In anticipation of the first of many “new years” to come – on January 1, 2015 – some traditions tend towards the making of “New Year’s Resolutions.”  I however, have veered from that with a slightly different practice. I got the idea at a church many years ago at a New Year’s Eve service.

The simple yet profound notion was an urging not to take things into the new-year that we should be leaving in the old…

While it was mainly about leaving internal and external negative forces behind, sort of like a personal “good riddance” moment, I have modified the idea slightly. It was a powerful moment for me – the words were left hanging in the air as obvious and as illusive as fireflies in the night. Thus began an important annual end-of-year routine for me. It is a practice that involves mental, physical and spiritual health rather than the prevalent fiscal health suggestions offered by many tax-savvy organizations.

Don’t get me wrong – charitable donations are important if you can afford it, and the benefits are there for both parties involved.

I know there are many other year-end-strategies out there. Days ago I noticed, on December 26th 2014, that @tedhope tweeted “unsubscribing to various email lists is becoming my required end of the year ritual.”

But what I am talking about is something quite different. I’m sure each one of us has our own way of leaving the old year and welcoming the new, but here are some of the things I’m doing at the end of 2014 in anticipation of the new year…

– Leaving a trail of gratitude. I took a few moments to thank some of the people that contributed positively to my 2014. Some with a card and some via a phone call.
– Practicing forgiveness. I thought quite a bit about mending a fence or two – letting go of a grudge, anger, disappointment in someone, etc…
– Doing something for someone in need. Since I don’t have much time for volunteering, a simple random act of kindness for a stranger will have to suffice. In case you were unaware of the benefits of giving and how the act can improve your life as well – have a read here.
– Giving myself a “year-end” gift. Taking some quiet time to recall my best moments in 2014 and celebrating them. Most importantly, thinking about how to maintain that side of myself in 2105. This can end the year on a high note as well as set a positive agenda for the next.
Happy New Year!