Be Ceremonial

New Year Rituals: From resolutions to intentions 

Happy new year from all of us at Be Ceremonial! 

With the start of a new year comes pressure to begin goal setting and checklist making. This year, we invite you to forget about resolutions and instead focus on setting positive intentions, identifying your values, and creating meaningful rituals. 

You can create a ceremony to Close the Year, acknowledging what you want to leave behind, and you can also create a ceremony to Open the Year, setting intentions for what you want to manifest in the year ahead. However you decide to end one year and welcome the next, we invite you to spend a little extra time on how you want to feel rather than what you need to accomplish.

How it all started 

New Year’s resolution has been around since the ancient Babylonians more than 4,000 years ago. They were the first to hold recorded celebrations in honour of the new year in March when crops were planted. During a twelve-day celebration, the Babylonians set intentions and made promises so that their gods would look on them favourably for the year ahead. 

The tradition of New Year’s resolutions continued in ancient Rome. Emperor Julius Caesar introduced a new calendar in 46 B.C. which established January 1 as the start of the new year. 

Now most people make resolutions to themselves rather than promising gods, with a focus on self-improvement and goal setting. 

Intention Setting vs. Making Resolution

Research shows that only about 16 percent of people are able to follow their resolutions, and most give up within one to six weeks of starting. Many fail to achieve their goals because they identify an outcome without also identifying the underlying motivation of that outcome.

Keep in mind that there is a distinct difference between resolutions and intentions. Resolutions tend to focus on the goal or outcome, while intentions aren’t tied to a specific outcome and places attention on the journey. For example: 

  • Resolution: Meditate for an hour every day at 8 am.
    • Intention: To practice mindfulness and restore my body and soul. 
  • Resolution: Reduce processed sugar to half in all diets.
    • Intention: To nourish and prioritize my body. 

Instead of setting rigid parameters of success, intentions offer room and flexibility for growth and serve as a north star to guide your choices in the year ahead. 

3 powerful rituals to transition into the new year 

Welcome a new beginning with attention and intention with ceremony and ritual. Here are three rituals that are included in our DIY ceremony platform to give you a sense of what we offer. Like with all of our ceremonies, feel free to adjust each ritual to make it your own, reflecting your stories and learnings and lived experiences.

“A word can be embraced as a mantra, a meditation, a reminder, a promise. A word can be interpreted in different ways. A word can’t be “broken”— it feels gentler somehow.” Susannah Conway

Intention word ritual

1. Intention word

Choose one word that captures what you want to feel in the year ahead. Consider what the previous year brought with it, what you want to let go of and how you would like the year ahead to feel like.

Sometimes we need a hand uncovering our just-right word. Susannah shares her experience with the practice and a free workbook to help you find your word for 2023.

Cold plunge ritual

2. Cold plunge 

Cold plunging is an ancient ritual that is widely practiced by many cultures and gaining popularity for its wide variety of wellness benefits. 

Simply find your way to a body of cold water and enter the water at your own pace in a way that feels right to you. Consider your intention: What would you like this cold plunge to bring or offer you? How would I like this year to unfold? 

Cleansing space ritual

3. Cleansing space

Often referred to as Smokeless Herbs, Sweeping, or Dusting, this ritual can be traced back to many cultures around the world, as well as being reinvented in modern times. 

Sometimes tidying goes beyond the tangible. Visualize cleansing your space from negative energy or emotions of past experiences using a broom, a duster, or a bundle of twigs and dried flowers.

However you choose to acknowledge this time of transition, Be Ceremonial’s unique platform will help you create an opening the year ceremony that reflects your story. Choose from our extensive library of secular rituals and create a ceremony to honour this time of change and open the year with awareness, intention, and ritual.

We hope this guide inspires you to reflect on what you want to leave behind in 2022 and what you want to carry forward to 2023.

Happy yew year // Gott nytt år

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