Angeline Hayling

9 New Year’s Rituals To Help You Set the New Year Off Right

– Cover Photo: Bohemian stylist Angeline Hayling

For some of us, 2019 was our best year yet! But for many others, honeyyyyy, 2019 brought us through some changes!  That makes sense given that 9 is a number that not only marks endings but also CHANGE. And not just teeny tiny change but RADICAL change. Some would like to believe that flipping the calendar over into a year can automatically change the course of their paths. And while that outlook can be fueled by positivity and the laws of attraction, there is still “work” that has to be done using tools we possess as naturally gifted spiritual beings. And even before we make that crossover, these handful of rituals that have been passed down through generations are what can help to metaphysically “shake things up” in preparation for living the life of your dreams.


Typically in business, most successful companies conduct year-in-review reports. The importance of such reviews are to re-cap and document everything the organization has done in the past in order to evaluate their “lessons learned.” It only makes sense to apply the same methodology to our personal life plan.  The most practical way to do this is to create a timeline of sorts reflecting on the past year or if you’re ambitious, the past decade. Using the past decade as an example, one could outline it as so:

2010: Sent my oldest off to college. Dreamed of going back to school. 

2011: Started a new job. Taught myself how to knit.

2012: Diagnosed with cancer.  Began chemotherapy.

2013: Started radiation.  Tried Reiki for the first time. Beat cancer.

And so on and so forth…

You may need to break out old emails or even use social media to help jog your memory. When you’re done, believe me you’ll be amazed at what you see; milestones, accomplishments, best practices, best moments. Sure, you may see a few rough patches here and there as well.  That’s what we call life, but the joy you’ll feel in the realization of your resilience over time will empower you to tackle anything that lies ahead.

Founder of @blackgirlswithgardens.

Give back. Buy a plant.  

We currently live in a time of climate change and global warming. Trees and rainforests are being destroyed. Planting new seeds and growing plants are a way to give back to our planet. Plants are also great for many of us who struggle with loneliness. Talking to a plant can not only help them to grow, but it can also give you a moment to speak aloud and share your thoughts of the day with another living creature. 

Smoke. Cut. Sweeten. Repeat. (Spiritual Cleaning)

One time when hosting a get together someone said to me, “your house is almost TOO clean.” For the record, they weren’t admiring my domestic skills. They were referring to how quiet the spiritual energy was in my home.  

There’s more to cleaning than sage and palo santo burning folks.  Let me ask y’all. Are your windows open? Are you cutting away/down the bad ones spiritual energy or the mucky energy that doesn’t belong to you? And are you welcoming back/refreshing the spiritual energy that does?

Here’s some simple help…

Step 1: Open the windows. 

Step 2: Make some smoke (sage, palo santo, tobacco, myrrh, et al)

Step 3: Work from the back to the front. Top to bottom. 

Step 4: Cut em down. Spray Florida water, diluted ammonia, rum etc

Step 5: Pray. ask those that don’t belong to you to leave. 

Step 7: Close the windows. 

Step 6: Sweeten the home with a perfumed solution you can make yourself. 

Cleanings ain’t easy but they’re worth it. 


Keep it Moving (Light Housecleaning)

Right before you spiritually clean your home, there’s nothing like a little light housekeeping before the new year.  There are various traditional beliefs about why, but from a spiritual standpoint, moving things out of corners, washing clothes, throwing away any raggedy underwear (or at the very least, washing them),emptying the refrigerator of old food and mopping the floors are just instinctually the types of rituals that can uplift your own spirit.

If you have a spiritual altar, freshen or attend to their “living” areas as well.


Align with your soul via meditation.  Over time meditation can calm the nerves. But it also provides the time and space one needs to HUSH. Just HUSH. After a while the self talk (that often distracts some of us) will become something else. Messaging. Intuitive thought. Get your notebooks ready. Listen. Write. Review. Move intentionally.

Honor your ancestors

Whatever your faith… we all have those who’ve lived before us. Make a list. Call their names during your daily meditation and/or prayers. In these times they are ready to help you…fight for you. 

Light a candle for them.  Lit candles provide light to the spirits. It helps them to see. Can YOU see where you’re going or what you’re doing in the dark?  They have work to do and people to help. The more they help us, the more they evolve. Pray for their light. Pray for their peace. Pray for their evolution and progress. Ancestors on the mainline. Tell them what you want.

Activate your Affirmations

Affirmations are cute, but they’re only impactful if they’re applied to a regular practice. Believe it or not, activating affirmations can be manifested in various forms depending on your goals or objectives.  So let’s start by creating that wishlist, vision board, letter to oneself that outlines what you want to accomplish in 2020. This exercise will not only “affirm” your intentions but it will also help you to frame your language and shift your mindset. 

But now what?  Welp now, it’s time to build your practice by rephrasing the affirmation in the form of gratitude statements.

Here are some examples.

Affirmation: I am beautiful

Gratitude Statement: I am thankful for my beautiful face, body and spirit.

Affirmation: I am wealthy.

Gratitude Statement: I am thankful for my bountiful life.

Affirmation: I am fearless.

Gratitude Statement: I am thankful for the courage I have to…

Struggling to find the right words? Do try to recreate the wheel.  There are various card decks and books on the market that can be used for inspiration. And of course, let’s not forget the endless memes being fed to us on a daily basis via social media.


Delete! Delete! Delete! 

One of the best things you can also do for yourself as you move into not only a new year but an entire new decade is to get rid of anything or literally anybody that occupies too much space in your inbox, your cell phone, your DMs or your timeline. For some, deleting and unfriending folks seems a bit harsh. But when it comes to peace of mind and wiping your slate clean, sometimes it’s best to hit the delete with your trigger finger and don’t look back! This goes for that DM exchange between you and that ex that you should have stopped talking to years ago. And posts from your really but not really frenemy whose selfies make you cringe every time you see them. Or simply, that maximized email inbox with thousands of unread messages. You’re probably not going to ever read them. So you might as well delete.


Feed your belly. Feed your soul. (Prep your Hoppin’ John)

Even if this hasn’t been a part of your family tradition, making this easy dish has been a tried and true ritual for so many of us Black folks spread across the African diaspora. This dish in its symbolic nature is made to bring in the New Year with good luck and fortune (schmoney). 

And when you actually make this dish with your own hands, and enjoy it with family and friends, you’re honoring those ancestors that were responsible for keeping our traditions thriving and alive. Don’t know how to make Hoppin John. Here’s my favorite article that deconstructs this delicious and soul warming dish. Those of us that don’t meat or eat animal products just eliminate the ham hocks or turkey neck. 

If you have an altar or plaza for the ancestors don’t forget to put some of this delicious food down with them (preferably WITH a piece of cooked pork).

– Kateria Niambi bka @thehungrymedium

The Hungry Medium is a lifestyle brand and dynamic resource positioned to inform and guide women in their personal development journey. Her brand provides Spiritual Consults, guidance with developing transformative self-help practice, vegan meals and dining tips/options.  To learn more about the Hungry Medium, click HERE.

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