Every year as New Year's Day rolls around, most of us are pretty good at setting New Year's Resolutions. We're all tired of the old and really ready for the new. This is all good. The problem is, we usually don't let go of the old before we start on the new. This sounds like a really small thing, but in reality we need to take some time to release the old before we begin the new.
For instance, suppose your goal for the New Year is to lose weight. Chances are that you have tried to lose weight before, or that you have some emotional baggage around the issue of your weight. If you don't at least take a look at the baggage or at your previous attempts to lose weight, you'll have less chance of losing weight this time around.
So whatever your goal is for the New Year, take a little time to review and release what has been. You don't need to make it an elaborate exercise, just make it a nod to your past and an acknowledgment that you now have greater experience, mileage and wisdom for your new goal. Some people like to journal about their experience, while others like to look through old pictures.
One method I have found to be particularly effective is to take a blank sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. On one half of the page, write what has been in the past focusing on what you would like to release. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you might write down the factors that have prevented you from losing weight in the past. This might include your family's eating habits, stress, lack of priority and so on. Then, on the other half of the paper write down what you do want to achieve relative to your goal. You might write down things like awareness of your body's needs, awareness of stress, meditation to release stress and newfound independence relative to your family's eating habits. When you're done, tear the sheet of paper in half along the line you drew. Burn the half you don't want (maybe saying a little prayer or affirmation as you do about releasing the old) and post the other half on your fridge or bulletin board.
It doesn't matter how you acknowledge or release the past, just that you do it. It may seem like a really small and inconsequential act, but it can have huge effects and results. Take a little time to do this - it doesn't cost you anything but a little time and attention. You'll be amazed how clean and fresh you feel after you do. Good luck!