Winter solstice marks the longest night of the year, and for centuries it’s been celebrated for marking the sun’s gradual return to the winter skies. This year, in the northern hemisphere, winter solstice falls on Dec. 21.
As the days begin to get longer, bringing the promise of the renewal of spring, the solstice is the perfect time to get a jump start on planting seeds for the year ahead.
Traditionally, winter is a time to hibernate, to get cozy in our homes. You can also view it as a time to get cozy with yourself. Think of it as a time for introspection after a busy year.
Granted, some of us are in the midst of holiday craziness, but the solstice reminds us to slow down and observe the stillness and beauty of the season.
As you take in that stillness, it's a perfect time to reflect on the past year and start planning for the new one. This doesn’t have to be a hard-core planning session, but rather a time to set the stage for your plans in the year ahead.
If you are ready for some solstice reflection, try this method:
Light a candle
The solstice is the longest night of the year, and lighting a candle not only helps light the night but also welcomes in possibilities for the new year.
Find a quiet, comfy spot to sit, and maybe pour yourself a cup of tea. Make this an occasion to honor yourself with some down time.
Grab a journal
We are so often wired to our devices that we forget how lovely it can be to connect with our thoughts via pen and paper. (Get a Best Day Ever notebook here.) Writing by hand allows you to slow down, sit with your thoughts and maybe even get a touch creative. Break out the colorful gel pens!
Now that you’re set, spend a few minutes on these 3 Rs: Reflect, Re-establish and Re-Invigorate.
Reflect on the past year’s successes as well as those things that didn’t hit the mark. What did you learn from those misses? How can you release the hard feelings you may have had about “messing up,” etc., and come away with a lesson to make next year better?
Next, re-establish goals you are still working toward or need to adjust. This is a great time for course-correction and using the lessons from the past year’s missteps.
Finally, reinvigorate your outlook by setting new goals or outlining the next steps toward meeting your current ones. Don’t forget to use SMART goals.
Ancient traditions around the world saw magic in the transition from dark to light. Use your own magic to banish the dark days of the past year and light the way for a brilliant New Year.
Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash