However you celebrate the New Year, this festive period invites us to reflect back over the journey we've navigated for the past twelve months and look forward to the year ahead. It can be such a powerful process as long as we do it with renewed spirit. So caste a brief glance behind and:
* Count our blessings
* Grieve over the sadness and sorrow that has visited our hearts
* Recount the lessons and growth we've experienced
* Acknowledge the ups and downs
* Honour those who have left and those who have joined us
* Celebrate the events that have brought us to this point.
All too often our first few days of a new year are geared towards recovering from the revelry, fretting about the results of our over-indulgence and what resolutions we must set to feel better, look better or be better. This year, I invite you to throw off the old traditional shackles and pull back the curtains to a new way of welcoming in 2015.
Sparkle a little fairy dust this year and embrace the hope, anticipation, potential and, let's face it, a little of the unknown that lays just around the corner. Here are some ideas for making this your best year yet:
* Find a jar and write little gratitude notes of things that bring a smile to your face, that you open in one year's time. This will help you appreciate all the small things that so often go unnoticed.
* Instead of setting New Year's Resolutions, which we know rarely reach beyond the 31 January, do something more creative with your hopes and intentions. Picture yourself writing Christmas cards next December that tell your friends about the year you've had and all the amazing things that you've experienced. As you begin to imagine this future, you can then focus on the commitments that will help you travel towards that vision, making it a reality.
* From these commitments you can then set a small handful of intentions (not goals, which are too restrictive and set us up for failure not success).
* Why not decorate an old shoe box, turning it into a secret store for a Bucket List of things you would like to achieve this year.
* To help you along with this, why not answer questions around what would you like to DO, BE or HAVE over the coming year. This honours the physical, practical and spiritual parts of us, ensuring a balance for all things.
* Wake up each day and feel grateful for all that is and all that will be. This will ensure that each day becomes a new opportunity for happiness, not just a new year.
* Start the year focusing on what happiness means to you instead of what success looks like. Happiness is the new success and when we acknowledge that happiness is the source of all good things that come to us, our lives will become more joyful.
* Rather than focusing on putting rigid plans together for the year ahead, learn to let go and trust what emerges, knowing intuitively that what arrives is what you are meant to experience. Notice how much freer your life is when you relinquish the tight hold that traditional New Year practices encourage.
* Talk with your family and friends about how you can bring nature and simplicity into your life more every day, how you can play more, laugh more - these things are all free and priceless.
So forget the old ways - welcome in the new year with a heart-centred and fun approach and start your year as you would any other day - because each day presents us with a miracle of newness, opportunity and hope. May your year be blessed with happiness and each day with peace, health and joy.