Rituals are important. Chani Nicholas, one of my favorite astrologers says, “We set an intention and create a ritual to house that intention and that is making magic. That is creating a spell. That is creating our intention.”
The etymology of the world ritual: The English word “ritual” derives from the Latin ritualis, “that which pertains to rite (ritus)”. In Roman juridical and religious usage, ritus was the proven way (mos) of doing something, or “correct performance, custom”. The original concept of ritus may be related to the Sanskrit ṛtá (“visible order)” in Vedic religion, “the lawful and regular order of the normal, and therefore proper, natural and true structure of cosmic, worldly, human and ritual events”. The word “ritual” is first recorded in English in 1570, and came into use in the 1600s to mean “the prescribed order of performing religious services” or more particularly a book of these prescriptions.
The thing that strikes me about the definition is that it is the proven way of doing something. Rituals are often things that we inherit, because they have worked for someone else. So here are my end-of-year rituals:
1. Reflect on the lessons learned in the year. I usually take the last digit of the year and reflect on that number of lessons learned from the year. You can check out my 2017 post here.
2. Update my Manifesto. My manifesto is where I keep my “bucket list” or lifetime goals. I wrote the list about 10 years ago. My manifesto is important because I try to pull at least 3 things from the list to act on in a given year. I also add new things to the list.
3. Clean house. This was a ritual that I learned from my mother. Before the New Year, you do a thorough cleaning of your home, dusting, laundry, sweeping & mopping, etc. The idea is that you don’t want to “carry” any of the clutter, mess or disorder into the New Year.
4. Do a year in review scrapbook page. Similar to reflecting on the lessons learned, except this doesn’t have a limit. It is the opportunity to celebrate all of the accomplishments, big and small and highlights of the last year.
5. Construct my vision board. Vision boarding in serious in my house. I collect things throughout the year that I’d like to add to my Vision Board. I usually do this ritual on 12/31. Here are my Vision Boards from the past:
6. Write out my personal, professional and marriage goals for the year. I don’t necessarily consider these resolutions. I consider them goals. These are the tangible things I’d like to work on and manifest within the next year. My husband & I also spend a lot of time talking about what we want for ourselves and each other the next year. Some of our goals our collaborative. For example, we both want to improve our health & fitness routine. The great thing about shared goals is that you have a built-in accountability partner.
7. Cook collard greens and black eyed peas. This is another ritual I inherited from my mother. I was always taught that both represented prosperity in the New Year, with the greens symbolically representing money.
In terms of New Year’s Eve, I haven’t gone out to do anything in years. It’s always super cold in Chicago and frankly by the time I finish my rituals – I’m exhausted. Last year, my husband & I did a new ritual that was beautiful. This year, I think I’m going to bring in the new year meditating – sage & incense burning, candles, crystals, the whole bit. The beautiful thing about rituals is that you can always start new ones!
Here are some other inspiring ideas to bring in the New Year:
Listen to Myleik Teele’s Podcast. She is the founder of Curlbox, and she gives amazing business & personal growth information! You can actually go back in time & listen to her Podcasts.
Really good Reflection Questions here, and you can download it and print it!
Mark Zuckerberg sets and acts on one intention every year. It’s a pretty cool idea. Read more here.
33 Daily Habits Highly Successful People Have (and the Rest of Us Probably Don’t) – I truly believe that the key to long-term change is in our daily habits and our daily routine.