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New Year Rituals and Affirmations to Kick Start 2021

December 01, 2020

Person holding Curation diary

A brand new year brings with it a certain kind of magic. It’s an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and reinvent ourselves if we want to. There’s also a certain level of invincibility that surrounds us, hence the “new year, new me” mantra many of us subscribe to. 

Of course, you don’t need to wait until the 1st of January to start fresh—but I think we can all agree, the crisp white pages of a brand new planner make it all the more enticing to reflect, dream and set intentions for the year ahead. 

We asked a few friends of Saint Belford how they kick start the new year, so you can feel inspired to do the same. 


What’s one thing you do to kick start the new year? Do you have an annual ritual or tradition that you carry out at the end of December or start of January? If not, how do you intend to begin 2021? What’s one affirmation you’re going to be using for 2021? 

I’m a big fan of a new year and having a fresh page perspective, whenever that begins for someone – be it a birthday, Jan 1
st or a completely arbitrary date. Our THRIVE workshop was framed around this so I actually test drive the evidence-based updates we’ve made before it rolls out for our collective.

This is such a fun process and I really enjoy reflecting on the year that was (with prompts, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming), mindfully consider the year that is beginning and plan contingencies around my goals. Because if 2020 has reminded us of anything, it’s that we need flexible, compassionate contingencies in place from the start. 

Amy Kate Isaacs, The Mindful Collective


Before I take some time off for the year to spend with family, I do a written reflection on the year that was and write down things like my wins, challenges, lessons and highlights. I feel like it’s a great way to close off the year rather than just let it go by and roll into another one. At the start of the New Year, I write a list of things I’d love to focus on, work towards and create. I also mention how I’d like to feel and what I’d be most proud of. All of these things are aligned with my values and priorities.

Bridget Murphy, The Truest You

I always spend some time journaling at the start of the year. For the past 3 years, I've completed the self-care menu, bucket list, mission section, and habit ideas in my Saint Belford Curation journals.

It's a beautiful way to think about the year ahead, set meaningful goals, and get excited about what's to come.

My affirmation for 2021 is simply "I'm a kind person." I want to focus more on doing kind deeds and making my friends and family feel special.

Rachael Kable, The Mindful Kind 

Last year, Tom and I spent the first day of the year at the beach, excitedly discussing and writing down our goals and plans for 2021—a new tradition I hope to continue.

I must say, this is not a reflection of how I’ve typically spent the end of December and start of January. 

Since starting Saint Belford, the end/start of the year have been our busiest months, so self-reflection and goal-setting have often been postponed until the end of January when I felt more inspired to ponder the year ahead. In other years, I’ve felt completely clueless about goals and it hasn’t been until much later in the year that I experience clarity and a sense of purpose. 

There is so much joy in goal-setting and so much value in self-reflection, but it’s important to remove the expectation of knowing exactly what goals to set at the beginning of the new year. If nothing comes to the surface, be patient with yourself. Don’t try and force anything. 

My affirmation for 2021 is “I am patient and I trust the timing of things.” I want to practise a little more patience and rewire the type-a-ness within me that wants to control everything, because it’s completely unrealistic! 

Alex Phillips, Saint Belford