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What A Neuroscientist Is Doing To Mentally Prep For The New Year

Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
We Asked A Neuroscientist How She's Mentally Preparing For The New Year
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Even if you're not one for New Year's resolutions, something about this year coming to an end feels particularly significant. It's been a long year, and chances are, we're all holding on to something or another from 2020.

So, to get an idea of how to let it all go and prepare for 2021, we tapped neuroscientist and author of The Source Tara Swart, M.D., Ph.D., for her New Year's ritual. Here's what she makes sure to do, every year.

A visualization ritual for release.

This ritual can be done physically or mentally as a visualization, Swart notes, as it involves some natural landscape such as a beach, desert, or mountains.

"I used to—especially if I was on a beach but I've also done it in the desert—draw a well in the sand," she tells mbg. "And I'd throw everything in the well that I don't want from 2020, and I would know eventually the waves are going to come and take it away."

But because of travel restrictions, or if you don't live near scenery like that, Swart says the power of visualization works just as well. "You can visualize a mountain or the sea," she says, adding, "It's really about expelling all the negativity and then calling in the positive things you want."


A vision boarding ritual for goal setting.

Another visualization favorite of Swart's is creating a vision board, though she specifically makes "action boards," to emphasize the action required in manifesting. She's a huge believer in the law of attraction and previously explained to mbg that setting intentions and visualizing primes your brain to receive what you're looking for.

"It's very important to [first] identify all the thought processes, addictions, toxic relationships, habits—even old clothes," Swart says, however that looks for you. Then, "I'll do a calling in for the feelings, people, and things I want in the new year," she notes.

When your action board is complete, you'll know it's working when it inspires you to act whenever you look at it. "However small," Swart told mbg, "it's about doing something every day to move toward those goals, like networking, or dating. It's about acting and keeping with what you put on your board."

Whatever it is you want to leave behind in 2020, be sure to take time to release it as we enter 2021. Because the only way to make space for the new is to clear out the old.

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