New Year’s rituals for folks who LOATHE resolutions.


New Year’s resolutions are restrictive, belittling and designed to make you feel like a failure, when you — humanly and naturally — fall short of your mark. What a swell way to kick off the next installment of your life!

New Year’s rituals, on the other hand, are commemorative, detached from results and designed to simply let you FEEL the movement of time.

They’re about celebration + wonder, not rigid goals + obligations.

And while I might be a little biased, in my experience, it’s rituals — not resolutions — that yield lasting results.

Here are six of my favorite New Year’s rituals — for closure, completion + thunderbolt clarity.

Perform with love.


Try a Six-Day Sex Date…

…with someone really FOXY. (Say, yourself.) Three hours of sex, every day, for nearly a week. New sensations, spontaneous experiences, frisky toys…and levels of intimacy.

Kim Anami spells it all out, in this bodacious post, worthy of Playboy (which, incidentally, she also writes for.)


Get an intuitive reading. A GOOD one.

Getting witnessed by a master intuitive is an experience you won’t soon forget. I got a reading with The Tarot Lady last week, and it’s already altered my vocational vision for the new year.

Spooky-resonant, short of breath, misty-eyed, cosmic YES-ness. Give it to yourself.


Create a Gratitude Practice.

What if, instead of focusing your precious life force + attention on dropping those last 3.5 pounds (“because THEN I’ll really have made it, man!”) you devoted 15 minutes a day to simply exuding … gratitude?

You could write one thank you note every morning, like Patti Digh.

You could try some wild-child philanthropy.

You could buy coffee for the frazzled commuters in the line, behind you — and tip the barista, of course.

And with regards to those last 3.5 pounds? Meh. You’ve got bigger, more beautiful things to concern yourself with.


Schedule a Digital Sabbatical.

Figure out when you can commit to a tech-free vacation and literally put it on your calendar.

Ink it up. Make it real. And discover who you ARE without social media, email or your ‘work’ to define you.

Luminous, scary, and wholly necessary.



Write down something — or everything — you are ready to RELEASE, in 2012. Say, obsessive email-checking. Or feelings of worthlessness. Or co-dependent tendencies. Or the wheezing business identity you’re finally ready to put out of its misery. Or a relationship that’s OVER, everywhere but your head.

Hold your scrap of paper over a match. Let it catch fire. And scatter those ashes into the ether.

You are… free. Stardust in the wind.



One word that will color + characterize, amplify + affirm your entire identity, in 2012. Like a micro-manifesto, or one-word affirmation.

My 2011 POWER WORD was VOLTAIC: noting or pertaining to electricity or electric currents, especially when produced by chemical action, as in a cell; galvanic.

My word for 2012? DEVOTION.

Find yours and keep it close.


To peace on earth — and happy self-worth.



creativity // inspiration


I burned my whole resume. It was awesomely freeing. (Great! Now I’m just making words up.)

I’m definitely a fan of the six-day sex date (I ought to be, in coined the term!), combined with a digital sabbatical. And I love the last two on your list. Definitely incorporating those to lighten the load and tighten my focus.

Much love!

~ Kim

Writing and Burning is a powerful ritual.. just used it yesterday to “break contract” with patterns and people and it’s so powerful and pagan-like and I always feel the shift in the energies afterwards. Something about putting those intentions through-the-fire along with prayers and the calling in of divine support…
Love the list and as you know I adore rituals (never resolutions which are always about “fixing” or perfectionism” and tend not to be particularly powerful). I do my gratitude letter at night.. it feels like a sweet little bedtime prayer and sets the perfect energy for a peaceful sleep.. counting my blessings, on paper, as a love letter is a longstanding ritual that I recommend.
Love and happy holidays to you Alex- great post.
Simple Sacred Solutions to Living Beautifully In Your Body

I burned something in June, Midsummer’s night, and have been working through it since. Hurrah for burning.

Love this. I’ll just be over here hunting for the perfect power word.

Hey Alex,

I found this link from Medicinal Marzipan and I simply love all the writing here. These are all great ideas (especially the burn and release!) and I can’t wait to explore them. Thank you!

JNANA :: That is HOT!!! I completely approve.

KIM ANAMI :: I can’t wait to try it out. Muah ha ha. ;)

LISA CLAUDIA BRIGGS :: “Fixing yourself” is for the birds. And I love your evening gratitude letter ritual. Such a powerful practice.

CLARE FLOURISH :: Hurrah, indeed.

JESS :: Tell me when you find it!

HANNAH :: Burn ‘n release…rinse ‘n repeat…

Alexandra Franzen on Dec 30, 2011 Reply

A small group of friends and I did a “burn and release” ritual for (Southern Hemisphere) summer solstice a couple of weeks back, which seemed to work AWESOMELY.

And my word for 2012 is definitely “exploration” – there’s so much I’m going to be exploring and experiencing (some of it involuntarily) in my personal and business life next year. I want to be able to consistently remind myself that it’s all exploration. Hopefully, framing it that way will take some of the pressure off me to get it right first time around.

I can but hope anyway!

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