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Your 4-Step Ritual for Setting a New Year's Intention

Updated: Jan 9

When you look ahead to the New Year, do you feel disheartened and fatigued? You are not alone! That is why, in this blog post, I am sharing guided meditations and journal prompts to help you set down the heaviness of the past year and enter the New Year with hope and intention.

As I sat down to reflect on the Winter Solstice this year, it really hit me that we are closing in on the end of the 2nd year of this Global Pandemic. It seems a bit surreal to me.


An abundance of uncertainty, rapid change, fear, and loneliness for such an extended period of time is leading to fatigue and burnout for many of us. I see it in my clients, the social work community, my loved ones and I feel it myself.


Frontline workers who are managing their own fear, fatigue, and pandemic burnout, while also supporting their clients struggling with the same, are running on empty. They are expected to keep showing up for a burnt-out community while feeling burnt-out themselves. And if you happen to also be a Highly Sensitive Person, then chances are you feeling the impact of the past two years deeply.


Reflecting on this reminded me how it is more important than ever for me to slow down, go inward and tend to the aching and exhausted parts of myself. AND it hit me that you all might be feeling the exact same way! I always find the Winter Solstice and the New Year a perfect time do this.


Last year I created 2 short meditations along with some journal prompts to support my private practice clients with transitioning into the New Year. I figured my Sensitive Social Worker community might benefit from these resources as well, so here they are!


These 4 steps will help you say goodbye to 2021 and bravely head into 2022 with mindful intention.


End 2021 with Ease and Grace

You have given a lot and carried a lot this past year. Can you offer yourself some time to honour this?

Before I jump into a new year, I always like to spend some time reflecting on the previous year. It is healing to acknowledge the struggle and the suffering, as well as the beauty and the hope that the year held. It is also an opportunity to determine what I want to set down, and what I want to bring with me into the New Year.


You have given a lot and carried a lot this past year. Can you offer yourself some time to honour this?

As a Social Worker, you know how important it is to acknowledge and validate your clients' feelings. I encourage you to you offer yourself the same kindness as you move through these exercises.


Step 1: Guided Meditation


Carve out a few minutes when you know you won't be interrupted and make your space cozy and comfortable.

Start by listening to this short meditation.

Step 2: Journal Prompts

Once done the meditation, take a few minutes to reflect upon and write down your answers to these journal prompts:


· What did 2021 encourage me to face?

· What was the most challenging part of this year? How did I overcome this?

· What moments in 2021 brought me the most joy?

· What am I ready to leave behind from 2021? What do I want to let go of?

· What do I want to bring from 2021 into 2022?


Entering 2022 with Hope and Intention

Using an intention as an anchor can help ensure that you move through the year in a way that aligns with your values and your truest self.

It is around this time of year that people start talking about New Years resolutions and New Years goals. While it is great to set personal and professional goals for ourselves, I have found that the focus on achievement and accomplishment can lead to additional stress and overstimulation, which can contribute to burnout. That is why I set an intention each year instead.


Your intention will serve as a guide and a support as you move through the challenges and joys of the upcoming year. Using an intention as an anchor can help ensure that you move through the year in a way that aligns with your values and your truest self.

Step 3: Guided Meditation


When you feel like you have spent the time you need reflecting on and processing the past year, you can start to look ahead to the new year.


Start by listening to this short meditation.


Step 4: Journal Prompts


Once done the meditation, take a few minutes to reflect upon and write down your answers to these journal prompts:


· What do I need as you enter this new year? What is my heart asking for?

· What will be my intention, word or phrase for the year?

· How will this intention guide me during uncertain or challenging times?

· How will this intention help me invite hope and joy in the new year?


It may be helpful to draw, paint or write out your intention. Create a visual for yourself to serve as a reminder. Throughout the next year, you can return to your attention again and again, no matter what the year brings.


May you enter this upcoming year with gentle self-kindness.
May you enter this upcoming year in a way that honours your truest self.


If you found these guided meditations helpful, you may want to grab my free meditation specifically created to help Social Workers decompress after a busy workday.



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