 

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  1. Terri, I love this guide. I do a burning ceremony each New Year’s Eve and have done this for many years, but this adds another dimension by visualizing and determining what we want…not just what we do not want. I will definitely do this. This is the incorporation of a lot of powerful items. Well done, thank you! And Happy New Year to you and yours! Stay safe and well! Love you lots!

  2. Thank you for this and for all you give.
    I’m a writer and your words inspired me to write this:

    “Pack a bag,”
    Said the angel of the New Year
    As the night inched toward midnight.
    Fill it with all you wish to leave behind.
    Dark days of fear and loneliness,
    Resentment with work, anger at a sibling.
    Loss of a friendship, a relationship, a life.
    Sadness at watching the world become a different place
    And helplessness at not being able to change it.

    “Then what?” I asked,
    “When the bag is full.”
    Take it to the seashore and push it away
    Watch it float toward the horizon,
    Weighed down with grief and anger and fear and loss
    Until it sinks to the ocean floor.

    “Now pack another,” the angel whispered.
    Line it with love and gratitude for all the joy you found this year.
    Brilliant sunsets on your drive home from work,
    Cuddles from partners and children and pets,
    Hot toddies, cold cocktails, and letters from afar
    Long walks in leafy forests, Zoom calls with friends,
    Laughter, good books, bike rides and starry nights.
    Pack them tightly, caress each one
    Linger on the memory of every precious moment.

    “And put them where?” I asked.
    “Not yet,” said the angel.
    “There’s still one more. The most important bag of all.
    “The gifts you gave the world.”
    Grocery shopping for a neighbour,
    Meals for a sick friend,
    Phone calls and letters to people alone,
    Gentle words of love and light and laughter,
    And smiles
    For strangers on the street.

    Pack this bag softly
    And place it in a special place
    Alongside the memories of joy
    So you see it every day.
    And remember
    When you look at it
    Though some memories will cast shadows on the past
    It’s the moments of love and giving and joy
    That remain strongest
    And carry you through the year.

    1. Hi Gabrielle,
      This is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your words with us and for being here ❤️ I’m grateful to have read this and to have you here!

  3. Thank you for the guide Terri. Yes, I will be doing my ritual New Years Eve.
    I am so grateful to have learned how to shift my energy and turn difficult situations around for the better. Your work has taught me to be much better communicating with loved ones and setting boundaries around the difficult behavior.

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