Ring out the Old… Ring in the New

Angmering-on-Sea post box and snowChristmas 2010

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new –
Ring happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring Out Wild Bells      Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I love Tennyson’s poem, and Mozart’s music for this New Year’s hymn.

It’s not just the rhythm in the words that speak to me (that’s the voice coach in me), it’s also the content and sentiment conveyed particularly in these first two verses.

This is the time of year when we start thinking about our New Year resolutions. Hopefully some will shortly be instigated and perhaps even one or two of them might even become habits; the remainder falling by the wayside, casualties of the busy lives we all seem to lead these days.

However, I shall be doing a different exercise this year and invite you to do the same. In Tennyson’s words ‘ring out the old, ring in the new’. This isn’t the first time I’ve done so, and it may not be yours either, but it’s been a few years since I’ve done it for the entire year.

This exercise is sometimes referred to, in coaching circles at least, as ‘completion’. To avoid the use of jargon, let’s call it an acknowledgement exercise: of what we’ve accomplished over the past year; what we’ve promised ourselves or others we’d do and haven’t done; what we did over and above what we promised or didn’t promise even.

The reason I think this is important is because I believe we all have a tendency to look at what we didn’t do or haven’t accomplished, and to do so in snapshot format. This is a chance to paint the whole picture; our perception of all we did and didn’t do in 2010 and, continuing the analogy, start with a blank canvas for 2011.

Whilst I’m at it, one of my New Year’s resolutions is going to be ‘ring out the false, ring in the true’.

We could even do it in pairs, so that we can share in each others’ accomplishments, disappointments, joys and sorrows.

Anyone care to join me?

Next week, I’ll share at least some of my outcomes of the exercise, and would love to hear from any of you who are happy to go public:-)

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

12 thoughts on “Ring out the Old… Ring in the New

  1. Hi Lyn,
    Nice post and idea. I really like the idea of looking back and acknowledging our big moments and not so big moments as a way of setting up a good foundation for going forward into next year.



    • Hi Adrian

      Many thanks for your feedback. Looking forward to hearing what came out of doing the exercise for you next week. I probably should have added that the creation process occurs after this exercise is complete!

      Appreciate all your support over the past few months. Happy New Year!

      Warmest wishes


      P.S. Meant to tell you I really like the new pic on both your blog and your Twitter profile – looks like you!

  2. There must be something in the air.

    This is a great idea. I have been far too guilty in the past of focusing on the shortcoming rather than the achievement.

    I’m up for this and looking forward to sharing.

    Happy New Year


    • Hi Mike

      Thank you for your comment and delighted you’re in!

      Indeed there must be something in the air – it’s that time of year, right?! I like the idea of starting with this exercise then following up by responding to Charlie Robertson’s question “what resolutions are you planning to implement next year, and what plans are you putting in place to ensure momentum kicks in?”

      Looking forward to you sharing your outcomes….

      Happy New Year to you too!

      Best wishes


  3. Hi lynda,

    I’m not very good at New Year’s resolutions only because I have a tendency to break them too quickly. So this year I am focusing on three key words the concept was inspired by Chris Brogan.

    Basically what you do is focus on three key words that have positive meaning and in the direction you want to be heading. My 2011 words are >

    Growth > for my business (no that’s not my personal size LOL)
    Share > my knowledge and expertise with others
    Push > myself to do the things I am frighten off in business development


    • Hi Wendy

      Thanks for your comment; I think focussing on three key words that have positive meaning for you, and in the direction you want to be heading, is a brilliant idea. I really like your three words too…

      So how do you feel about doing the exercise of acknowledging all you’ve accomplished and not accomplished this year. You up for it? We could do it together!

      You could certainly Share the outcomes; you may see Growth already in 2010 and plan for further business expansion; and perhaps you’d have to Push yourself to do the exercise and acknowledge what you’ve accomplished this past year?

      Happy New Year!

      Warmest wishes


  4. Lynda,
    Thank you for the challenge. I’m starting the year with a blog challenge (month of January) and your post has helped me leap into it. I’m sure the review & acknowledgment exercise will put the wind at my back as I take off into 2011. It certainly suggests days and days of blog posts around the themes that will arise. I also like Wendy/Chris’s idea of setting a theme for 2011 using three concepts or words. So, I’ll follow up the exercise with that and see where it leads me! I’m so glad I discovered your blog today via a post by Adriane that showed up in my Twitter feed.

    • Hello Kate

      I too am glad that you discovered my blog today – and right at the start of this new year and decade! Many thanks for your comment. I look forward to reading your blog posts around the themes that arise, and hope you’ll share some of the themes here in the next week or two. It sounds as though you’re inspired!

      Happy New Year and wishing you all the best for 2011.


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