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2015 Closing Ceremonies – Some Year End Rituals

by | Dec 30, 2015

We always hear about new year’s resolutions, new beginnings, fresh starts.

What about what’s left of this year? Do we just knock back the last sip of champagne and wait for it to end?

Well, I don’t want to. I want to look back, think about how this year went, while preparing for the year to come. It’s a way to be intentional about what’s ahead. I found myself doing some things to wrap up 2015 and make space for 2016.

Clean up the information input channels

If you’ve never read about Tim Ferriss’ idea of selective ignorance and a low-information diet, go do that now. Long before I had even read the post, I did a form of information dieting (starvation?) starting when I was pregnant with my middle. With the extra hormones floating around, I found myself intensely upset at all of the bad happening in the world. So I quit news, cold turkey.

And I immediately felt better. Five years later, I’m still abstaining from most mass media garbage.

There’s a lot in this world I can’t fix. Is it wrong to turn a blind eye? Maybe, but I would much rather sprinkle my dust on those things that I can fix – things that are within my reach. My kids, my community – I can spot needs there as they arise and fill them when I can.

The crisis in Syria? I could get anxious at the looped images of women clutching their babies, running away from who knows what, but then I’m just worrying. Not only does worrying not help anyone, but it expends energy I could use do start a cascade of positivity, even a small one.

Choosing to be gatekeeper to the information that I consume applies to web sources too. I’m cleaning up my Feedly and my podcast feeds to orient my year toward positive endeavors. Good vibes only through these eyes and ears!

Collect quotes

Okay, this recent compulsion has me befuddled, but it’s harmless so I’m going with it. I’m hoarding quotes “for 2016,” whatever that means. Care to enlighten me, BRAIN?

I suppose the reason will reveal itself in time. Until then, I have an Evernote note that’s just getting longer and longer.

Make a Vision Board

As we can tell by my “attic chic” style of decor in my house, I’m not a particularly visual person. Nonetheless, it would be nice to open something up and get a quick glance at my vision for 2016.

I’ve always loved the idea of vision boards (also called visualization boards, dream boards) as a focus mechanism for short-range goals, someday dreams, and probably won’t happen but fun to think about long shots.

Occasionally, I’ll come across vision boards that others post, and most often they are centered around things – dream houses, beaches, and fast cars. Maybe these things make a difference in some people’s lives. Fair enough, but I plan to use my board to zero in on things that matter. There are things I want for myself and my family, but you can’t touch them. They’re more being – health, closeness, thriving in whatever way that means for each of us individually.

I’m looking into vision board apps so that I can assemble it digitally and my board is always accessible. Never know when I’ll need that moment to refocus and zero in on what matters.

Choose direction in 2016

Some people make a resolution. Others choose a word, a theme, an intention. Same idea, different subtleties.

What I want to set can be most closely defined as a direction. Sure, I have my specific measurable goals and whatnot, but an entire year? That’s no small potatoes. I would rather choose a direction toward which actions will point. Less about the destination, more about the mindset.

Write down 2015 wins

There’s a lot to be said about gratitude. Harvard happiness researcher Shawn Achor has gone as far as to say gratitude changes your brain. I would think that’s worth a few minutes to take stock, right?

I’ve narrowed down a few categories where I’ll file away the little wins and big successes for the year:

  • personal growth
  • learning
  • family
  • health
  • business

Yes, even small victories get a place on the list. It’ll feel good.

I think this is a pretty effective way to send off 2015. Do you have anything you do at the end of the year to close it out and get ready for the new year?

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