A New Year’s tradition that we have done every year with the kids consists of the following:
I cut out leaf shapes from green construction paper. Each person gets 6 leaves.
On 3 of the leaves, we write down things from the previous year that we’d rather forget. Some ideas of things to forget include an argument you had with someone, a test you didn’t do well in, a meet where you didn’t perform up to your potential, or a goal that you didn’t make. It doesn’t have to be a great failure and if you honestly can’t come up with 3 things, even that’s not an issue (although to be honest, several of us often put more than one event on each leaf – I personally have no problem with coming up with many things I’d like to forget each year).
No one gets to see your “forgets” they are personal and are only for you to know about.
On the other 3 leaves we write down 3 goals for the coming year. Perhaps you want to work on breaking a bad habit, or you want to compile a collection of some sort. We try to include goals that are not instantaneous i.e. buy a puppy but instead identify those that will take some time and effort.
It’s amazing to see the older kids help the younger ones identify some examples of good goals. This exercise has taught all the kids how to identify personal actionable goals for change, progress, and growth in their lives.
Once we have written on all of our leaves, we collect the “forgets” and put them into a small fire we’ve made. We watch them burn and disappear. Released are the failures and the feelings of guilt we’ve carried.
We then go down to the river (which we live near) and throw our goals into the moving water sending them to the world. You don’t have to state your goal as it is released but most of us do. There is such power in declaring a goal and then sending it out for the universe to know.