Spreading a little hope … accidentally

An annual tradition to manufacture hope, when it isn’t easy to find

new year message
Photo by Aaron Burden on Pexels.com

10 years ago, I started sending new year messages to people I didn’t know.

That first year, I wasn’t in the best place, and I was worried that I would carry my unhappiness and frustration into the new year. I was out of ideas, and inspiration. After a few days of moping, I figured there might be others in the same boat as me. So I forced myself to sit at the computer, and manufacture hope. It was difficult, it seemed like everything I wrote in the new year message had a dark side or a sting in the tail. I was not going to do half hearted artificial hope, so I scratched it, and started again…and again. I finished it, and realized with surprise, that it gave me a jolt of hope. I sent it out, with great trepidation, to my connections, people I didn’t know in real life, but who were on my LinkedIn network.

The first message I got back was a grumpy one from a gentleman, asking why I would send such an over the top message when I didn’t know him. I was mortified! And then, positive messages started rolling in, and it really seemed to have resonated with people. They would write back, sometimes with a simple thanks, to sometimes more elaborate notes on why it resonated.

It gave me so much joy, and so much positive energy going into the new year, that I decided I would do it again. And it has become an annual tradition for me, a way to remind people in my network, that I am thinking of them and wishing them and their loved ones well, and that no matter how challenging the year was, here was a little helping of hope to accompany them on their journey.

10 years, 10 new year messages, lot of connections, shared moments of vulnerability and reflection later, it has become a perfect way to channel positive energy and good vibes for the new year.

I never thought that a little thing like a new year message, something that is usually impersonal and repetitive, could be personal and reflect our feeling towards the year gone by, and could create its own place in my life, and mean so much.

As you are trying to find the right words, to express your sentiment and message for the new year, I hope this helps you.

What are the small rituals, traditions in your life that mean a lot to you?

Here are my New Year messages over the years

New Year message for 2021

2020 Goodbye. And thank you.

2020 has challenged us in many ways. But we are still here. We are truly capable of more than we know.

May 2021 be the year that moves us forward, towards our personal purpose and life goals, and may we find strength in our vulnerability, common ground in our differences, and resolve in our sorrow. May we hold onto the embers of hope when it feels impossible to go on, may we see opportunity in inevitable change, may we discover our leadership in giving up control, may we find empathy for others in our own struggle, and may we be inspired by the service of our everyday heroes.

Wish you and yours a new year of healing, recovery, love, laughter and magic.

New Year message for 2020

Wish you and your loved ones a very happy and prosperous new year! May the 2020s be a decade of discovery of what we are truly capable of…when inspired, woven together with infinite opportunities, resilient optimism, and the ability to unlock potential all around us, along with the capacity to reflect, be mindful, and find and spread happiness to everyone we touch.

New Year Message for 2019

Wish you and your loved ones a very happy and prosperous new year! May 2019 be the best year yet, with unbridled optimism, infinite opportunities, the courage to translate hope into action, focusing on what matters most, brimming with more of everyone and everything you love.

New Year Message for 2018

Wish you and your loved ones a very happy and prosperous new year! May the year 2018 be a year of possibilities, with infinite hope and optimism, with courage and openness to discover the everyday hero within, and may the universe conspire to help you achieve your dreams, and be sprinkled with a large helping of love, laughter and magic!

New Year Message for 2017

Wish you and your loved ones a very happy and prosperous new year! May the year 2017 be the best one yet, with purpose that ignites your soul, bringing hope and passion to make the world a little better than we found it, creating space for meaningful constructive conversations that bring us together, cherishing diversity and pursuing inclusiveness, peppered with moments that touch your heart, laughter and treasured moments with loved ones, and may each day lead you closer to your life goals.

New Year Message for 2016

Theme- diversity, expanding horizons, genius in others

Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous new year! May the year 2016 be the best one yet, powered by passion and purpose, bringing hope of unprecedented progress and fulfillment from making a meaningful difference, expanding our horizons experiencing different cultures and diversity, being inspired, and inspiring and bringing out the genius in others, rejoicing in experiences from the simple to the sublime, and moments of laughter and treasured moments with loved ones, and may each day lead you closer to your life goals.

New Year message for 2015

Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous new year! May the new year be the best one yet, bringing hope for a brighter tomorrow, unstoppable momentum through marrying passion and purpose, the space for learning, experimenting, reflecting, trying and creating the new and different and contributing meaningfully to work and life, generosity of spirit and rejoicing in the ‘different’, and moments of laughter and treasured moments with loved ones, and may each day lead you closer to your life goals.

New Year Message for 2014

Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous new year! May the year 2014 be the best one yet, and bring good fortune and fortitude to stay ahead of and benefit from the multitude of changes around us, the strength of character and resilience in challenging times, the space for learning, experimenting, reflecting, trying and creating the new and different, moments of sheer genius and innovation and moments that take your breath away at work and life, moments of laughter and treasured moments with loved ones, and may each day lead you closer to your life goals.

New Year message for 2013

Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous new year! May the new year be the best one yet, peppered with moments of inspiration, clarity of purpose, ideas and insights, seeing the simplicity in the complex and the complexity in the simple, making a difference and contributing meaningfully to work and life, moments of laughter and treasured moments with loved ones, and may each day lead you closer to your life goals.

New Year message for 2012

Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous new year! May this year be one of new beginnings, exciting ventures, meaningful work, the ability to make a difference, new and diverse ideas, perspectives, and insights, treasured moments with loved ones and may each day lead you closer to your life goals.

New Year message for 2011

Wish you and your families a very happy and prosperous new year ahead! May this year bring exciting times, tremendous achievements, immense resilience, and hope for a better world.

p.s. As we reflect on what 2020 taught us, here are 2 articles I wrote recently, that you might like.

Who am I in a crisis?

20 reflections on 2020


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