How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions? Does the thought of setting them depress you or make you anxious? Or maybe you start out all gung-ho right after the ball drops, but come February 1st you’re already off the wagon?

If you’ve been following my work for a while, you know I do an annual ritual in lieu of making New Year’s resolutions. Resolution setting has never really worked for me…I’d make a goal that was too big or too hard… and when I didn’t follow through, I’d end up feeling like a failure.

Can you relate?

Creating resolutions doesn’t really give you any space to process the year that just happened, which is essential if you want to consciously and intentionally leave any of the crap you don’t want in last year.

I knew I needed to create something different that felt really good for the start of each year. Some simple practices to help me not only create space to understand the difficult situations I’d gone through that year, but also to help me celebrate the great stuff too.

So today, I share that ritual with you.

If you want to head into 2019 with clarity on what you’re ready to release and confidence around what you’re ready to welcome in with a ritual practice that feels goooood, then this episode is for you!


The first step is to create some lists. You start by making a list of all the crap you’re leaving in 2018. I’ve created a PDF for you with this ritual that will walk you through the process as you make your lists and you can download it right here.

That consists of people, places, things, experiences, feelings– anything you don’t want to carry with you into this New Year. Take about 10 minutes and think through all the different areas in your life that were stressful, painful, unsatisfying or just plain wrong in 2018 and write them down.

You might feel some resistance to this, but I promise you, it’s this kind of reflection that will help you process the crappy stuff so that you can make conscious decisions about what you do want your life to feel like and be like this year. Life is an ongoing journey of higher education — I’ve learned so much and just when I think I couldn’t possibly learn more, I do.

This is a great journaling exercise so be specific! This can cover all areas of your life – home, relationships, work, finances, friendships, health – anything that you feel needs to change. This isn’t an exercise in negativity, this is about identifying what worked and what DIDN’T work, and getting clarity about where you want your life to feel better.

As I said before, I do this practice each year and each year I end up with a long list of the things I’m leaving in the previous year, and it feels very hopeful and exciting.

Once you’ve got your first list complete, it’s time to move on to the next one: Gems from the Crap in 2018. This is a great way of REALLY getting to the bottom of what you learned from those circumstances that didn’t go the way you wanted them to. Look back at your first list and really try to extract the wisdom or learning from each of those situations or experiences. While some of those can and will be painful to re-examine, this is how we as humans learn and grow – instead of beating yourself up or living in regret, we focus that energy on gleaning the wisdom from those not so great events.

It’s an essential practice because if we don’t learn from our behavioral choices from the previous year, what do you think happens? We repeat them. I don’t want that for you! I know that you’re strong enough and smart enough to do the work: you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t! Commit to getting your hands dirty and digging through the crap of 2018 to find those gems so that you can continue on your personal evolutionary path of becoming the best version of yourself.

List three is where it gets really fun. This list is about what you are creating in 2019. Now that you have established in the first list all of the things you DON’T want in 2019, write down on this list how you WANT to feel, and what positive changes you want in your life. As my pal Danielle LaPorte says, this is where we create our Goals with Soul. Get clear on what you want, based on how you want to feel. I’ve included space for this in the Ritual PDF, but If you want to go even deeper, I highly recommend her book, The Desire Map — it’s absolutely brilliant and walks you through the process of identifying your “core desired feelings” so that you can shift the life choices you make so that what you’re creating this year aligns with your authentic desires.


You can do this alone or have a shared New Year’s celebration ritual with loved ones and friends. Take your first list – the one with all the crap that you want to leave in 2018 – and burn it. (Please make sure you do this somewhere safe and legal – the last thing you need is the fire department having to kick down your door or the police ticketing you for starting a fire somewhere you shouldn’t!  Be safe, lovebugs!)

What we are doing is ritualistically burning the negativity and negative energetic ties out of our own experience and releasing it into the universe. As your list of crap is burning, visualize that it’s being released back into the universal energy. You no longer have to carry it. Mama Earth has taken it from you. When it’s done, say this affirmation:

“I am so happy and grateful right now…I am free.”

Negative feelings give out negative vibrations that are like little hooks drawing in similar negative experiences, which is why – while we always want to acknowledge the lesson and be in action to change the things that aren’t working in our life – we always want to focus on the good stuff we want in our lives, focusing on what we DO have rather than what we don’t. So this burning is a very powerful way of re-affirming to the universe that we are done with the unsatisfying or painful experience/emotion/circumstance, and freeing ourselves of it.

Now CELEBRATE – feel liberated and lighter and share your joy with us in the comments below or with your friends.

Then, take list two and three and put them in a place that you can see them often and easily. Download the PDF here and you can either print it out and write your lists, or type in your list and save the PDF somewhere you can easily get to it (like on your phone or desktop.)

Every time you read your lists of positive intentions, try to really FEEL the emotions you want to create. It’s not enough to just see the list – take the time to really imagine the good feelings behind each item on your lists. That way, by taking positive action AND consciously conjuring the feeling of achieving it, you create a really impactful way of making these things manifest for you in 2019.

If more love is one of one of the things you’re manifesting for the New Year, I want to invite you to a brand new More Love Meditation Experience! I’ve created 10 new guided meditations for you based on our community’s feedback on what your biggest love challenges are, and they are just gorgeous. Each day you’ll get a new meditation from me right in your inbox and then we’ll conclude with More Love Live, a free training class where I’ll teach you my best tools and strategies to help you up the love in your life! Whether you’re single and want to attract healthy, lasting love or you’re in a relationship and want to create better, higher level love and intimacy, this experience is for you.


I cannot wait to see what magic you create in 2019! As always, take care of you.


Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.