Saying goodbye to 2020

sketch of a girl with heart balloon

Who doesn't want to say goodbye to 2020! What a year it has been. So tough, on so many levels, for people right around the globe. But 2020 has also been a year of massive growth and change, and I know that many of our members have used 2020 as the perfect opportunity to dig deep and confront things in their lives that needed changing. My dear friend and sober hero @suek developed this 'Old Year Gratitude Ritual' as a lovely way to say goodbye to the year that has just been, and at no time is it more useful than when we get ready to say goodbye to 2020. If you have trouble finding the time and space to do all of her suggestions, just adjust it to suit. No pressure - just do what you can. On New Year's Eve I'll publish another post with a different ritual from @suek with suggestions on how to set intentions for 2021. 



Decide on where you want to carry out your ritual. It could be a whole room in your home, or a special chair, desk or table, or maybe a corner of your bedroom. Maybe it's your airbed in your tent, a desk at the library or at a local cafe. Where ever you can get some time to yourself.

Day of:

First set up a mat, cushion, blankets, candle, music—whatever you need for meditation, yoga and writing.

Prepare some drinks and food for the writing session. Tea, chocolate, fruit… small nourishing things.

Get some favourite clean clothes laid out and ready to put on later.

Light a candle.

Meditate however you usually do it, for as long as you like.

Do some yoga or some sort of movement if you feel like it. If you don't have a regular yoga practice, you can use this free one.

Then it's time for some writing. Use an old notebook, journal or loose paper, not a new notebook for this writing. Use these questions to help prompt your memory about the year past:

  • What were my happiest times in 2020?
  • What did I do or achieve that I’m please with?
  • How did I grow personally or spriritually in 2020?
  • What habits did I let go? What habits did I pick up?
  • What did I make or build or develop in 2020?
  • How did I take care of myself in 2020?
  • Who were my guides during 2020?
  • Who did I guide, help, influence in 2020?
  • What major challenges did I face? How did I face them?
  • What miracles did I experience?

After exploring these questions, write a list of the things you’re most grateful for in 2020.

Now, write a heartfelt goodbye note to 2020. You are leaving it behind, and moving into a brand new year, so take this opportunity to take formal leave of 2020. It can be as long or short as you like.

Close your notebook or journal and put it away. You are finished with it now.

Now move your body! Do some yoga, dance, bounce, shake, got for a walk or run - any kind of movement you feel like, for as long as you like.

To finish sit still once again. Say “Goodbye 2020. Thank you for everything you’ve taught me.”

Blow out the candle.

Wash off the old year by taking a shower, bath or swim.

Dress in clean clothes.

Look yourself in the eye in the mirror and smile!

The old year ritual is over.


  1. joaninha 10 months ago

    This is such a lovely thing to do! I started doing this as inspiration for the coming year as well, as when I first did it, there were areas I struggled to find answers for, and it motivated me to make positive changes for the coming year in a more directed way. I also ask myself who was my “person of the year”, somebody in my life I may have reconnected with, who has helped and supported me. I make a point of letting this person know what a positive influence they have been on me this year, to share the love.❤❤❤

  2. Ruth Ann McLaughlin 10 months ago

    Ohhh.. LOVE this. Thank you.

  3. CoromandelPatti 10 months ago

    Thank you so much. This is wonderful. I will do this ritual with my sister who lives in CA – we’ll do this on Zoom to share a good-bye to a tough year.
    I always do some kind of ritual to end the year… this one sounds great.
    I appreciate this and look forward to the ritual of welcoming the New Year in.

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