December 2020: A Note from Authors Hope Katz Gibbs, Cynthia de Lorenzi, and designer Cindy Seip — Your 2021 What’s Next Journal
With each New Year, we engage in an internal conversation: Sometimes, we reflect on our lives and realize that all is actually quite well and decide to stay with the status quo. More often, though, we make New Year resolutions with lists of all the things we want to change, learn, and grow into.
Too often, those plans to stick to a daily exercise routine or learning to garden get trumped by old patterns that are more comfortable, and quite frankly, hard to break. And then we reprimand ourselves for capitulating and caving in.
Here’s the good news: Whether it is losing weight, quitting smoking, getting organized, or growing our business, we start the New Year off with a promise of doing and being better — in 2021, we want you to know you are not alone!
We believe that it is time to take a new approach to welcome the New Year, and that is by saying hasta la vista baby to the year we are leaving behind.
Here’s how we hope to help you get ready for What’s Next:
- Please give thanks for what you do have: It is important to express gratitude for even the smallest positive places in your lives and acknowledge and release the past, good or bad. Our cover story in the December 2020 issue of Inkandescent Women magazine offers Affirmations from dozens of women and a guide on how to create your own.
- Clear the clutter: In preparing to welcome January, we are spending December helping you to clear out anything in your life that has been holding you back — inside and out. We have created a list of actionable steps you can take to prepare for meaningful change with purpose, see below.
- Suspend disbelief: Many items on this list may sound spiritual or maybe even hokey but think about the importance and value of making a formal goodbye. Think of these ideas as simple ways to unpack years of negativity.
- Commit — to yourself: Simply making and acting on a commitment to release our failures (real or perceived) and regrets — and once and for all, clean out that closet filled with anything that doesn’t serve you (from old sweaters to lost loves).
- Set the stage for positive change: It is essential to process the past to prepare for the future. You got this! We are here to assist.
Get started right now: To help you throughout the year, this month we will be publishing Your 2021 What’s Next Journal — filled monthly with the stories and ideas of women who will inspire you and interactive activities aimed at feeding your mind, body, spirit, soul, and heart, including writing and art prompts to affirmations, exercises, and healthy recipes.
Stay tuned for the link to order your copy — purchase it a month at a time, for a quarter, 6 months, or the entire 12-month Journal! In the meantime, we have crafted a series of activities to get you started. Scroll down for those!
And check out the sidebar articles to meet the 12 ladies who will guide us through the new year in Your 2021 What’s Next Journal!
12 Ways to Prepare For the New Year:
- Get ready to data dump: Grab a sheet of paper and write at the top: Me in 2021. Draw a line down the middle of the paper and name the left column: My Wins from 2020. On the right: My wishes, plans, dreams, and audacious goals for 2021. Write it all down, then set this page aside. We’ll come back to this later.
- Grab the second sheet of paper and start unpacking: Write down every single painful experience, negative thought, regret, and lost love story that’s taking up precious space in your psyche. Jot down anything you want to leave behind. Write and write until you think you’ve got it all out of your head and onto the paper.
- Now, take that second sheet and burn it up: If you have a fireplace, fire pit, or even a big bowl where you can safely light a flame, take that list — and set it on fire! If you have pictures of persons you need to severe or distance from your life or negative places, burn those too!
- Watch all that negative energy go up in smoke: Repeat, “I bless you with love. I release you and let you go. You are free. I am free.”
- Close your eyes: Envision hurling all of your pain, grief, regrets, and sorrow into the universe. The farther it goes, the smaller it becomes. As it floats into the distance, it not only disappears — it evaporates.
- Now, go back to that first sheet filled with all of your happy thoughts: We are going to take those ideas and create a Vision Board — one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. That’s because this poster is a reflection of your inner world, one where you create affirmations that move you away from the negativity and release your thoughts, ideas, hopes, wishes, and vision for What’s Next! You can do this on a giant sheet of poster board, in your journal, online, or on a napkin. Cut out images from your favorite magazines to make a collage; write words on post-it notes with markers and crayons to draw out your dreams. The important thing is that you get it down in a bold format to release what you want and know you want, deep inside.
- Note to Vision Board veterans: If you’ve been using this technique for years but haven’t updated your Vision Board recently, it’s time to clean house. Remove what you no longer need or desire. Add new images that represent your goals for the new year. We do that several times a year, actually, because our visions keep coming true, and we continue to have new ones. Try this! We think you’ll like it.
- Breathe and meditate on what you’ve created: Once your work of art is complete, sit with it. Look at it constantly. In the coming days and weeks, add to it. Take out the stuff that doesn’t fit anymore.
- Walk around: There’s nothing more clarifying than a brisk walk to clear your mind and open up and re-align the two sides of your brain — using creativity to overcome negativity. As you walk, think of your life as currency, as the current of flowing water. Accept with grace what is yours, and let the rest pass you by. You do not need to own other people’s stuff. You have enough of your own!
- Accept and internalize that you are a powerful creator: One of our favorite ways to dissipate energy to smudge our homes and offices using sage. Here are other easy, energy-clearing tips: Place basil new the doorway or cash register will attract more business. It is said that placing it in all four corners of your house can also provide protection and purification.
- Clean out your wallet: Do this with your handbag, coat pockets, closets, and drawers to make room for all the good fortune that is coming your way. Plus, you never know what treasures you might find hidden away.
- And best of all — don’t forget to say thank you for all that you gained in wisdom and patience in the last year! Please pat yourself on the back, for you have accomplished a great deal and survived what was possibly the most trying time in your life.
Now: It’s time to celebrate! Set aside time to host your private farewell party for 2020. After all, this is an auspicious occasion and one that is unprecedented in all of our lives. You will be the most important person in attendance. Grab a glass of your favorite beverage and get the party started!
We’ll see you in 2021! — Hope Katz Gibbs & Cynthia de Lorenzi, authors, Your 2021 What’s Next Journal
Discover more art by Cynthia de Lorenzi; visit her collection in the InkandescentShop.com.