My favorite year-end ritual for celebration and personal growth: Writing a letter to myself

Michèle Fabian


December 21, 2022


You don’t wanna miss this opportunity to celebrate, deepen your learning and set yourself up for a vibrant new year.

Why do I write a year-end letter to myself?

Here's my favorite ritual that I’ve been doing consistently over the past years during these last days of the year: Writing a year-end letter to myself.

Those last weeks of December, when we are heading toward the turn of the year, are the perfect time to tune inwards, reflect back and look ahead to the new. This ritual helps me to clear my mental and emotional decks and foster my learning, it sets me up for a strong start in the new year.

Often we say, we learn from experience but actually we learn when we reflect on our experiences.

You may hear a lot of talk and advice about new years resolutions, goals, and whatnot these days. And maybe you already have thought about what you wanna aim for next year, for your well-being, your job or business, or what other area of your life you wanna grow in.

And maybe you haven’t. Either way is perfectly fine.

I suggest not jumping ahead too fast, without acknowledging your highlights and your growth of the ending year. Too many people give away this opportunity to celebrate personal growth.

First I reflect back on the past year and celebrate my achievements and what I’ve learned. Then I get crystal clear on what I want to manifest and achieve for the year ahead.

Set up your space and get ready

Before getting started I set up a quiet space, light a candle, get a nice cup of tea and make sure I set comfortably, so I can let all my thoughts flow and just write down whatever comes up.

Essential Oils can help you to create a pleasant environment for your reflection. My favorite essential oils to help to tune in with my intuition, enhance clarity and spark creativity are Wild Orange and Peppermint. You can add a few drops of each into your essential oil diffuser or simply rub a few drops between the palms of your hands, put your hands together before your nose and mouth and inhale the aroma.

To write your letter you can use your journal or an app on your phone. I usually love to journal pen-to-paper, however for my end-of-year letter to myself I prefer my notes app because I can easily access all the yearend letters, that I’ve written to myself over the year, later on. You choose what feels best to you.

Here’s the questions I ask myself:

1. What am I most proud of this year?

First I start with celebrating and honouring myself with the question: What am I most proud of myself for this year?

Whether it was an easy year for you or a rather tough one, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate yourself.

During sessions with my clients, I regularly notice how most people struggle with this notion. We live in a fast-paced world and accomplishing something often is associated with getting as much done in as little time as possible. When was the last time you actually stopped and reflected on your accomplishments when you were proud of yourself? So if you struggle with this, you are definitely not alone.

Celebrating ourselves is vital to a happy and healthy life because it reminds us to enjoy the journey, it helps us to love ourselves more and it increases our confidence. And by doing so, you will become a role model for everyone else around you.  

Celebrate yourself for all you have gone through this year, for all that you have accomplished, for all that you tried, for all that you felt, for all that you did for yourself, for all that you did for others, for all that you let go of, for all that you learned.

Brag and celebrate yourself. Honor yourself. Cheers to you, you are wonderful!

2. What have I learned?

Often the experiences we have that feel most tough or painful in the moment are the ones that shape us the most. There’s this saying “You learn from your mistakes” and we can definitely not deny it. But we don’t only learn from mistakes, also when we try something new, when we go out of our comfort zone helps us grow as humans. And leanings can impact us on so many different levels.

What about your learnings? What is a different perspective that you got this past year? How have you changed the way you think about something, the way you approach something, the way you feel, or the way you do stuff?  

Nothing is too big or too small to be mentioned here.

Reflecting on it and writing it down in your letter will help you foster your learning and make it stick.

3. What do I wanna let go of and leave in the old year?

Letting my thoughts flow around this question helps me to clear my thoughts and energy. It helps me to make peace with something, forgive myself or others, and simply let it go, so I can make space for something new.  

Letting go of something is never easy. As humans, our natural tendency is to hold firmly what we are used to, whether that’s experiences, people, or beliefs. So writing it down and bringing it to your awareness is an important step to act on it.

4. What do I wanna carry with me into the new year?

And the same goes for anything that you wanna carry with you. What are the vibes, people and capabilities that you wanna carry into the new year? What will help you to become a better person or make an impact in someone else’s life?

5. What do I wanna manifest and achieve in the new year?

This is the time and space where you can rave about 2023. What’s your heart's desire? What’s the vibe you wanna have in 2023? In what areas do you wanna grow and develop? How do you wanna feel? What are your intentions? Write it all down, don’t edit it. This is your space to access your heart's desires, whatever comes to mind is welcome. Don’t think about it too much. Just feel into it and write it down.

6. What do I wanna tell my future self?

I love this one. Here you get to connect with your future self and leave any message that you desire to tell her or him. What’s your personal message to yourself one year from now?

Close with the energy of what was and get ready for the new

I find this process very helpful to close with the energy of what was and set the tone for what’s ahead. If you wanna do this in several turns over a couple of days, that can be helpful as well. Sometimes our thoughts need to marinate a bit.

Once you’ve done this process you will feel complete, accomplished, and full of hope and activating energy for the new year.

It’s actually also a nice thing to share your reflections with family and friends. It definitely makes some good material for meaningful conversations.

Save the best for last…

Once I’m done (and only once I’m completely done) I read the letter that I have written to myself one year ago. This is always very eye-opening, enlightening, and fun.

Much love 🤍


P.S. Are you serious about making lasting changes to your well-being and your life?

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