Preparing for the New Year (Part One)

2011 is about to come to a close, and a brand new year is just around the corner. Whenever a new year arrives, it’s like we hit a new marker in the universal timeline. We have the chance to take stock of our lives and start anew in some way, if we feel so inclined. Also, when times are tough, or when we have had a particularly challenging year, it’s often comforting to think of brighter possibilities and new beginnings. To me, it’s fun to imagine with childlike wonder what’s in store for me in the new year.

I was never big on setting new year’s resolutions. After all, over the years, I’ve met many people who thought they should improve themselves or their lives in some way, only to have these good intentions fall on the way side before the first quarter of the year was even up. They then felt even worse about themselves, because not only did they not improve what they wanted to improve about themselves, they also failed to follow through with their resolutions. What a double-whammy! Let’s not do that to ourselves!

Instead of setting yourself up to fail with new year’s resolutions, let me share a process to prepare for a new year. There are two parts to this process. Part One consists of the following elements:

1.       Release what doesn’t serve me

Our lives are mirrors for the thoughts and beliefs we hold, whether or not we’re aware of them. If business isn’t going as well as I’d like or certain relationships are lacking, I know these are indicators that I harbor beliefs that bring these experiences into my life. Oftentimes, these latent beliefs go way back, forgotten experiences I was ill-equipped to understand as a child. While trying to make sense of these experiences, I inadvertently came to believe I was limited or less than worthy. These limiting beliefs unknowingly followed me into adulthood, blocking me from creating the life I want. That is, until I excavate and release them.

To identify hidden limiting beliefs, try this process:

Think about a desired condition in your life, e.g., a great job you could really love. List all the reasons why you can’t have that, e.g., the economy is really bad, lack of formal education, etc. Be exhaustive with your list. Don’t judge your list. Any reason is valid.

For each of the limiting conditions/barriers to what you want identified above, answer one of the following three questions that resonates with you the most:

  • What would the higher power of your understanding (e.g., God, Spirit, Source, etc.) say to you about each of these barriers?
  • Imagine that these barriers plague someone you absolutely love, adore and believe in wholeheartedly. What would you say to her/him about each barrier that is keeping her/him down?
  • Be your own “Devil’s Advocate.” Find evidence for why each barrier simply isn’t true.

The above exercise will show you how unconscious you may be of automatically believing that something you want is unattainable.

Next, release these barriers to what you want in a way that is meaningful to you; here are some suggestions:

  • Go into meditation, and visualize pumping all these barriers into a balloon. Let the balloon rise up into the sky. Pop it with an extra long needle, and watch these limiting thoughts disappear into thin air.
  • Write a letter to the higher power of your understanding turning over all these limiting beliefs.
  • Burn your list (safely, please!), and watch them literally dissolve into ashes.

2.       Practice Forgiveness

Related to the above step of releasing what no longer serves you, it is vitally important that you aren’t holding onto anger or resentment toward anyone or anything. If you’re hard on yourself, be sure to include yourself in your forgiveness inventory. By forgiving those you feel have wronged you in any way, it clears your creative space to welcome good to come to you in the new year.

3.       Practice Gratitude

The other side of forgiveness is gratitude for all the good you have in your life. Take stock of people you’ve met, good things that have come into your life this past year. Take the time to feel grateful for these gifts bestowed upon you. Being in gratitude makes you magnetic to more of what you desire, more for which to feel grateful.

Do the above steps to wipe the slate clean to welcome a new year. I personally like to get them done before the year ends. Watch out for my next article. I’ll share Part Two of “Preparing for the New Year” by allowing our inner wisdom and creativity to reveal the highest vision for us in 2012.


This article contains tools from the Release Chapter of my book, REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life.

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About Alice Chan, Ph.D.

Dr. Alice Chan is passionate about developing conscious leaders and organizations. Her path to serve her life purpose has included being an award-winning Cornell professor and a leader in the corporate world for nearly 15 years. She’s the author of the book, REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life, and creator of the program, 30 Days to Living Your Best Life. All content on this blog and website is her own, not the opinions of her employer.

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