Week two is about putting the past year to rest, releasing mental baggage, and letting go of things that are no longer serving you.
Letting go or releasing is not about forgetting about the past year’s events but releasing their hold on you so you can start fresh.
The mission this week is to look over the notes you made while reflecting on last week. Was there something there that you are holding on to? Either positively or negatively? Many of us have one thing that we are holding on to that we just can’t let go of. Now is the time to either resolve it once and for all or, to put it behind you.
If you just found this process it isn’t too late to get started. During December, all of the weekly Zin Zoe Creative posts will explain and teach an annual review and planning process. If you missed the “overview” post which explains the when, why, and how of the process, you can click here to go back and read from the beginning.
The Process of Letting Go
This part of the process is to let go or release certain things that may be holding you back or generally frustrating you. Take some time this week to sit down with yourself and write down what you want to let go of.
This is not a school assignment or something to share on social media. Get as personal and messy or organized as you want. This is a very personal process and should help to make you feel lighter. It is an effort to leave the baggage of the last year where it belongs, so you can move on to the next feeling refreshed and ready for a new journey.
Make an effort to write down, record, or draw what you want to let go of. This can be specific, for example, “I did not finish the novel I wanted to write, and that is okay, I can try again.” or “I did not get the promotion I wanted.” or more intangible things like guilt, frustration, addiction or anger.
Think about that one thing from the past that has been on your mind. Is there some action you can take to finally put it behind you? An apology or something you have procrastinated on? Try to get this done before the end of the year. Don’t carry it on with you any longer. If it isn’t something that you can fix, then try to move on from it.
This is a process to let you put the past year to rest. To forgive yourself and put what happened this year behind you.
One way to let go of the past
Usually, for me, this “letting go” process results in a written stream of consciousness.
I will share a portion of my own process below but keep in mind only you are able to decide what is important for YOU to let go of. Some things may be too personal to share.
This year I am letting go of:
- The idea that this year was supposed to be a start to a new decade and full of new and exciting adventures. It wasn’t. I’m releasing the expectations I had for this year.
- The time I rested that I felt was wasted
- the world’s definition of success and trying to fit myself as a square peg in a round hole
- I’m releasing feelings of guilt
- I’m letting go of needing to control things that are outside of my control
Other ways of Releasing the Past
For me, the simple act of writing down the things I want to let go of is enough. But for those of you who prefer a more spiritual ritual, here is a link to “8 Simple Rituals for Letting go” that you may find useful.
If you follow a religious faith, to make this process more personally meaningful, you may want to incorporate this practice into your prayers or meditation.
If you have your own way of clearing your mind for a new year, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
A Word of Caution
Not everyone will find this week useful and that is okay. The intention behind sharing this process is so that others can use it as an example to build their own annual self-review process.
We are all at different points in our lives and have our own circumstances. What may work for you in one season may not work in another, so feel free to adjust any parts of the process that don’t seem to fit for you.
Sometimes the issues you may be trying to put behind you are too big to deal with alone. Setting an appointment with a professional to get some help (if you aren’t ready now, then in the new year) could be the step you need. Just setting an appointment is a big step forward for many people.
If you are interested in reading more on this topic, here are a few good articles.
Next week we will start the planning process with some brainstorming to come up with ideas and goals for the year ahead.