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5 Ways To Reset Yourself For The New Year

Life & Travel

We're officially in the first month of the year. It took a while to get here but we made it! Many of us are using this time to set New Year's resolutions and assess the success of last year's goals.


While I recognize and appreciate everyone's excitement to brainstorm and create resolutions to become better people this year, I am often devastated by the amount of processing people don't do before moving on to a new year. It's almost as if people expect new doors to open without closing the ones they're leaving behind.

Part of moving on, even if it's just to a new year, is processing all the grief, pain, triumph, and joy that the previous year provided. It's understanding how last year's events transformed you (in both good and bad ways) into the person you are today. It's also recognizing what can go with you into the new year and what should be left behind.

It's just as important to end the year with loose ends tied as it is to begin a new year with a fresh perspective and new energy. Keeping that in mind, below are a few ways you can reset and re-center yourself to ensure you're starting your new year off right!

Process Your Year.

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Every year brings with it a new set of wins and losses. Some of us have experienced breakups, some of us have experienced new love. Some have lost loved ones, and others have experienced the birth of a new life. Some of us have battled depression and others may have come out of theirs.

Whatever this year brought you, it's important to take the time to process it. Write down the lessons you learned from each situation, come to terms with how each moment made you feel, and reflect on the transformation those moments afforded you. Walk away from this year with a summary of pivotal moments and an understanding of how they've shaped and shifted your life. Doing so will allow you to enter next year with an appreciation for the direction your life is headed.

Heal Your Heart From Its Hurts.

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If you truly believe the new year is a new start, you must heal your heart from the pain in the past so that it does not affect the present. Starting your healing process before a new year is critical to ensure you approach it with restored hope. It's important to work through the pain you experienced before embarking on new journeys this year.

If you are not fully healed (or at least trying to heal) from what happened last year, you threaten the fulfillment of all that can happen this year. Don't go into the new year harboring ill feelings about people, places, or things; instead, work on healing from the pain associated with them.

Forgive Yourself.

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This year you may have fallen short. You said and did some things you're not proud of. You've made mistakes. I know. Many of us have that same story.

Before entering the new year, forgive yourself (and others) for everything. Your one-woman pity party is sure to impede on your celebration for the new year, so stop beating yourself up, sis. What happened last year, stays in last year; leave the shortcomings of that year there and don't look back. The only things you should move forward with are the lessons you learned.

Reflect.

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As you wrap up the year, it's important to acknowledge how you feel about things – particularly yourself.

What did you want this year to bring? How have you manifested those desires? What are the ways you stood in your own way? What are things you've spoken over yourself? Ask yourself difficult questions.

Get into your own mind and figure out where you may have lost control, or where you have been completely victorious. Taking the time and thought to ask and answer these questions can help you identify key habits to work on next year. Resolutions aren't just about achieving goals, it's also about understanding the self-work that must occur to reach those goals. It's about abolishing insecurity, doubt, shame, and regret to truly operate in your calling, become a better you, and get the work done.

Let It Go, Sis.

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One of the worst things you can do when embarking on a new journey is bring old, useless baggage with you.

In order to fully flourish, you must learn to let things go. Healing can help take care of letting go of the emotional and mental bondage the painful moments caused, but sometimes you must let go of the things that didn't happen, too.

Harboring hurt from the unmet expectations of last year only prevents you from anticipating in the goodness of this year. So let go of all that didn't happen. Let go of feeling let down. What you expected of the year may not have transpired, but you can't hold that against this year. Let it all go and step into the new year fresh and free. And while you're at it, let go of the toxic people, places, and things too.

Before you rush off into the new year, use this month to cleanse and reset in preparation for it. While you will always bring parts of last year into the new one (after all, you are just an iteration of the things that happened to you in past years), it is important to end each year at peace.

Make a commitment to yourself to start the new year with a renewed spirit and energy by processing, healing, forgiving, reflecting, and letting go. I promise it'll make your resolutions even more attainable.

Featured image by Getty Images.

Jamie Foxx and his daughter Corinne Foxx are one of Hollywood’s best father-daughter duos. They’ve teamed up together on several projects including Foxx’s game show Beat Shazam where they both serve as executive producers and often frequent red carpets together. Corinne even followed in her father’s footsteps by taking his professional last name and venturing into acting starring in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times as Thelma.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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TW: This article may contain mentions of suicide and self-harm.

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